Twitter is a great platform to be on. It’s fast-moving and quirky, the variation on there is incredible and it connects you with a huge range of people. I’ve made some fantastic friends on there. Having said that, there are some things on twitter that will trigger me so much my scowl makes my face cave in on itself. Specifically, some actions on Twitter really piss me off. I’m no expert, but I think I understand it well enough, so here are 10 handy Twitter tips I’ve picked up in the 8 months I’ve been on there.

 Twitter tips: 5 ways to succeed on twitter

1. Engage

This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many accounts there are that just link-dump. They never actually tweet, reply, engage or interact. It’s always just “in case you missed it…” followed by a historical blog post. It’s hideous, you won’t win any friends doing this. I assume, though, that if you’re doing this then you don’t want the friends, just the page views. You’ll get neither.

Talk to people. It’s a public platform – if a conversation is already underway then jump in if you have something to contribute. “Like” other people’s tweets if you actually do like them. Retweet them if you’d like your own followers to see it. People appreciate you engaging with them, that’s what they’re on twitter for. Nobody likes going to a party and standing on their own, do they?

2. Retweet someone’s pinned post

If you really want to do someone a favour, go on their profile and retweet/like/comment on their pinned post. They’ve pinned it for a reason, they want that to be the ambassador tweet for what they feel their account represents. Acknowledge that for them.

I often pin my new vlog or blog post, and I’m made up when people RT this for me so it reaches a wider audience.

3. Be opinionated

This might not be well received. But it’s true. Twitter is saturated with fence-sitters. People who just “hmm” and “I suppose so”, and the occasional muffled silence as they hold their tongue.

Just say what you want. It’s a public platform, give people your opinion!

I don’t mean opinionated in the Britain First Tosser sense, we all know they’re dickheads. I mean if you have an opinion, and it’s researched outside the realms of pub chat and Facebook memes, then it deserves to be heard.

It makes you interesting, it encourages debate – and everyone loves debate.

4. Use the unfollow or mute button

My mute list is empty. If I don’t want to see someone’s tweets then I don’t follow them – it’s my feed so I control it.

If you can’t diplomatically get away with not following someone, then you can mute them. You won’t get their tweets unless you actively seek them out, and they will have no idea about it. It’s the Twitter version of hanging up on someone, or sticking your hand out to shut them up when they’re chatting shit, only they’re not aware of it.

If you’re not too bothered whether they know about this, then just unfollow. They’re unlikely to cry, the worst they’ll do is return the favour.

For all the tips above, I’m still unable to explain the level of engagement I got on this tweet. 59 Retweets, 627 Likes, and only one hashtag used. Bizarre.

And then there was this shameless impression-whoring one where I used as many hashtags as I could:

Twitter impressions

Twitter tips: 5 ways to fail on Twitter.

1. The follow/unfollow game

This is ridiculous. Ok – so you want Twitter followers, obviously. There are a few ways to go about this. The first is to tweet good content, to engage with others on Twitter, discover relevant and trending hashtags and contribute. This is what Twitter is for. This is how it should be done.

The idiot way is to follow a shit load of people indiscriminately, and then unfollow them all in a few days. A lot of these people will have already followed you back by then, and not everyone will notice that you’ve unfollowed them afterwards. It’s a dick move, and it won’t win you any respect or friends. I’ve had people do this to me and I’ve started calling them out on it. They often block me.

Don’t do this. Especially if you have any type of blog, brand or image to push.

2. Buying followers

Yes, you can buy them. You can actually pay money for fake followers. It’s the twitter version of having an AI girlfriend ffs. You pay money to some dodgy website, they flick a switch and suddenly a load of bot accounts are following you on Twitter. They will never engage with you, they’re not real people. They often have stupid cartoon avatars and sequential names like ABC001, ABC002 etc. Twitter culls these every now and again, so you lose the followers eventually anyway. Save the money and spend it on a different hobby if you’re tempted to do this. Blogging isn’t for you.

3. Tag people in your new blog post tweet

I hate this. Someone posts a new blog post and they tag a shit load of people when they tweet it. The polite ones will feel obliged to read it, then a conversation gets going on Twitter so by the time I see it I’ve got 80 notifications. If I’m on the ball I can mute the conversation from the first tweet, but it’s not always practical! Please don’t do this to people, it’s not appreciated! If they have something to do with the post, or they’re featured then fair enough, but otherwise – leave them alone. People will read it if they want to read it. They have the option to follow your blog if they want to, don’t force them to.

4. Tag people for RTs

Again, if the person has had something to do with the post then fine. If you’re just tagging a bunch of people in a tweet and asking for a RT, you’re not doing yourself, or them, any favours. You’re handing them a steaming pile of obligation. People will RT your stuff if they like it, so again – don’t force them to!

5. Send auto direct messages (DMs)

This is one of the worst things you can do, in my opinion. Some people have a setting enabled where you get slapped in the face with an auto DM when you follow them. These are hugely impersonal and very VERY spammy.

More often than not, they start off with an apology for the DM. WHY DO IT THEN?!

“Sorry, I know no one likes an auto DM but I’ll keep this short. Please follow my blog at cheekybastard.ffs – you may want to follow me on <LISTS ALL SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS>”. It’s so irritating. Turn them off – NOBODY likes them!!

So, that’s it. Follow the above and you could be as (un)successful as I am on Twitter!

Follow me there if you don’t already:

And follow these guys: