Twitter's Nine Golden Rules

Top Twitter Rules

Huffington Post UK   First Posted: 3/02/2012 08:57 Updated: 3/02/2012 15:04

Are you sitting on just a handful of followers? Have you never had a re-tweet? Do people tweet at you with the hashtag #pleasestoptweetingyoumakemewanttostabmyeyes out?

Well you need the sweet tweet tips from US researchers, who have scanned 1500 Twitter users to deliver their top nine ideas for effective tweeting.

Their research, reported by The Telegraph, says that the majority of Tweets go unread or irritate people.

The research, by University of Southampton, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Georgia Institute of Technology asked Twitter users to anonymously rate their friends' tweets.

Michael Bernstein, PhD student at MIT, said in a statement: "Analysing the negatively rated tweets, and the consensus that forms around them, will help us understand the emerging approved or accepted norms in these new forms of online communication."

In layperson's speak, that means, see what others do badly, and avoid it.

Some of these tips are plain common social media sense, but someone people just need telling in a sciencey way to get the point across.

The researchers' top nine tips for Twitter are:

1.Old news is no news. Twitter is fast moving so information gets stale quickly so don't repeat links that have already been repeated several times.

2.Contribute to a story rather than just comment on it. Which means add your own opinion or a new fact or don't bother.

3.Keep it short. Even 140 characters can be too long for some people's rambling comments.

4. Limit the syntax. Do not overuse hashtags, @mentions and abbreviations.

5.Don't tell everyone where you are all the time. Twitter users particular hate Foursquare check-ins

6.Don't just link to a blog or a photo without giving readers a reason why they should click on it.

7.Don't whine. Negative sentiments and complaints were disliked.

8.Be a tease. If you want someone to go onto your website, don't give away the whole story in a tweet but use it as a way of hooking the reader.

9.Celebrities - the tiniest detail of your daily routine is not any more interesting because you are famous. People want your professional insights, not to know what you like in a sandwich.

Check out the funniest tweets of the week. See more funny tweets.

Simon Blackwell
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