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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Techno Granny Show, 20 Tips to Keep You from Being a Twit on Twitter.

20 Tips to Keep You from Being a Twit on Twitter.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE defines a “twit” as:
The kind of person that makes a retarded chimp look smart. They often can be found leaving definitions for their own name or the names of their friends on
Joe smith definition:
1: joe smith is the coolest man alive, look at me i wrote my name i am joe smith
2: joe smith is a twit
I added this definition not because it was ridiculous but because this is how very many people use
In a lot of ways, millions of users have found Twitter as a useful tool. Take journalists, for instance.   According to media “59 percent of journalists worldwide now use Twitter.”   According to a study by Infographic “46 percent of workers say that their productivity has greatly or somewhat increased because of social media use in the office, and more than one-third (37 percent) say that they could do their job better if their organization's management was more on-board in the use of social tools in the workplace.” 
What does all of this mean?
A.    At least half of the world is taking social media and twitter seriously.
B.    Most users of twitter and other social media are looking for good content and not just finding out how cute your kids are or what you had for breakfast.  Although the cute kid thing used sparingly could convince followers that you are a real person and not a robot tweeting for you.
So the TechnoGranny has poked around, uses twitter herself on six different accounts and has created a lists of “dos and don’ts” to keep you from being a twit on twitter.

1.     Fill out your profile – For a variety of reasons, this might seem like common sense, but a lot of people still don’t have their whole profile filled out. You would be surprised the “eggheads” as I call them or just plain “eggs” that show up on twitter because there is no picture there. Users who have not uploaded a profile image yet. At this time, these users are affectionately known as "eggs" due to Twitter's default avatar image depicting an egg on a colorful background.  This makes it harder for people to find you and connect with you. Also, having a filled out profile means more followers.  You will wait until the cows come home if you expect me to follow you as an “egg.”  You are in the same category as a guy who doesn’t put his picture up on a dating site.  How are you gonna get a date or a follower if people don’t know that you don’t look like Godzilla or Jack the Ripper?  Also this is a social site.  So put up your picture even it’s a caricature because you are paranoid of your picture being on the internet.  “Get social, or don’t, simple rule.”  If you don’t get social your twitter account makes you a twit wasting your valuable time.
Trust me; your picture is out there anyway.  Just Google “Pictures of _______, add your name here,” and you will be surprised at how many pictures there are of you on the internet.  Just attend a gala or have lunch with a friend.  The gala is being publicized and your friend is probably on Facebook.  There are many places where you can submit your picture and get a caricature or an avatar, some for free, some for a small fee.  Try  Five bucks will get you a really snazzy caricature created from your picture.

  1.  Here is TechnoGranny’s definition of a double twit.   Check your environment before you tweet. Don’t ignore the people you’re with in real life to tweet. Consider how your behavior will be viewed before you do it. Tweeting from a speaking engagement or event to help publicize the event is acceptable; tweeting during a private meeting is not.  And unless you are tweeting about the great food at a restaurant at a lunch with your friend and sending a picture, it’s just plain rude.  Also always ask permission from your friend to add their name.
3.     The rude tweeter:   Be polite on Twitter for the most part, but no more or less so than you're expected to be in the real world — just keep in mind that Twitter is a public forum. Also keep in mind how long that tweet is out there, if you had a negative opinion that may change but the tweet expressing it will not.  In recent months, the world saw this trending discussion on amazingly poor etiquette manifest itself in a controversy surrounding the #LetsMakeitAwkward campaign on Twitter. For those of you who might be scratching your heads, this was a trending topic encouraging young people to embarrass their peers by reminding them of failed relationships and ridiculous or embarrassing behavior.  Even Talk Show hosts jumped on the bandwagon.  To a baby boomer like me it was like yelling out across the room in the sixties, “Your mama wears combat boots.”  Or in the famed words of a Bill Cosby skit, “You can’t afford no ice cream because you’re on the welfare.” 
If good manners would keep you from saying it in public or even privately to a person then why would you put it out on twitter where possibly thousands or millions could see it?  Great way to lose a friend, an acquaintance and to submit yourself to a hailstorm of criticism yourself!  So here the same tact is required as a matter of fact more because it is online and subject to much more scrutiny and spreading faster.

