The Golden Rule: Tweet Others The Way You Want To Be Tweeted.

Tweet others the way you wanted to be tweeted. Sounds so simple yet everyday you see things on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ that are perplexing. Being kind to others is so important: in life and on social media. Greet others cordially and you may be blessed with a delightful response. The message that you send is amplified and you do not know who may end up reading your comments or what their frame of mind is while they are reading.

My mom always said “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” This is especially true in social media. Please don’t spout angry paradigms at the masses, no one is interested in reading or retweeting those tweets.

Another word of caution is using sarcasm, which I personally love, but must be used with care as it can be taken incorrectly by the intended receiver of the tweet or someone else who is reading it. I love my sarcastic tweet buddies and created a list called Sardonic Super Pals to honor their fine use of sarcasm however, using caution may be wise. While it may lessen the sarcastic boom of your comment, add something that lets people know that you are joking or being sarcastic. I like to add hashtags so it is fun. When you have an established group of social media friends that are sarcastic amongst themselves, it can be great fun but be aware that each tweet or post goes to all your followers, sometimes their followers and where the tweet stops, nobody knows.

If you are unclear of the intent or meaning of a tweet or post, don’t go off in a huff or respond in anger. Simply ask for clarification. The fragile connection on social media can crumble like a crisp autumn leaf, don’t lose friends over misunderstandings. Sometimes this requires a direct message, phone call or Skype conversation and isn’t a friendship worth that effort? I say, yes!

Be a generous retweeter or sharer of your pals and people that you follow. Take time to occasionally flow through your stream of “All Friends” and give them some RT love. Everyone appreciates it and most reciprocate as well. One of my friends makes it a point to check her new followers tweet stream and RT them right away which is a great way to break the ice and start building a relationship.

Calling out people for what you perceive to be a mistake is obnoxious and rude. There are no steadfast rules for social media, only best practices and guidelines. Be kind to other people and help them if they need it.

Tweet others the way you wanted to be tweeted. Simple and effective.

Featured image courtesy of  kopp0041 via Creative Commons.

Article by Peg Fitzpatrick

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Author & Social media strategist at Lucky Clover Media
Social media is my passion. And my job. I've built a thriving social media platform of over 1,000,000 followers. Co-author of The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users with Guy Kawasaki. I'm here sharing my professional experience working day to day in the trenches of social media, marketing, and blogging. I work with global brands and leaders in the social media sphere every day. I've spearheaded successful social-media campaigns for Motorola, Audi, Google, and Virgin as well as having been a brand ambassador for Kimpton Hotels. I work with the best brands and make them even better! I'll share tips and tricks, provide positive inspiration and answer social media questions through the content that I create and curate. What sets me apart? I'm an innovative idea girl that follows through and gets the job done. Social media is my career, not just a hobby.

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    • Peg says

      Appreciate your comments Andrea. Seems like common sense, no? We really did learn all the things we needed to know when we were little, sometimes we just need reminding. Thank you!

    • says

      What a co-winky-dink.

      That was a favorite in my family too!

      My great, great, great grandparents always said:

      “Tweet others the way you wanted to be tweeted.”


      Peg thank you for the excellent article.


       on “the twitter”.

  1. says

    I really like your title with the post and you did state a very good point as well with the sarcasm point. I know I am not a big fan of sarcasm at times so I try and understand what the other person is trying to tweet at me before I get upset at some thing that I mis understood.

  2. Peg says

    This comment was tweeted from @dgcattaneo: “I was going to make some funny sarcastic remark about your blog, but then I read it and decided to go for just nice :)”
    What an awesome tweet! So fun

  3. says

    I enjoyed this post, Peggy.

    I’m trying to think if I have anything to add. I guess I would say to everyone, that if you put out the positive vibes, you’ll fare pretty well. For example, I’ve been on Twitter for over 2 years, and I’ve only received mean comments from 2 people. That’s pretty good odds (and I bet I can get that number even lower)!

    If you do ever get a “meanie” tweet in your stream, you might feel hurt and discouraged for a second, but take heart: don’t let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch (gurl).

    Other that, I have only two tips to everyone out in Tweepleville:

    #1 No matter how frustrated you are, or how spirited you feel in a vigorous dialogue, don’t ever — ever — call someone a name.

