I am a big fan of Emily Post’s Etiquette. The book is a wonderful guide in how to live your life with grace. Although it is difficult to follow all of the rules (some people are better than others) I strive to take the basic principles and use them as best I can.

As an online marketer, I am always surprised when people forget their manners while on the internet.  I have read countless studies on why people’s behavior changes, but I really think that most are unaware that they are being naughty.

Twitter is just one of the places that I see room for improvement.  So here are a few tips to help you out.

Everyday Manners.  Twitter gives the average consumer lots of power.  The more followers they have, the more powerful they are.  But with that comes responsibility.  Just like in the off-line world, you should respect others, be considerate, and be honest.

If you are reposting a tweet, make sure to use RT and give the credit to the original author.  Helping them get their message out is your responsibility if you are going to use their words and/or ideas.  Just like you would want credit for your awesome post, give them theirs.

Use DM when you are mentioning a tweep and the content is not public information.

Greetings and Introductions.  Emily says the first essential  of good greeting manners is taking notice of people.

When you acquire a new follower, it is polite to introduce yourself and thank them for the follow. You can do that with an automatic response tweet, but a personalized mention is even better. I can probably do a whole post on the pros and cons of automatic response tweets, but let’s leave that for another post.

When you follow someone, send a DM or mention them and let them know why you are following them. They will find it flattering and who knows what kind of connection that could lead to.

Follow Friday (#FF) is a way to introduce a tweep to your connections.  Instead of just posting their twitter handle, let your followers know why they should follow them.

If your tweep mentions you  in a #FF, thank them for the mention.

If someone posts a positive experience about your business, it is important to acknowledge their experience with a reply, and it can encourage others to do the same.

Dealing with Rudeness.  People are more likely to comment on a product, brand or service when they’ve had a really bad experience or a really good experience.

If your business is mentioned in a negative post, it is wise to acknowledge their experience with a reply and invite them to talk off-line so you can correct the situation. When others see your response, it is more likely to defuse the negative attention.  It is important that you treat them as you would (or should) in the off-line world.

Online Etiquette Matters. Following basic rules of etiquette allows us to face “whatever the future may bring with strength of character and integrity.” And isn’t that what we want for ourselves and our business?

Author Amanda Hall

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