How Not to Annoy People on Twitter

Just when I had this Twitter post running around in my head, Tania Dakka shared a link on Facebook for an ebook about all things Twitter: The Digital Writer’s Guide to Twitter (Tweet Better, Grow Faster) by Tracy O’Connor. I’ve been reading it, and so far it’s good stuff for Twitter users new and veteran. As of this writing it’s being offered for free, so grab it while you can.

Also, be sure to check out this post on Twitter trends from Shepherd’s Moon author Stacy Mantle.

More updatedness: The Ultimate Guide to Building a Tribe on Twitter on the Digital Writer blog.

I prefer Facebook over Twitter. I know you don’t care, but I felt that I needed to say that so you understand where the rest of this post is coming from. Full disclosure and all that. I won’t bore you with my list of personal opinions on why I prefer Facebook, but I do want to share some brief thoughts on things that I find annoying about Twitter, or rather some common practices of those who use it, and why you should avoid them if you want people to pay attention to your tweets rather than scroll right on by.

Annoyance #1 – Bad Grammar

Okay, I get that you only have 140 characters and sometimes need to write “u” instead of “you.” But, if every tweet is laden with this sort of shorthand, your followers are going to have a hard time looking past it to see if your tweet is actually interesting to them. Believe me, they want your tweet to interest them, but most don’t have all day to sort through the typos and abbreviations.

Annoyance #2 – Shout Outs, Follow Fridays, etc.

When I first started using Twitter, I noticed a lot of folks would tweet lists of people to follow. Okay, cool. Not a bad idea. If you’re interested enough in that person, then it would be nice to hear about who they recommend you follow. Problem is, if followers have to scroll down two straight pages before getting to something interesting because someone went on a #FF frenzy, they may stop taking your recommendations seriously. Try to give your shout outs a personal touch, and keep them to a minimum.

Annoyance #3 – Tweet Overload

This seems like it would be the easiest thing for people to get. If you tweet more than a couple items one right after the other, you’re hurting your chances that any of them are going to catch someone’s eye. Yes, it’s a good idea to tweet frequently, but space them out, and retweet the things you really want people to see a few hours later. Chances are you’ll reach a different set of followers who weren’t around earlier as well.

Annoyance #4 – Constant Self-Promotion

Social media is about building relationships. Have you ever tried having a relationship with someone who did very little besides talk about themselves? It’s unbelievably boring and aggravating. Likewise, if most of your posts consist of you marketing your book in various ways, you’ll seem like a marketing robot, and I know that’s not what you want out of this Twitter thing. There’s nothing wrong with promoting your book, but don’t shove it down your followers’ throats, and be sure to retweet things from others each day. Soon they’ll be returning the favor.

Be sure to check out the link above, and tell your friends about it.

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4 responses to “How Not to Annoy People on Twitter

  • stacymantle

    Great tips! I think the self-promotion thing is the toughest for most folks. There are so many social networks that you really want to make the most of the time yu have. But, even if you’re on for a few minutes, you can take the time to retweet a friend or mention their book. Its all about toeing that line! Good advice!

  • Tania Dakka

    Totally agree! The promotion is the hardest to get past. As with the post on The Digital Writer, you have to take time to help others without thinking that you’re going to get something out of it. Be kind to others and the Karma comes back to you. :) Thanks for sharing this post (and the lovely mention!).

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