You’re Doing It Wrong

You’re on Twitter, right?

Yeah, but guess what, lots of you are still doing it wrong.  It’s not just a matter of being on Twitter but also of how you interact (assuming that is, that you interact), and what you send out to the world to make sure your digital footprint is as deep and defined as you’d like it to be.

Let’s face it, just like some other things (swimming and sparring have been used as examples recently) – you can know how to do it “by the book,” but until you feel water on your skin or a jab to the face working with the tools and on the platform isn’t the same beast at all.

So, to figure out if you’re actually doing it wrong, take this quickie quiz and see where you fall.  You might be doing it wrong if…

  1. Over 75% of your tweets are to people you work with.
  2. Someone you don’t know tweets something at you, you don’t respond, even if it’s helpful, appropriate and/or on point as a response to something you’ve tweeted.
  3. You’ve never participated in a Twitter chat (and heavens knows there are enough of those that you should be able to manage at least one in your SM life).
  4. The web interface is the primary way you use Twitter.
  5. A span of 20 tweets covers a period of over 1 week.
  6. FourSquare check-ins/badges and RTs occupy over 15% of your feed.
  7. Creating too many accounts. Where is the long term equity in building so many short-term specialty accts? (from Mike Schaffer).
  8. You’ve never met a follower you didn’t like.
  9. You’ve got more followers than following but “you don’t use Twitter all that much” (you’re delusional – they’re all “Britney” accounts or you’re high enough up in an organization that folks follow you for the purposes of trying to land a job).
  10. You RT things over an hour old.  You’re probably not following enough people or may be a stalker.
  11. Up to you – tell me your “You’re Doing It Wrong” pet peeves.
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  • I agree with most of this, but I think it’s fine to RT things that are over an hour old. I know that tweets move at lightning speed, but I don’t have time to monitor Twitter every hour or so. That would be a huge time suck in my work day and in my personal life, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. My “Doing It Wrong” pet peeve is when people #use #hashtags #on #almost #every #word #in #their #tweets. @kansashealthorg

    • Becki C.

      I agree with KS – if something is important and you just didn’t happen to see it until later, there is nothing with retweeting it when it’s old. Also, I do have some weeks where I don’t tweet enough to have more than 20, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes you have to get your head away from the screen or your phone and interact with people in person, so your tweets slow down. No big deal. Otherwise, great post! Thank you!

      • Becki C.

        Oops… meant to say “nothing wrong” with retweeting it when it’s old.

        • Mitch L.

          You mind if I RT Tweet this, even though it’s an hour old?

          • Becki C.

            Haha! It’s not really news anymore.

    • I also agree with you – it’s tough to stay on top of it 24/7. It would be one thing if it’s a “breaking” news story and you’re several hours late to the party…but, for example, retweeting this article more than an hour after it’s published wouldn’t make a difference – it’s still relevant. @jonathanyantz

    • I agree too. With all do respect, I think that one is pretty silly. I was surprised to see it there. You can’t be on top of it all the time – because, well, we all have jobs. Plus, the whole point of Twitter is sharing interesting information, regardless of time. Breaking news is one thing, but a genuinely helpful article that you enjoyed is fine to share whenever you want.

  • My “You’re Doing It Wrong” pet peeve is… You set up auto DMs to “Welcome your new followers”…that tells me you don’t have time for a true friendship, even online.

    • Malikah

      UGH!!!! I hate that too!

  • Being active means being active, irrespective of the situation. So, being active on Twitter means responding to tweets, instant response, not having auto response, etc. Where especially not responding to new tweeters will be bad and then having auto response will definitely make the followers feel bad.

  • My “you’re doing it wrong pet peeves:” not filling out a bio and locking your account! Oh and having #teamfollowback or something like that in your bio…sheesh.

  • I love this article – so much so, I RT’d it when it was over an hour old 😉 For me, most irritating are those who send out sales broadcasts every minute / hour / day / whatever via automated systems such as Hootsuite et al, and never engage when you reply. About as wrong as you can get on Twitter. Thanks for the piece. Made me smile 🙂

  • Well, the problem with Twitter interaction is that there are so many people to interact with that you don’t know what to do: should you chase for more followers? Or maybe talk more to the ones you have? Or join chats? Or comment on the links people send you?

    Besides that, there’s all the other social media: Facebook, Myspace,, and so on.

    I’ll show myself as an example: I’m an article writer, but I need to attract more people to my site. Therefore, I must interact with people, write for any incoming jobs, worrying on who to follow, who should follow me, how to comment to people (all the problems described above, PLUS writing content and monitoring where it is coming from).

    Is it just me, or does anyone else have this problem too?

  • My “You’re Doing It Wrong” pet peeve is…You only follow a person because you think they’ll follow them back. Follow a person for who they are aka what they tweet about not because you are expecting to up your twitter stats.

    I know I only follow substance.

  • Andrea Fagan

    I think the “hour old” rule is a bit rough. Some of us have lots of other things to do, like write and send a news release, besides camping on a Twitter feed for second-by-second updates. 60 minutes goes by fast when you are multi-tasking!

  • Allisonmdunne

    I just started using Twitter a few months ago, and at first I honestly had no idea what to do. My teacher Barbara Nixon gave us numerous suggests on one of her blogs, but I still didn’t want to tweet the wrong people or end up being rude by accident.
    After reading this post I realized that am I not doing too much wrong. I always respond to tweets about me to keep my connections strong. I did find certain things I need to improve on to become more advanced at Twitter.
    This post was really enlightening and extremely helpful.

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  • Karen

    I am new to twitter, so I’m still trying to figure it out. This list was helpful in understanding what not do to, and how to utilize twitter to my advantage. I think twitter is so different than other social media sites, so that’s why some people still don’t use it the way they should.

  • This blog is very different and interesting too.Thanks for this info.