On the 21st of January, a young talented race driver @dinoZamparelli joined Twitter for the first time and he is currently trying to find his feet on the microblogging site. This got me thinking about how the experience would be for a newcomer.
I joined Twitter a while back solely to get updates on F1. It is a fantastic platform which most F1 teams and drivers now use for direct communication with their fans, on most occasions circumventing the Press altogether. Also, it is a great tool for fellow fans to stave off the withdrawal symptoms from lack of F1 during the off-season.
But with “The Good” must come “The Bad and The Ugly” face of Twitter: i.e. death hoaxes, fake accounts impersonating drivers or teams, blackmail attempts, exclusive false announcements and counter-denials etc. So I’ve come up with 10 Dos & Don’ts of F1 on Twitter
10. The following drivers are NOT on Twitter: DON’T follow any account that claims to be: Schumacher, Vettel or Räikkönen.
9. DON’T confuse “F1Fakes” with impersonators: the former are usually comical parody accounts like @charlie_whiting, @fakeCharlesPic, and the latter are deceitful people tricking F1 fans into following them.
8. DO announce that you are new to Twitter and that you are looking for fellow F1 fans to interact with. Most F1 fans are happy to suggest or recommend followers or “followees”. Also, participate in #FF (Follow Friday) or #F1Follow: a chance to let others know who you follow and would like to recommend. It is also helpful to explain why people should follow them within the tweet.
7. There are several on-going and some sporadic competitions on Twitter by the likes of @cosworth, @Marussia_F1Team. DO reTweet (RT) interesting competitions or articles; even if you don’t win, you might get a Thank You from the organiser and the winner.
6. DO follow these Twitter accounts: @ScarbsF1 (for everything Technical in F1), @f1Enigma & @F1nomics (for breaking news on driver contracts & F1 marketing), @SaltireF1 (for F1 Engine-Use Statistics and Driver Penalties), @wtf1_co_uk (for the funny side of F1)
5. DON’T be afraid to tweet team-bosses like @tonyfernandes (Caterham), @paulhembery (Pirelli) – they may not reply immediately but they eventually do. Great fan interaction.
4. DON’T be offended if someone on your Timeline does not like a F1 Driver you support; most fans can be objective and criticise a particular driving style or incident without getting personal.
3. DO join in on #F1Chat, Monday 9pm GMT run by @f1chat & @formula1Blog AND tune in to #theFlyingLap hosted by @peterDWindsor every Wednesday 7pm GMT.
2. DON’T hesitate to block Spammers offering “more followers”, sex, iPads. But I wouldn’t advise newbies to “Protect your Tweets” unless it’s a privacy issue.
1. DO join us for #duskyF1Quiz on Monday 23rd 8pm for a chance to win a prize!
Hope these tips make following F1 on Twitter less daunting and more enjoyable for newbies. Feel free to suggest any other tips I might have omitted in the Comments.
Updated: 27th Jan 2013