photo credit: Tea for Three via photopin (license)

While navigating the world of social media in your quest to share and promote your creative work, remember to mind your manners. Here are four best practices while using Twitter.

1.Follow Back

Although it would seem obvious, the first thing you shouldn’t do while building your brand is to follow to just to unfollow. Mark Schaefer, in The Tao of Twitter, suggests you should build your “tribe” by following influential tweeters and industry experts. Build relationships through Twitter, and once you become seasoned you can spring clean those who you don’t interact with. This is just the one out of many ways to begin using Twitter properly as a creative.

2.Give credit where it’s due

Just like you wouldn’t appreciate if someone took your art, photos, designs, or music and paraded it around as their own, the same goes for tweets. Tweets, like any written work or piece of art is considered intellectual property. It’s okay to share posts you like, but retweet (RT) accordingly.


Twitter is a great tool to promote yourself and the work you are creating, but one rule of etiquette is create content that people care about. It’s great to promote your blog posts and artwork, but don’t bombard your followers with your “shameless plugs”. Share other relevant content, appropriate personal excerpts, and use Twitter to create conversations.

4. “Authentic Helpfulness”

This concept is from The Tao of Twitter. “Authentic Helpfulness” is all about building communication and relationships with customers, followers, and other creatives. I grew up on the concept of ” Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you” and this still applies to Twitter. Lend a hand if someone needs it, take your disputes to you direct messages, and tweet like a lady (or gentlemen).

A Few Tips From The Tao of Twitter (@markschaefer)

  • Genuinely connect with your followers
  • Respond to mentions as soon as possible
  • Thank and congratulate people publicly
  • Twitter Wars are not cool (e.g. Iggy Azalea)
  • Be yourself!

 Bonus: optimize you profile

My classmate, Matt Gergeni, suggested to add this  and I agree. Just like my parents always taught me to speak when I enter the roomer introduce yourself when you pick up the phone, your Twitter profile should speak to the followers you are connecting with. Customize your profile’s design, add your about information, and links to other ways they can contact you. Let your followers and potential followers know who they are speaking to.


For more information on the best practices regarding Twitter, I recommend reading the The Tao of Twitter by @markschaefer.

Also check out what @robertoblake has to say about social media and designers.


Stay Creative!


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  1. Amy Bybee says:

    From the minute I saw your blog image I was drawn into this post. Awesome tips. My favorite best practice is the follow back. I find in b2b, finding your target market on Twitter can be very hard. But when you do find someone it’s great when they follow back. Glad you pointed that one out.

    1. candacejlaine says:

      I definitely understand, that has been one of my struggles starting with Twitter. Since Twitter is so noisy it’s hard to where to jump in the conversation. So far my best advice is just to jump in and be genuine.

  2. mattgergeni says:


    Thanks for sharing these helpful Twitter tips!

    Social media is clearly a tool where you get back what you put into it and the tips you have shared provide a solid starting point for users who are looking to build their personal, and professional, brands online.

    One tip I would add is to remind your readers how important it is to optimize their Twitter profiles so that others will be able to find them. This can include, adding a unique profile picture, fully utilizing their Twitter bios to show off their skills, and including their URL in their Twitter bio, not just in the URL filed that is provided.

    Users who take full advantage of the tips you have provided will be “heads and shoulders” above many of the 651 million Twitter users.


    1. candacejlaine says:

      Thanks. That’s a great tip to take into consideration.

  3. jmperks2015 says:

    These are great etiquette tips. It’s important to build your follower base that will be promoters for your brand. It’s just as important to follow mentors, and fellow brands similar to yours to learn from and share best practices. Thanks for sharing!

    1. candacejlaine says:

      Connecting with fellow mentors and brands help you build your audience as well. Thank you for commenting!

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