Ten Brutal Twitter Tips

twitter-buttonYeah, I know…more twitter…but I thought it was time to be brutally honest about getting the most out of twitter, so here are my brutal twitter tips:

First, please fill in your bio, please add a link to a representative place on the web, if you don’t I won’t tend to follow you back as other than your tweets I’ll have no way of really knowing who you are (unless I actually know you, of course)

Second, please don’t use an avatar/photo showing more than one person, otherwise how are we to know which one is you?

Third, please make sure your avatar/photo is not accidentally out of focus, it looks silly. If you’re making an artistic statement fair enough.

Fourth, say what you think, when you fancy saying it, but please don’t make all your tweets single-word replies to other tweeps, otherwise, again we won’t be able to gauge whether to follow you.

Fifth, if you must autofollow when someone chooses to follow you please don’t use an autoresponse service to ask me to visit your site. If I’m going following you I will have checked out your site already. See first item.

Sixth, build up some presence on twitter before following people you really don’t know. If you’re following hundreds of people and only have 3 followers, I ain’t coming along for the ride. Join forces with your real friends on twitter first and build up a posse organically.

Seventh, please use direct messaging (DM) for simple replies that will be meaningless to anyone else without them viewing the conversation history. Alternatively, add a spot of explanation and we may catch your drift.

Eighth, if you’re retweeting (RT) my tweets and please feel free to do so, don’t feel obliged to use my exact tweet, add your thoughts and just make sure the link is the same and you include “@sciencebase RT ” without the quotes at the start of tweet.

Ninth, don’t forget the @ sign in front of sciencebase, i.e. @sciencebase, if you want to catch my attention. Using “David Bradley” or any permutations thereof will not show up in my @Replies list

Tenth, if you’re replying put the @sciencebase, or whatever user, at the front of the message, if it’s at the end of in the middle it won’t necessarily show up in my @Replies. The username will show up in a search, but that entails an extra search step.

Here are a couple of additional thoughts from fellow scientist blogger Angsuman Chakraborty, who is @angsuman on twitter. He suggests trying http://twitter.grader.com/search as a great way to find like-minded people on twitter. He also added the key twitip, which I’ve mentioned here before and to friends – Engage people by answering their questions, be helpful when you can, build your reputation in your domain of expertise. Engaging people makes other note you and they want to hear more from you.

Author: David Bradley

Freelance science journalist, author of Deceived Wisdom. Photographer and musician.