In the last week, a company (that will remain unnamed) has done their darnedest to harang me about their services. They’ve called various numbers at my company, emailed half a dozen times to various addresses, and generally confused everyone in our customer service department by insisting how important it is that they talk to me. They do this every few months and I always tell them that I’m not interested. This time I wrote them an email asking them to never contact me or my company again. The funny thing is, I actually like the company. I just don’t like their inconsiderate marketing methods–because it’s super annoying.
The hard part about NOT being annoying is that we don’t always realize that we’re being annoying in the first place. This is even more true on Twitter–where everything we say and do is public. Luckily, if you follow some simple Twitter etiquette, you’ll make more friends and followers than enemies while using Twitter.
1) TYPING IN ALL CAPS
STOPPIT! We know you’re excited. We can read your tweets from space. Typing in all caps is the digital equivalent of shouting. Have you ever been around someone who always shouts everything. ITS SUPER ANNOYING! Shouting never solved anything. Lay off the caps-lock and focus on being more interesting instead of more insistent.
2) We Know How You Feel, We Just Don’t Care
I know. That’s harsh. But in a lot of cases it’s true. Marketing is not a good career choice for people with rejection issues. If you want to grow a healthy roster of Twitter friends, you want to share things that offer value to other people. Don’t use Twitter for sympathy. Use it to help/inspire/teach others and they will reward you with follows and engagement.
3) Don’t Repeat Your Tweets Too Often
Repeat offenders (folks who simply repeat the same tweet over and over and over again–in case someone missed it since they posted it 36 seconds ago) don’t really help themselves. Playing the same song over and over at a gig won’t make anyone like it any more, and tweeting the same message repeatedly won’t help either. Never tweet the same tweet back-to-back. I’ve seen Twitter users post the same thing 20 times in an hour. This is super annoying It’s OK to repeat a tweet, but be mindful of how often you do it and make sure it’s truly adding value for your audience.
4) Think of That Yourself, Didja?
Some Tweeters don’t really know what to say, and as a result, their twitter feeds consist of nothing but ReTweets of other users’ more interesting, original content. That’s all well and good if the RT is actually relevant, but should only be used as a side dish to the main entree of your own thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Edit your ReTweets and add a little but of your own commentary. This is a great tactic for making friends on Twitter when used sparingly, but should never be the main thrust of your feed. It makes you nothing but a conduit. You want to be a destination.
5) Be Wary of Third Party Tweets
No one cares that you just scored “20 thousand points on Mobster Vampire Squad.” or that you just “Registered for Tide’s Clean Clothes Sweeps.” If you allow games or services to access to your feed and tweet on your behalf–you’ll become very annoying very fast. These kinds of tweets make you seem like a spammer and you will lose followers.
6) Salsey Auto reply
So, I followed you. You seemed interesting. And within 12 seconds, I have an annoying sales-pitch Direct Message in my inbox. “Thanks for following. Save 20% on your next order.” If you’re going to suck up, at least take a second to make it personal. Look at my account. Go to my website. Find something relevant to say to engage me as a human being.
As with any kind of networking, this stuff takes some finesse. Be interesting, be relevant, be patient, be genuine, be authentic, be yourself. Unless you’re annoying. And then don’t be. ;)