Ava Pennington

Author, Ava Pennington

Hi, Ava Pennington, CAN Secretary, here. Our CAN members have been learning how to better use social media, thanks to several recent member webinars. As I apply what I’ve been learning, I’ve noticed some parallels with driving…

You’ve had your drivers’ license for more years than you’d care to admit. In all those years, you’ve learned a thing or two about the rules of the road.

Did you know Twitter rules of the road are very similar?

1. Don’t drive without a license.

No matter how much you may hate your drivers’ license photo, you still need to carry that license with you whenever you drive.
When you open a Twitter account, be sure to upload a profile image. (Unlike your drivers’ license, you can choose the photo!) Also, be sure to complete the bio. Twitter is about relationships. People want to know who they are following.

2. Don’t speed.

Most roads have stated speed limits. We pay a steep fine for breaking the speed limit.
Twitter isn’t about speeding your way to thousands of followers. It takes time to build a solid following – time and solid content. Instead of begging for followers, post tweets that offer value. Your followers will come to you.

3. Don’t litter.

I hate it when drivers and passengers toss rubbish out of their car windows. Nobody wants to see trash lining the roadway.
Twitter users can be guilty of litter, too. Don’t litter your posts with announcements of what you had for breakfast. Your followers don’t need the clutter…or the litter.

4. Don’t be a self-centered driver.

Ever drive behind someone who doesn’t care about anyone else on the road? They don’t signal, they don’t allow anyone into their lane, and they back up traffic by driving below the speed limit in the fast lane.
Self-centered Twitter users don’t care about anyone else. Their tweets are all about me, me, me. Buy my book, come to my event. They don’t post tweets that meet the needs of followers. They don’t retweet, or if they do, they copy others’ tweets without giving credit.  The occasional self-promotional tweet is fine as long as long as it doesn’t dominate your posts. Follow the 80/20 rule – no more than 20% of your tweets should be self-promotion.

5. Don’t drive with windows tinted too dark.

Many states prohibit windows tinted so dark that you can’t see inside.
The Twitter equivalent is setting up a Twitter account, then making it private so followers have to request permission to follow you. If that’s what you’re doing, then you don’t understand Twitter.

6. Don’t carjack.

Carjacking is illegal.
Hijacking a Twitter feed should be illegal. What do I mean by hijacking? It’s when you post a bunch of tweets all at once, taking over the feeds of your followers instead of scheduling your posts throughout the day. No one appreciates a hijacker, no matter how substantial your tweets are. Think of your tweets as salt: sprinkle, don’t dump.

7. Call it in.

What do you do when you see a vehicle obviously weaving all over the road? You call it in before someone causes an accident or worse yet, a fatality.
What do you do when you receive Twitter offers for free iPads, smart phones, or cruises? Take a moment to report it as spam. With the system processing 50 million tweets a day, you’ll be doing everyone a favor.

Proper use of Twitter will get you safely to your destination, while making it an enjoyable journey for everyone!

What Twitter rules of the road can you add to this list?

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