This entry has been in the works for awhile and I’d like to send an open thanks to my readers who have been bugging me about a new post. There were certain parts I couldn’t quite get right (and probably still haven’t), but after a weird few weeks in the social mediasphere it’s about as concise as it’s going to get.
Do I know more than the average bear when it comes to social media? Perhaps. I’d like to think that my picnic basket has an extra scone or two in it compared to the everyday BooBoo’s. I learn something new most every day – whether sought out or completely accidental – though I still have “plop my ass in an ant pile” incidents that leave me reeling. My followers have grown considerably and my time to address each has diminished proportionately. As such, there are things that piss-off The Redhead and I can infer that if they’re pissing me off, others are pissed as well.
When individuals and companies choose to engage in social media, there’s a fine line between solicitation and being helpful. One of my tweets this past week was that I was being solicited on Twitter more than a solo businessman in a Vegas bar. Sure – the hooker is (ahem) “being helpful,” but her thinly-masked end objective is to hawk her wares for a fee. A guy thinks he’s having a pleasant conversation with a beautiful woman and then he’s quoted hourly rates. What the deuce?
It’s annoying, time-consuming and yet again one of the many reasons I follow around HALF the number of people who follow me (see “Don’t Take it Personally, but I’m Not Going to Follow You on Twitter“). Twitter isn’t a popularity contest and it’s not a game of “he who dies with the most followers wins.” When I get a tweet in my stream, I’ve positioned myself to PAY ATTENTION TO IT. It’s hand-selected information from a handful of people and companies.
Just think: the doorbell rings. You’re expecting the pizza delivery guy and you open the door to find…
a Jehovah’s Witness.
Personally, I’m not amused. You’re intruding and what I really want is my damn pizza (my immortal soul can wait).
So, to keep from being the Jehovah’s Witness in my Twitter stream (or the streams of those who follow you), here are three HUGE no-no’s in my book to avoid like the plague. You don’t have to be the pizza delivery guy every day – but you can avoid being unexpected and uninvited.
Small print disclaimer: if you’re a Jehovah’s Witness and take issue with being used as an example of something annoying…bugger off.
Step 1 to Being Annoying on Twitter
Attack me blindly via the Public Stream or keyword searches.
Probably the biggest intrusion ever, you’re horning-in on my conversations with established Tweeps in my stream. I have been chided for drinking caffeine, pitched software, told to watch a video for Milli Vanilli-look alikes and encouraged to try new Twitter apps. And not by my followers or those I’m following. If you’re using keyword searches to identify people you may want to follow, don’t just jump into the conversation uninvited. Follow. Observe. Listen. And don’t be an Instant Asshole, Just Add Tweet. You may have JUST the thing that someone needs – but let them ASK you for it FIRST. Otherwise you’re being a Jehovah’s Witness.
And if you’re a scraper (tweeps/spammers who just blindly add people and start tweeting them sales messages) – I’ll say it and say it loudly: you’re dicks. Your time on Twitter will be short-lived as I will announce you’re spam, block you and then others will do the same. You’ll be blocked from the site and then you’ll have to start all over again. Seriously – how much business do spammers really generate from scraping? I’m thinking slim to none.
Step 2 to Being Annoying on Twitter
Be an egotistical narcissist who speaks but does not listen.
I see you over there, pretty Tweep. You with your gazillion follows/followers and 12.4 million updates. Wow. Maybe I should take a look at your shizzat because you seem to be pretty popular with the Tweeps. Click click.
Waaaaaaaaaaait a minute – just wait right there. Why is every other link in your timeline a pitch with a tiny URL? Why are there few to no @ replies? Oh. It’s because you’re an egotistical narcissist who opened up a Twitter account just to hear yourself talk and pitch your crappy e-book, “life coach” seminars or “tricks to get 10,000 followers” to whoever the hell will follow YOU back blindly. A word of advice: if you’re not interested in the conversation, you’re annoying. If you want to talk to a random, untargeted audience and never engage in conversation, grab a boom box and funny hat made of balloons and head out to Central Park or your local mass transit station. I doubt you’ll sell anything (just like I doubt you’ll sell it using these shitty tactics on Twitter), but you might collect some change.
Step 3 to Being Annoying on Twitter (and my personal favorite)
Send out auto-DMs
I’ll say it and I’ve got no problem saying it: if you send me an auto DM, I’ll unfollow you instantly. INSTANTLY. With no hesitation. Those who use auto DMs are making what can be one of the most personal mediums in social media as IMPERSONAL as freakin’ possible. And the lengths you have to go to in order to set one up are staggering. If you put as much effort into your relationship building skills as you did into setting up your auto DM, Christ. I can only imagine how successful you’d be. But then again, the douche bags who send out auto DMs are usually the folks who fall into one of the two categories above as well. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
You don’t have to THANK people for following you. And if you’re following people and looking for their THANKS, get a hobby. I’m sure you’ll find model airplane building or crochet to be much more rewarding than the constant disappointment you’ll experience by people not THANKING you for your having followed them.