You all knew this day would come. I’ve talked about Facebook, I’ve talked about Google+, and I’ve mentioned blogging more than a few times. But what about Twitter, the social media platform that literally causes marketing professionals to lose control of their saliva production?
What is Twitter good for?
- fast and brief conversation; anything in depth doesn’t fit in 140 characters
- feeling like part of a community/building community
- being able to respond, quickly and briefly, to fans/readers/customers/etc.
- access to people who are well-known in their fields and have a large(ish) fan base, aka networking
- small amounts of self-promotion (the key word being SMALL) about your latest book, blog post, upcoming appearance, or what-have-you
- finding out if it was just you or was that really just an earthquake
However, I have noticed certain habits of Twitter users that can be, to state it bluntly, irritating or even off-putting. Here are my top three:
1. Huge volume. Last week someone I follow on Twitter must have posted twenty or thirty different “truism” tweets within fifteen minutes, completely flooding my timeline for that entire period. Another person has tweeted twelve random links (not RTs, mind you) in the past hour; and this isn’t rare or unusual behavior for him. At a certain point, volume no longer provides value for your followers, but instead merely feels like spam.
2. Automated Direct Message Upon Following. I can only assume people do this because they have failed to comprehend how slimy and inauthentic it feels to be on its receiving end. If you want to automate your Twitter account to follow everyone back and happily give numbers to spammers, well, at least it doesn’t affect me directly. But sending me a spam message because I was interested enough to follow you has the effect of giving a poor first impression. Happily others agree with me.
3. Large amount of repetition/over-promotion. Twitter is a fleeting platform, so I understand the need to share an important piece of information (my book is out! I have an awesome new blog post! my story is out!) more than once so that your followers don’t miss it. Share it more than twice in twenty-four hours, though, and my patience wears thin–plus it had better be really important to you. Tweet about the same blog post every couple of days, while possibly disguising that it is the same blog post, and I will never again click on any links you share. I made the mistake of following one well-known personality who not only has a volume problem, but has scheduled all of his tweets to be shared four times a day. Yes, that’s FOUR times. For ALL his tweets, most of which are random links that I can’t imagine he’s super invested in. Again, this feels like spam, and perhaps more importantly, it makes this person appear to be inauthentic. And being inauthentic on Twitter is the kiss of death.
People don’t like to be marketed to, they like to be connected with. Social media is all about achieving marketing through connection, which will hopefully make the experience more palatable for everyone. Commit regular acts of spam and no one wins.
Disagree with any of my pet peeves? Have any of your own to add? Let me know!