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Look before you Tweet: Advice for social brands

As a community manager, I’m overly critical of social brands. That’s an unfair perspective and the things that bother me don’t bother 99% of your followers, so I won’t be community manager Caitlin today.

Instead, this plea comes from @caitcmcd. I expect a lot out of you guys, brands, but in return for meeting my expectations, I do what you want. I’ll RT you, reply to your trivial questions, give you money and tell all my friends about you. You too can have all of that, if you’ll accept my help today. If you refuse it, do me a favor: delete your Twitter account and go set up a Tumblr blog. Pictures are pretty and you’re probably already driving people to other social networks from Twitter.  Stop that, by the way.

If you’re ready to accept help, here are some ways to up your game:

1.  Follow almost everyone who follows you or takes time to engage with you.  Unless you want to be cool like @KanyeWest. Then only follow @KimKardashian.

2.  Figure out how direct messages work. I know Twitter’s been tinkering with them lately, but here’s the secret: you have to follow users for them to be able to DM you. Don’t leave it to your followers to explain to you how this works

3.  Play nice. All the cool kids, like these guys, are doing it. No one likes bullies and plenty of people already beat up on brands. Use your powers for good, not evil.

4.  Don’t try to trick us. The sad reality is that Twitter moves faster than fact checkers do. Between the Elan Gale and “Diane” Thanksgiving Day lie and the Pace Salsa Twitter prank on Kyle Kinane in the past couple of weeks alone, we don’t know what to believe anymore. We want to believe you, so let us.

So be smart, play nice, don’t lie and you’ve earned this follower.

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