Friday, March 16, 2012

Tweet Me Like You Mean It

Everyone has their list of Twitter pet-peeves, right? So I figured I'd add mine, knowing that the offenders are little-likely to see it.

Of course, this is all just my opinion. What bugs me may be fine for another person.

The Bait-and-Switch Follow. Have any of you caught people at this? You get a notification that someone's followed you. You take a look at their feed and decide sure, you'll follow back. A day or so later, you get another notification that they've followed you. So they followed you, unfollowed, and waited to see if you would follow back before committing to following you. (Do you follow?) The new Twitter interface shows "Follows You" prominently on people's profiles, so it seems that practice has trailed off for me, but it still happened the other day. Maybe there's a lag?

The Super "Welcoming" Auto-Tweet. I think this one is pretty specialized to people like writers who are trying to sell something. You follow someone and immediately get a tweet—usually a direct message—with something along the lines of, "Thanks for following! Check out my blog/book/butterific-bacon-buns (insert link)." I've limited my reaction to rolling my eyes at such tactics (and have never once clicked the link), but it's happening so much now, I think I'm going to automatically unfollow anyone who does it.

The Feed-Flooder. First of all, I can't imagine what it's like to have enough free time to tweet upwards of 100 times a day. (I know it doesn't always mean the tweeter is actually tweeting ... see below.) I only have so much time to devote to checking in with Twitter. I like to find relevant industry links/news, interesting conversations, and a little silliness with tweeps I know fairly well. If someone is filling my feed by retweeting everything in sight, pushing the Tweet This! button on every blog in the universe, and otherwise just making noise, I have to make it go away. Remember, when everything is special, nothing is.

The Robo-Tweet. I haven't confirmed this—it's just a suspicion. There are a lot of tweeting utilities out there to manage your social media experience. Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, I don't even know how many others. I think I've spotted at least one that will auto-tweet random "ice-breaker question" tweets from your account on a scheduled basis ... like every half-hour. Does this actually work for people? What happened to authentic engagement?

The Deja-Tweet. Another one that's particularly prevalent in the writer-world. Send out a little promo-blurb tweet when your book comes out, or when some particular milestone is reached. That's fine. I'm even okay with you doing it twice that day—once for the morning crowd, then later for the evening. But when I see the same blurb (or even a small rotating set of them) day after day after day ... yeah, even among all the tweets in my feed, I spot 'em.

You know what I like best? Stumbling across people through mutual Twitter-acquaintances, having a little interaction, and then following.

I could probably come up with more nuisances if I tried, but I'm sure I've whined enough for now. It's your turn! What Twitter behavior drives you up the wall? Am I out of line on any of those I've listed above?


E.B. Black said...

I actually have a lot of trouble interacting with people on twitter. Sometimes I'll comment on things people say, but rarely will they say anything back, so it almost never leads to an actual conversation for me. I'm working on it, though.

The only time I've ever followed someone and been actually angry about it was this one woman. She, every single day, multiple times a day, would promote her book in tweets. I tried to sympathize. I'm a fellow writer, desperate for people to read my book as well. Maybe I'd do the same thing if I was self-published by now.

Still, it was annoying. One day, she tweeted that she'd like people to read her book and she'd give them free copies to do reviews. This would mean me giving up quite a bit of my time, but I wanted to help her. She asked anyone interested to direct message her.

So I went to direct message her and it said,"You can only direct message people who are following you?"

Then I got PISSED. She was asking me to read her ad day after day and asking people to do stuff for her, but she couldn't even follow her back? I unfollowed her, remember who she was, and will never buy her books or follow her again.

Maybe it seems like an angry thing to do, but its hard for me to feel excited about supporting a writer who I feel isn't showing any interest in supporting or reading things other writers are doing herself.

R.C. Lewis said...

Ugh. I hear you, EB. The endless self-promoters get on my nerves.