I’m taking a new approach with my Twitter account and my Twitter account only: follow more folks, segment and filter via lists. Be less exclusive, more inclusive. And you just kicked me in the nuts for it.
I went into Twitter Karma and did a slew of following yesterday on seemingly interesting accounts. Granted, interesting follows sometimes fly below my radar and Twitter Karma’s a great tool for managing what I happen to miss. But almost instantaneously, my inbox was jammed with disingenuous bullshit auto-DMs “thanking me for the follow” and telling me how they’d made millions in months using a proven online system.
I’m not above trying new tactics. Last year, I published Don’t Take it Personally, but I’m Not Going to Follow You on Twitter. It’s turned out to be one of my most popular posts of all-time (all time). And I’m still going to trudge through with this wild-ass new strategy of mine to follow more folks, but for all that’s holy, I’m not going to hold my tongue in the process.
Here’s the happs:
- I get an auto DM from you: you’re unfollowed. You’re a douchebag.
That’s the only rule.
Here’s why (and I can’t believe we’re still talking about this):
We run around all day long plugged-in. Why on earth would you automate your response to a potential new relationship? I don’t need to go on and on about this when some simple bullets will suffice:
- If your financial planner sent you a form email that obviously didn’t address you, your accounts or your personality, I hope you’d fire them.
- If you’re the jackass at the office who always circulates inappropriate viral videos indiscriminately to everybody on the Accounting email group in Outlook, I hope the IT department gives you its own bitch slap.
- If you’re on an online dating website and a potential date sent you a cut-and-paste letter, I hope you’ll delete it.
With the growth of social media platforms, it’s more important than ever to make them personal. It’s been a struggle for me to pursue a strategy of more follow-backs, as I’ve always strived for a stream I can control and with which I can interact meaningfully. But there’s a happy medium, methinks, and I do hope that the douchebags don’t ruin it for the rest of yas. A follow from me is nothing to thank me for – it’s a mouse click. That’s all. But what I’m looking for is to expand the sources from which I can get meaningful, poignant, oh-so-ME content that I can share.
Whether you use Twitter, Facebook, some or none of these online wonders, it doesn’t really matter. When someone takes a medium with incredibly personal potential and drops a steaming pile of poo in your yard, they’re wasting your time because it’s obvious they’re not interested in a personal relationship.
Anyone who sends out an auto-DM is no better than the companies who waste millions each year filling-up your mailbox with untargeted messages about men’s health (hello, I don’t have a dick) and daycare (hello, I don’t have children). It’s outbound marketing, and you don’t have permission to send me that crap. My following you is my opting-in to your information and what you have to share. Don’t violate my trust when I invite you over to dinner and letting your kids write on my walls with a sharpie.
You can’t take back an auto DM. You can’t take back an untargeted email campaign. You can’t take back sharing an inappropriate viral video with a classroom full of third graders.
So stop it. You’ve been slapped. Here are five criteria to take you through any sort of communication process in this day and age:
- Personality: understand YOURS. It’s collateral, your brand.
- Intention: when you send a message, know why you’re sending it and to whom
- Playground Tactics: not everyone will like you, so get over it.
- Inclusion vs. Exclusion: there’s nothing wrong with giving people the opportunity to become an asset. Let them prove you wrong.
- Conversations vs. Monologues: everyone in your high school drama class wanted a scene with a monologue because it was about them. Conversations are magical, however: they involve opening yourself up to the possibility that someone can add something to your life. They’re the basis for all successful relationships.