Category Archives: How To

How To: Get Me NOT to Listen on Twitter

I have a very particular view on what Twitter should be.  I mean, it is a social network, so the main use of said network should be to connect socially.  Unfortunately, I see a lot of behavior in the twitterverse that, to me, is anti-social.  There are no ‘rules’ when it comes to Twitter, but if you want ME to listen, you may want to take notice.

I’d like to address some of these twitter habits that I see are in bad form.  These are prime examples of ways to make me totally ignore you and/or possibly un-follow you on Twitter.

1. Every tweet is a link. Don’t get me wrong, I like when someone tweets an interesting link.  I’ve even adopted a twitter client on my iPhone to help me manage those links better, and I have been posting the best ones on my blog lately. But, seriously, you’ve tweeted at least 50 times today, and every tweet is a link.  You can get away with this if you’re Mashable, Digg, or another news delivery service, and I would expect that following them. But if you are an individual using twitter personally, this does not lend well to social interaction.

2. Every tweet is a quote from a famous person, you post several of these per day, and most of them are widely known. I enjoy a good quote as much as the next guy, but I’m very well read.  I’ve seen, heard and read most of those many times before.  And I find it a bit disingenuous to be on a ‘social network’ spouting cliches.  A few of these quotes are okay, but keep it to a limit, dig a little deeper for something a little less well-known, and join the real conversation once and awhile.

3. Every tweet is a re-tweet of a ‘celebrity’ on twitter. Re-tweeting is fine, especially if a tweet is especially informative or funny.  But some of you and your re-tweeting is looking a lot like celebrity brown-nosing.  Re-tweeting their tweets are not going to make them notice you and/or bring meaning to your existence by them acknowledging you.

4. You tweet the same thing, everyday, several times a day. I’ll give you a pass if your life is boring and repetitive, it’s not you I’m talking to.  I am talking to the people who appear to be trying to show up in certain twitter searches, and the repeating tweets are their ploy to show up near the top.

5. All of your tweets run long and you don’t bother to shorten them or continue them. Most of these I see are notification auto posts from forums or blogs, but there are still those who haven’t caught on to the 140 character limit.  If you are going to have your new blog posts announced on twitter, at least do a twitter friendly excerpt. If your tweets are too long, there are clients that will split them for you, or you can sign up at a service that will link your followers to the rest of your update.

6. You regularly send out a volley of back-to-back-to-back updates. The excessive link sharers are the worst about this, but there are others who do this too.  And when I say back-to-back, I mean within a second, which tells me that they really aren’t doing these updates themselves, they are using some other automated tool to make those updates. If you have important information to get out on Twitter, don’t dump a bunch of back-to-back tweets pointing to the same link/idea with a different spin.  At least put some space between them.  Your followers will see that lump of updates, and roll right by them.

7. Your tweets are full of unintelligible characters. I like to be able to read your tweets, not try to decipher them, like some sort of hieroglyphics.

Now a lot of these behaviors will come from people who are trying to shamelessly self-promote.  To some degree, a little of that is allowed, as long as the personal interaction and conversation is there.  Your network on twitter is full of ‘friends’.  Don’t treat them like consumers.

What twitter habits do you find annoying?