4.     The Time of Day Tweeters:  'Good Morning' Tweets Imagine if we all tweeted "good morning" or "good night" with no updates, anecdotes, or witticisms. Boring!  Now if you received an epiphany from your creative muse or the Holy Spirit and you want to share it, fine but a tweet about the sunshine every day can be a bit mundane.  Don’t put your followers back to sleep with a bland “Good morning twitter followers” or a simpish, “Good night, I’m out, the old battle axe requires my presence in the bedroom.”

5.     The Drunken Tweeter.  Okay so you drink.  Many people do not!  Why entertain your other friends who drink with regaling them of stories of stumbling home at 4 AM at the risk of alienating your tea-totting friends who know how to have a good time without alcohol.  Now if you are tweeting about an amazing vintage of wine or grape variety, that’s a different story.  please turn off the computer after having the second drink and for some people after the first.  The worst possible scenario is having to recant an inappropriate or compromising tweet that you posted under the influence.  When this happens your friends may have fun reminding you to delete these tweets the next day but once on the internet even deleted they stay “somewhere” in cyberspace to be found when you least expect them.
If you want to share your wine expertise or a cocktail recipe, that’s perfectly acceptable.  But please don’t tweet about your drunken escapades.  Your boss, your significant other’s family or your church congregation or your next business client could see it with embarrassing or even dire consequences.  Also

6.     Foursquare Enthusiasts As a marketer I think this is a great tool for marketing brick and mortar businesses and I am a fan for that purpose.  However I am not a fan when a post that includes all the information about the Pittsburgh Airport from your tweet enters my News Feed on Facebook.  So please be careful what boxes you check on your Foursquare Account that may link your check-ins to other social media especially twitter.  Do you think burglars might like to know you are at Starbuck’s instead of at home or watching a two hour movie like “Gravity” at the theatre and stopping for drinks afterwards?

7.     Should I follow everyone who follows me? I like to think of Twitter “follows” the way I approached valentine cards in grade school; you don’t want to be that one person who gets all the cards but gives none in return. Why? It isn’t social.  Twitter is a social network; your participation on social media requires a certain level of correspondence to maintain a following- to be heard.  Although you can remain aloof on Twitter this will not help you grow your network or social media presence.  The follow only approach on Twitter really only works for celebrities. (I’m still waiting in vain for Ellen DeGeneres to follow me back.)  However, my favorite author, John C. Maxwell is following me:
I am the girl who never said no to a guy who asked me to dance in high school.  If a boy got
up enough nerve to walk across the room and ask, I never wanted to embarrass them and not dance with him.  This is why I believe, unless someone can damage your image, every legitimate user deserves a follow back.
Things I consider before I agree to follow a tweeter:
a)     Is their profile complete?
b)     Did they post a respectable photo?  I don’t follow eggs or pictures of women with a caption, “visit my site for more pictures of me.”
c)     Foreign language accounts—I am concerned about what is being tweeted.  If I can’t understand what appears on my feed I am hesitant to follow.  If they seem to be reputable, such as an author or a well-known speaker, I may bend the rule.
d)     I review some of their tweets. If they use foul language I never follow them.
A good suggestion, take a few minutes to look over a follower’s profile. Do they have a profile photo?  Is it G rated? Do they have a conventional sounding bio?  If these qualities all align then I show my “social side” and follow back.
            Twitter lists can help you stay organized and be beneficial to your self-promotion. If you are concerned about the volume of tweets on your account consider dividing your list of followers by category.
            I used to just “list” people and never follow back.  As some of my accounts surpassed 1,000 followers this became too time consuming.  Here is an example of the lists I generated to help keep me focused.  This is from my @technogrannysho account:

When a follower pulls up your name they have the option to follow your lists.  The lists are indelibly listed on Twitter as your list.  Additionally, this is also a great way to compliment someone.  When you agree to follow another tweeters list, an account of how many followers they have and how many times they are listed will appear.

From another of my business accounts @pospittsburgh

8.     Using Twitter for business. If you intend to link your products or posts on a personal blog you will need to find a balance between the number of tweets that promote you and the number of tweets that provide value. You may think of this balance as a ratio. For example, every single link you post to Twitter you will need to send out at least five tweets that inform, engage, and conjure conversation. If conversation and engagement are your aim you should maintain a human voice to your Twitter stream at all times.

