As brands and agencies begin to believe in the value of social media, their interest in Twitter etiquette has also begun to rise. Learning how to use Twitter is invaluable; however, common courtesy continues to be more important than hashtag mastery or follower acquisition strategy. After all, engaging users on Twitter is another strategy we use to connect individuals to our brands. It could not be more important to make a positive impression.
This year’s Olympics showed us just how integral Twitter has become to our media, networking and branding efforts, having helped make and break a few personal brands. But what does courtesy look like on a micro-blogging site like Twitter, where users are limited to just 140 characters? Isn’t the point of social media to be fast-paced and informative? Well, yes and no. One of the benefits of social media is its ability to quickly disseminate information to a large audience, but this also means bringing the professionalism of your brand or client to the main stage.
One tried-and-true principle is bringing office etiquette into the digital environment. If someone says something nice about you on Twitter, say thank you. If someone re-tweets something you have tweeted, thank them. Think of a re-tweet as a referral, a #FF (Follow Friday) as a public endorsement. These elements of human engagement are what will separate “another brand on Twitter” from future leaders in online customer service. When a brand responds to a tweet from a non-affiliated user in a timely manner they are showing readers that they are professional, courteous, organized, and care deeply about involving each user in a personal brand experience.
Having Twitter etiquette is about more than just the right content. The right look can speak volumes too. Would you show up to a client meeting in sweatpants and a T-shirt? Probably not. So why would you address millions of customers with an “egg” for a profile photo and a broken link to your brand’s main site in the bio? Come prepared, it shows users that you respect their time and attention.
People wrongly assume that when it comes to social media engagement the old brand rule book no longer applies. The reality is that professionals should be honing their skills by delivering the best of their brand through social and digital efforts; not by letting social platforms determine their strategy from the outset. As an added bonus, this also provides a great opportunity for newcomers to the field and seasoned professionals to work together, mixing technical skills with industry experience.