It was an unconventional social networking platform that sky rocketed higher than many, myself included, expected. Twitter started off in 2006, and unlike the big social networking platforms at the time (MySpace & Facebook), the site asked only 1 thing from you: What’s happening (in 140 characters or less). That’s it. Nothing more: no pictures. No videos. Just a bit of text.
Clearly the restrictions were quite bold for a young social startup competing in one of the fiercest startup realms of the 21st century. But while many believed it would fail for those very reasons, it instead thrived thanks to them. Users were challenged to find creativity through restrictions, and slightly mocked if they couldn’t condense their thoughts in 140 characters or less.
Seven years later, have we forgotten how to tweet, or has tweeting evolved into something it was intended to be in the first place?
While I love traditions I’m a strong believer in evolution too, and in fact find the fusion between the two fascinating. With that being said, I think it’s important to remember a couple standards or principles which all of our tweets should follow.
These rules are purely personal, and not everyone will agree with them, that’s fine, in fact I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Here they go,
Probably the most important of all rules, and the one I’d recommend remembering if you had limited storage. I like to tell all Twitter beginners to ask themselves the following question before they hit the “tweet” button: Is this bringing value to my followers? Will they, even if only a little bit, feel enriched after reading my tweet?
We all use Twitter for various reasons. For some it may be to stay connected with friends, while for others it’s to follow the news in
semi-real time. So we tend to have quite a niched audience in our followers, this rule is an important one to remember if you want these followers to stick around.
140 characters is already quite short, I’m the first to admit it, and the first to verbally abuse my computer when I’ve spent 5+ minutes trying to compact a thought or message without having to replace letters with numbers (its not gr8 2 read, u no?). However, if you can go shorter, do it! Composing a tweet in about 120-130 characters will not only make your tweet more likely to be read when it’s sitting next to messages that are filled to the brim, but it will also allow people to easily quote retweet you without cutting out your handle.
The number of new Twitter accounts keep rising, while the number of private accounts are descending. Less than 10% of Twitter accounts are now private, which means practically every single tweet out there is within reach to everyone, and more importantly, every employer, or potential employer.
When you know that 1 in 10 people don’t get a job because of their digital presence, it begs the question, what can be done to not be that 1 person? One of the things you can do is to clean up your tweets from foul language or locking your account to private.
I wouldn’t recommend the latter because it might give the impression you have something to hide. Instead, make sure you use some flowery metaphors, which won’t merely help you not-not get disqualified from a job (WTF?
if avoiding foul language is too hard try acronyms), but will also greatly improve and supplement your connaissance of the beauty that is the English language.
Voila, you’re this much closer to tweeting like a Bellbird. Leave your own tweeting rules below.
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