10 Ways You’re Using Twitter Wrong (And Ways to Get Reported as Spam)

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There are a few right ways to do social media but there are SO MANY wrong ways! People think just because they signed up for Twitter or Facebook, they get it. NAWL! Nope. Nay. The thing I love about social media is the fact that you can connect with everyone in a short amount of time. Strangers and friends alike are one tweet and status away.

Twitter can be awesome but it can also be terrible. Try to avoid those people who are doing Twitter wrong and try not to be one of them either. I’m sure you just asked “How can you do Twitter wrong?” GLAD YOU DIDN’T ASK! I’ma tell you anyway.

10-Ways-Twitter-Wrong

10 Ways You’re Doing Twitter Wrong

1. You follow everyone who follows you.

If you automatically follow everyone who follows you, it means you’re missing the point of Twitter. If Twitter was all about reciprocity, then it’d be called “Friending” and we call that Facebook. You do not have to follow everyone who follows you, because let’s face it, everyone isn’t interesting enough. And if you have 500 followers and are following 500, it tells me YOU aren’t interesting.

dumbledore welp gif

Your entire Twitter experience depends on who you’re following. If you find it boring, it’s because the people you follow are. If you’re involved in too much drama on Twitter, then unfollow the dramatic fools. You have control of your Twitter experience most of the time, so stop feeling obligated to follow folks back. This brings me to the next point.

2. You are Team FollowBack. 

No damb country, municipality or zip code for Team Followback. These are the people who tweet others with “follow me and I’ll follow you back.” And they actually use the the hashtag #FollowBack and other related ones. I’m not sure how these online roaches started but they’re the boils on our collective digital yanshes.

If you are spending your time tweeting people to follow you and you’ll follow them back, I imagine you’ve also been catfished before. If you ever send me (or others) this request, not only will you NOT get followed, but you’ll be reported as Tyrese’s spell check (aka spam). And it seems that everyone who uses #TeamFollowback on their bio is also an annoying stan of some celebrity.

Mean Girls Cant Sit With Us gif

3. Retweeting (RTing) 20 compliments in a row.

It’s always great when folks show love on Twitter. No one tires of receiving compliments, and anyone who says they do is a liar or not a big enough narcissist. BUT when folks send you great and kind words, please do not retweet every single last one. At that point, you’re spamming your own timeline. We get it. People love you. Do you really have to RT TWENTY compliments in a row? It just reeks of “LOOK!!! PEOPLE LOVE ME!!! BELIEVE THEM THAT I’M AWESOME!”

The people who are seeing these tweets are mostly your followers, and the fact that they’re following you means they like something about you, so chill. I’m not saying RTing compliments is bad. Nay. I RT some of the ones I get BUT like everything else, moderation is key. 20 of my last tweets being compliments I’ve RTed is eSelf-ass kissage.

Tina Fey Eye Roll gif

Also related: please don’t spend your ENTIRE birthday RTing folks happy birthday greetings. I end up having to mute some people on the anniversary of their welcome to the world because they will literally spend 12 hours tweeting:

THANKS! RT @someone HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 

THANKS! RT @thatperson HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 

THANKS! RT @somedude HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 

THANKS! RT @whoisthis HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 

But… WHY? Find another way to show appreciation.

4. RTing every #FF list you’re on.

#FF stands for “Follow Friday” and it is a tradition of recommending who your followers should also be following on Fridays. It started as a valuable way to introduce people to other great folks but it descended into an annoying ritual as people overused it (as usual). #FF lists look like this, typically:

Follow Friday2

Now imagine if everyone on this listed retweeted it. It means I’ll get this tweet in my mentions 9 other times. Not only is that annoying but it’s pointless. RTing #FF lists you’re on is like telling someone who already has your number to save your number again. Or telling your boss to hire you even though you already work there. FAH WUT?!?

