Lebowskiwarming!There’s a lot of talk on Twitter as to how it should be used – Twitter rules and etiquette, if you like. Some of the talk stems from suggestions of how individuals use their accounts and how it might benefit you.

Other talk comes from people who say, “You should do this and you shouldn’t do that.”

But you know what? Unless anything you do falls within Twitter’s own Terms of Service, then there are no rules on using Twitter. So, here’s the thing:

  • If you want to promote your application to get more followers, do it. Just don’t be upset if people don’t agree with it (many will).
  • If you want to use it for nothing more than broadcasting blog posts, sales offers, etc, do it.
  • If you want to use it as a networking tool to meet potential new business partners, do it.
  • If you want to use it as a place for your cat to talk to the world, do it.

In fact, whatever you want to do with Twitter, do it. After all, it’s your account and no-one else’s. The way you use Twitter, people will either like it or they won’t – it’s an even 50/50 split to start with, so go for it.

If I don’t follow you, it’s for a reason – don’t get upset. I’m not that important and I probably wouldn’t have been a good match for you anyway, so you’re not missing out. If you don’t follow me, I understand. Hey, we’re all different people – it’d be boring if we were all the same.

So use Twitter the way you want to use it. There are millions of people that will either get you or not. Enjoy it. And maybe I’ll see you on there sometime.

Cheers.

Creative Commons License photo credit: vissago

Sign up for free weekly content

Subscribe to my newsletter and get a weekly email with the latest blog post, recommended reading, quick tips and more. I respect your privacy and will never spam you.

Alternatively, click here to subscribe to the RSS feed instead.

Danny Brown
Co-author Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing. #1 marketing blog in world as per HubSpot. Husband. Father. Optimist. Pragmatist. Never says no to a good single malt. You can find me on Twitter - Google+ - LinkedIn.
82 comments
Alicia
Alicia

I love this! I still feel like there's so much I don't "know" about twitter, this makes feel better! Thanks Danny!

Alicia
Alicia

I love this! I still feel like there's so much I don't "know" about twitter, this makes feel better! Thanks Danny!

Alicia
Alicia

I love this! I still feel like there's so much I don't "know" about twitter, this makes feel better! Thanks Danny!

Shamim
Shamim

Yeah!I agree with you. Usually i don't get much visitors from the twitter on my blog. So what! I am still using Twitter. Because i love to post on twitter. And that is what twitter is.

Shamim
Shamim

Yeah!I agree with you. Usually i don't get much visitors from the twitter on my blog. So what! I am still using Twitter. Because i love to post on twitter. And that is what twitter is.

rmassingham
rmassingham

You are dead on the mark Danny....be yourself understanding that we are not all the same. Make your own rules!

rmassingham
rmassingham

You are dead on the mark Danny....be yourself understanding that we are not all the same. Make your own rules!

Sharon Dombroski
Sharon Dombroski

I couldn't agree more! I guess even Twitter has it's "control freaks" trying to keep the Twitter community in line. A few months ago I followed someone and they sent me a direct message with a link that took me to a list of their Twitter rules for following back...had to laugh at that one :)

Sharon Dombroski
Sharon Dombroski

I couldn't agree more! I guess even Twitter has it's "control freaks" trying to keep the Twitter community in line. A few months ago I followed someone and they sent me a direct message with a link that took me to a list of their Twitter rules for following back...had to laugh at that one :)

Sharon Dombroski
Sharon Dombroski

I couldn't agree more! I guess even Twitter has it's "control freaks" trying to keep the Twitter community in line. A few months ago I followed someone and they sent me a direct message with a link that took me to a list of their Twitter rules for following back...had to laugh at that one :)

Paul
Paul

Hi Danny, This is about the best advise I've heard about using Twitter.

Paul
Paul

Hi Danny,
This is about the best advise I've heard about using Twitter.