    #2 Don’t drink and tweet. You might think you sound loose and fun, but believe me, someone out there can tell you’re into your third glass of wine.

  4. Steven Pofcher says

    Good post Peg.

    Like you, I enjoy a good sarcastic remark, but sarcasm is difficult in Twitter. You have a good solutino in adding #hashtags to help to make the sarcasm understood.

    I just want to add to Dane’s #2 point: Besides “Don’t drink and tweet” – Don’t let friends drink and tweet either :))

  5. Peg says

    Hello Dane & Stephen – thanks for stopping by!

    Dane ~ I love your advice on a “meanie” – Love the Jackson Five quote. It is so hard because one negative experience seems to overshadow all the positive ones that come down the stream. And I agree – no name calling. Lots of people could see that tweet.

    Drunk tweeting is never pretty!

    Stephen excellent point: Besides “Don’t drink and tweet” – Don’t let friends drink and tweet either!
    Thanks to you both!

  6. Peg says

    My husband said that we should give out #TWI tickets for people who tweet while intoxicated. Perfect, eh?

  7. says

    If anyone knows Twitter etiquette its you Peg!! Thank you for always being a fab example!! Love the post my amazing friend!! YOU make twitter sparkle!!

  8. Peg says

    Michelle ~ you are so gracious and sweet with every tweet, such a pleasure to be your Twitter girlfriend!You make Twitter extra sparkly as well. Thanks for the support!!

  9. says

    Appreciate that you’re a proponent of sarcasm, Peg, yet wise enough to caution about where it can go wrong.

    You nailed it on the hashtags point as well. The New York Times did a piece on just that subject, calling them “a more sophisticated, verbal version of the…emoticon”. Great way to add extra nuance or an afterthought to the intended meaning of a tweet.

  10. Peg says

    I agree Deidre! That is when you need to go beyond 140 if possible. A tweet can be read or misread many different ways.

  11. says

    I’ve retweeted this twice.  It bears mentioning again and again.   Retweeting is an essential part of building relationships. From my perspective, it is just a twitter-new  application of Carnegie’s adage that “A person’s name is the sweetest word to that person in any language”  

  12. says

    Nice, Peg. Been meaning to comment on this. You make a lot of great points.

     I don’t use lists, so I don’t know what you mean exactly when you say: “Take time to occasionally flow through your stream of  ‘All Friend’” and give them some RT love.” Does this mean that if you don’t follow “All Friends” you don’t see all RT/mentions? Do you have some sort of automation that lumps them into a “Thanks for the RT” sort of list so you can follow up at a later date? Just curious.  

    Great to see you last night. Lots of fun!. :)))

    • Anonymous says

      Hi Susan!
      Fabulous to see you again too – we must do it more often!

      Yes, I use lists and don’t follow the list of all the people I follow all the time. I follow a lot of people now so the stream is very fast for everyone. I have different lists that I follow and a few hashtags. I see my retweets in my mentions column in Tweetdeck. I also check Crowdbooster for my weekly people who mentioned me the most & thank them.

      What things do you do for thank yous and following people?

      • says

        Good to know how you do it! I have a smaller number of followers/following than you so I can work it without lists (which I can see would be needed with larger numbers.)  I try to thank everyone for every RT.  I look at every profile to see if I want to follow back, and then send every person a personalized DM.  Doing this actually helps me remember people. I also use Tweetdeck, and I will check Crowdbooster as well as for most active engagers! 

        Keep writing the good stuff!

  13. says

    Great tips Peggy.  This is a very popular post.  I will be sharing this timeless post again. 

    Saw this tweet:   What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas; what happens on Twitter stay on Google forever!~ @jkcallas


  14. says

    Hi Peg

    I sometimes feel that if only happy messages were going to and fro on twitter how peaceful, happy and positive the twitter world would have been :)

    The points you mentioned are very imp and everyone should consider them. Going to share this right away!

    Happy tweeting :)!

  15. LizSolomonWright says

    I agree completely and have a post about online civility going live next week. It’s validating to see that we aren’t the only ones tired of people being negative to each other hiding behind the screenname.


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