5. You have an egg as your profile picture.

When you create your Twitter account, the first thing you should do is put up a picture of some sort, even if it’s not of you. If you leave the profile picture off, then all people see when you tweet is the default egg. And that lets people know you’re spam! You don’t want that.

6. You tweet your music/book/blog link to random people.

When you send a link of your work to people randomly and unsolicited, you’re definitely spamming them. If the first tweet you’ve ever sent someone is a link to your work and it has NOTHING to do with them and it was unsolicited, you are spamming. That’s like ultra spam. Like Super spam. Like giant spam. And nobody is here for that.

And the aspiring rappers and musicians are the worst with this. Not a single day goes by where I don’t receive a link of someone’s mixtape on Twitter. Not ONE day.

MusicPromoFAIL

NAWL!

Not only will I NOT go listen to your new single, but I will report you as spam. Because I’m not an A&R and I am not here for your MySpace mixtape. Ugh. Go away.

Especially if the first thing you’re ever tweeting to someone (EVER. EVER) is a link of your work that has nothing to do with them. Sending your music link unsolicited to someone is like yelling into a crowded room “LISTEN TO MY MUSIC.” They won’t listen and neither will I.

7. Your last 10+ tweets are the same tweet sent to different people.

Related to the above but still different is the tweet everyone at once phenomenon. It’s where people send the same exact tweet to multiple people. It’s a classic copy, paste and tweet over and over job. And it’s truly spamming.

Tweet spamming

FAIL

Again with the rappers. But they aren’t the only ones who do this. A bunch of bloggers do it too. In fact, anyone who is looking to promote something on Twitter does this. Team Followback is KNOWN for this.

I repeat: If your timeline’s last 10 or more tweets is the same tweet sent to different people, you are spamming. STOP IT.

8. You have your own hashtag on DumbestTweets.com.

If you’ve ended up on Dumbest Tweets more than 3 times, odds are you tweet like one of the children left behind. Therefore, I have no room for you in my timeline. Tweeting like you went to the School of Illiterate People Who Can’t Write Good is a surefire way to make sure that you don’t get followed. I’d rather not see someone butchering the English language all up and down my twittersphere.

Stupid People gif

Use spellcheck, and when not sure, use Google. God invented it to help us all out when we see the red squiggly line.

9. You use Twitlonger or any other tweet extender.

Twitlonger is a tool that allows your tweets to be more than 140 characters by placing a link at the end of tweets that takes you to the rest. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Tweets are supposed to be 140 characters, and no more. Why can’t folks just learn to be concise, instead of cheating their way through it? Honestly, one of the greatest gifts Twitter has given me is the ability to express myself better in short spurts.

Lucille Bluthe gif

If most of your tweets are longer than 140 characters and I have to click a link at the end to read the rest of what you’re saying (and it’s not a link to a blogpost), I will not click.

Folks need to learn to rein in their verbosity or go on Facebook or just break up one long tweet into two coherent ones.

10. You’re not interesting or informative or funny or useful.

Everyone should be at least one of these things on Twitter (and in life, actually). If you’re neither, then you aren’t adding much value to folks’ eLives. Listen. If you’re just on Twitter because you wanna type out words and just let stuff out but really REALLY don’t care if anyone is listening, then sure go ahead. Tweet stuff like “I just went to the store.” “Sandwiches are delicious.” “Hi.” ALL THE TIME.

Bored boring gif

Will anyone wanna follow you if that’s all you tweet (and you’re not famous)? Umm… some people but not many. I’m not saying every one of your tweets needs to be life-changing and awesome but if as a WHOLE, they’re as interesting as watching grass grow in a drought, then you’re doing Twitter wrong.

So, dear people of Twitter. I want you to stop doing some of these things because I’m sick of reporting your bad behavior as spam. Can we agree? Yes. Thank you.

Divide networking on social networks into 4 increments: 25% bragging, 25% engaging, 25% profit, 25% resource. Or something. Get some online balance and quit doing Twitter wrong!

