twitterquette logo by danielsnyder infocarnivore.com My first article on twitter etiquette for bloggers was really well received, I got a lot of feedback with additional input and other schools of thought. The topic in question has been regarding self promotion of our own blog posts on twitter. How often is too often (or not often enough) to tweet about a blog post? Of course we will not arrive at an answer that all bloggers agree with, everyone I talk to has their own thoughts on this.

Self Promotion on Twitter

There seem to be two general sides to this question though. Side one is all in favor of tweeting, promoting and going for it as often as you feel comfortable. Side two is opposed to self-promotion, and thinks you need to get your focus onto “your mission” and away from caring about how many people like it.
I talked with Michael R. Roberts from MichaelRRoberts.com and he (like everyone else) has his own guidelines. “Twitter, even more than Facebook or Google Buzz, is a highlight reel. You have a very short space to make someone laugh, provoke them to clicking your link, or to spark some sort of reaction. Any time I write anything on twitter I think about the people who only follow a few friends or who have subscribed to my feed through an RSS reader. Obviously if someone is subscribed to my twitter feed through an RSS reader then they would be irritated if they saw me post the same link over and over. In my opinion by posting a link over and over you are training your true fan’s to ignore your posts. And after all, isn’t your true fan’s the one’s who will be buying from you the majority of the time. It’s not that random “porn name” teenager who somehow connected with you. Often times people mistake quantity is better on twitter rather than quality. Unless what you are selling that has mass appeal then try to appease to your true fan’s.”

Why are these people following me?

I agree with what Michael is saying here, after all I often asked myself “why are these people following me?”. Twitter is full of people who just “followback” but don’t really care about you or your tweets. For people like this it’s all about follow numbers. I do wonder how anyone can pay attention to a twitter stream with 10,000+ followers? How can you get to know anyone, or build any kind of social connection? I am looking for the true fans, people who are following me because they are genuinely interested in paying attention to my tweets.

Be Innovative and Non-Spammy

I also talked with Bev Robb (@teksquisite on twitter) who added “On day one of the new blog post – I sometimes tweet it aprox. 4-6x and then find different services to expand coverage. Ping.fm, Delicious, FB, etc – I also have re-written blog posts for examiner.com – you just have to be innovative and non-spammy about your approach.”
There is an important key here, “be innovative”, don’t just tweet the same thing over and over, mix up your ‘catch phrase’, highlight different points in the post. Different thoughts will catch different peoples eyes. If you are using the same words in every tweet, it comes across as spam.

Expand Coverage

Bev and Michael both mention something important. The idea of using different social networks to expand coverage. I am personally a big fan of StumbleUpon and Digg. Michael suggests “mixing up the link, if I produced a really good video I want people to see here is what I recommend. First link them over to your YouTube channel so they can watch. The second link goes to your main blog which has the video embedded on it, the third link is maybe to your Facebook fan page that has it embedded. If you follow this approach, even your fan’s won’t be irritated, because they will be landing on different pages and have a chance to see different content.”

The Question of Balance

I also talked with my friends at Software Candy who summarize by declaring the answer to our main question “Like many things in life is subjective and depends on the [individual] and his/her followers. On one hand, by the nature of Twitter, it is easy to miss an important tweet, so it makes sense to tweet repeatedly. On the other hand, repeating it too often may annoy the twitter’s most faithful followers. So this obviously brings the question of balance.”

Well what do you think? Further thought on this topic is welcomed and encouraged. I think my opinions are evolving daily right now, and it is likely that six months from now I will feel different about this question.
I find the topic of “Twitter Etiquette” to be captivating to me. So I would like to write more on this topic. What are your thoughts on Twitterquette? What should I write about next?

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