.     Thank You notes on Twitter. Here are two ways to give thanks to those who’ve taken the time to share your tweet (and thus give you additional exposure). The quickest way to give thanks is “favorite” their retweet of your message. The favorite function is typically indicated with a star icon (either underneath or to the right of a particular tweet).
Thank people for retweets and other forms of information. Let others know you appreciate their mentions and other information.
·       Retweet (Twitter’s function or RT): This is used when reposting, word for word, from someone else’s feed.  Twitter has a built in function that allows the original poster to maintain credit so you won’t have to worry about attribution. However, like many users, you want to put your own spin on the tweet. If you rewrite it, do not use the RT indicator. Most people will assume it is word for word from the previous poster.

10.  #Dont #Overuse #Hashtags #In #Your #Tweets #It #Looks #Ridiculous #Stick #To #Three #Or #Fewer #TwitterEtiquette Need we say more? No? Good, ‘cuz we're out of space. 

Read the full article by Kevin Allen, The 10 Essentials of Twitter Etiquette here:

11.  Don't just tweet headlines and links.  It might be easy to tweet the headline of a relevant article with its link, but if you want to add value to your message you should provide your followers a purpose.  Offer your take on the article or extract an interesting quote.  This will encourage others to research and explore the material you find informative. 

12.  Understand the difference between Replying vs. DMing.  Some things are meant for the public sphere and others simply for private. To help you decide when it’s best to reply to someone or direct message them, stop and think, “Is this something I want other people to know?  Would the person I am replying to be OK with me messaging them publicly?” This requires little more than common sense. If someone direct messages you, don’t @ them publicly, direct message them back.

13.  Unless you want an ongoing argument to blemish your twitter rep, don't be controversial.   Criticizing something is OK if you know what you're talking about.   Beware; criticizing an individual can open doors that you don't necessarily want to walk through on social media. Try to keep positive.  With this approach you'll never have a problem. Negativity spawns pessimism and disapproval. This is not a productive way to build your personal brand.  

14.  Don’t just yell buy, buy. Don't be "That Girl" her show was canceled over forty years ago.   Keep your promotional tweets down to one for every other type of message posted or your followers will say, ‘bye-bye’.

15.  Use less than 140 characters. While a tweet can contain up to 140 characters, leave room at the end of your tweet for your followers to add their comments. As a rule of thumb, I try to leave ten or more characters blank.  This lets your followers know you welcome their feedback. 

16.  Be careful of just "auto following" This idea stems from striving to keep the humanness front and center as your social media communication method.  If you review new followers regularly it takes a few seconds.  You may find interesting people you want to contact.  Automation tools will lead you toward following bots or worse yet internet porno queens whose tweets will then appear on your news feed.

17.  If you don't want it repeated, don't tweet it.    Social media is not as anonymous as some might think.  Who is your audience? What impression are you trying to convey to your followers?  Will ‘f- bombs’ further your cause? 

18.  Be careful of your spelling.  You are on Twitter for a purpose, most likely to promote a brand; yours or someone else’s.  Don’t give your followers the opportunity to question your authority due to habitual spelling errors.  This is just plain unprofessional.

19.  Remember Twitter is a History Book Called Social Media.  How you choose to project yourself on social media, not just to your followers but the world, leaves a shadow; your digital shadow, sometimes referred to as a digital footprint.  If you post it, it is available for the masses to see and form lasting impressions of you.  A delete isn’t permanent. Good ways to gauge your tweets, if you would be embarrassed for your grandmother to read it, don’t post it.

20.   The Old Saying "Telegraph, Telephone, Tell a Woman, now Tell Twitter.
After the fact you can delete all you want, somewhere it stays archived once it is on line.  If you don't want it repeated or if you don't want called to account for it, then don't put it on any social media, especially not twitter. It's too easy to hit those crazy arrows that mean "retweet" and count on the negative things to go viral.

Techno Granny Show Hosted By:
Joanne Quinn-Smith is the Creative Energy Officer of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and an expert on Web 2.0 Branding, 2009 National SBA Small Business Journalist of the Year, Author "Folly of Marketing Plan in Your Head, 101 Compelling Reasons to Write One." Available at:

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