A while back, I wrote up a post on Best Practices for Twitter, both for those starting out and for those who've been Twittering for a while but perhaps wondering why their following is growing so slowly. In the wake of the Domino's Pizza kerfuffle (now affectionately known by some as Boogergate) and the Ashton Kutcher/CNN race and Oprah's Twitter debut, a few more practices have come to light for the list:
- Complete your Twitter profile with a photo that looks like you. Don't put a photo of an umbrella or of your pet. You're expecting folks to relate to you, so post a photo of you. It doesn't have to be professional; a flattering webcam shot is fine.
- Complete your Twitter profile with a link to your website. If you follow someone, make it easy for her to find out who you are and whether you are worth following back by providing a link to your best/most representative website on your profile.
- Download a Twitter app to your internet-enabled phone. Using a mobile device to Twitter will enable you to live Twitter from events, which gives your followers the feeling that they are there, having fun and learning with you. (Try Twitterfon, Twitterific, Twittelator or Tweetie for the iPhone; my current favorite it Tweetie for managing multiple Twitter accounts simultaneously.)
- If you are Twittering as a business or corporation, specify the human being who is Twittering under that auspice. When Domino's created @dpzinfo two days into the recent kerfuffle, it was useful, but it would have been better if we'd had any idea who was doing the Twittering--was it one marketing guy? A team? Were the Tweets one person's opinion that we could relate to and form a relationship with, or were they all corporate-approved? Your followers need a "who" to relate to. So, for example, when Kristen Taylor Twitters for @knightfdn, she specifies that she (@kthread) is doing the Twittering:
- Please don't use all caps anywhere, ever. It's just not user-friendly. Who wants to read this?
- Don't use automation to thank your followers. Either thank followers individually by hand, or just don't thank them.
- Don't put a link to your money-making, life-changing website in your auto-thank message. It's just tacky, as if someone came to your party expecting a great converstion, and you greeted him at the door by trying to sell him a timeshare.
- Use TwitPic to Twitter photos of the people you're with, the speakers you're hearing, the conference you're attending, the funny sign you saw, even the lovely sunset you're witnessing. Bring us into the moment and into your life.
I'm sure there will be a Best Practices for Twitter, part trois. In the meantime, what would you add to these lists?