We Need to Talk About Twitter

We Need to Talk About Twitter

It’s time for a Twitter-vention.

I’m constantly amazed at the tactics used by marketers to sell their goods and services on Twitter. They spam, they annoy, and they push the limits on literally any tactic that shows any sort of results — and even some that don’t.

Before I started my agency, Cave Social, I worked for a tour company called Maupintour. My tweets were mostly focused on destinations to visit, foods to try, adventure activities, that sort of stuff. My timeline was full of interesting tweets, articles, and relative comments to any questions or thoughts I had. I loved Twitter, and it appeared to like me back.

Now, I’ve entered some sort of social-marketing-hell-hole that seems to have no bottom. Every day a social media scheduling app, a “Search Engine Ninja”, or a bot offering 10,000 Twitter followers for $9.99 follows me, only to unfollow me in 24 hours when they don’t see the favor returned.


What’s the point?

These follow/unfollow sprees are like herding frogs with a wheelbarrow. A couple of people may keep following you for a bit, but eventually, they’re going to hop right out of your follower list. This strategy has been proven ineffective. Your follower count might grow, but your engagement rate will not.

Yet clearly, the madness spirals on for marketers, social media apps, and bots alike.

Say hello to the hard truth.

No one is impressed that you have 5,000 followers if you follow 5,000 people back.

I’d rather have 100 followers that reply, favorite, and retweet my content than 5,000 people who have muted me. And trust me, if follow/unfollow sprees are your M.O., you are being muted.

So here’s the rub. If you’re a marketer, do me a favor and stop doing the following.

1. Messaging/tweeting people automatically with a link to your website, Facebook page or contact form

If people like you enough to want more from you, they’ll ask or find it themselves. Here’s a great example of what not to do. I don’t know these people, nor have I ever interacted with them.

2. Automating your tweets

Scheduling is fine sometimes, but if you’re setting your account to automatically retweet a hashtag or account anytime something is posted, you’re not helping yourself.

I ran a little test this morning as an example.

3. Hashtag stuffing your bio

10 Hashtags about #SEO #SMM #SEM tell me nothing about you, other than the fact that you’re unoriginal.

4. Telling me how many followers you gained/lost this week

Newsflash: no one gives a shit.

5. Threatening to unfollow anyone who doesn’t follow you back

This one truly amazes me. If you think that threatening your audience is going to help you achieve anything, you may need to speak with a psychiatrist.

6. Buying followers

They’re not real people. Do I really need to explain why this is ridiculous?

7. Going on following/unfollowing sprees

Here’s a concept: follow people who interest you. Real connections are the only kind that matter on social media, don’t waste your time following people who are only going to put you on mute.

8. Using the terms ‘Ninja, Guru, or Wizard’ in your title

Just stop it.

Twitter can be a great place to foster discussion, connect with like-minded individuals, and read about news in real-time. Start using it as it was intended to be used. Give updates, provide value, build real connections— and the followers will follow.

Thanks for reading!


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