Twitter is an amazing networking tool, and an impressive source of traffic if used correctly. There are hundreds of ways to build your influence on Twitter, find new friends and business contacts, and contribute positively to the social world.
It’s also incredibly easy to look like a spammer.
I’ve compiled a list here of all of the “conventional wisdom” that “social media gurus” and “marketing experts” have offered that drench your Twitter account in the stink of spam.
Direct Message Autoresponders
If I follow you, it’s not because I’m hoping you’ll send me your free eBook. The generic “Hey, thanks for following!” DM is a good idea, but it completely loses its authenticity when it’s automated.
Automation is the first sign that you’re doing social media wrong, and direct message autoresponders are the premier offenders. If you must send a new follower a direct message, do so after a short period of time, and personalize it to the follower. Remember, social media is about being a person, not a marketing machine.
I know you want more followers. We all do. But blindly following everyone that follows you isn’t the way to get good ones. It seems like every other social media tool allows you to auto-follow everyone that follows you, but this does little more than open you up to phishing scams, spam followers, and an unmanageable Twitter feed.
If I’m looking for some new SEO tweeps to follow and your follower to following ratio is 1:1 or close to it, I’m probably not going to follow you.
There are legitimate uses for hashtags, but adding multiple generic tags to the end of your tweet is not one of them. Hashtags are a way of organizing tweets around a single topic. The best example of this is a chat, like #seochat, #socialchat, #smochat and so on. These are coordinated, curated chats that happen on a predictable basis. Hashtags make it easy to converse and keep track of all the contributions to the chat.
On the flipside, you’ve got tweets that look like this:
GREAT READ! >>> bit.ly/)N*(Y^@78 #seo #social #searchengineoptimization #laseo #nyseo #search
If your tweets look like this, I’m unfollowing you. I can guarantee that nobody in those industries are actively monitoring those hashtags. At best, you get more follower-hungry tweeps that follow you just so you’ll follow back. At worst, you lose legitimate followers
Tweeting Inspirational Quotes
If your feed is purely composed of “inspirational” quotes, I’m unfollowing you.
Inspirational quotes are stomachable in moderation, but if that’s all your feed is, you look like a spammer. This is a common feature for “filler” tweets, especially in social media posting services (a la Buffer), which has undoubtedly contributed to the quotespam proliferation. Again, a sin of automation.
If you drop a 10-tweet bomb on me, it doesn’t increase the likelihood that I’ll notice you and click one of your links. It increases the likelihood that I completely ignore your tweets or unfollow you.
I don’t even know where this comes from. I can understand an unusually high concentration of tweets in the morning when you’re reading your bloglist, but 5+ tweets at exactly the same time? Someone enlighten me, because this is one of the most irritating Twitter habits I’ve ever seen.
If you are committing any of these heinous sins, fear not; the time for repentance is not past. Are there any other popular habits you can think of that make people look like spammers? Talk to me in the comments.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tyler Olson