I’ve been asked by the lovely folks here at B Squared Media to take up part three in the “Flagrant Fouls” series. It’s time to talk about my least favorite part of my most favorite social media channel, Twitter.
While Twitter doesn’t have a set ToS list as complex as Facebook’s it does have its own set of rules and guidelines. It also has its own set of etiquette among users.
Twitter is well known as the fastest moving social media channel so it’s only fair to compare it to the “fastest game on grass” . Someone hand me a hurley and lets hit around on some of those bad habits.
Four Step Rule – Filling the Stream
In hurling, you can’t take too many steps with the ball in your hand. In a way, that’s like Twitter. You can’t just put out everything you want to tweet all at once. The act of cluttering up a Twitter stream with multiple posts is also called “Firehosing.” You do not want to hijack peoples feeds like this. Spread out your tweets and share them throughout the day, give people a little time to breathe.
Line Out – Cross Posting From Facebook
Twitter and Facebook both have options that make it relativity easy to automatically post from one site to the other, social dashboards make it even easier. Just because it is easy, does not mean it is something that is good to do. Picture your Tweet stream – have you ever seen a tweet that tells you to “like” something, or a post title with no link? Those are both Facebook posts that have been auto shared on Twitter.
Stay inside the lines of the channel you are using. Think of your followers first. Does sharing like that make their experience better? No. It is stream clutter that is annoying and often frustrating. Don’t make them have to search out where to find that great post you wanted them to share. (Odds are most people won’t even bother.)
Aggressive Foul – ME ME ME
BUY THIS! HIRE ME! HERE IS WHY I AM AWESOME! HERE IS THIS THING I DID!
You hear the “Twitter is like a party” example a lot, but there is a reason for that. It really is. It is a real time social environment. You don’t want to be ‘that guy’. You know the one. The one who walks up to you at a party and shakes your hand, stuffing his business card in your hand while giving you a sales pitch. It’s like a social body check.
By all means, talk about yourself and your business, but scatter it in throughout your other posts. Share information related to your business, share posts by other people, retweet and have conversations with people. If you are aggressive and salesy, people will tune you out.
Dissent Foul – Auto DMS
Oh the auto DM (direct message). As we say in the Social Solutions Collective “So not social!” I sound like a broken record because I say it so often but any kind of automation needs to be avoided. You can almost see them coming. You click the button to follow someone and almost before you can blink, you have a new notification. When you go to check it you see something like
HI! Thanks for the follow! Let’s connect at all these other places! link link link
Hold on cowboy – we’ve only just met! Twitter is a great place to get to know people and make new connections before you dive deeper into the personal connections with people. To me, an auto DM is just another form of SPAM. To many, an auto DM is a cue to instantly unfollow.
Keeping these rules of fair play in mind will help you deliver the perfect social strike with Twitter.
What behaviors do you see on Twitter that make you throw your hurley?
*Seriously? As I am writing this post, I log into Twitter and this is the first thing I see! Whoa!