How to Ensure Your Tweetstream Tells a Good Story

©Stewart Butterfield












When you’re trying to decide whether to follow someone, or follow someone back on Twitter, how do you do it? Do you look at that person’s timeline to try to decide? Or do you have a conversation first? Here are some ways to make your own Twitter stream look better so others might want to follow you.

Don’t retweet posts with huge lists of people

Recently, people have restarted that Friday Follow tradition. Remember the one that almost made you leave Twitter? When Friday Follow first started, it was fun. That was many years ago. Then, more recently, Friday Follow became huge lists of as many accounts as people could squish into one tweet. Don’t retweet these if you can help it. It looks messy and does nothing for those you already follow. If people see too many of these tweets in your timeline, they’ll either 1. not want to follow you, or 2. unfollow you if they’re already following you. By the way, here are some Friday Follow best practices from the vault (2013!): Follow Friday: 8 Best Practices.

Read the stuff you retweet

Make sure the links you’re going to retweet really work. I admit I’ve been guilty of retweeting without reading–and it’s not a good idea. Occasionally, the links don’t work. Also, if you’re sending your friends to a site with a paywall or that’s spammy or filled with tons of popups, wouldn’t you want to warn them? Seems like a good idea to me! If you’ve tried to retweet something without reading it lately, Twitter is now suggesting that you read before retweeting! Apparently, it worked, because “Twitter says the prompts worked, and users opened articles before sharing them 40% more often than they did without the nudge.”

©Felipe Cabrera

Have conversations!

Engagement is definitely the gold standard of social media. So if you’re sharing something, say something about it. Talk to people. Ask questions. Say hello. Engage in tweetchats (even if you can only add a comment or two, it’s better than nothing. For more about engagement, you may like: For Better Social Media Results, Focus on Engagement. Still have questions? Talk to me on Twitter!

Still here?

If you’re still reading, thank you! I haven’t been blogging since August, but I’m back and I appreciate your reading all the way to the end!



  1. Welcome back! Great advice.

  2. It’s good to see you back to blogging.

    • Hi Bridget,
      Thank you so much. It’s been a very long process. But I’m finally back up and running!

      P.S. I’m accessing my email differently, too. Outlook threw the notification in the trash! Sorry for the late response.


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