In a recent war of tweets I wasn't nice. For those who started following me as a result of last nights flame wars, welcome. I believe in being honest on Twitter. And even if that gets a little heated, I also believe on outing the abusers or "gamers" of the system. It's fine if you want to spam, porn post or work really really hard to get 50k+ followers in less than 5 months…That's all fine. For you. Not for me. So if you choose to do that, don't expect me to play nice either.
But I was genuinely intrigued by the DMs I got while I was railing at a Twitter abuser. Here is what I learned. And again, these are MY personal opinions so take a shot at them if you think I'm off track.
1. Use Twitter Properly
Twitter is sometimes called a "micro-blogging" system. I think of Twitter as an OPEN IM forum, where I can broadcast a message to a lot of people at once. And I choose to Tweet things I think are a.) funny; b.) useful or interesting; c.) tips and tricks; d.) business related links around my area of
expertise interest. [cause if you meet the social media expert on the road, run the other way]
2. Auto is BAD
Twitter is about REAL PEOPLE in REALTIME. Once you go into Auto-Responder mode of any kind you have become a robot or a marketing gamer. There is no good reason, NOT ONE, for using an AutoDM or AutoResponder or AutoFollower. The only good thing about Twitter Spam is it hits the AUTO-BOTS the worst, in the best way, AUTOmatically!
If you auto-me what have you done? Engaged in a conversation? No. Done me a favor by allowing me to DM YOU now? Bad logic, NO! Started the conversation between us? About what exactly? NO.
My belief is if you AUTO-anything on Twitter you are spamming or gaming the folks who use it properly, for conversations. Twitter is about REAL PEOPLE in REALTIME.
So, Twitter can be for business too, you say. Yes, but engage with me or be quiet. If I subscribe to your "AWESOME DISCOUNT INKJET DEALS" tweets, that's my choice. And yes I could derive some advantage from following that account when I need to buy ink. And how cool [not] that the big boys are figuring out that they can give exclusive deals to Twitter followers. Whooo boy, that's a relief, cause I'm sure the DEALS they are pushing via other channels (email, web, tv, mailings) are not as good. Well, my Tweets that's just not true. It's just another form of advertising DIRECTLY to you. Not bad, if you OPT-IN, but hard as heck to OPT-OUT.
3. Be Honest
So the last one covers a lot of ground. In your opinion what is honest? That's the question for you to answer. I know what mine is and I have spoken some of my personal biases above. But the one thing I will say about Twitter and Honesty: Reputation is built over time. And if you provide value to people, over time, you will build a following. Maybe not 50k+ like my friend in the examples above.
Take the time to be honest. When I asked the 50k man why he AutoDM'd he responded by saying it gives people a chance to DM him back. AND he can invite them to "join" him on Facebook.
I asked okay, but why can't you take the 30 seconds to DM the people directly, as in honestly? "How about an honest 'follow' before you DM me?" I asked. "But why do you have to AUTO-DM them? If they are interesting to you, why don't you DM them FOR REAL. Take the extra 30 secs."
And here was the reply: "When you get a 1,000 followers a day, come talk to me about those 30 sec."
"So what you are admitting to is this, you have SO MANY FOLLOWERS they are no longer people but one of thousands… it's a game!"
At this point the said Master of Twitter said he would "fire" me if I worked for him. Hmmm… I wonder what he would have me doing if I "worked" for him. And several followers of self-professed Twitter Teacher came out of the Twitterverse to defend him. Yuk! What were they defending? Getting Real is Good, Right?
So that's it.
Recapping: Use REALTIME, Be REAL not AUTO, Be HONEST about what you are after. If it's just more followers or hawking Printer Ink or Viagra, leave me out. And don't Follow Me Back. Please don't follow me and give others the wrong impression.
My Twitter Formula
My Twitter Formula is Twitter Satisfaction = Following smart folks to learn – Unfollowing low-value twitts + looking at who’s following who to Discover.
TS=FUD (not to be confused with Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) – jmacofearth http://bit.ly/self-defining
Check out the Social Media for Business page and these other posts about learning social media:
- SEO: You Have to Know Your Search Engine to Understand How to Optimize – Content Marketing
- Facebook's Failure as a Social Network: We're Not Connecting We're Lurking and Playing By Ourselves
- Two Critical Facebook for Business Questions: What's Your facebook Commerce IQ?
- WordPress Tracking Alternatives to Google Analytics
- Single-Shot Social Media Strategy: LinkedIn (1-slide / 15-seconds)
- Social Media ROI Demands for 2012: Must See Charts for Marketing
- Going for the One on Google Search is Just a "Phrase Match" Away (Own It!)
- How to Get Useful Business Information Out of Twitter: Hashtags for Social Media Research