Things Not to do on Twitter

There’s lots of advice about what to do onTwitter. But what about what not to do?

What are the things that can create a bad experience or a disaster. Here’s a list of things to avoid:

1. Fail to provide anything of value. Every tweet should make a contribution – be it a piece of information, a link to an article or blog post, or a comment about something you’re doing or seeing.

What doesn’t fall into this category are tweets that are of little interest to few people. Do people really care that you’re going for a cappuccino, or that you’re tired because its hot outside.

2. Be anonymous or fail to provide enough personal information. While tweets can disclose a lot about who you are and what you do, it’s also good to have a profile that offers more information and insight. This can include a good bio and a link to a blog or Web site.

3. Continually promote yourself or your company. Social media is not a “hard sell” medium, which means that constantly tweeting about your products or services is bad form. This kind of activity can be acceptable IF you provide a variety of other content about other people, companies and events.

4. Tweet too much. It’s great to be enthusiastic about Twitter but over-tweeting isn’t cool. My personal take is more than 20 tweets/day is a no-go, even for people offering a steady flow of good content. It’s like going to a party and dominating the conversation. It may be interesting but leaves people out of the loop.

5. Trash talk. Constructive criticism is a good thing but attacking people via Twitter is disrespectul. What wouldn’t go over well in person shouldn’t be done on Twitter.

6. Failing to provide links to other sources. One of the most valuable parts of Twitter is making it easy for people to discover new articles, Web site or online services.

7. Auto-reply or auto-follow. Automation some elements of social media is a good thing to improve your productivity but there are some things that should be on this list.