Twitter Turnoffs

Standard

Please for the love of all that is good and holy stop:

Sending auto DMs to new followers. No one likes them. They are the opposite of welcoming. I understand that most people don’t have time to say “hello” to every new follower, but we don’t expect that. Auto DMs are off-putting because they have an “I can’t be bothered to really interact” vibe. It makes people feel that your account is very likely automated and you’re not there often, if at all, and we’re not going to see your personality.

TrueTwit Validation: Okay, I am never ever ever going to click that link. I get lots of bot and spam accounts following me. I ignore them or, if they tweet to me, I report them for spam. I don’t use any kind of validation service. It’s unnecessary and pretentious.

Using follow/unfollow apps: Many people must not realize that those apps auto-tweet to your followers how many people UNFOLLOWED you in the last week, which is not something you really want everyone to know. Twitter still has an unfollow bug. Twitter unfollows people randomly. You have no idea if someone deliberately unfollowed you unless you ask (which is crass unless you’re friends, in which case you should probably ask and not assume.) If you unfollow everyone who unfollows you, or if your app does that for you, you are very possibly unfollowing people who did not unfollow you intentionally. People you know who get hit by the Twitter unfollow bug will realize that you’ve disappeared and re-follow you.

Promos! All promos all the time! NOOOOOOOOOOOO. That’s the quickest way to get unfollowed, except by other Twitter users who post nothing but promos. An all-promo account is just about the most boring account type. And that includes RTs of other people’s books. I am NEVER going to click on any of those promo links. If you’re a real person and you interact and you tweet or RT things of interest to you, I am much more likely to engage with your account and check out promos. How often should you promote your book? No more than three times a day. That allows you to hit the morning, afternoon, and night Twitter audience. And pick your promo RTs with care. I want to know that you read the book or at least know the author and something about their writing style and subject matter.

And finally . . . be a real person. I’ve unfollowed a couple of accounts recently because they’re clearly all automated. The same tweets day after day. Perhaps a flurry of replies once a day. Automated accounts are boring, and they tell us that you’d rather have a steady stream of auto-tweets on your account than a few real tweets a day. We know that you’re very busy. You’re writing, and you have a family and friends and a day job. But we all are. Try to schedule 10 minutes two or three times a day to actually be on Twitter. Otherwise, your Twitter account is basically a spammy bot. And everyone hates spam and bots.

I’d rather read your controversial political opinion than see any of the behaviors listed above. At least that tells me there’s a person behind the avi.

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