@alecbaldwin has improved his Twitter game, in that his tweets are starting to make sense. For a while I considered him the king of non-sequiturs. One of the most common problems I see from twitterers is forgetting that even though space is limited, users often need some background to understand just what the hell you are trying to say. Reading through a time line of punch lines isn’t any fun, you need the setup. You can do this through a link or with more careful crafting, but unless you’re having a conversation with someone, a tweet should always be able to stand on its own. If you are having a conversation with someone your tweet should always start with that person’s Twitter handle. Starting a Tweet with someone’s Twitter handle makes Twitter think the tweet is intended for one person, so it wont snow up in the streams of others. This is why we start tweets with a “.” if we start it with a handle, but want the tweet to be visible to everyone.
@harveylevintmz often demonstrates a great way NOT to get around the non-sequitur problem. He is the long form tweeter. Some users are unable to slim their thoughts down to 140 characters so they will send one message out over multiple tweets. This is bad for a number of reasons. First, it will ensure that your message wont be retweeted. It wont make sense to retweet half a paragraph. Second, it fills up your followers feeds and that’s just annoying. If you’re chronically going over your limit, consider starting a Tumblr or WordPress blog and linking to your long form blog from Twitter.
@MossKate may or may not be the real Kate Moss, but they still provide a great example of a boring feed. You must be proactive on Twitter. You must create content on Twitter. Often, popular users sit back and respond to others who contact them. This is not interesting. Neither is is a feed that is composed entirely of retweets. Generosity is important, a retweet can go a long way in forming a connection to someone, but your social media strategy must include creating some original content.
@entenmanns showed the world just how bad hashtag surfing can appear with their miserable attempt at taking advantage of the trending term #notguilty after the verdict from the Casey Anthony case was handed down. Followers did not appreciate the joke and Entenmanns was quick to apologize. Hashtag surfing looks like trickery and no one likes to be tricked.