Twitter is an amazing place; it’s a great source of information. Sometimes it amazes me just how dependent I’ve become on it for everything, for networking with customers and clients, to finding out what my favourite celebrities are up to and keeping track of the latest comings and goings at my football club. Twitter is the place where news stories are broken and you appear to be able to find out pretty much anything. There it’s good points, but as with everything, if there’s good, there’s also bad.
For some people it can be a horrible place with a rise in “trolling”. Trolling or online harassment is a crime and you can face up to two years in prison for doing it. Several people have already been imprisoned.
Whilst I’m sure there are deep-rooted physiological issues for those that take online harassment to the extreme, I think for some, it’s simply a case of forgetting their manners and that there’s a person on the other end of that tweet! The other day for example I tweeted someone, and received a really rude reply back. At first I was upset and then I thought, the woman had become so convinced that she was an online “celebrity” that she’d forgotten how to behave as a decent human being. I’m sure if I had got chatting to her in a coffee shop, she would have been far politer. When LuKas at Work conducts Social Media Training sessions, the first thing we embed in people is that Social Media is just that, it’s SOCIAL! It’s a way of interacting with your current customers and clients and potential ones and just as if they were to wander into your shop, you should treat them with respect and remember your manners!
Here’s our how to guide to following twitter etiquette.
Some people believe that if someone follows you, then you should follow them back. I don’t necessarily believe this is the case. Then joy of twitter for me is following the tweets of people I’m genuinely interested in, I’m also not egotistical enough to think the people I’m interested in will be interested in me! So don’t be offended if Lady Gaga doesn’t reciprocate your interest!
Don’t assume that only your followers will see your tweets, because unless you’ve set certain privacy settings they are open for anyone and everyone to see. So if you’re going to have a go at your boss on twitter beware he or she might see it!
It’s OK to and express your beliefs on certain issues, but be careful of coming across either too belligerent or boring. The fact you think it’s a bit dull outside isn’t going to warrant a response. It’s better to tweet something that people can respond to.
There have been a number of cases in the media recently where celebrities have been targeted by Internet trolls. You may think that by hiding behind a keyboard you’re protected, but you’re not. If your tweets become too personal, aggressive, offensive then you can find yourself in serious trouble.
As with Internet trolling, there have been cases where certain allegations have been made about public figures. These were then re-tweeted. The allegations were then found to be untrue and totally unfounded and the individual concerned was able to sue not only the person who made the initial allegations, but also those who re-tweeted them. It’s just a case of thinking before you re-tweet.
A direct message allows you to contact someone directly. You can now send a DM to someone who doesn’t follow you, although they may have their security settings set so that you can’t.
When someone sends you a direct message, there is an implied confidentiality, so don’t post a direct message with someone’s personal details on unless you have their permission.
Twitter is a public forum, so don’t tweet anything too personal, avoid letting the world know when you’re away on holiday, where you live, your phone number or just anything you wouldn’t wonder up to a stranger in the street and tell them!
Happy tweeting and remember there’s a person on the end of that tweet!