Top 10 Best Practices of Social Media Experts on Twitter

Here are some of the best practices I’ve observed of folks who are so-called “experts” at using Twitter.

#1: Influence Is Important

Talk about Klout and PeerIndex at least once a day. You might say anything – that the service is down, or about a new feature they introduced, or even some critique of these you found, or something like that. Don’t tweet about your score or refer to it directly. Be subtle.

Objective: Your followers should be aware of these services if they aren’t already, and they should go and check out your scores on them.

#2: Emphasize Positives

Retweet anything and everything whenever anyone says anything positive about you. This includes all mentions, all Follow Fridays, and all @replies.

Objective: Your followers need to know what an awesome person you are! Or else, how would they know?

#3: Demonstrate Engagement

Once in a while, ask a question or for help. Even if you don’t get any, after a while, say “Thanks for all the responses!”

Objective: Your followers will be struck in awe at how much ‘engagement’ you get on Twitter.

#4: Engage With Influencers

Keep @replying to people who are celebrities on Twitter with a high Klout. Keep doing it, even if you don’t get a response. Once in a blue moon, one of them will.

Objective: When someone with a high Klout replies to you, your score increases. Also, your followers are awe-struck that you talk with such great folks!

#5: Reciprocate

It’s all about give and take. You need to keep a score of who retweets you how much and who has mentioned you positively and who has recommended you. You should reciprocate in exactly the same manner, in exactly the same proportion. If you don’t, you’re out of their favor.

Objective: Maintain give and take relationships on Twitter. That’s what it’s all about, you dud!

#6: Lifestream

You should be constantly sharing your life online:

  • Everywhere you go, check-in to all location services – Foursquare, FB Places, etc.
  • Share photos of each place you go to
  • Each time you travel, describe your travel experience, in real-time
  • Each time you meet with other people who have Twitter handles, mention all of them and talk about how you’re having an awesome time with them

Objective: Demonstrates how committed you are to living life online, and establishes your presence 24×7, enhancing ‘discoverability’.

#7: Share Wisdom

Whenever you attend a social media conference, tweet about it in real-time, with the appropriate hashtag for that conference.

Objective: You should be imparting all the wisdom you’re getting to your followers, shows how unselfishly you share insight.

#8: Hashtags

Don’t overuse hashtags, else you’ll appear to be overdoing it. Never forget to use them either, they’re very important.

Objective: Balance: Your tweets should appear in anyone’s searches for that topic, but you don’t feel a bot to your followers either.

#9: Use Old Style RTs

Never use native style retweets. They’re impotent because of a number of reasons. If you natively retweet someone, someone else can do an old-style retweet without attributing you, for example. Also, it is very important for the person you retweeted to know how many retweets that person received because of your retweet. Get it? Once in a while, keep talking about why you prefer old style RTs, because they ‘get more engagement’.

Objective: Many experts have shared their wisdom on this topic – Google it to find out if you missed it.

#10: Be a “Pro”

Keep talking about different Twitter clients on desktop, iPhone, iPad, etc. Talk about their pros and cons. Also, maintain a healthy dissatisfaction even about the Twitter client you prefer to use above all.

Objective: Shows you’re a “Pro” at using Twitter with very high expectations of the client you use.

Unfortunately, as you might have observed if you follow me, I don’t practice any of these best practices. Have you seen any more? Share with all in the comments!

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  • Simply brilliant! How’s that for a comment? 😉

  • Oh hey how about “Use a stable amount of leetspeak (or l33tspe4k) to appear approachable and disarming”

  • Awesome! Thanks 🙂

  • Missed that – wow!

  • Arpit

    tweet anything controversial, opposite to common sense or unnatural.

  • Nice – after I overcame my initial surprise seeing you write a post about this 😉 

    You could add “cross-posting updates to/from as many social media platforms as possible” to #6

  • Great! Another “pro-tip” 🙂

  • It almost sounded like you were describing me, except I really really HATE old-style retweets. I wish Twitter would turn those off, or let me block them from my feed.

