10 Golden Rules of Tweets & Retweets

(Second installment of the reading material I distributed in training for journalists – first is here.)

These rules are collected, summarized and synthesized from everywhere in the Internet (and blended with my experience, knowledge and opinion).

1. Tweet regularly – do not flood the timeline but do not disappear.

2. Tweet meaningful – ensure that each of your tweet is meaningful (at least indication of being meaningful).

3. Use #hashtags – always think of using hashtag to your tweets. If you are replying to a tweet, using a related hashtag will always make it meaningful. QT (Quote Tweet) if possible.

4. Don’t tweet your links only – Twitter is a great promotion tool for your write-ups. Maybe a couple of tweets with a few hours in between for one article is ok but remember those things while tweeting links:

  • Don’t only tweet links.
  • Tweet other’s links too (like stories published in other newspapers).

5. Personalize – Social media is social so personalize yourself. Use photo/bio on your profile. Use more words like ‘I’, ‘my’, ‘we’ and ‘our’. Also create your personality.

6. Be Authentic but not arrogant – Show command over what you write but be open to receive comments, correct errors, and be humble. Arrogance on social media doesn’t work.

7. Talk like human – engage in conversation as you are a human, not as a robot. Be playful, be friend and weave words with emotions.

8. Retweet with care – Of course, you can write down ‘RTs are not endorsements’ but retweets in one or other way reflects you. You retweet only what you like. Before retweeting, make sure that:

  • The links on the tweet work. The photos display.
  • Check the Twitter profile it you are retweeting from search or list to make sure that you are not retweeting someone not credible or wrong.

9. Reply with care – Anyone can mention you. Many will mention you to get your reply so that your followers will see that handle and may get follow back. It’s fine if s/he is engaging in conversation or asks you something meaningful. But ensure you see the twitter profile once before you retweet (check bio / link to his site if there is – I never reply or retweet to people who is an egg without bio or link). Also important is that you ensure that you are not replying to someone you don’t want to. (I received a lot of questions/mentions from one account associated with a site sleazily critical with democracy, I never replied.)

10. Specialize on one or a few topics – Be consistent with your topics. Don’t just tweet and retweet everything. You build a followership with your topics so it’s important to continue with a few topics (of course you can drop some or add some), but be a specialist on some topics and tweet about them regularly.

If you are interested, I tweet at @UjjwalAcharya

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