a few days ago, i wrote a post on tips for successful twittering. and while it's important to keep somethings in mind so that you use twitter to build your business and interact with fans, peers and potential buyers, there are some pretty awful things you can do to turn people off quickly. the quick tips below may sound harsh, but it's all pretty common sense, i swear.
here are the top five reasons why i stop following people on twitter:
- verbal diarrhea - you twitter. all the time. even when you have nothing to say. when you obviously have nothing to say. and it's painful. and it pushes twitter posts i actually want to see from other people all the way down my page. yes, i'm unfollowing you.
- twitter as your diary - does everyone who follows you really need to know how you've spent the last three hours bawling your eyes out? is twitter really an appropriate place to air your dirty laundry? sure there are different ways people can use twitter, but i'm guessing TMI is just TMI. if your twitterstream is public and linked in any way to your business, keep it on the professional side.
- live twittering things that just aren't that interesting - a play by play of your morning commute. your every move in the grocery store. your trials and tribulations in a morning of routine housecleaning. odds are, one or two posts are probably enough, if not too much, to say about the things we all hate doing anyway.
- drunk tweets - you know what i mean. it's like a regrettable drunk dialing incident, only you called all 186 people who were following you. a tipsy post now and again might be harmless, but if you're out on the town in a serious way, resist the temptation to tell us all how you really feel.
- spam. - for serious. if you're just broadcasting links to your own products and your own blog posts and your own sites, it's pretty obvious and incredibly boring. dm'ing people out of the blue to show them some irrelevant link to something you've created is a surefire way to lose followers.
a good rule of thumb for twitter is "would you want to follow you?". if you're doing something you're afraid is borderline irritating, it probably is irritating. a handy little tool to help understand what posts might be over the line is qwitter, a service that emails you the last thing you posted before someone stopped following you.
now, i don't mean to scare you. but we've all cringed when watching someone we follow reach our last straw with them as we quickly scramble to click the "unfollow" button, hoping they won't notice (or maybe hoping they will). seriously, have fun with it. i promise your tweets are probably okay. just keep your head on and remember what a simple but potentially powerful tool you're using.