How to Keep Your Blood Pressure Safe on Twitter

I’ve been on Twitter since March of 2007, so two years now. Now that Twitter is becoming a buzz word and the users have more than mulitiplied, I thought it’d be helpful to share some tips to help keep you from blowing a gasket during your Twitter expeirence.

1. Realize Not Everyone Uses Twitter the Same Way. Many “social media experts” have made up rules about how to use or not use Twitter. While using the word “rules” may make them sound authorative the reality is there’s not a ton of hard-and-fast rules. There’s probably at least 10 exceptions to every rule that people put forward. The sooner you realize that the rules you’ve adopted may not be the rules that another user has adopted, the better.

2. Give Users at Least 3 Days to Follow You Back (if Not Longer). I am not a Twitter power user, but I get about 40 requests for Twitter followers each day. It was too much to deal with immediately, so I have all requests forwarded and deal with them all at once. Sometimes (especially if I’m away from my computer) this may take a day or two for me to follow you back. Some Twitter users auto-follow everyone, but I do manually accept or decline all of the requests.

3. Don’t Start Following People You Don’t Know Until You Post at Least 3 Updates. I can’t tell you how many times I get followed by accounts that have no updates. I never follow someone with no updates, so that person probably won’t ever get a follow back from me. A lot of Twitter users quit because they’re not being followed, but they can’t be followed until people know why they’re following!

4. Don’t Take it Personally When People Don’t Follow You Back. Now it’s true, I only follow people who follow me back unless their value is high enough (Wil Wheaton, for example, doesn’t follow me back, but I love his twitters). Even so, I do not take it personally when someone I follow does not follow me back. I do recommend sending them an @ message if it’s been longer than 3 days and tell them WHY you started following them. People who aren’t following you still see @ replies. Do not threaten them or get pissy. If it’s someone like @StephenFry realize he has close to 40K followers. He can’t follow everyone. But most celebs still read all of their @ replies and sometimes reply to them!

5. Make Sure You Read Tweets in Context. Sometimes the twitter stream goes by too fast and you’ll miss some of people’s Twitters. If a message makes your blood boil make sure to check previous messages in the user’s twitter stream to make sure you read it right. Also check the Twitters of anyone they are responding to or anyone responding to them. Search Twitter is your friend in this regard. Most of the arguments I’ve seen on Twitter erupted because someone missed a previous tweet.

I hope this is helpful to you. If you have some more tips, leave them in the comments for other Twitter users. 🙂

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