Three things not to do on Twitter

This is an actual, genuine, bona fide post by me! I know, right?! After all the guest posts I guess you thought I’d abandoned you. I’m drafting this in a haze of aching limbs and dust clouds, but we’ve done a major amount of packing and cleaning and I’m taking a break.

And sitting. Love the sitting.

Anyway, here are three things I’ve noticed lately on Twitter that bug me. Don’t do them, mkay?

Don’t do it, or the bird gets it.

1.       Only tweeting about your product

If someone follows me, I always have a look at their tweets. If all I see are links to or promos about whatever product they are selling (usually a book, because that’s the Twitter circle I move in), I don’t follow back.

I’m not saying don’t promote your stuff. But try and limit yourself to a couple of tweets a day: once in the morning and once in the evening. That way you catch folks in different timezones without being obnoxious. And try and mix up the tweets you use to do any promoting; if I’m on at the same time every day and see the same tweet from you at the same time, I’m going to notice. Scheduling is a fantastic tool (I use it all the time) but try not to be too obvious about it!

Talk to people. Try and keep a healthy ratio of chatting and useful links to your promo stuff: I’ve seen it suggested that you aim for five other tweets to every one promo tweet.

The trick is to make people think you’re people too. Because people want to follow people. 😉

2.       Complaining when people don’t reciprocate the Twitter love

There are a bunch of different weekly hashtags that people use to do shout outs to their followers or to people they think others should follow. For example, on Wednesday there’s #WW (WritersWednesday) and on Friday there’s #FF (FollowFriday).

The other day I got offended on others’ behalf when I saw someone complaining a person they’d done a #FF shout out for had gone for “lesser reciprocation” by only favouriting the tweet with the #FF, rather than doing a #FF back.

Maybe they did it because they were busy, and wanted to say thank you via the favourite. Maybe it never occurred to them to #FF the complainer back, or they didn’t have time. Maybe they are in fact rude.

But never, ever, ever complain on Twitter about it. It makes you look ungracious, and like you’re only promoting others for personal gain. That’s a secret best kept between you and your cat. Complain to them instead: they won’t mind. (Hell, they’re a cat; they’ll just ignore you.)

3.       The old follow/unfollow trick

When you hit 2000 follows on Twitter (folks you follow, not your followers), it imposes a ratio limit. You can’t follow more than 10% more people than follow you. So if I hit 2000 follows, and only have 1600 followers, I can’t follow anyone else till my follower number creeps up to at least 1819. (I think I’ve done the maths right. I’m tired!)

There are a few ways you can deal with this: I’m a big fan of using lists to keep track of my favourite celebrities etc rather than following them. But some people follow you in the hope you’ll follow back; if you do, they wait a bit and then unfollow you. That way you count as a follow without them having to increase their own pool of follows.

This is, as the young people say, a dick move. (Do the young people say that?)

If you’re wondering if this has been done to you, I recommend using the web-based app Just Unfollow. It lets you see who you follow who doesn’t follow you, and if you log on once a week or so you can review all your unfollows. It flags the ones you follow, with a handy “unfollow” button so you can kick their butt to the curb. You know, if you wanted to.

(There are other apps that do the same thing. That’s just the one I know about!)

If you’ve found these helpful, you should check out this post by Bad Redhead Media. She is my social media guru.

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7 Comments on “Three things not to do on Twitter”

  1. Something I’ve noticed that really irritates the crap out of me, is those who people who do nothing but retweet what others have already said. Ugh! Seriously? Can’t you come up with something of your own to say? A simple “hi” would suffice. Or maybe a, “my life sucks and I don’t have anything to say”. If I notice people doing that, I will unfollow them.

  2. lynxchild says:

    Great post! I didn’t know about that app, but it’s pretty useful!

  3. Thanks for the informative post, Cassandra. Very helpful. I definitely agree on all parts! I’m fairly new to Twitter, but still noticing some of those same things and find them annoying, too. Good luck w/ the move!

  4. […] on Twitter, a few a day. And, unless the person breaks some of those rules I’ve blogged about previously, I tend to follow them back. Since November 2012 when I joined, I’d crossed over 500 followers […]


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