How to Use Twitter – Part 3 – What NOT to do!
It’s much easier to do the right thing if you know what you shouldn’t be doing, so here goes:
Don’t auto Direct Message or auto Follow people back.
This “technique” uses software, readily available on the web, which you can program to send a direct message to someone that follows you with some banal, inane message normally containing a link to “check out” some other of your wares. It’s very impersonal, looks lazy and, in a week long experiment I ran with a couple of accounts, registered not one click though on the link I supplied.
Auto following people back is also a bit shoddy. To get in the spirit you need to take the time to look at your follower’s profiles, assess their stream and then make a call. Using a program doesn’t cut it – UNLESS you’re so overwhelmed with followers it makes sense to auto follow a big batch in one hit.
The best Twitterers manage to use the glorious English language of ours to get their point across in just 140 characters. Using up 3 whole Tweets to rant about something defeats the object, shows your sub-optimal grasp of the Queen’s lingo and will turn off your followers pretty pronto. Go and set up a blog if you can’t be concise.
Don’t overdo it with event coverage.
It’s nice that you’ve got a ticket to #SESLondon or #IABEngage and your followers may like to know what’s going on, but remember not to flood their stream with words of wisdom from the podium. Once every 7-10 minutes is fine for spreading nuggets of insight. Throw in a few TwitPics too and folks will feel like they’ve been there, even though they’re chained to their desks.
Don’t just talk about yourself and your company.
Try and spread your Tweets with a combination of self-promotion, engagement with your followers, retweeting of others’ news, tidbits and insight. Mixing it up a little shows you have – and I know I sound a bit boarding school matronly here – a healthy, wholesome and generous stream!
Don’t be un-generous about who you follow.
Just because you’ve never met someone face to face doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow them on Twitter, especially if they are following you. Of course they have to be in a relevant space and resonate with you, but there’s something about people with 2K followers and they’re only following 100.
There’s a fascinating psychology behind different Twitterers attitude to follower/following ratio. Firstly you’re more likely to get less engagement if folks following you know you’re not following them back. Secondly people following WAY more people than are following them back do look a little desperate so proceed with caution. And thirdly you just look a bit pompous if you’re not even attempting to reciprocate and show that you don’t know everything and want to learn from others.
There are plenty of tools now to wade through any noise, Twitter Lists for one, so as in most situations in life, being generous and a little self-effacing will pay off I assure you!
Do let everyone know if you have a Twitter No-No below and on Monday we’ll talk TOOLS!