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David Lee King

Twitter Best Practices So Far



I’ve just spent some time subscribing to a bunch of Twitter social media and community manager types (via twitterpacks.pbwiki.com) My goal in doing this is to learn more about digital community management, and how that relates to the library version of digital communities.

But while doing that, I started noticing some similarities in twitter account pages, and thought I’d share those with you.

Twitter Best Practices:

1. Have a bio. When people see an interesting tweet, they might click through and want to read a bit about you – the first place they’ll look is your Twitter bio. Most bios provide a brief outline of who you are. For example, mine currently says I write about, talk about, and work in libraries!” (yes, that’s a very boring bio – I should change it).I write about, talk about, and work around libraries, social media, and digital communities. Also check out my videoblog: http://davidleeking.com/etc” (just changed it :-)

Even better – include an invitation in your bio. Here are two examples:

  • I’m a 35 year -old marketing professional who is learning about new media. Help me learn Twitter please! Follow me and I’ll follow you!
  • New followers: please @ me to start or join a conversation.

2. Extra links in your bio. You can add links to pertinent sites and services in your bio. If the URL is long, make sure to shorten it with one of those tinyURL services. Otherwise, the link text will run into the background of the page… and make you look like you look bad.

3. Spell check your bio text. Misspellings look bad. Nuf said.

4. Use a good headshot for your picture/icon: Best practices for the little pic that accompanies your tweets – a headshot of you, smiling. Or maybe you being silly. If possible, show your personality.

Don’t frown – if you don’t look friendly (or you look scary), others might think twice about friending you. And on the web, thinking twice means you’ve lost them.

5. Add a background image. Any image. Silly. Professional. Ugly. The point here is that using the default Twitter background on your account makes you look like a newbie. And that’s bad, especially when it’s so easy to add an image.

Brownie points for using the image like these two tweeters. See what they’ve done? They smartly positioned an image version of a link list that appears in the far left portion of their twitter page. Nice way to share links and promote themselves!

6. Say “Hi” to new followers. When someone follows you, reply back. That’s nice! Here’s one example: “you might be the first librarian I’ve met.  HI!”

Even better – one person direct messaged me with this message: “Welcome New Follower!! How goes it?  Have you tweeted anything that I should know about that I may have missed?” Wow – he’s asking you to introduce yourself in a very direct and helpful (to him) way. Nice.

7. Silly observations:

  • Social media and community manager types tend to play guitar in a band and mention it in their profiles…
  • they all subscribe to Chris Brogan’s twitter account.

8. Finally, don’t do this: I saw one twitter account (that I didn’t follow) with these characteristics:

  • Bio said the person is a “key executive in digital media”
  • No picture/icon was included
  • No background image was used
  • He’s not following anyone
  • He has 7 followers
  • He’s only written 5 updates

Notice the irony here? This person’s bio and his actual Twitter activity don’t match up. He doesn’t sound like a key executive in “digital media” He needs to take 5 minutes to add a pic, add a background, follow a few usual suspects in his field, and add a couple more tweets. This will make his account look “normal” – and he’ll look more knowledgeable to boot.

Update: after writing a whiz-bang twitter article, I completely fogot to add a link to my own twitter account (twitter.com/davidleeking)! Duh…

[ad#dlks-sneaky-ad-unit]

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://www.davidleeking.com david lee king

    Jenny – you CAN put extra links in the bio part of your twitter account, over on the right hand side of the page. Mine’s a good example – I link to my videoblog in addition to the website link provided above the bio.

    So you could dump RSS feeds, other URLs, etc there…

  • http://theshiftedlibrarian.com/ Jenny Levine

    right, but if a library could display the headlines from its blog, calendar, new titles from the catalog, etc. directly on the background (the way you can on a Windows desktop)…now that would be cool! Just wondering if anyone knows of a way to make that happen.

  • http://theshiftedlibrarian.com Jenny Levine

    right, but if a library could display the headlines from its blog, calendar, new titles from the catalog, etc. directly on the background (the way you can on a Windows desktop)…now that would be cool! Just wondering if anyone knows of a way to make that happen.

  • davidleeking

    Ah – makes sense, and that would be extremely cool!

  • davidleeking

    Ah – makes sense, and that would be extremely cool!

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  • http://occamsrazr.com Ike Pigott

    If you have a blog, create an “About” page that is just a landing page for Twitter users who want to know about you.

    Then you can expound a little more about your Twitter policy – your routine – and your expectations.

    That tends to relieve a lot of the ill will that develops when one person assumes THEIR ideas of Twitter etiquette should be everyone else’s, and becomes offended at some breach of protocol.

    Here’s my example, steal what you like: http://occamsrazr.com/twitter/

    @ikepigott

  • http://occamsrazr.com Ike

    If you have a blog, create an “About” page that is just a landing page for Twitter users who want to know about you.

    Then you can expound a little more about your Twitter policy – your routine – and your expectations.

    That tends to relieve a lot of the ill will that develops when one person assumes THEIR ideas of Twitter etiquette should be everyone else’s, and becomes offended at some breach of protocol.

    Here’s my example, steal what you like: http://occamsrazr.com/twitter/

    @ikepigott

  • http://www.library.gg/ Ed

    Thanks David, that's pretty handy.

    I'm experimenting with Twitter for our Library & you've given me a few thoughts to ruminate on.

    I'm off to find some appropriate background images…

  • http://www.webaddlink.com/ webaddlink

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