I’m finding lately that people can’t get me to stop talking about Twitter. Even when I was supposed to speak at the Online Marketing for Women Entrepreneurs Conference about blogging a few weeks ago, I had to take 3 minutes to talk about the power of Twitter.
I realize a lot of people don’t get Twitter. I was there once too. It just seemed like a big time suck that would distract me from working. I started to pay attention when Laura Fitton (@pistachio) told me that Twitter was one of the top referrers of traffic to her site (what?!). Then Darren Rowse did a great blog post on it this spring, and I decided to jump in.
I’ve never looked back – it’s now become one of THE most important marketing tools we’re using on Sparkplugging – and at the same time, the actual ‘self-promotional’ tweets that our writers and I put out are probably less than 5% of our total messages.
One of the biggest challenges with Twitter is the level of usability it offers – which isn’t much. Gazillions of third-party tools are popping up as an answer to the challenges of managing followers, automating account maintenance, and even ranking users. The other night I felt very behind on following the people who are following me, so I carved out some time with MyTweeple to get caught up.
I probably added about 700+ new people to follow – and it was really interesting to go back to my email inbox and see my Twitter emails folder stuffed with Direct Messages (DMs) from these people thanking me for following them. But what was really interesting was to see who seemed to “get” Twitter – and who I went out and immediately unfollowed.
It got me thinking about some of the other annoyances I’ve had on Twitter. Really – some people just don’t get it. Now, I’m not one to tell anyone how to use a social media tool – in fact, I really like some of the people doing some of these annoying things. I’m just saying that I think they are extremely annoying – and maybe *other* people using Twitter aren’t so forgiving as I am.
DM People Who Just Start Following You With an Advertisement for Your Company
I can’t tell you how many messages I got from people after my following binge that said something like “Thanks for following me back! Want to make lots of money? Let me show you how http://spammy-scammy-stuff.com”.
SERIOUSLY? Is that the very first thing that comes out of your mouth at conferences or networking events? No? Then why the HECK would you do that on Twitter?!
DM People you Hardly Know With Utterz Invitations
Good grief – if I hardly know you, don’t clutter up my already unmanageable inbox with another social network invitation. And if I wanted to join you on Utterz, I would already be there with you. I delete these invitations from friends most of the time – getting them from you when I hardly know you irritates the heck out of me. Yes, I have unfollowed some of you who have done this.
People who Get Pissy When You do ANY Self-Promotion at All
Like I said – I would be surprised if even 5% of our combined Sparkplugging writer tweets are blatantly self-promotional. I would bet it is even less. Because of that, most people are really cool and don’t care about a message here and there that let’s people know what’s new at our site or with our authors. But I have at least one time had someone say that one of our conversations was ‘irrelevant’ to him and to knock it off. To which I say: YOU ARE FREE TO UNFOLLOW (like I just did to you).
People Who Just Tweet Out but Don’t Respond to Others
This annoyance is definitely a very fine line – I really don’t care if this is how you want to use Twitter – this is a free country (and a free internet). And there are some people who I still follow who do this – but that’s because their tweets are either still valuable or interesting. I have to REALLY like you to follow you when you aren’t willing to engage in the conversation – but for the most part, it comes off as elitist to me and I don’t have time for that.
Using Multiple Accounts and Retweeting Yourself
Lots of people have personal and professional accounts to help put a boundary between promotion and conversation. But I’ve seen some people have multiple accounts and literally talk to themselves or retweet themselves repeatedly because they seem desperate to get the word out. Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of separating personal and professional? And don’t you think they look a little like they have multiple personality disorder? ICK. I want to wipe this off of my skin when I see it.