As much as we love the unprecedented access to newsmakers and the powerful search engine of Twitter, there is a dark side to the micro blogging service. In some cases, spammers and twitter bots pollute your feed and your @tweets. Sometimes your timeline is overrun with the solo opera (Me, Me, Me, ME), self-promo artists and links that go nowhere. Since we know these are a few of the things we can’t stand about how some people use Twitter, it is important for anyone wanting to use Twitter for its intended purpose to know what types of behavior you need to avoid.
Here is the list of dubious Twitter behaviors:
1. The Snob – When you follow back fewer than 10% of the people that follow you. If you do not choose to follow people back, you are not engaging with your audience. The winning formula is being open, transparent and freely sharing with information.
Interestingly, breaking this rule is the norm for celebrities, but we know there are different social media rules for celebrities. For example, if your name is Lady Gaga with more than 23 million followers, we’ll cut you slack for following back fewer than 2.3 million.
2. Blah, Blah, Blah – You average more than 24 tweets per day (excluding @reply.) These people are pumping out information and not engaging. This tweet volume is the fast track to being ignored or worse…saying so much without saying anything makes you background noise, like a ceiling fan.
3. What He Said – If your tweets either average more than 70% retweets, or more than 50% famous quotes, nobody is going to consider you a thought leader. You become a “hype man” always telling people what someone else said. Mix in an original thought.
4. Snoozefest – If you have fewer than 30% of people follow you back, you are following too many of the first three categories and at the risk of insult…your twitter feed is kinda boring.
5 – 8. Spam-tastic – the following makes you look like you are spamming, even if you don’t think you are:
- If more than 90% of your content is pushed out from an RSS feed (look like a twitter bot), or
- More than 50% links to apps (like Foursquare, and paper.li), or
- More than 25% of the time you post the same link URL (self-promo), or
- More than 80% of your tweets are links (shameless plugs)
If you are doing one of these, you look like you are spamming, if you do more than one – you are a spammer. Unless spam is your end game, incorporate more appropriate Twitter behavior: ask a question, answer a question, and respond to an issue with your opinion.
I have examples of each one of these categories; I’ll share on request. For example, tweet me to find out who averages more than 125 tweets per day and NEVER replies.
Shout out to @twitcleaner for cataloging the type of behavior and setting thresholds to let us know where innocent Twitter mistakes can make you look terrible. Did we miss anything? Share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.
Did you see our “Wall Tweet Journal: Four Twitter Tips to Improve Your Presence Today” on the SideNote? We can’t help ourselves, if we tell you things you shouldn’t do, we have to give equal time to best practices, right?