I read a post recently that made me laugh, but not for the right reasons. On the other hand, it also made me think about how easy it is for someone who is new to Twitter and the Social Media sphere in general to make a huge mistake and alienate a lot of people who could have shortened the learning curve for a n00b significantly.
In a few keystrokes the potential to build a rapport and some quality online relationships is lost. Not only that, it’s also pretty easy to make yourself look like an ignorant tool. I’m not picking on people who are new to Twitter. Twitter is so new that it hasn’t been long since EVERYONE was a rookie.
That said, there are some who navigate the learning curve really quickly and others that don’t. There’s nothing wrong with being among the latter, provided that you recognize you’re still learning and don’t make the mistake of pretending that you’re not. The blog post that amused, as well as sincerely disappointed me, was entitled “Stop Twitter Spam PLEASE!“.
I detest Twitter spammers, so I was excited that someone decided to take a shot at them. Excited, that is, until I reached sentence 4 of the post and realized this poor, misguided soul had no idea what he was talking about. I hesitated to name the post specifically – but in the end, I had no choice. I can’t really illustrate my point without referencing the original post and giving people the opportunity to read it for themselves. In order to put things into perspective here, let’s take a quick look at what a Twitter spammer’s profile actually looks like:
If you compare that to the screenshot used as an example of a “spammer” at the post on iThoughts, you will see some significant differences. Actually, you’ll see absolutely no similarity whatsoever between the image I have included above and Gerald Weber‘s Twitter profile. None. Zip. Zero. Nada. To put it simply, that’s because @the_gman is NOT a Twitter spammer…not by a long shot.
I loathe “Twitter rules” posts. I’ve said it numerous times. There are as many ways to use Twitter as there are Twitter users. There are some common sense approaches to using Twitter effectively – like making sure your profile has a bio and a picture, but if someone is stupid enough to want to keep the ugly default avatar and tell people nothing useful about themselves, who am I to judge? Some people will tell you that “don’t curse” is a Twitter rule. To that I say, “Eat shit – I’ll cuss if I want to…” If you don’t like it, don’t follow me. The end.
No one is a Twitter expert – no one. If they tell you they are it’s because they’ve got an e-book they want to sell you about how to use Twitter to make money. Blah. It’s all a bunch of crap. On the other hand, some people have more experience using Twitter than others. So, if you’ve been using Twitter for a couple weeks and are so unfamiliar with it that you don’t even know there is a setting that allows you to control which @replies appear within your Twitterstream and which don’t, I would encourage you to refrain from writing a rant-like post throwing around accusations of spamming.
You’ll piss off the people who can help you learn. You’ll make yourself seem ignorant. You’ll alienate those who might help you to promote worthwhile content in Social Media circles at some point in the future. You’ll cause people, perhaps inaccurately, to come to the conclusion that you’re not all that bright and don’t understand the very definition of the term “spam”. The moral of the story, don’t be a tool. As in real life, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
Sheree Motiska says
“Eat Shit I’ll cuss if I want to. If you don’t like it, don’t follow me…the end..”
It’s getting really good in there, don’t put yourself out of all the good stuff. He’s right, don’t “monetize Twitter, c’mon people. leave Twitter alone and enjoy what unfolds when you stop trying to bring your marketing game and just connect.
My intent in using Twitter was never to market anything…rather to connect with some like-minded people in the search marketing industry in order to learn, so I agree with that approach.
I found that it is a great way to promote my blog’s content nowadays, but that’s just the icing on the cake of having connected with so many people to begin with without trying to market anything.
Steen Seo Öhman says
I have only been on Twitter for three weeks, and I must say it’s quite a jungle.
In the beginning I used Twitter like I use Facebook, a quite conservative approach.
Then I saw all the spamming, and reached the conclusion – you need to be more active and a bit spammy to get into Twitter.
I get a lot of good info from the people I follow and some of the are in fact spamming me – but with some good content.
You don’t have to be “spammy” at all to “get into Twitter”. The more spammy you are, the less likely people will be to trust you. Build a rapport. Build a following.
