Twitter has had its ups and downs. Many people have called for the death of Twitter. I haven't been exactly too enthusiastic about it either for the past couple of years. It's noisy, it's annoying, it's dumb.
But I see a resurge on Twitter and I see some good things that are going on. But I'm also deeply concerned about its apparent censorship and favoritism displayed over the past year and more so in the past few weeks.
If you haven't kept up with these developments, apparently, Twitter has been revoking the verified status from many accounts. It appears that Twitter is reviewing its verification program and will probably be removing the verification status from many more accounts.
It seems that some accounts claim that they've been unfairly targeted and singled out for suspensions and even permanent bans as a result of this "review", because of opposing viewpoints or what they call "wrong-think" like in George Orwell's 1984 novel.
Twitter never comments on specific cases, but usually points questions and requests for comments to their Terms of Service document which like most T.O.S. documents is vague and even ambiguous; this allows for conspiracy theories, and alternate possibilities to be considered plausible by some.
Many argue, in contrast, that other accounts that are more in line with Twitter's political bias are allowed to remain active and verified despite exhibiting similar behavior as that displayed by the accounts that have been reprimanded arguably because of holding the wrong set of ideas or opinion.
You can't really change any of that... but this is what you can do.
And at the end of the day, you can't do much about Twitter's decisions anyway. But you know what you can do, is be a good person, be a decent individual and stop doing these three things on Twitter.
[clickToTweet tweet="But you know what you can do, is be a good person, be a decent individual and stop doing these three things on Twitter." quote="But you know what you can do, is be a good person, be a decent individual and stop doing these three things on Twitter."]
Trust me, they make you look like an amateur and it's time somebody tells it to you straight. I'm going to make this blog post mandatory reading for all my would-be customers and existing customers.
So without further ado, stop doing these things that make you a jerk on Twitter:
#1 Sending Automatic DMs
This is one of the worse things to have ever been turned into a thing on Twitter. If you follow me on Twitter, you surely have seen my top-most pinned tweet.
I've had it on for most of the year and it gets a good reaction.
Exactly how I feel after reading your ridiculous auto dm when I follow you. pic.twitter.com/FuHAgKjAeK
— Oscar Gonzalez (@notagrouch) February 4, 2017
Nobody cares about your life's story in your auto dm. Nobody clicks on the links you send in there. Essentially, if you use Auto DMs when someone follows you, you're a jerk. You're forcing us to look at some crappy message and usually, you haven't even taken the time to look at our account let alone follow us for a while so we can actually get to know each other.
I'll take that back. I'm sorry, I give you the benefit of the doubt, maybe you didn't know prior to reading this blog post. Ok, but now you know so if you're still using Auto DMs, now, you're a jerk. Ok, I'll grant you a grace period, you can take a few minutes and then go turn off those automatic DMs.
Sending auto dms on Twitter is like throwing garbage out the window as you drive down the street, or like that crappy junk mail you still get delivered to your home address. Do the senders don't know that those pieces of mail survive only the walk to the nearest trash bin?
In Twitter, it's digital littering, you're doing nothing but creating digital garbage.
Please, don't. Just don't.
If you don't know how you're sending automatic direct messages because you set them up a long time ago and don't remember how, just click here to go to your Twitter apps permission page and click on "revoke access" next to all the apps listed there that you don't recognize.
This will reset your Twitter account's permissions and prevent 3rd party apps from sending those automatic junk messages.
#2 Sending Thank you for nothing messages.
Yes, it is absolutely true that you should acknowledge your new followers and engage with them. You should also engage with your existing followers and build connections with them. This is the reason we call Twitter a social network.
But don't confuse digital garbage for gratitude.
When it comes to Twitter, stop the automatic @ mentions messages with generic, repetitive and boring messages. Just like auto DMs, they're digital garbage.
If auto DMs are like mailbox flyers that are sent to you via postal service, then thanks-for-nothing tweets are the maybe-more-annoying door and car flyers you find after you come home or back to your car in the parking lot. More garbage and you're forced to look at it. And if you're sending these automatically, yep, you're a jerk.
These noise maker tweets sound a bit like this:
Thanks to my top #twitterfam followers (or some hashtag that sounds like a community exists): @mention1 @mention2 @mention3 @mention4 #famlov https://somefreejunk.net.
You don't need to thank everyone that follows you as if they just did you a favor. That's what people do on Twitter they follow each other. Instead, take it a step further and learn something about the person and comment on that. "Thank you for following me" messages are so 2008, and digital junk.
