According to the TRA, in 2014 there were over 360,000 registered Twitter users in the UAE. Twitter has quickly become one of the biggest social networking platforms. But despite its global popularity, many of our twitter timelines are still littered with spam accounts, incessant “retweeters” and the mundane childhood friends that we haven’t the heart to unfollow.
To help tidy your page up, here is a list of dos and don’ts which will help you to improve your twitter account.
The UAE has compiled a set of laws and guidelines in accordance with the public morals of the UAE, which aim to ensure that Twitter isn’t abused by its users. Therefore, before creating an account, Twitter users should be familiar with these laws, which can be found here.
For those who wish to increase their number of followers, Twitter users must try and make sure that their account is active. This does not mean tweeting six times an hour with reference to inane topics. Shockingly, people are not typically interested in just how “#amazing” your lunch was. Instead, tweets regarding current events and other popular topics are likely to spark greater interest.
Use hashtags appropriately – as part of a trend
“Hashtagging” has become a contentious topic across social media, most notably on Twitter and Instagram. Unnecessary “hashtagging” is sending the internet into an irritated frenzy, and it is of the utmost importance that people begin to use hashtags appropriately.
For example, when you want to attach your tweet to a particular news story and join the trend on Twitter, hashtags such as #royalbaby or #superbowl are acceptable. However, when you are tweeting about your recent shopping trip then “Great day shopping, completely spoilt myself #spoilt #shopping #spree #greatday” is wholly unacceptable and an abuse of the hashtag.
Remember, hashtag the object, not the adjective.
Twitter is a social networking site and therefore you should try and make sure that your tweets are as positive as possible. However, this is not a strict rule as without the vast number of teenage Twitter-users complaining about how unfair the school system is, or the season finale of Pretty Little Liars, Twitter timelines would be pretty bare. Just bear in mind that your own Twitter feed is a reflection of you and will impact the type of followers that you attract.
Follow people and be social
Follow people who you are genuinely interested in or who have similar interests to you – on Twitter, not in the mall. This is the only way to ensure that you fill your timeline with meaningful tweets that will fascinate you rather than bore you. Also don’t be afraid to tweet people asking them questions or in response to their tweets, after all it is meant to be a social media site.
It is also a great way to communicate with companies in the public domain. If you are having no luck with your network provider’s so-called “Customer Service”, get your message to them on Twitter. They will want to be seen to deal with it as everyone will be looking.
Tweet when angry
Although this seems like an obvious one, countless users sometimes forget that Twitter is a public website that is open to everyone. Your unreasonable boss will not be pleased to see that you’ve been moaning about his unreasonableness online...
As a rule of thumb, never tweet when angry, never mention your boss or company name, and never tweet anything which could be considered rude or abusive. Remember, you are responsible for the content of your tweets in accordance with the UAE’s laws regarding social media.
Follow people blindly or just because they followed you
Doing so is a sure fire way to make sure that your feed is cluttered with spam and tweets that do not interest you. Although it may seem that you have to follow more accounts in order to increase your own follower count, it is in fact far better to be selective about the accounts you choose to follow.
You should also not be afraid to unfollow accounts which prove to be less interesting than you had hoped; after all everyone has an “up and coming” star from five years ago that they regret following. Also (as is stated under the UAE laws) neither trust nor use third party websites which claim to get you more followers. Your follower count should increase by the quality of your tweets alone.
Aside from the abuse of hashtags, there is nothing more infuriating for Twitter users than receiving countless Direct Messages (DMs) or mentions from automated accounts. Such messages make accounts feel far less personal and are likely to lead to a high number of “unfollows”. It’s important to remember that Twitter is designed to be a blog of sorts (microblog) and is meant to offer an insight into the user and their thoughts and opinions. Remember, automated “Retweets” (RTs) of particular accounts in order to draw attention to them is prohibited under UAE laws as a form of spam.
Make private Twitter accounts
If you are uncomfortable with the idea of your tweets being publicly available, perhaps Twitter is not for you. Private or not, your tweets will become part of your digital footprint, and that is difficult to totally erase from the internet. It is important to acknowledge that, once tweeted, every tweet becomes part of the permanent internet.