  • 1. One tweet in a weak to justify how ROI is not a worthy “parameter” to judge a social media campaign.
    2. How the book The Facebook Effect is so different than the movie.
    3. Post every finding(read opinion) on every “social(cause here) campaign” and how social media impacted it. It does not really matter if you have not done any actual research. What is more important is that some news anchor feels social media helped this cause. And don’t forget to use the hash tag. And if hash tag is not trending, don’t bother tweeting it.

  • Robert, you know this post doesn’t apply to you in any way! This describes the other 99% of folks on Twitter.
    I know you hate old-style RTs. I do too. In fact, you’re one of the greatest evangelists I’ve found for native RTs.
    Appreciate your comment, thanks so much!

  • Ah yes, automated cross-posting! Auto-tweet everything you say anywhere…another one I missed – thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Try to start a #hastag meme for the day, ensure it gets traction by tweeting at least a dozen variations after which retweet all other tweets with that hashtag.

  • This is a joke right…or have I drunk too much coffee?

  • Also I’ve noticed that you don’t retweet the positives, you retweet your haters. I didn’t understand it at first, but think I finally do: held up in the bright light, they tend to fall apart.

  • I believe most of these behaviors amount to “fake it until you make it,” which of course goes on in real life as well (and always has). I suppose a difference is that on Twitter everything we say to anyone is available for everyone to see, where real life interactions are more likely to stay compartmentalized.

    (I have to admit that after reading this I quickly checked my stream and my own tweets.)

  • The two are not mutually exclusive, both might be true.

  • Guess I am still an amateur at this stuff – wow!

  • LOL, very true!

  • Thanks for saying what many of us are thinking. The people who make this place valuable don’t follow a common list of rules.

  • Philena Rush

    You forgot about using character map for pretty ♥♥♥♥♥ LOVE ALL MY TWEEPS ♥♥♥♥♥ Post.. If you don’t show ♥♥♥, then you’re toot’n your own ♫♫♫♫♫♫

  • Anonymous

    I’m conflicted… I want to tweet this… but then I’ll be succumbing to the system…  

  • Ha ha ha!

  • Thank you, Liza!

  • I also love those who talk about not using auto DMs…for everyone but themselves, of course. Or the people who #FF you but aren’t following you. Freaking brilliant list!

  • Thank you!

  • Ha ha! No need to…

  • Lol! This is awesome stuff!

  • Just because you retweet me every day doesn’t mean I’m going to reciprocate you every day. Why? Because you have your reasons for retweeting and I have my reasons for not.

  • Old style RT’s give you an opportunity to add why you are retweeting, I find them quite valuable.

  • If it’s stupid to be said, verbatim, at a dinner party, it’s stupid on twitter.

  • I was trying to get one of the Twitter-cleanup-services to adopt some filters along these lines, to get rid of anti-conversational practices, but they didn’t get it.  But here’s my youtube vid on the topic:

  • Vikram Deo

    Hi Mahendra,

    A very nicely written article and laughed while reading it. I sometimes tend to do things you have mentioned in your post. But after reading your post, I have decided that from now on, I will make it a point to make my life on Twitter more meaningful. Will avoid from going with the flow. Thanks again.


  • Pingback: Sean’s Week On Twitter #6 | Sean Clark()

  • Haha.

    I love sharing my travel photos, but got lazy with instagram and 360 panoramic shots after my auto flush from iPhoto to dropbox.

  • Guilty of the oldstyle RTS on occasion. Sometimes I like to add my own spin to the tweet/url or just say hi.

  • Have you considered the negative potential of such a good humored post?
    What if someone actually goes out of their way to follow this?

    Remember ReadWriteWeb’s Facebook page…

  • Heh, sorry I had not. This is my blog, so I feel free to write whatever I like here 🙂

  • TweetChat, the best part is you learn lot of new things and yes it does gives exposure if you really engage well :).And no silly DM’s marketing your product, people are smart enough to check your profile. 
    thanks for sharing the tips but i am not a strong believer of mixing other networks like sharing check ins . i feel it as polluting the network. ur thoughts 🙂

  • That’s very interesting Robert @Scobleizer:disqus , why do you hate old-style RT’s so much? Would love to learn more about it. 🙂