Recently, I’ve been getting back into Twitter. It’s not that I left, but my attention was needed elsewhere and I haven’t been able to nurture and grow my Twitter community as I did in the old days.
And speaking of the old days – things have CHANGED in Twitterland!
It’s almost like coming back to a foreign land – one that I still instinctively know like an old friend, but one that changed the way it speaks and how it holds my hand. And I’ve gotta say – it’s disturbing.
Automation has taken over Twitter in a REAL way, and while there is plenty to love and be grateful for outside of automation, this article will address the worst strategies I’m seeing proliferated all over on Twitter.
You might argue that these strategies yield results in terms of numbers, and they may – but Twitter, at least the old Twitter, is all about community, not numbers. People on social media are people, they aren’t statistics or ratios – they are people, and should be treated as such.
If you aren’t experiencing REAL relationships, genuine interaction and exchange, and a growth in your knowledge base – then you aren’t doing Twitter right!
Here are the 3 strategies KILLING your Twitter game.
I’ve spoken before about Auto DM’s being my biggest pet peeve in social media, but I think the next two points of this post are equal in my waging my irritation.
Auto DM’s have been around since the early days, but it was rarely used, so rarely that I hardly knew when it happened. But I was always disappointed to find out those welcoming messages weren’t real. I felt foolish and duped.
Auto DM’s are about the rudest thing you can do on Twitter, just ask Aaron Lee, who likens them to people who shove their business cards in your face at networking events. How dead on is that?
Regardless of how you believe they may be helping you, I can guarantee they are doing more harm than good.
The only people who are open to Auto DM’s are new to Twitter or doing the same thing to their new followers. The folks who are actively engaged in Twitter are VERY anti auto-DM’s, and many unfollow immediately.
Personally, I don’t even bother reading them, and automatically get a funky feeling about the person.
Let me be clear when I say that there are a certain number of people sending out auto DM’s who have no idea that it’s rude, and that’s why I’m writing this article – because sometimes we just need to be let in on the rules of social media etiquette.
But the ones that really take the cake are the auto DM’s who don’t just auto DM you, but in addition ASK you to do something for them – even though they’ve never even said hello. Bleh.
Wouldn’t you consider that message above spam?
I’m sure you don’t like receiving promotional emails in your inbox that you never signed up for – why would you do the same thing to a stranger on Twitter??
Gotta tell you – it doesn’t make friends.
It may take longer to get to know people, but that’s REAL social media – being social, saying hi, getting to know them and then if they ask about your business, great. But the soft touch is what converts people into real business.
Don’t believe me – just ask Robert Caruso of BundlePost. We were friends on Twitter for about 6 months before I asked about BundlePost – he never pushed it, never even mentioned it, and now I’m one of his & BP’s biggest fans! We use it for my agency and I’ve blogged about it several times.
That’s how social media works!
If you could hear me groaning at just the mention of automated replies – you’d have someeee idea of how much this irritates me.
We didn’t have automated replies on Twitter back in 2009 when I first came on the scene – in fact, it’s a totally new animal that’s reared its ugly head in the past year. But I’ve been experiencing it on a daily basis, and seen (GASP) well-known social media professionals using this to generate sales for their products/services!!
This is NOT how we conduct ourselves on social media!
The worst is when I follow someone, get an automated reply, then go check out who they are and they aren’t even following me!!! What the heck?? Talk about being busted!
This goes so far against what automation was created for that I just want to scream!
Folks, automation was created so we could spend less time aggregating content and more time ENGAGING!! And what is less like engaging than sending out an automated welcome to a brand new person who is interested in you?!
The bottom line is – this is NOT social media. This is yet again, treating people as numbers – churn them in and out at a fast rate and keep going.
Social media is SO much more than this, and I urge you – beg you – to turn those auto replies off and get down and dirty with Twitter yourself. If you’re so busy that you can’t answer everything, hire someone – don’t let the integrity of your personal brand or business be hurt by this activity.
You’re better than automated replies. Period.
This has got to be the WORST Twitter service ever invented. It puts a barrier between you and people who are trying to get to know you – the opposite of what it promises.
Whenever I see THIS message below pop up, it’s an automatic unfollow on me end – why? Because it says to me that I’m dealing with someone who isn’t interested in putting in a little effort to read my bio, check out my tweets or find out that I am human on their own, i.e. LAZY.
Imagine if you met someone at a party and they said, “Before I can talk to you, I need to make sure you’re allowed to be here.” How would you feel?! That’s basically what TrueTwit does to the folks who are looking to meet you online.
It’s a service that supposedly helps Twitter users be able to differentiate between real users and bots. But if you are THAT disconnected from your Twitter account, then you aren’t actively participating in social media anyway. You are allowing a non-entity to decide who your friends are, and ticking a lot of people off in the meantime.
You might think there is a difference in how we treat people online and in-person, but there shouldn’t be. We must be present when others reply, thank them, be kind, be helpful, add value, smile, and make them laugh. The moment you consider your online relationships to be numbers or distant relationships, you drop the ball and aren’t able to experience the awesomeness of social media.
Bottom line, the Twitter community is about relationships, people, and engagement. These practices put a barrier between you and the people you’d like to interact with and make it difficult for others to get to know you.
If you are new to social media, take these points to heart because it will better your social media experience and that of others who want to meet you.