Sunday, March 18, 2012

Top Ten Ways to Alienate Twitter Followers

#10- Tweet nothing but self promotion. Tweet out links to your blog, your book, your Etsy store and nothing else, ever. Make sure you re-tweet whenever anybody else links to your blog, your book, your Etsy store. (Thanks, @DebbieCranberryFries)

#9- Don't respond to @ mentions. Even if you ask a question of the twitterverse, and people respond to your question, do not respond to them. It makes them think that you "value" them.

#8- Use Friday as the day to @mention as many people as possible. #FF is just a way to say "Hey, you're following me. Here's a link." In order for this to really work, you need to mention at least ten people in every tweet, and tweet a new list every thirty seconds or so. This way you can reach maximum spam effect. 
#7- Be passive aggressive. Twitter is the new Facebook. It got "annoying" to put your business out there on Facebook, so do it on Twitter instead. This is particularly awesome because most passive-aggressive rants require far more than 140 characters, so you'll have to break it up into multiple tweets. But since you will write it in order, and everyone's timeline shows the most recent tweets first, they will read everything in reverse order, starting with the last thing you said! (thanks a lot, @KimbaMcG)

#6- Be a bot. (on a completely serious note, does anybody understand how bots have followers? or is this a mystery only confounding me and @sweeneysays?)

#5- Type lik dis 2 sav space. U no its NBD. U R 2 Cool 2 wrry bout vwls n stuf. 

#4- Use TruTwit Validation Services. Hi, there, person I don't know. I want to confirm you are not a bot, so I will use a bot to confirm this. Please enter in a code so that you can be deemed worthy of reading my passive-aggressive and/or self-promoting tweets.

#3- Use an automated Direct Message Service. This way, everyone who follows you will get a beautiful, generic message thanking them for following (they are really doing you a great service!) and wishing them a great day. It is a touching way to show all 313,596 followers that you really care. BONUS: Use automated DMs to tweet out self-promotional links to new followers as soon as they sign up. 

#2-  Beg for attention. "Plz like my FB page" and "Plz RT"* and "Plz comment on my blog" tweets are totally legit. Nobody gets annoyed. It's not spammy. And it's completely different from the self-promotional stuff. 

*I want to put in a note on the "Please Re-Tweet"/"Plz RT" notes: there are times you are genuinely trying to either a) disseminate important information or b) get an answer to a question and re-tweets will help you accomplish your goal. When this is done NOT in conjunction with self-promotions and other behaviors on this list, it is NOT alienating at all. So... do it only if you want people to like you. Like that matters. 

And, the #1 way to alienate people on twitter is...

You tell me. What are the most annoying things that people do on Twitter?


  1. The one that really annoys me is when people tweet celebrities asking for a RT for their birthday. I feel sorry for the celebrities who have to put up with that crap, but also sorry for me when said celebrities DO RT it, because it forces me to read it. UGH. The endless list of #FF irritates me to no end too. Oh, the other one that pisses me off is when people RT every #FF they've been listed in. I DON'T CARE HOW AWESOME OTHER PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE.

    I followed my local library on Twitter recently, and they have the auto DM thing set up. Except it just made me laugh hysterically, because the DM included the phrase "Insert URL here". FAIL.

  2. HAHAHAHAHA!!!! That's great! Ah, you know it's an old person who runs the library twitter, so I probably shouldn't laugh... but I am anyway.

    And the re-tweet of the FF lists is the quickest way to get me to unfollow somebody.

  3. Love it, Gina. I'm going to bookmark this. I never got the whole FF thing. But there's a lot about twitter I don't really get.

  4. I don't even know what most of that means...and I am kind of happy I don't! :)

  5. The thing I HATE- and this happens a lot for the 500 tennis-related accounts I follow- is when some idiot @s a tennis player and says, 'RT for your fans in _____ country'... and they do. GAH.

    I also detest when celebs/opinion makers (see: govt heads etc) RT something when they're tagged- don't check it or anything. EVERYONE gets an RT!

  6. You pretty much covered what I think. :) Great job. Fun post.

  7. Auto DMs are probably the single most annoying thing in the Twitter verse and I will always unfollow over that.


  8. All of this!!!! But in relation to the self-promoting stuff, the thing that really annoys me is making your blog send an automatic twitter promo for a random post every fifteen minutes or so, particularly when you only have enough posts on your blog to last a day or two before they start repeating...

  9. Oh Hai evry1! Chk out mi blog if you like me ul clck on mi link. Plz comment i luv comments

    As you can see, most of these also apply to blog comments :P Awesome post, Gina and I'm glad I could help with #7!


  10. I will admit, I thought you were hacked or something for a second... though I don't know why somebody would hack your Disqus profile to make spammy comments for you... hmmm.

    Anyway. YES. This applies to comments, too.

  11. Oy. I didn't even know you could do that.

  12. I say this: Use it in whatever way feels natural or easy. If you have a "Twitter Plan"... you're doing it wrong.

  13. Blerg. This is part of why I suspect that most of those "verified" accounts are actually run by a publicist or agent or something. I doubt these celebrities actually care about their fans' birthdays.