Imagine you’re talking on the phone to your best friend and you have a potentially salacious or embarrassing question to ask. Do you ask it? What if you were on a conference call with a million people? Would you ask that same question to all those people?
That’s the idea behind Twitter manners. You need to understand that Twitter is a wide open space where anyone can (and will) see what you type. If you run for president some day, you can rest assured every single tweet will be pored over by reporters looking for a scoop. (Do they still use the term ‘scoop’ anyway?) But if you’re not running for president, you can still be certain that other people will see your tweets. The good and the bad ones. That’s the whole point of Twitter after all.
In an effort to keep your Twitter manners properly set up and to make sure you know which part of Twitter is useful for a particular type of question or conversation, check out this visual guide.
- Don’t ignore someone if they talk about you (or to you). That’s just asking for trouble. You should always be sure to keep the record straight on important things like your online reputation.
- Don’t just tweet and retreat. I like that term, but it’s valid here. Don’t send a message to someone and then walk away from Twitter. You’re in a conversation. Would you just talk to someone and suddenly walk away in person?
- This one is a bit about customer service, but it still works for teachers. Don’t ask random questions, not get a reply, and then continue to ask random questions. This is especially bad for a hashtag chat. Don’t go too off topic while using a hashtag!
- Don’t use auto-responders. Twitter isn’t your voicemail. You shouldn’t have something mention or DM someone as soon as they connect with you. I hate that and most other people probably do too!
- DON’T USE CAPS LOCK! It’s the equivalent of yelling online.
- Mind your Ps and Qs. Say ‘thank you’ and other proper responses when using Twitter. Especially if someone says something nice about you.