10 Things You Should Never, Ever Do on Twitter

I read this tweet yesterday, and it made me wince:

“I wonder if ppl know you can see when you are added to a list? I just got added to a not so nice one. Maybe she should have made it private.”

I winced of course for the person who got added to the “not so nice one.” But I also cringed for the person who made the error, who probably had no idea they had made their private thoughts public.

Twitter suggests that the user has a kind of anonymity, but nothing could be further than the truth. Everything you tweet on Twitter is around essentially forever. So, before you tweet, think.

Here’s my personal list of 10 things you should never, ever do on Twitter:

1. Auto-DM. Don’t set-up your account to automatically send a direct message to everyone who follows you, or to everyone who does anything. When you send a DM, write it specifically for the person and occasion you are sending it.

2. Auto-follow. Don’t automatically follow everyone who follows you. Be discriminating – at least avoid the bots and spammers. This is your brand, if someone looks through your list of followers it shouldn’t shock them.

3. Have typos. If you find a typo on a tweet you’ve already sent, delete that tweet and send a corrected version. It may seem like a small thing, but it’s worth it to create a professional social media presence.

4. Write something you might regret later. Even a deleted tweet lives on. Do what you have to do – count to ten, turn off the computer, step away from Twitter – but just don’t write something you shouldn’t.

5. Add people to a list and think they won’t see, and analyze, the title. Think before you create the list and make sure it doesn’t have anything offensive, even inadvertently. (Read Schmutzie’s Why I Made a Kid-Free List on Twitter (And What Happened When I Did) to learn more about what can happen.)

6. Excessively self-promote. A few tweets about your business, your blog, your cause are all good. But a few too many? Are all bad.

7. USE ALL CAPS. No one likes yelling in life, or on Twitter. If you throw on the Caps Lock, it had better be for a very, very good reason.

8. Schedule too many auto-tweets. Just because you *can* send a tweet every 10 minutes doesn’t mean you should.

9. Get into a Twitter fight. It’s hard to have meaningful, nuanced discourse in 140 characters or less. Twitter is good for many things, but not for everything.

10. Think  you have the only point of view. Twitter is a great place to share ideas – take time to read and learn from your fellow Tweeps.

Looking for more Twitter Don’ts? Here’s Forbes list of  The 10 “Don’ts” of Corporate Social Media.

Now that I’ve shared my list things you should never, ever do on Twitter, let’s hear yours. What do you think people should never, ever do on Twitter?

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