Then if you’ve got content of your own to share, do it. If you pass along nothing but your own stuff from the get-go, it won’t be long before people catch on and put you in the “tool” category, too. :)
Good post, one more tweetback added my me :)
Thanks for the retweet. Much obliged. :) I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Bob Clarke says
Nothing like twittering your news and views.
Nothing like dropping a completely useless and unrelated URL into a comment…especially when it’s the same URL linked from your name AND it goes to a dumbass parked GoDaddy ad site. Do you see the irony of being a spammer in the comments of a post that references spammers? I do…and the irony is the only thing keeping me from deleting this comment.
Roger Barnett says
How can anyone get spam on Twitter, Am I missing something here?
Did I not agree to follow this Person.
It is easy to remove that person if you think you
are getting Spam.
The definition of spam differs a bit on Twitter specifically because of what you mentioned – the choice of whether or not to follow someone.
Keep in mind, though, that some people don’t choose who to follow and who not to follow thanks to the stupidity that is
“the auto-follow”. That’s where the Twitter spammers come into play and why there has been such a huge influx of them trying to tell you how to get your free laptop…how they made $3,333 dollars in 10 minutes…how to keep from having your house foreclosed on…how to get a free iPhone, etc. in recent weeks.
If you haven’t been getting those followers, consider yourself lucky, Roger. I get about 20 of them a day. They’re annoying and even opening the e-mail and clicking on the link to view their profile – which is often suspended within minutes of my receiving the e-mail – wastes enough of my time every day to piss me off. I could just stop checking out the profiles of my new followers, but I like knowing who’s following me and checking out their profiles. I won’t let Twitter spammers rob me of that.
Ricardo Sanchez says
Just embrace tweeter for what it is (I have no idea) and enjoy the messages, links, ideas, “spam”, etc…
Ricardo Sanchez says
Excellent post. My one and only one complaint — and it’s really just one of those things that always winds up sticking in my craw (not that I know exactly where that is) — would be the use of the word “entitled.” Posts can’t be entitled. Only people can be – or feel — entitled. Otherwise, fabulous. Love the g-man.
Really? The definition of entitle is “to give a title to” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entitled). So to give a post a title would result in it having been entitled. Would it not?
I understand that one can also feel entitled or have a sense of entitlement, but I don’t believe that is the only use for that word. I could be mistaken. Please educate me, if so.
Glad you like the post – with the exception of my apparent grammatical faux pas, that is. :)
Twitter rocks but headache for Google.
Google needs a good headache now and then. It keeps them on their toes and forces them to improve. :)
Alysson, I don’t know why there are some people that love to become spammers and causing some pain on the ass to other people. This phenomena also happened, even on the Twitter as well! It’s a very pathetic situation indeed…
No doubt about it. Spammers see a chance to make “easy money” and jump at it. I hate that they’ve infiltrated Twitter, but it was only a matter of time…
Matt Siltala says
So much truth in this post!! I love it. If people just took time to network and connect and use Twitter, (not abuse) they will have so much MORE business they won’t know what to do with it!
I couldn’t agree more, Matt. I think people trying to “game” Twitter speaks to the larger issue that is the failed business philosophy of the past – which is that running a successful business is just about money.
The most successful businesses are those that take the time to actually build a genuine rapport with their customers, rather than just playing a numbers game to hit a bottom line revenue forecast.
I’ve been following you on twitter for a bit, i don’t remember where I found you but im glad I did. You’ve made a few posts that were both really interesting and helpful.
Thanks for taking the time to comment, David. I’m glad you enjoy my posts and I hope you’ll come back soon! :)
da best. Keep it going! Thank you
Twitter Tools says
You made some good points there
Diana Freedman says
EXACTLY! I actually just “Stumbled” the Stop Twitter Spam PLEASE post and commented before I Stumbled yours. In my comment I basically said, no, you’re wrong, the_gman isn’t anything close to a spammer. Great rebuttal post!
.-= Diana Freedman´s last blog ..5 Reasons to Lower Your Blog’s Bounce Rate =-.
Thanks, Diana. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. :)
.-= Alysson´s last blog ..Charles Preston’s Verified SEO = Verifiable Failure =-.