Caution! Some Words to the Wise Regarding How You Use Twitter

Meme with Ruth L. Snyder speaking and her quote, "Remember social media is like making foot prints in wet cement. You can't totally every erase what you do on social media.

Today I want to offer a word of caution to the wise. Twitter and social media in general can be incredible tools to use. However, you can also get yourself into a lot of trouble very quickly if you’re not cautious. Remember that using social media is like creating footprints in wet cement. You may be able to erase a comment, but you can’t totally ever erase what you do on social media. There are ways for people to find comments that you have erased, and people may have taken screenshots or done other things to keep a copy of things that you have said on Twitter or other social media. So be careful what you do when you’re using Twitter.

Do not use Twitter when you are angry

We all get angry. Sometimes there are events or interactions with other people that are frustrating. There are people that are mean. There are things that happen beyond our control, and we do get angry. When we are angry, we should not be sharing information on social media—just like it’s not a good idea to send emails when you’re angry or have a discussion or an argument with your spouse. When you’re angry, it’s better to cool off and then come back and tackle the issue when you have a calmer head. It is scientifically proven that when we are angry, our brain shuts off and goes into “fight or flight” mode. So usually the results are not what we want. Don’t tweet when you are angry. Instead take some deep breaths, go for a walk, calm down, and then tackle things with a fresh perspective.

Do not use all capitals

When you’re talking on social media, if you use all capitals, people think that you’re yelling at them. You don’t want to scare people away because you are “yelling.” Your audience may think you’re still angry and start trying to get a point across. Instead of using all capitals, try using humor or repetition or explaining ideas from different perspectives.

Do not repeat or repost tweets too often

Twitter rewards those who are original, witty, and useful in their comments. You can use the same tweets over, but not the same day. Instead, space them out—perhaps once or twice a week if you want to use your content over again. Don’t repost the same thing every five minutes. That will turn people off and Twitter will penalize you.

People want to know what you think

Instead of just retweeting other people’s information, use the “Quote tweet” option to add a comment and interact with people.We talked about this before. Make sure you are posting original content because you want to attract people to you. They want to know what you think. They want to know what you have to teach them. They want to know why they should pay attention to you. So give them a reason to follow you. Give them a reason to interact with your content.

Be careful about using automatic direct messaging

There are services that provide artificial intelligence to reply to people so that it seems like you’re always online. You can choose to use that but be careful because after a while people will figure out that it’s not you answering all the messages. When your business grows and you need more help, I would suggest rather than AI, that you hire a virtual assistant and have them help you instead of artificial intelligence.

Using Twitter effectively takes time and practice. I’ve found the people on Twitter are friendly and forgiving. What do you enjoy about Twitter? Are there other cautions you would suggest? (Share in the comments below.)

If you want more detailed information about Twitter and how to use it effectively, purchase a copy of my book, Twitter Decoded.

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