Twitter's 10 Commandments

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Several people have found Twitter to be a useful tool in connecting with others, even journalists. A recent survey found that 37 percent of journalists are using Twitter. Given that there are so many people, professional or not, using this social networking site, Vadim Lavrusik, digital media journalist for the New York Times, created 10 tips for using Twitter.

1. "Thou shalt give credit"--you can give credit to your fellow tweeps by retweeting, rewrite a tweet with the word "via" @whoever, or you can type "ht," which stands for "heard through" or "hat tip." Using "ht" is not as common as the other two forms. From a journalists standpoint, giving credit is very important in establishing credibility.

2. "Thou shalt not self-promote excessively"--while it is okay to promote yourself, you have to keep it to a minimum. The more you promote yourself, the more you will drive people away.

3. Thou shalt link appropriately"--it isn't necessary to have a link with everything you tweet, but keep in mind that some of your followers may want more information to a story. Putting a link at the end of your tweet will make it easier for them to get the additional information.

4. Thou shalt respond to your followers"--it is important to reply to all of your followers, no matter how many you have, in order to establish a sense of community.

5. "Thou shalt be considerate of replying vs. DMing"--learn to distinguish between what is appropriate to share with the public versus the private. If it isn't something you want the entire Twitterverse to know about, stick with direct messaging.

6. "Thou shalt make clear voice vs. headline"--if you are posting an article and use the exact headline, attribute. Either place it in quotes or specify the source. This is also essential in establishing credibility.

7. "Thou shalt follow those who add value"--don't follow people in order to gain more followers. Follow people who have similar interests as you. Lavrusik says that Facebook is for your friends and Twitter is for those with whom you have something in common with, which is why they are called "followers" instead of "friends."

8. "Thou shalt not pitch inappropriately"--it is more beneficial to pitch to a specific person, someone you know would be interested in the product. It can become annoying when companies continuously pitch their own goods.

9. "#Thou #shalt #not #hashtag #every #word"--the purpose of hashtags are to find tweets about a particular topic. Placing several hashtags within one tweet makes it difficult for others to read. Also, be sure to use hashtags when appropriate. You may be tweeting something that may be useful for others.

10. "Thou shalt not retweet themselves"--most people do this when self-promoting. If you are going to retweet something, do it when you need to make a correction.


Tyler Lloyd April 22, 2010 at 10:34 AM  

This is a very helpful blog post seeing as we are required to use this for BNR. I personally had a tough time all semester figuring out how to use twitter but I am a bit of a dummy when it comes to technology but this allows people to see why twitter is becoming a great news source and one of the more interactive and popular ones out there.

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