Twitter comes with a fairly steep learning curve, and it can take a while for absolute newcomers to get to grips with what the platform is all about.
Indeed, the process of ‘getting Twitter’ is a thing and in and of itself. Some people understand the network before they even sign up. For others, it’s a lengthier journey, and one where they often turn to many social media gurus, looking for short fix, quick and easy answers.
This is a mistake. Ergo, further mistakes are made. Six months pass, and suddenly to other new users it’s YOU who is the ‘expert’. It’s you who has all the answers. And so the cycle repeats itself, ad infinitum.
And so – onward. Please excuse the rant. It is offered with the best of intentions.
1. You Use TrueTwit
TrueTwit is a ‘validation service’ that sends out an automated direct message anytime somebody follows you, asking them to ‘verify’ their account. Here’s your wake-up call – nobody credible on Twitter uses TrueTwit. The funny part is that it’s almost always the people you want to avoid who use this tool – spammy marketers and affiliate-scheme pushers. What’s funnier still is they use the service to try and avoid other people like them.
And the part that will make you laugh-out-loud is most people will automatically unfollow somebody who asks them to verify their account.
2. You Auto-Follow
And you wonder why you get bombarded with direct message spam and seem to pick up every XSS exploit and hack that impacts the network. And have to resort to junk products like TrueTwit. If you didn’t auto-follow people back, none of this stuff would be an issue, would it?
Take a moment to check somebody out and make sure they’re relevant to your interests and goals before clicking on the follow button. And if you’re auto-following to churn followers, ask yourself why you have to resort to doing this instead of being useful or interesting.
3. You’re Following Tens Of Thousands Of People
This is totally unnecessary. Everybody on Twitter is connected. Follow the right people, ensuring your network is always relevant and optimised, and you should never have to follow more than a couple of thousand, because their networks then become your networks (by proxy).
If the people you follow aren’t giving you the information you require, swap them for somebody else. Don’t just keep adding more and more profiles until your feed becomes an unmanageable mess.
And if you’re using software to break this all up into columns, that’s fine, but ask yourself why you don’t just unfollow everybody who isn’t good enough to make one of your lists? If they’re not worthy of closer attention, why follow them at all?
4. You Retweet Yourself
As well as every little bit of positive press you get. Please stop.
5. You React Without Research
It’s great that you like to engage, but it would be better still if you took a moment to research your response before shooting off an immediate reply. If you’re responding to somebody’s opinion or a query they have made, do you actually know what they are talking about, or are you jumping to conclusions?
Has their question already been answered? Did they ask it a couple of days ago and have long-since moved on and have absolutely no idea what you are talking about?
(And please – don’t shoot the messenger.)
- Six months on, and you still don’t have an avatar
- You don’t leave enough space for me to retweet you (amazing how many high-profile accounts still do this)
- You’re a jerk
- You’re still living in fear
- You’re still trying to keep everybody happy
- You’re always looking for shortcuts
- You’re tweeting by committee
- You take everything personally
- You’re using (or promoting) a Twitter marketing scam
- You’re still using TinyURL to shorten your links
My word is not law (far from it). But there are patterns of behaviour on Twitter that continue to persist even when they blatantly fly right against the face of analytical research, social etiquette and good, old-fashioned common sense and decency. If you recognise yourself in any of the above, or find yourself doing these things, please take a moment to ask why.
And if you can’t find an acceptable answer, make the effort to change. Don’t put it off. Don’t try and justify your bad decisions. Move forward, and move upwards, and do it today.
Learn more: 5 More Mistakes You’re (Still) Making On Twitter
- Twitter for Teachers: A Quick Start Guide
- Twitter Cheat Sheet: Profile Image Sizes, Logos and 'Twitter Blue' [INFOGRAPHIC]
- Twitter Analytics Are Now Available to Everyone (And Here's the Top Metric You Should Watch)
- 5 Ways to #HitYourGoals With Twitter Advertising [INFOGRAPHIC]