When people start using social media, most of them start with Facebook. Facebook is an easy place to start. A lot of people already have personal Facebook accounts, and from there it’s easy to gain more friends on your personal account or start up a page for business purposes. Generally, Facebook is about interacting with people you already know, or have met elsewhere. Strangers may like your business page, but there is less casual chat on Facebook pages than on personal profiles.
Twitter is a different kettle of fish. Many of the people you follow, or followers you gain, will be people you don’t really know. And everyone tweets a wide variety of information. It can be difficult to know who to interact with, when to interact with them, and the etiquette for doing so.
Here’s a few tips:
- It’s completely fine to interact with people you don’t know on Twitter. No one minds if you reply to a general tweet, or ask someone you don’t know a question.
- Try and keep questions and comments personal and relevant to something you have in common. For example, if you are both writers, reply to their achievement tweets with congratulations, or ask how their current project is going.
- If you enjoy a person’s tweets, like the tweets or retweet them with comments.
- Try and interact with people who seem to be individuals, rather than groups or businesses. You will probably get better feedback, and be more likely to make friends.
- If you play a hashtag game, comment on the tweets of other people using the same hashtag. This automatically gives you something in common.
- However, a caveat, you don’t want to come off as being too intense when you don’t know the particular person from elsewhere. If you don’t get any response from the person, don’t continually message or retweet them. They probably aren’t interested.
- Remember that interaction on Twitter is fairly casual. You are more likely to gain a lot of acquaintances in the same field as you, rather than a whole lot of best friends. Don’t worry if your relationships seem sporadic rather than in-depth. That’s the way Twitter works, because there is just so much information out there.
- Be wary of sending people DMs (direct messages). If you don’t know someone well, they may think DMs are pushy, or assume they are automated. Stick to tweets.
- An easy way to interact is to say thanks when someone likes or retweets you.
- People will always appreciate it if you retweet their pinned tweet.
After some practice, and spending some time on Twitter, you should find that interaction is more instinctive, and you will worry less about whether you are doing or saying the right thing.