May 27, 2009
I have a few Twitter questions in terms of right or wrong ways to tweet, if there even is such a thing.
1. If I see something interesting that somebody has done a tweet on, I know I can click the link and see the site and info myself. Should I retweet the person/company that found the original info? Or should I do a tweet from the original site? Does it matter?
2. If I see a blog posting on a product or line that we carry – can I do a tweet on it? I would think so if that blog has icons/links for Facebook, etc.
3. I see that several competitors – "bigger online sites" – have a Twitter page. Is there a way to follow or bookmark without actually following? I see some of the bigger companies are following each other. I just feel weird actually doing it. But I do want to see their posts.
Thank you for helping out.
Regarding your first question, if you're asking whether you should retweet the first tweeter (giving them credit for the info) or whether you should just tweet the interesting info yourself, it's a personal decision rather than a rule.
There are no Twitter rules, just basic rules of "netiquette." I personally believe in giving credit where credit is due. So if someone points me to something great that I want to share, I try to mention them via a retweet; but I'm not sure everyone does or feels the same way. Having only 140 characters to work with doesn't help. It's often hard to retweet with the original person's name and still provide all the necessary info, so some just don't do it.
For your second question, the answer is that you can tweet on absolutely anything you want to tweet on.
And regarding your third question, yes, there are ways to keep tabs on what your competitors are tweeting without actually following them. Just go to Twitter Search and type their Twitter name into the search box, then save the RSS feed to your favorite feed reader. Do the same for each competitor. Then you only have to monitor your Twitter feeds and they will be none the wiser that you are following them.
I discussed this previously in my "Heard It From the Social Media Grapevine" article
Hope this helps!