Twitter is a cultural phenomenon which has changed the way people access information. It virtually connects everyone from world leaders to the guy next door with immediate thoughts, information and feedback.

Most people would benefit greatly by understanding and following the decorum of the Twitterverse. Follow these tips for using this popular social media platform wisely and with tact.

Preserve Your Credibility

Social media is built around the concept of amassing a network to exchange information and ideas. Whether you post as yourself or on behalf of your business or organization, every share either contributes to or detracts from your image. If you post something misleading, offensive or inflammatory, it will surely impact your reputation. The content is now public and can be seen by anyone visiting your social media page.

Post Thoughtfully

The appeal of Twitter is the ability to instantly share your thoughts with the world. However, this can be a double-edged sword when you tweet without thinking it through. Even if you delete a Tweet immediately, you have no guarantee it hasn't already reached the eyes of the 24/7 internet. Just ask any public figure who has attempted to delete a controversial tweet. Ask yourself if your message is Civil, Thoughtful, Useful and Smart. If you can check these four boxes, you've created a message which cuts through the online clutter.

Tweet Routinely

In order to establish connections on Twitter, you need to post regularly. Tweeting frequently means at least daily and possibly several times a day. Beware of posting too much; if you post too frequently, you give the appearance you spend your entire day online, which may not be how you'd like your boss to think of you.  

Be Concise

This platform is all about the rapid, efficient exchange of ideas. There are times you may want to go over the character limit, but Twitter users will expect you to follow the norms of the community, unless in very specific circumstances. A barrage of Tweets will probably lose all impact, and your long-form ideas are better suited for a blog post.

Think Reciprocity

Twitter can be a wonderful tool for making new contacts and developing relationships based on mutual interests. When someone credible follows you, follow them back. Use direct messaging to communicate with a follower privately if you have an opportunity to create a connection. If someone retweets something from you, thank them and be on the lookout for ways to return the favor. Connecting followers to other people is another great way to build an online community.

Keep the Right Mindset

A genuine desire to inform, interest or spark conversation among others is a hallmark of successful tweeting. If you are using Twitter solely for self-promotion, you are not using the platform well, and people will notice. Maintain a goal of being helpful to others instead of serving your ego.

Give Credit Where it's Due

If you see another tweet worth sharing, feel free to do so. Just be sure to use the retweet function, so the person who posted it first gets the credit. You will avoid giving the appearance of pilfering someone else's idea and strengthen your integrity.

Watch Spelling and Style

Misspellings and poorly worded messages look sloppy and can confuse your audience or communicate something you didn't intend. Make it as easy as possible for readers to understand what you're trying to say. Avoid all caps, abbreviations and unfamiliar acronyms. While Twitter's speed is part of its appeal, don't move too fast or you may post something rife with errors.