The right ways to tweet are: Be human. Be humble. Be honest. Be interesting. Do not do or say what you won’t in a crowded room on Twitter. The end.

So what is your biggest Twitter pet peeve and have you ever blocked anyone for these offenses?

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  • tammy

    Luvvie, I was doing so well until I got to #10…I am ashamed to admit that I am guilty of that (hangs head in shame).
    I will check myself in future

    • luvvie

      Better late than never, Tammy! 🙂

  • Erin

    I don’t even use Twitter that often so I’m sure I do it wrong. But I have a question about #4. If everyone you tagged (tweeted? posted? I don’t even know the lingo) retweeted your list, wouldn’t all of their followers see your recommendations too? Kinda like “Look…Luvvie said follow me and all of these folks too!” Maybe annoying to you, but I don’t see how it’s pointless. Unless I don’t understand how it works (which is TOTALLY possible).

    • luvvie

      All their followers don’t see your recommendations because the only way they can see what you’ve tweeted is if they’re already following you OR if someone on the list RTs it. But for you to RT a list you’re on is pretty much preaching to the choir. Get it?

  • Caroline

    Hmpf! I’m on Twitter to read what other ppl are writing, talking about. I almost never tweet and don’t care that I don’t have followers. So yea…I’m #10. Whatev. #lurkerandproudofit

    • luvvie

      That’s cool. At least you know.

  • Whew! No. 10 is where I had to hang my head so low. I’m guilty of “the weather is so nice” or “I need to get home and cook” tweet. I really don’t have to tweet EVERYTHING that’s on my mind. Some things is just for me and the Lord to hear, lol. Another pet peeve of mines: celebrities who search their names on Twitter. If I wanted to @ you, I would’ve. That’s how Stacey Dash and Benzino found me…TWICE! Another pet peeve is kinda tied into no. 6. Anytime I was retweeted by a blogger or a radio personality, I had rappers in my mentions pushing Soundclouds like I work for a label. Like sir, I can’t further your career.

    • luvvie

      Celebrities set themselves up for failure if they search for themselves that way. They should get their teams to do it, not them personally. They need to be able to separate themselves from what’s being said on Twitter or they’d drive themselves crazy.

  • max

    Love this post – I’d like to send it to every single one of my clients right now since no one does #wrongTwitter like a brand.
    Interesting though that you say following everyone back is doing Twitter wrong. I think that’s probably true for a “regular” person, but for a brand or a “personality” I have always preached the opposite – you’re on social to make a connection with consumers and you can’t connect if you only want to talk to them but not hear what they’re saying back.

    • luvvie

      I don’t think anyone should automatically follow folks JUST because that person is following them. Brand or person. Because it’s easy to get bogged down in the noise online that way. You can still listen and have great conversation with others even if you don’t follow them. So yes, I agree with using it to connect but it shouldn’t be forced.

  • Brittney

    It really scuffs my pumps when people ask me questions about something I tweeted about THIRTEEN HOURS AGO. Twitter moves quickly. If you missed it, you missed it. Hit “refresh” and comment on fresh topics.

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  • Ekk, gotta raise my hand. I used to do the #FF retweets, but I’m happy to say mid 2012 I let it go. Great tips!

  • People retweeting compliments is a huge pet peeve of mine. Okay, I get it — you’re awesome now let’s move on. Celebrities are some of the worst offenders of that one. Team Followback gets no love here either, and I generally just ignore them. I have not reported anyone….yet. I have one Twitter account for shenanigans and another one for professional purposes. If I get followers then great, by I am mainly just trying to remain connected.

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  • zenzibell

    Fortunately, I don’t do any of those things, but I also struggle to be interesting, so I end up RT’ing most of the time. Not gonna give up, though.

  • howwedoit

    Hilarious! I don’t do any of these things actually., suprised not on the list. lol People take Twitter way too seriously however..especially those who are covetous of their mentions and whom actually tries to engage with them I find. Great Article!

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