Elan Chalford
Elan Chalford

I like having the pressure relieved a bit. My aim is to write something of interest every time I Tweet. Even tho I notice some just put in a link that may be of interest. Lots of personal rules for us to follow without pushing them.

Elan Chalford
Elan Chalford

I like having the pressure relieved a bit. My aim is to write something of interest every time I Tweet. Even tho I notice some just put in a link that may be of interest.

Lots of personal rules for us to follow without pushing them.

Cee
Cee

Well said!

Twitter can be tricky because people use it for different things and you have to figure out what you want out of the people you follow.

Cee
Cee

Well said! Twitter can be tricky because people use it for different things and you have to figure out what you want out of the people you follow.

Cee
Cee

Well said!

Twitter can be tricky because people use it for different things and you have to figure out what you want out of the people you follow.

Karen Swim
Karen Swim

Danny, thank you for this post! In the year that I've used Twitter, I have watched it evolve from a cool little secret to megaceleb status. I was there when handbooks were written in real time and when the most interesting conversations involved food. I still love Twitter but am sometimes disturbed by "authorities" who dictate rules everyone should follow. While I don't necessarily disagree with their annoyances, I am cognizant that it is a free, public service. People are thereby free to make their own rules and we are free to follow or unfollow them.

Karen Swim
Karen Swim

Danny, thank you for this post! In the year that I've used Twitter, I have watched it evolve from a cool little secret to megaceleb status. I was there when handbooks were written in real time and when the most interesting conversations involved food. I still love Twitter but am sometimes disturbed by "authorities" who dictate rules everyone should follow. While I don't necessarily disagree with their annoyances, I am cognizant that it is a free, public service. People are thereby free to make their own rules and we are free to follow or unfollow them.

Paula Dauncey
Paula Dauncey

Danny, really liked this post. As a relatively new Twitterer, I was pretty nervous about what to do, scared of getting it wrong, unsure how to get it right and still am to a degree, but who cares? If people want to follow me that's great and if they don't, that's fine too. I found Twitter a little snobbish to begin with, after reading all the dos and donts all over the place, so this was a refreshing read, social media is for everyone, not just the 'experts' who were here at the beginning.

Paula Dauncey
Paula Dauncey

Danny, really liked this post. As a relatively new Twitterer, I was pretty nervous about what to do, scared of getting it wrong, unsure how to get it right and still am to a degree, but who cares? If people want to follow me that's great and if they don't, that's fine too. I found Twitter a little snobbish to begin with, after reading all the dos and donts all over the place, so this was a refreshing read, social media is for everyone, not just the 'experts' who were here at the beginning.

Paula Dauncey
Paula Dauncey

Danny, really liked this post. As a relatively new Twitterer, I was pretty nervous about what to do, scared of getting it wrong, unsure how to get it right and still am to a degree, but who cares? If people want to follow me that's great and if they don't, that's fine too. I found Twitter a little snobbish to begin with, after reading all the dos and donts all over the place, so this was a refreshing read, social media is for everyone, not just the 'experts' who were here at the beginning.

Joanna Young
Joanna Young

Danny, I'm with you on this one, the whole point of twitter is that we get to follow who we want. If we don't like what they're tweeting then all we need to do is click away. And as Kim says that might include incessant tweeting of 'shoulds'!

Joanna Young
Joanna Young

Danny, I'm with you on this one, the whole point of twitter is that we get to follow who we want. If we don't like what they're tweeting then all we need to do is click away. And as Kim says that might include incessant tweeting of 'shoulds'!

Joanna Young
Joanna Young

Danny, I'm with you on this one, the whole point of twitter is that we get to follow who we want. If we don't like what they're tweeting then all we need to do is click away. And as Kim says that might include incessant tweeting of 'shoulds'!

Kim Woodbridge
Kim Woodbridge

I'm glad you posted this Danny. Recently I've become a little annoyed with all of the shoulds and should nots about twitter going through my stream. I'm also not particularly interested in how people select their followers or organize their groups in tweetdeck. Well, maybe generally but not in great detail.

