Image5 Twitter mistakes to avoid

My Twitter education came courtesy of trial and error. Like any tool, there’s a learning curve. Unfortunately, a mistake on Twitter is public and open to criticism at every turn. Many mistakes later, I decided to bring you a list of 5 Twitter mistakes that you can easily avoid. I hope these spare you some digital pain and lead to a more enjoyable experience for you, in 140 characters or less.

1. MT vs RT

MT vs RT
Here’s the skinny. If you’re just looking to RT and have enough room to send it as is, then let that RT fly out into the Twittersphere. However, if you are up against 140 characters and need to modify any of the original message, preface it as MT (modified tweet.) If you are adding your own copy before the RT, then don’t worry about adjusting it to an MT.

2. Mentions can silo exposure

Sometimes you may want to lead off a tweet with a mention (i.e., @TwitterHandle) and let the whole world see how clever and awesome you are. Makes sense. But did you know that if you lead a tweet with a mention, only those who follow both you AND the one you mention will see the tweet? Placing a period before the mention is the norm for overcoming this obstacle, but any character will suffice.

3. Experts and gurus

This may be my biggest bugaboo. If I see “expert” or “guru” in a profile, that’s immediate grounds for termination as a connection. No questions asked. I’m not the only one who thinks this braggadocios approach is annoying and meaningless. Who is ultimately choosing to follow someone because they titled themselves as an “expert” in their profile? How do we change this?

4. Not following back

Some accounts aren’t compatible and don’t make sense to follow back. This is the only legitimate excuse for a no follow. One excuse for a no follow that shouldn’t be tolerated is the quest for the coveted Twitter ratio. The Twitter ratio is the concept of having more followers than you follow. This pretense defeats the whole purpose of Twitter. If an account goal is to achieve a ratio of 1:2 then you’re doing it wrong. Follow those who are relevant or inspire you and the numbers will work themselves out.

5. Generic #FF

#FF is a great concept but has gone through some negative changes in the past year. It’s become a free for all (#FFA?) of just naming accounts and hoping for some new followers, providing little value. You could pick one account that you will #FF each week. Tell your followers why they earned that spot for the week. Another method is an elaborate version of the previous, but you could #FF all the meaningful contacts you’ve made that week. Tell each why they deserve that #FF status for the week. Although it’s a bit time consuming, it’s completely worth it. Strengthen your Twitter connections through sincerity and tact, and avoid looking like Twitter spam.

That’s it – my list of 5 Twitter mistakes to avoid. Here’s to a better Twitter experience for all of us!