So just what is a Twitter menace? Those people that are using Twitter as a bullhorn rather than a communication device. Are you guilty of the following?
- Hourly auto-posting of advertisement type tweets
- Responding to every instance of a keyword you’re following
- DM-ing ‘opportunities’ to purchase your latest product
- Including people (@’ing) when they have nothing to do with your tweet, but they seem to have Twitter clout.
If so, you may be in danger of being labeled a Twitter menace. And you also may be wondering why I believe you’re better off not to have a Twitter account at all if you are doing them. Let’s take them one by one.
1. So you discovered scheduled posting, either through Tweetdeck, CoTweet or some other Twitter help service. They are great if they are used correctly. They are just irritating if you set up tweets to go out every hour on the hour with your latest ‘special’ deal. If you must use auto-tweets, do so sparingly. And don’t forget, when you auto-tweet you always run the risk of people asking you questions or responding when you’re not around to address them, making you look like you don’t care.
2. I advocate the use of Twitter search to follow keywords that have to do with your business. For example, I follow the term virtual assistant. But please, please, PLEASE don’t set up an auto-tweet or even live tweet to every person that uses those words in a tweet without reading them first. Take the following tweets that I received in response to a couple of my own updates:
This first one was the day before thankgiving when I was baking, note that not only is the response inappropriate, it’s irritating.
This second one was just a few days ago in response to my tweet responding to someone else.
In both of these cases it is painfully obvious that the tweeter hadn’t even read the content of my tweet. For crying out loud, it’s only 140 characters or less, take the time to read it. It keeps you and your business from looking like a complete ass. Needless to say, not only didn’t I click on the link, I blocked the tweeter. It’s Twitter spam, plain and simple. And nobody likes spam.
3. Another form of Twitter spam –the DM’s (direct messages) that are offering me an amazing ‘opportunity’ to purchase their latest product or attend their latest webinar. Look, it’s great to offer these things on Twitter, but do it in your general stream. Direct messages are for personal conversations, not for selling me something. If I want what you’re selling I’ll DM you and ask for more info. Really.
4. Have you ever gotten an @ tweet that had absolutely nothing to do with you or anything you’ve said? Now I doubt any of you reading this would ever do it, but there are actually people out there that will include an @ just to get the name of someone who is popular or engaged in a currently trending conversation into their tweet and thus pull their own tweets into the thick of things. It might seem innocuous, but it’s sort of like having a passerby jump into your conversation by saying something completely off topic. It’s confusing, irritating and makes you look …well….stupid.
I really hope you’re not guilty of any of these activities. But if you are (or the person you’ve put in charge of your Twitter is) stop now! The real value in Twitter is humanizing your business to others.
Do you disagree? Do you think any of these items should be taken off the Twitter menace list? Do you have something that you feel should be added? Let’s talk about it in the comments section.