Kim Woodbridge
Kim Woodbridge

I'm glad you posted this Danny. Recently I've become a little annoyed with all of the shoulds and should nots about twitter going through my stream. I'm also not particularly interested in how people select their followers or organize their groups in tweetdeck. Well, maybe generally but not in great detail.

Kim Woodbridge
Kim Woodbridge

I'm glad you posted this Danny. Recently I've become a little annoyed with all of the shoulds and should nots about twitter going through my stream. I'm also not particularly interested in how people select their followers or organize their groups in tweetdeck. Well, maybe generally but not in great detail.

Frank Reed
Frank Reed

Danny,

Thanks for saying this. I see a lot of folks you seem to think they can lay down the laws about Twitterquette. It's effectiveness is truly in the eye of the beholder as far as I can tell. While some of the power Twitterers will rail against certain behaviors in the end their voice is just that; their voice.

Many people have been given de facto 'leader' status on Twitter that is kind of bizarre. The beauty part is that it really doesn't matter what someone else deems good or bad when they have the power to simply ignore you. That's what makes the loudest statement.

Frank Reed
Frank Reed

Danny, Thanks for saying this. I see a lot of folks you seem to think they can lay down the laws about Twitterquette. It's effectiveness is truly in the eye of the beholder as far as I can tell. While some of the power Twitterers will rail against certain behaviors in the end their voice is just that; their voice. Many people have been given de facto 'leader' status on Twitter that is kind of bizarre. The beauty part is that it really doesn't matter what someone else deems good or bad when they have the power to simply ignore you. That's what makes the loudest statement.

Andrew Weaver
Andrew Weaver

Good stuff, sir.

I think we all can have a hard time if we see someone using Twitter in ways we don't or wouldn't use it. In the end, Twitter is one thing to me and quite possibly another thing to someone else.

Also (RE: Jeff), I don't think your "5 Ways to Ruin a Perfectly Good Twitter Relationship" post contradicts anything in this post. You can have your own ideas (just as I do) on how to use Twitter. You can even tell or suggest to others how to use Twitter. Just remember that in the end, Twitter can be used in many different ways by many different people.

Andrew Weaver
Andrew Weaver

Good stuff, sir.

I think we all can have a hard time if we see someone using Twitter in ways we don't or wouldn't use it. In the end, Twitter is one thing to me and quite possibly another thing to someone else.

Also (RE: Jeff), I don't think your "5 Ways to Ruin a Perfectly Good Twitter Relationship" post contradicts anything in this post. You can have your own ideas (just as I do) on how to use Twitter. You can even tell or suggest to others how to use Twitter. Just remember that in the end, Twitter can be used in many different ways by many different people.

Andrew Weaver
Andrew Weaver

Good stuff, sir. I think we all can have a hard time if we see someone using Twitter in ways we don't or wouldn't use it. In the end, Twitter is one thing to me and quite possibly another thing to someone else. Also (RE: Jeff), I don't think your "5 Ways to Ruin a Perfectly Good Twitter Relationship" post contradicts anything in this post. You can have your own ideas (just as I do) on how to use Twitter. You can even tell or suggest to others how to use Twitter. Just remember that in the end, Twitter can be used in many different ways by many different people.

Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown

I think Jamie's comments sum it up pretty well. If your goal is to be a jerk on Twitter, then that's your call I guess.

Your post on "5 Ways to Ruin a Perfectly Good Twitter Relationship" seems to contradict this one. Either you care about how others use Twitter or you don't.

Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown

I think Jamie's comments sum it up pretty well. If your goal is to be a jerk on Twitter, then that's your call I guess.

Your post on "5 Ways to Ruin a Perfectly Good Twitter Relationship" seems to contradict this one. Either you care about how others use Twitter or you don't.

Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown

I think Jamie's comments sum it up pretty well. If your goal is to be a jerk on Twitter, then that's your call I guess. Your post on "5 Ways to Ruin a Perfectly Good Twitter Relationship" seems to contradict this one. Either you care about how others use Twitter or you don't.

