4 Twitter Etiquette Rules for Brands

Written by Nick Stamoulis

I am a big fan of Twitter for business use. I think it’s a great way to promote and share content, keep up with the latest news and updates from my favorite industry blogs, connect with industry leaders and more. But just like any other form of social interaction, there is a certain code of etiquette that brands should follow on Twitter. Just because you aren’t interacting with someone face to face that doesn’t mean you can’t be polite!

Here are 4 Twitter etiquette rules for brands:

1. Give credit when you retweet something.

No Twitter profile is an island. Obviously you want to promote your own content first and foremost, but I think that sharing others’ content is a great idea too! It keeps you connected to other industry leaders, gives your social connections more reasons to check-in with your brand, and helps you build relationships with other people in your niche. But if you are going to share something that isn’t your content then make sure to give credit where credit is due! You wouldn’t quote someone in your blog post and not list them as a source, right? Twitter etiquette works just like that.

For example, when I read a great blog post about SEO or link building on Search Engine Land, I might create a tweet that reads something like “The Competitive Linking Analysis Trap by @ericward on @sengineland is a great read!” and drop a shortened link to the post in it. I want to give credit to the original author and be sure that both Eric Ward and Search Engine Land know that I’m sharing their content.

Social media marketing is about establishing relationships and building a rapport with others—as the author it’s great to see that other people find your work interesting and useful enough to share!

2. Keep the promotional tweets to a minimum.

Let’s all agree to keep the promotional/advertising tweets to a minimum! There is nothing wrong with promoting a sale or new product but that shouldn’t make up the bulk of your Twitter activity. Your target audience doesn’t want to be talked at or sold to—they want to have some kind of interaction or conversation with you. Social networking sites are so much more than just another soapbox for your brand to advertise on! Good Twitter etiquette and behavior involves sharing, talking, listening and engaging—not just selling.

3. Be careful not to cannibalize your own tweets.

I think the first thing to remember is to share and promote all your content as soon as it goes live, but other than that it’s a lot of testing and checking. There is no “right” number of times you should tweet in a day.  One tweet a day probably isn’t going to get much attention (there are literally millions of tweets each day) unless you have a massive following, but if you tweet too often you risk annoying your audience and cannibalizing your own content.

Timing and frequency is something I have tested for years and I am still trying to get it “just right.” At the end of the day you have to decide what works best for your brand and your audience. It’s okay to over Tweet and then reel it back in as needed.

4. Respond to questions/comments as often as you can.

A lot of customers are turning to social networks like Twitter for customer service. If your customers are asking questions/looking for help on Twitter than you need to be sure you’re replying! You don’t want to leave anyone hanging and create bad will with your social network.

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