I don’t know what percentage of twitter users have the same feelings, but I know some do…I have heard many of these annoyances repeated among friends and clients alike. While some of these tactics aren’t inherently bad, the way they are used is key to getting off on the right foot with your followers. And once you have them, keeping them.
How to use twitter without being sleazy.
I was inspired to write this post because this week alone, I have unfollowed a bunch of accounts who have used some of these tactics (even worse, have used several at the same time). I use the word tactics because I often feel like the motivation is more of a sales pitch rather than a positive relationship with benefits to both parities involved. I know I feel like I have been taken advantage of when someone sends me to a site that is not directly related to the tweet. They call it bait and switch in traditional sales. Even when no money is exchanged, my time has been wasted and in my cases, left annoyed because time is a limited commodity…probably unfollowed if this wan’t the first time. The visitor, having had this experience may think twice about clicking on a link of yours. Not the result you were hoping for.
I get that some of you may not be bothered when dealing with these things on twitter, so this article will likely leave you thinking I am a total over-reactor…It’s ok. I’m glad you have such a high pain tolerance. I am a bit high strung when I am annoyed. I get seriously grumpy.
So, in no particular order, here are my most hated twitter behaviors.
Sending auto thank yous…they are not authentic and feel like you are shoving a business card in my hand. Strangely, there are anomalies. I have no clue what the magic ingredient is, but a very few thank yous make me feel good. I definitely think an instant auto-reply thank you is dumb. I’m thinking, “I just followed you, now let me be on my way”.
Sending direct messages asking them to do something.
Sending a direct message with the intent to have them go to your site, listen to your next single, download the most awesome eBook in the whole wide world is down right annoying…First things first, be appreciative that they followed you in the first place. Just because you have a new follower you doesn’t make you have a “relationship”…yet.
You are being clingy and will come across as desperate. Now that they are following you, be yourself. Tweet things that are useful or interesting to them (here is where you can include links to your single, video, eBook)…let them decide if they really want to spend the time to do what you are asking them to do. I have never gotten a direct message thanking me that made me want to take that extra step other than to unfollow.
Don’t auto follow people who have just followed someone else.
I get it. It’s easy and can be effective in getting followers. You don’t have to lift a finger. It’s logical to think that people who followed someone relevant to your business will be a good follower for you. But a savvy twitter user can tell if they have just been followed as a direct result of following another account. It’s like a 2fer or 3fer in a bad way. If you are going to do this, at least wait several days. Even better, find out who someone relevant follows and actually scope them out to make sure they are a good fit for you…not just get a new follower.
Don’t beg for tweets!
This refers to those blanket tweets that promise that if you follow an account, they will follow you back. There’s no substance here.
Check your auto-post settings for Facebook and your Blog.
Nothing more annoying to people browsing the twitter feed than seeing an auto-post from your blog, facebook and then a direct tweet at the same time. Ideally, there should be one identical post at a time. It’s just annoying to have to see the same thing one on top of the other and comes across as spammy. It saves time to autopost everywhere, but make sure your settings aren’t damaging your twitter presence by duplicating content. Ideally, post once and use a photo if it is going to an article.
Don’t follow to get followers.
This kind of goes back to the plea for followers. I get so many people who follow me and if it looks like they will provide some good content, I will follow. If not, I don’t follow back. Sometimes, when I do follow someone back, I find that they pretty immediately unfollow me. No skin off my back…I’ll unfollow you back.
Don’t assume a twitter user is stupid
I’m pretty sure most people can determine if you are peddling something. I particularity detest the ones that randomly follow and their description says something like, “single, looking for this or that…” with profile pics that could be on a dating site. These I block as I don’t want to follow or be followed by them.
Don’t use more than a few CAPITALS, if at all.
Anyone who has ever been online already knows this.
Use minimum and only relevant #hashtags.