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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?