How to Annoy Your Followers on Twitter
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How to Annoy Your Followers on Twitter

I'm no psychic, but my prediction for 2009 is that Twitter is going to blow up like Facebook did a few years back. The thing about Facebook that was different from socialising online was that you used it to connect with people you had already met before, instead of making new connections. Twitter steers back away from that. With a minimal investment of 140 characters and the ability to unfollow at the click of a button, users are less wary of networking with strangers online than with Facebook, where friending someone opens your whole life up to their scrutiny.

Since it's just as easy to follow as unfollow, it stands to reason there are a few courtesies you may want to consider in your Twitter use. In other words, things to avoid so you don't annoy the heck out of your followers.

  1. Would you stand on a chair in the middle of a crowded party yelling out information about yourself, whether anyone is listening or not? I hope not. So don't do it on Twitter. If all of your tweets consist of directing people to your web page, trying to sell a product, or trying to get more followers, your followers are going to drop you like a hot potato. You don't add value. You're just the crazy fool yelling nonsensically in the middle of a room.
  2. Don't use auto responders. You can set it up so that anyone who follows you can receive a generic direct message, usually along the lines of "Thanks for the follow, look forward to your tweets, visit my site blah-blah-blah." I'm not interested in receiving some canned message where the other person is pretending to be interested in me. Go the extra mile and introduce yourself to the person, specify why you're following them.
  3. Don't collect followers like they're stamps. Or beanie babies. Or hockey cards. I don't know what you collect - that's your business. All I know is that people should be treated as individuals, not as a faceless mass to insincerely market to. Whenever I see a tweet that says "100 more to go until I have 5000 followers! Help me out!" I immediately unfollow that person. They have just shown me that what I'm about doesn't matter to them. I'm just one number among a larger number.
  4. Avoid too much information. Nobody cares that you have to pee, or that your legs need to be shaved. Avoid too much information especially if you're using Twitter to represent your business, or yourself as a professional. Of course, feel free to inject some of your personality into your Twitter persona, but know where the line is and respect it.
  5. Try to keep tweets with links in them short enough so that people can re-tweet. I don't know if this is a make or break, follow or unfollow type situation, but it does help people out. It helps you too, giving you more exposure because of the ease people can share the information you share, whether that's a Factoid, your latest blog post, or a new wordpress theme you've freshly created.
  6. Do not consistently ignore your followers. If they @ or DM you, try your best to respond. Be present, help where you can, answer questions and offer feedback. This, once again, comes down to avoiding me-me-me syndrome. You only ever get what you put into something - so help people out, and karma will get you on the way back.

This list is a start for etiquette, but there are many other things to be mindful of when networking online. Please feel free to share your feelings on the subject in the comments section.

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Comments (2)
Momentum of the Muse | Thursday, Come Sooner!

[...] I’ve rambled on about twitter enough. More than enough. And then some. With a healthy dose of a bit [...]

A very useful article!! I learned a lot from this informative article. Please have a look on my article " How to Increase Twitter Followers".