How we use Twitter

We try to:

  • Tweet about beer
  • Tweet links to our latest blog posts (but only once, or occasionally twice…)
  • avoid Tweeting about our lunch, public transport, the weather
  • respond when people ‘@ mention’ us and
  • be helpful, if we can, i.e. answering questions.

We try not to over-think Retweeting — it ought to be instinctive. As a general rule, we Retweet if:

  • something catches our eye and makes us think/laugh
  • we think a piece of information is important
  • someone we follow with a small number of followers has Tweeted/written something which everyone ought to see.
  • We don’t Retweet on request, i.e. ‘please RT!!!’

We use ‘new-style’ Retweets (i.e. just hitting ‘Retweet’ rather than writing RT) so that the original tweeter ‘feels the benefit’ of further retweets; unless, that is, the tweet has no content other than a link or picture and we want to explain what it is; or we want to add a comment.

We follow people because:

  • they Tweet mostly about beer and
  • what they Tweet tells us things we didn’t know or
  • is otherwise interesting/entertaining.

We also follow one or two people who never Tweet about beer, usually because they are our window into, e.g., food blogging.

We don’t tend to follow people who have mostly automated ‘check ins’ from, e.g., Untappd in their timeline.

We sometimes unfollow people, again without over-thinking it, because:

  • they start Tweeting about something other than beer (e.g. politics, football) for a prolonged period
  • they get stuck in a rut complaining about public transport, colleagues, friends, family, how tired they are, or the weather
  • they are repeatedly/consistently sexist
  • they are homophobic
  • they never interact with us or anyone else
  • they engage in ‘spammy’ behaviour, e.g. repeating the same marketing message over and over again
  • they exhibit terrifying levels of aggression.

We’ve unfollowed corporate accounts (pubs, events, breweries, etc..) for:

  • Tweeting frequent updates on how many followers they have
  • Retweeting or Tweeting links to everything nice anyone says about them
  • running annoying ‘RT to win!’ competitions
  • randomly beginning to express strong political opinions
  • posting nothing but cross-links to Facebook and
  • asking us to verify our age.

We’ve unfollowed people for the following very specific reasons:

  • repeatedly using the words ‘retarded’ and ‘gay’ to mean stupid/bad
  • repeatedly using ‘the C word’
  • One guy Tweeted, out of nowhere: “A blonde on this train is making me really horny.” Eew.

Some people Re-tweet a lot; and some businesses we’re interested in re-tweet everything anyone says about them. In those cases, we sometimes turn off Re-tweets rather than unfollow.

We’ll make exceptions to most of those rules if someone is otherwise ‘good value’ or interesting (even if we don’t like them much).

We also understand that people sometimes Tweet things while drunk they might not say sober, and cut them some slack: that is a hazard of beer blogging/Tweeting/writing.

We have blocked people for being really offensive or abusive, or simply because, even though we don’t follow them, they keep getting Retweeted into our timeline.

We occasionally take part in Follow Friday (#FF) and like to suggest one or two people we think are worth following, and explain why.

We don’t take it personally if people unfollow us; don’t use any automated tools to track who has unfollowed us; and are quite happy following people who don’t follow us.

UPDATE 07/12/2014: how having a joint Twitter account works

(Because apparently this baffles people.)

  • We both have access to the account and Tweet things on what you might call a ‘corporate’ basis, i.e. things that don’t particularly express an individual point of view — ‘Here’s an interesting picture of an elephant drinking stout’ or ‘We’re going to Derby this weekend’.
  • If we’re together in the same room, we usually compose Tweets together — we discuss what we want to say, one of us writes it, shows it to the other, and off it goes. (This is kind of instinctive and takes 10 seconds.)
  • Very occasionally — please make sure you are sitting down — we are not together in the same room. In those situations, if Bailey drinks a beer or visits a pub and wants to Tweet about it, he signs his Tweets [Bailey]. Equally, in the same situation, Boak will sign hers ˆBoak.
  • We also sign Tweets sometimes when we’re talking about our own childhood memories, family members, professional experience, and so on.
  • FAQ: “Why don’t you just have separate Twitter accounts?” Because then people would have to follow two accounts to catch everything we say, which is a bit annoying; and because there might be periods when one of us doesn’t Tweet for a few days or even weeks.

If you think we’re doing it wrong (‘How our driving?’) let us know below…

6 thoughts on “How we use Twitter”

  1. Pretty much the same as me, although I try to keep level I follow to a amanageable level (once it got over 1000 which was just crazy) and I have a mix of whisky and cheese related people aswell

  2. I have to ask then. Why the hell are you following me?? I’m constantly moaning about the loonies on public transport, I tweet about football and which C-word are you referring to? C**t or C**k? I use both far too often. 😉

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