In many ways, Twitter is a gift.
Managed correctly, Twitter allows anyone – massive brands, start-ups, entrepreneurs, mom-and-pop businesses and pretty much everybody else – to build an engaged and receptive network with whom you can share your story. Everybody has something to say. Twitter allows you to do this, as often as you like, with some satisfaction and often great reward.
And all for free. Your only real investment is time.
That time shouldn’t be wasted, but it also shouldn’t be abused. With Twitter’s great power comes great responsibility.
Are you being responsible on Twitter? Here are seven ways to tell.
1. You Don’t Click On Malicious Links
If a link looks scary or just plain wrong, you never click on it. You use HootSuite to check shortened URLs or an expanding tool like Expand My URL to figure out where those links actually go. And if something doesn’t feel right, you tell people.
2. You Don’t Panic And Share Misinformation
From time to time Twitter gets hit by some kind of hack or exploit that spreads like wildfire throughout the network. Or a piece of news breaks that is sensational but questionable. It’s at these moments that folks start to panic, and all manner of nonsensical ramblings scurry their way around the platform. You always keep a level head, and are sure to check the facts before passing on any advice or commentary.
3. You Don’t Retweet Everything
You take the time to actually click on links and read content before blindingly re-sharing something based on the headline or because the person is a friend. Retweets carry an onus of responsibility. You know that you’re putting YOUR name to that share, so you’re always careful to ensure that the message is appropriate and actually warrants a retweet.
4. You Regularly Check Your Twitter Settings For Unwanted Apps
You’re well aware that if your you start seeing tweets send out under your name that you haven’t authorised, something is wrong. So you check your Twitter settings on a regular basis and revoke access to anything that shouldn’t be there.
5. You Don’t Misquote People
Nobody likes having their words changed, or worse, have words put in their tweet that they didn’t say. You know this, and are always careful to ensure that as much as possible quotes and retweets leave as much of the original message as intact as possible. And this includes the original posters shortened link, as you know they might be tracking that.
6. You Are Not A Twitter Guru
And you know it. Everybody is always learning. Things change all the time. Nobody knows everything. You educate yourself as best you can, and share that knowledge, but you do so from the perspective of a student. Not a master.
7. You’re Polite
Nobody likes jerks. You don’t get into very public arguments with people just to prove a point, or just to win. And you don’t bait or provoke people just to get a response. You also don’t tolerate fools, trolls and good, old-fashioned weirdos, but you know that civility goes a long way. Conversely, eternally shiny, happy people get up everybody’s nose. You know where the line is. Be nice until it’s time to stop being nice. And then block.
- You understand balance
- You think before you tweet
- You know that Twitter isn’t Facebook
- You don’t automate anything
- You don’t add to the noise
You’ll have your own list, and your mileage may vary. What steps are you taking to ensure you’re being responsible on Twitter?