Andy Falconer


Twitter Etiquette in 2015

15 Jan 2015 | Leave a Comment |

Source: Slashgear

Didn’t your mother teach you any manners?

Probably not regarding good manners on Twitter, unless you have one cool mother.

Maybe it’s a sign that I’m getting old, but I seem to be getting wound up by people who in my humble opinion shun the basics of Twitter etiquette. Now, it’s possible that I’m in a minority of one, given that there are no rules when it comes to social media. However, there are norms. Here’s the ones that have been irritating me recently:

  1. If you’re going to steal my photo by taking a screen shot of it and then use it in one of your tweets, at least have the decency to credit me with taking the image.
  2. Stop copy and pasting other people’s tweets and pretending they’re your own – it’s plagiarism. If someone has said something you want to tweet either retweet it (RT) or add “via @” or “by @” instead of just a void that implies it was you. Give a H/T @ (Hat Tip) to someone who has pointed you in the direction of something interesting. You must always give credit to the original twitterer – it’s not difficult!
  3. Twitter is about engaging in conversations with people, sharing great content that you think others might be interested. It’s not a PR machine to make you look interesting or to blatantly promote your blog. Views vary, but for every mention of your own blog or company site you should be tweeting between 3-8 posts that engage with other people or share their content.
  4. Why do you think having hundreds of followers when you follow no-one, except through your private Lists, makes you look important? It doesn’t, unless you really are the head of a country or the sovereign of the realm. It makes you look sneaky, self-seeking and with an over-inflated sense of your own importance. It’s even worse if you’re doing a Twitter One-Night Stand – following someone and then unfollowing them once they follow you back. Don’t. Just Don’t.

I love the following list from @girllostincity that adds a few more examples of Twitter etiquette:

  • If you are going to steal someone’s image, Photoshopped pic or illustration, make you have the decency to include a “via” or “cc” with their @handle so they are credited. 
  • To be really polite, you should also do that whenever you link to a clever article you find so people don’t brand you a Twitter thief.
  • Have at least a 15 minute gap between each tweet. 
  • Don’t attach pictures of selfies directly, Twitter’s not the place for that. (A link to Instagram is OK).
  • Don’t retweet more than three things in a row.
  • Try not to follow more people than follow you. It’s the Twitter equivalent of having some loo roll stuck to your shoe, the fact that you don’t notice makes it extra embarrassing.
  • Don’t ask anyone you unfollowed to DM you, because they’ll realise they can’t and it’ll get awkward.
  • Don’t include more than three hashtags (at the VERY most)
  • If you are humble-bragging, admit it.
  • If you are just plain bragging, don’t admit it.
  • Only delete a tweet (that pathetically flopped) after 5 minutes, any  longer then people will notice. 
  • The Favourite button is your friend. Make it your “read later” list but remember everyone can see them. So maybe have a second think when you’re about to favourite “How To Quit Your Job” or “How To Get Out Of Going On Holiday With A Friend”. Your favourites will say a lot about you.
  • Don’t accidentally tweet what you meant for Google, or for a DM.
  • Don’t put a cartoon or an animal as your profile pic unless you want to be mistaken for a troll.
  • Say thank you if people offer you advice, recommendations or answer helpfully to your question.


Call me a grumpy old man if you like, but I feel better for having got it off my chest. And if in some scary parallel universe my mother does decide to venture into the twittersphere then I will make sure I return the favour by teaching her what good Twitter manners look like.

Have I missed something that really irritates you? Please leave a reply in the box below.