Twitter is one of my favorite platforms. It seemed to take forever for me to get onto the platform, but once I did, after a few classes by Kim Garst, I love it. Engagement seems to be more of the norm than it is on Facebook and LinkedIn and the account can grow quickly
I have definitely learned that there are all types of people on Twitter. I have seen folks with personalities that are generous and kind and others that are embarrassing and narcissistic. You might think that with only 140 characters, your personality is not going to show, but true character always shines forth. If you are unsure about a person, “eavesdrop” on one of their conversations and it will become clear quite quickly.
Just like Facebook, it seems that Twitter has its share of spammers and some of the worst are self-published authors. I am sure you have seen them; you get a @mention from someone that does not even have the decency to follow you before they send you a mention insisting that you buy their book and RT their message.
If you have not taken my classes or studied a bit, you might not realize that this is spam. Twitter is not a direct-sale platform and their rules are actually quite clear that “if you send large numbers of unsolicited @replies or @mentions in an aggressive attempt to bring attention to a service or link”, they could call foul. That means repeatedly tweeting or DMing(Direct Messaging) a high pressure request to visit your blog instead of just providing great content, can actually get your Twitter account suspended.
So what should you do? Be a resource. Tweet value. Add to conversations. Share excellent content. Shine the light on others Give, give, give. Be a giver and not a taker
Provide content. This doesn’t mean jabber on about nothing or what you ate for lunch. Pick keywords that describe you, your genre, what you do, who you are. Make people care
I know this sounds repetitive. Everyone states the same things on all of the platforms. Why on Twitter as well? To be honest, because it just irritates folks or could even get you blocked by someone. Spamming with hashtags, tweeting about who has unfollowed you, begging for a RT, bragging about your social authority (Klout score), demanding follows (called forced follows), insisting people pay attention to your blog content, all of these behaviors are all about you. Have you ever visited a Facebook page and all you saw on the page was buy this now? On sale for the next 48 hours? Free shipping for the next 3 days? The page has nothing of value to you. You might have been interested in the product, but you see no real reason to purchase. There is no education, no personality except buy, buy and buy. You did not get to know the person.
I believe the real problem is in a lack of knowledge. I believe for the best in folks and I just do not believe that people want to purposely irritate others. For that reason, here are some examples of Tweets you do not want to send:
- Free today! #Free #Kindle #eBook #Giveaway #YoullLoveIt #BestNovelEver #MustRead #RT
- Looking for a great read @joesmith? Buy my book: http://amzn.link
- Thanks for the follow @joesmith! Visit my Facebook page (or blog) and like me (subscribe) there, too: www.bloglink (and buy my book!)
- Nice blog post @joesmith, now here’s mine – read and retweet: www.bloglink
- Why did you block me @joesmith?
- @joesmith just unfollowed me. (Really? Wonder why. Be honest, do you want to read about people that have unfollowed your followers? What makes you think your followers want to read about yours? Boring and it gives off a type of “bully” attitude.)
- I just followed you – follow me back now.
- Wow! I just got my 10,000th follower. How cool am I? (I tweeted about my followers when I reached 1,000 and someone told me to shut up – harsh but point well taken, (lol!) just post them on humblebrag and save us all some time)
- Klout just told me I’m a trendsetter. Just so you all know (insert smily face) Yaaaaay, me!
- Your recent list of fabulous blogs should include mine: bloglink
- Tweeting out your own quotes, often. (You are not Steve Jobs)
Auto DM’s with links: People hate these and for good reason. Asking me to like your Facebook page or book before we’ve even said hello is like expecting sex on the first date before I’ve even opened the door and said how do you do If you were SMART, you would have links in your bio, after all Twitter does allow two.
Auto DM to use your service. I once had a company auto dm me to use their social media manager service. I replied saying that if they knew anything about me, at all, they would know that I was a social media manager and that their DM was insulting. Three days later I got a reply stating that they get great results with their DM’s and they were not going to stop. I never asked them to. I just suggested they get to know a person before they send a DM.
Pictures of your debit or credit cards. Really? Don’t you think this is just a bit too personal. Why not tell us how much is in your bank account and give us the account numbers as well.
Too many hashtags. #one or #two #hashtags is #enough, #people. Also is #FF an outdated fad yet? #itshouldbe #imsoironic. Oh and #PS Don”t you love #ridiculouslylonghashtags?
Your own Twitter handle This is like talking about yourself in the third person. You do not want to come off as a bit creepy
Instagram pics all day. We all love Instagram, but too much of a good thing is bothersome. On top of that, those images do not really allow you to scroll through the pages. To see the entire image you have to click on the link. Irritating
Drunk tweets: Puking in the back of a cab at an ungodly hour is not something you want to be putting on your business page. At least take the time to delete them the next day
Food Pics Most irritating are the fast food pictures. We can only see so many Dorito tacos, burgers and foreign food. (Remember Twitter is international, so your food looks foreign to someone else)
Never respond in a negative way when someone says something on social media that has upset you If you do respond, do it in a diplomatic way, because the Twitter verse is watching. Responding in a professional way has a positive effect on your reputation, while responding in a negative way will make you look immature and will have a negative effect on your business. Many of you have your Twitter account connected to your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. Do you want your negative Tweet to appear on LinkedIn, where your customers and prospects can see it?
When using Twitter (in fact all social media) for your business, you should keep three important things in mind:
- Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your mother, grandmother, clients, or employees to read and associate with you. Word travels fast on the internet, and your posts can be ReTweeted and forwarded to millions in seconds.
- Here are some additional tips for topics you should avoid Tweeting about. I know these may seem obvious to you, but every day people Tweet about them and they reflect negatively on their business:
- Don’t say negative things about your competition.
- Don’t engage your competition in negative conversations.
- Don’t get into fights with angry customers online. Engage them by asking them how you can help them and invite them to email you or call you for assistance.
- Don’t Tweet about your sex life.
- Don’t Tweet about wild nights out, and definitely don’t Tweet pictures of your wild night out.
- Don’t Tweet about politics.
- Don’t Tweet about religion.
- Remember, you’re using Twitter to promote your business, so you want to be professional at all times. It’s OK to engage others in conversation, but don’t get into controversial topics that can polarize your customers and prospects
What types of Tweets do you find most irritating? Please give us an example so we are sure to not do it!