Misplaced Twitter Etiquette?

Twitter is full of retweets (RT). From a simple click of the RT button to adding a personal note before sending it on to your followers, retweeting is one of the easiest ways to spread awareness, both of information and the people behind that information.

It’s also an easy way to get more followers, because talking about other people’s content brings the love right back to you–which results in people retweeting YOUR content. If you’re trying to build engagement, getting retweeted shows you’re doing something right.

What’s the first thing you (should) do when someone retweets your tweet? Thank them.

What I see the most is the ubiquitous “Thanks for the RT!” reply. In addition to telling those retweeters that you care about their support, by replying to that person’s account, you’re also telling everyone else who comes across both your Twitter feeds that you care about engagement and building quality relationships, not just numbers.

Amazing how a simple thank you can do so much, eh?

Lately, however, I’ve been seeing another kind of thank you: The direct message (DM). Instead of a reply on my feed (and theirs), I’ve received a DM of “Thanks for the retweet. I will return the favor soon.”

While this is a very polite message, it raises a red flag with me. Since this is a private exchange, this method tells me that while you appreciated my retweet enough to send me a message, you didn’t appreciate it enough to tell your followers about me the way an open reply to my account would.

Additionally, “return the favor soon” doesn’t mean anything unless the person actually returns the favor. In my experience, someone who writes this rarely does, or they’d do it, not say it.

But that’s just my opinion. What do you think? Is there a place for the DM Thank You? Does it make a difference if that’s all the person ever sends?

Pic from this great Twitter Etiquette post here–check it out.

The Cold-Call Conundrum: Respecting Time


I’m not a salesperson, but I still understand salespeople need to, you know, SELL to get business and feed their families at the same time. It’s what they do. It also seems like it could be a very stressful job at times (Death of a Salesman, anybody?) and the burn-out factor is high.

So when I’m cold-called at work, I am at the very least prepared to give a listen to what the other person has to say. Unless it’s an automated message, that voice on the other end of the line is a living, thinking human being trying to connect with another living, thinking human being. I can respect that and respect their time as well.

Where my patience gets a twist is when my time isn’t respected in turn.

What I don’t get is the assumption that:

  • They’ve reached the right person
  • This is a good time to talk
  • You’re even interested in their product
  • You’re going to open the gates wide to your company

Perhaps this is the way sales works: Get through to someone, anyone, no matter who. Even if that person isn’t the right one, they might know the right one.

Hmm, sounds a lot like networking! EXCEPT: Networking is a lot more about give than take. And with networking, you usually say how you found the other person, right? My work number is not publicly listed, for example.

So with a call like this, I’d have preferred if the person would have asked if I had anything to do with their subject BEFORE launching into a 2-minute spiel right after the Hello, I am Mr. X from Company-You’ve-Never-Heard-Of-That-I’ll-Say-Too-Fast.

That’s all. Just that one simple question. You’re working, but so am I. My time is important too.

Facebook Conversations

Recently a Facebook Wall conversation among a bunch of friends took a nasty turn when another person jumped in head first without looking. This person was a friend of the profile owner but did not know the others. Completely misunderstanding the tone, direction and even character of the people involved, he upbraided everyone for their opinions and derided their morals, not stinting on using bad language nor on launching personal attacks.

The conversation could have de-evolved had not everybody else taken the higher ground and ignored him, but it got me to thinking: Should we treat Facebook conversations as public conversations, even on a “closed” Wall?

We’re told not to think Facebook is ever private, no matter how locked down your profile may be. This is obviously a good rule to follow on any social media platform, especially with 24/7 access.

Say you were walking past a group of people having a conversation on the street and overheard them say something that piqued your interest, was against your moral beliefs, or otherwise antagonized you. Would you feel you had a perfect right to jump in midstream because it was being discussed in the open?

Personally, I wouldn’t, especially if I didn’t know 90% of the people involved. Whether it’s true etiquette or not, there’s the mind-your-own-beeswax factor as well as the fact that I’m an observer and usually try to get the feel of an ongoing conversation before joining it.

Does social media change all this? Should online conversations be held to a whole new set of etiquette and common sense rules, or should the “real life” ones still apply?