Generally, Twitter users fall prey to become these apps' advertising parrot-heads and use them with the promise of gaining a following or getting more "social mentions" which can be valued by some social influence measuring tools --also useless, but I digress.
At the end of the day, these tools primary purpose seems to be to generate digital garbage.
Instead, spend 15 - 20 minutes each day doing what I do to remain personal, and engaged with people on Twitter. It makes Twitter relevant again, believe it or not, there is a growing active user base on Twitter.
I explain how I engage with new users next.
What should you do instead?
From personal experience, thanks to Rewst.com and a dedicated 15 to 30-minute planned daily activity on Twitter, I've been averaging about 40 new followers each day. Thank you and welcome, all of you!
But to show gratitude, I take the time to check out each new follower and either like a few of their latest interesting tweets or maybe I'll follow them back. By the way, you don't have to use Rewst.com, it just makes things easier.
Another thing I do to show appreciation and acknowledgment to new followers is to retweet one or two of their most recent interesting tweets. I use Buffer to spread the tweets over a few hours or a few days.
Even doing an @ mention responding to a specific tweet they posted recently, or a compliment or positive feedback about their profile may go a long way.
These actions show you are there, and you're active and not just a twitter-bot pushing a message out. Taking the time to acknowledge your new followers shows gratitude.
Seriously, the other automatic, canned junk is bad. Forget it. Be real, be genuine and be there, even if it's just a couple times each day. Automatic "thank you @mentions" Just like I advise you for Twitter auto DMs... Just don't.
#3 Tweet Only your products
I'm a big proponent of automation. But you should work on intelligent automation. Once you get a work-flow going where you can read and share interesting articles on Twitter easily and timely, you can start sharing content that your followers may be interested in without any additional effort.
This video shows you how you can schedule all your tweets easily.
You can use something like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule tons of tweets in advance. But just be careful with this convenience.
Don't fall for the temptation to tween only for your products or services. You should have a mix of content.
How much is too much self-promotion?
Advice tends to suggest that we should be following a rough 80/20 split where you share industry news, relevant events information, quotes by captains of industry, interesting reports, case studies and news for about 80 percent of the time, and you share your own content the remaining 20 percent of the time.
If you are on Twitter and spend 15 to 30 minutes each day tweeting and engaging, then you'll find that you can be tweeting around 20 times organically.
Add to that count, 10 or so tweets you can pre-schedule as you read the type of content I suggest you share above. You could easily be tweeting anywhere from 30 - 40 tweets each day effortlessly. And that still doesn't count your own content.
Some people claim that if you were to just tweet your own content, you would lose followers and they'd feel like enough is enough.
But, I think if you're tweeting 40 or more times each day like I describe above, it's a fair ratio if you want to insert your own tweets 10 times a day. Mix them around in Buffer and continue to engage.
If you're trying to keep track of growth, you can also use Rewst.com to keep track of your growth. You could also tabulate the data yourself using Google Sheets, and I think Twittercounter.com will also help you track following and followers.
The big asterisk disclaimer on there is that my opinion is you should be engaging and sharing other content too to balance out your own content and to understand what others are sharing around your own topics of interest.
This means you could schedule around 8 to 10 tweets every day to your top 100 blog posts and go through them every 10 days or so. This will help you get a good amount of exposure and keep your followers looking at your content.
Neil Patel suggests you share at least 10 of your articles each day and look at the results based on the data --see video below: How to Get More Twitter Traffic (fast).
I tend to follow his advice and I usually share about 8 or 10 tweets of my own content and the rest are curated tweets.
I follow a ratio of roughly 50/50, and I think as long as the content is interesting, useful and valuable, even following Neil Patel's advice and only sharing 10 articles for your own blog may be fine.
After all if your own blog post isn't worth sharing, why did you write it at all right? And if it's worth sharing, why not share it?
These three things you need to stop doing on Twitter may seem a bit like rants, but based on my personal experience and in that experience of most of my clients, these are some of the biggest things that annoy other Twitter users and generally just contributes to a bad overall experience.
I'm not a big fan of telling you how to use any of the social networks. You should do what works for you. But if you insist on doing these things I listed, you have to wonder if annoying a large part of potential new followers is something that works for you.
Full automated Twitter accounts exist, and some of them have tons of followers, but they tend to be single-purpose announcement type of accounts. You can assume that all the unsolicited advice I provided here is meant for accounts that represent a person or a brand and want to actively grow and generate more engagement and traffic to their blogs.