David Nichols
David Nichols

I guess I never saw it that way before. I always looked at people who didn't conform to my views on how Twitter should be and think they should change their annoying ways. I still find them annoying, but I now realize, like you said, that it's our uniquenesses that make us who we are, especially on Twitter. We shouldn't be trying to conform others to our own personal views on Twitter.

If I find you annoying, I won't follow you, nothing personal. If you don't like me you can do the same thing. There's more fish in the sea I guess. Just don't get your feelings hurt, it's nothing personal.

Thanks, keep 'em coming.

David Nichols
David Nichols

I guess I never saw it that way before. I always looked at people who didn't conform to my views on how Twitter should be and think they should change their annoying ways. I still find them annoying, but I now realize, like you said, that it's our uniquenesses that make us who we are, especially on Twitter. We shouldn't be trying to conform others to our own personal views on Twitter. If I find you annoying, I won't follow you, nothing personal. If you don't like me you can do the same thing. There's more fish in the sea I guess. Just don't get your feelings hurt, it's nothing personal. Thanks, keep 'em coming.

Danny
Danny

Right. If anyone has the *right* on saying how you should and shouldn't use Twitter, it would be Evan Williams and the rest of the founding team. Yet they themselves say it's the users that are finding the best ways to use it. That doesn't include telling people what to do, though.

Danny
Danny

Right. If anyone has the *right* on saying how you should and shouldn't use Twitter, it would be Evan Williams and the rest of the founding team. Yet they themselves say it's the users that are finding the best ways to use it.

That doesn't include telling people what to do, though.

Danny
Danny

The greatest thing about Twitter is that everyone's voice is equal, Paula. Sure, you may have 5,000, 10,000 followers or more. But that doesn't make you more *important* than someone with 5 or 10 followers. It simply amplifies your voice - but is it really being heard all the time as the numbers grow?

Hope you're liking Twitter, never be shy to say "Hello". :)

Danny
Danny

The greatest thing about Twitter is that everyone's voice is equal, Paula. Sure, you may have 5,000, 10,000 followers or more. But that doesn't make you more *important* than someone with 5 or 10 followers. It simply amplifies your voice - but is it really being heard all the time as the numbers grow? Hope you're liking Twitter, never be shy to say "Hello". :)

Danny
Danny

The best of it is, some of the *power Twitters* often seem to use it in the ways that irk most people, i.e., broadcasting and shameless self-promotion. Not all, but a few. So are their ways right? It is to them, which makes it work for them - just not for others. That's the point - use what works for you and people will either agree or not.

Danny
Danny

The best of it is, some of the *power Twitters* often seem to use it in the ways that irk most people, i.e., broadcasting and shameless self-promotion. Not all, but a few. So are their ways right? It is to them, which makes it work for them - just not for others. That's the point - use what works for you and people will either agree or not.

Danny
Danny

I can see why that post would be viewed this way (5 Annoying Things…). However, I did just write that as my own personal peeves - perhaps the one that I’d change would be the point about personal discussions, but the rest are just my own peeves and not *rules* as such.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing :)

Danny
Danny

I can see why that post would be viewed this way (5 Annoying Things…). However, I did just write that as my own personal peeves - perhaps the one that I’d change would be the point about personal discussions, but the rest are just my own peeves and not *rules* as such. Hindsight is a wonderful thing :)

Danny
Danny

Cheers David. That's the thing - I may feel that I *behave* on Twitter but then maybe I'm being really annoying to others. We can never please everyone all of the time; nor should we try to. Be happy with how we conduct ourselves is the place to start.

Danny
Danny

Cheers David. That's the thing - I may feel that I *behave* on Twitter but then maybe I'm being really annoying to others. We can never please everyone all of the time; nor should we try to. Be happy with how we conduct ourselves is the place to start.