A Users Guide for Best Practices on StockTwits
It takes a village.
StockTwits prides itself as a venue for market participants to congregate for the purposes of mutual discovery, sharing, networking, and learning. We strive to be the place for investors and traders to quickly get up to speed on market-moving information and insight which is driving real-time changes in investor mood and sentiment.
To ensure these goals are met, a community with vested interest in constructive and organized dialogue is essential for everyone to receive maximum benefit from their experience on StockTwits.
Let’s keep it professional by remembering we all want to make money and better trades and investments. In this spirit, here is a short and simple guide of Do’s and Don’ts that when practiced keep the conversation and discovery on point to the benefit of everyone.
Best Practices on StockTwits:
- Include a relevant $TICKER in your message. This ensures your message appears on the proper ticker stream, for the right audience. It also allows your message to be shared with our media partners for display on their platforms (yahoo finance, reuters, bloomberg, cnn money, msn money, & more) which furthers your reach. (Please leave irrelevant tickers out).
- When engaging in a conversation with others, use “reply” or address your message directly to the intended user via @username or direct message. (do not include a $TICKER – see below in ‘activities to avoid’)
- Be a curator of excellent content. Sharing great messages or links from other authors builds trust with your audience, and solidifies your reputation as a “thought leader” and spreader of goodwill.
- When sharing a link to a blog post or an article, paste the long original URL in the StockTwits message box. It will auto-shorten and be clickable upon publication.
- Always send links to direct articles (not homepages), and give attribution to the author of any links you share (“via @username”) if the link isn’t authored by you.
- If you see someone sharing great content or smart ideas on the stream, give them a shoutout! Giving props to people who exhibit best practices is contagious and betters the experience for everyone.
- Be helpful when users ask you questions. The more you can engage in two-way conversations, the more you’ll gain from your experience on StockTwits.
Activities to Avoid:
- Spam: sending links to advertisements for services, or links which require signup/login to view content. Or linking to outside chatrooms (free or otherwise) that pull conversation away from the ticker stream. This turns people off and will hurt your cause.
- Please do not include $TICKERS in messages where you are not sharing a new and/or actionable trading/investing idea about that ticker. (ex. “$AMZN hey @howardlindzon, what are you having for lunch today?”)
- Please do not include a $TICKER in your side-conversations. It is noise to everyone else on the stream who isn’t party to your discussion and is simply looking for ideas about the ticker when visiting its stream. (use reply or DM – see above in best practices)
- Engaging with trolls/haters. If someone is abusive to you, please ignore, click ‘report’ button in the message, and then block the user (see below). It’s an unprofitable waste of your time to engage with them, usually ends up as valueless noise on a ticker stream, and rarely anything good comes from it.
The Unpleasant Realities of the Anonymous Internet:
Some things are unchangeable. At the top of this list is human behavior. Add the element of optional ‘anonymity’ on the social internet plus the emotions surrounding people’s money, and you’ll often meet some very interesting characters. While this problem is not unique to StockTwits, we do our best via algorithmic and human curation to weed out the spammers and bad actors. However, the occasional nefarious character may interfere with the profitable discourse you’re enjoying with the rest of your community, and we ask that the community takes ownership of the problem and pitches in to help.
Here’s how: In cases such as this, you are empowered to take action to restore the sanctity of your stream. Instead of giving control to the offender by responding to his/her actions and validating their efforts, take control with these three simple clicks that will take you three seconds:
- In an abusive or offensive message, click the “report” button.
- Confirm your report by clicking “report message.”
- Block the user’s profile.
This simple three-click, three-second process sets the wheels in motion for your environment to be rid of the community member whose messages are interfering with your process, and sends that user’s profile into review by our community moderation team. This user will then be reminded of our simple House Rules and specific Best Practices to pay closer attention to. In most cases, this solves the problem for the betterment of the rest of the community. In worst case scenarios, we simply part ways with users who don’t find our basic community standards within their best interest.
Some House Rules:
Three things that are NOT allowed on StockTwits are abusive behavior towards others, spam, and excessive cheerleading/bashing.
Abuse: Disrespecting others directly or indirectly won’t make you any money and will not be tolerated on StockTwits. We all have different levels of experience and capitalization — but everyone is here to share, discover, learn, and grow. No user should feel threatened, belittled, or harassed in their community.
Spam: You are encouraged to share links with your community that provide excellent and actionable content derived from your service or newsletter. However, we ask that you do not promote or send links that are advertisements to your service. Nor may you send links that are “subscriber only” requiring a login or signup (free or paid) to view your content. Messages sent for the express purpose to drive user signups or pull conversation away from StockTwits ticker streams will be deleted and escalating restrictions will be placed on your account, ending in permanent account suspension where necessary.
Cheerleading/Bashing: While it’s certainly understandable to get emotional when a position is wildly going your way, repetitive cheerleading or bashing of a $TICKER is noisy and doesn’t add any value for other users. Less is usually more. Please make every effort to only send messages that offer something new to the stream. Nobody wants to sift through endless messages from the same user who is constantly repeating himself.
Gain your Edge:
Armed with this list of Best Practices, activities to avoid, and tools to take control of your experience, every community member has within their means the ability to curate and nurture their own supportive environment that makes sense for each individual’s needs.
See you on the stream!
~ Sean McLaughlin (@chicagosean), StockTwits Head of Community Development
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