As a social media expert, I run into all kinds of strange behavior and tips that make me scratch my head. Social media is social, meaning it’s supposed to be an extension of how we might interact with other human beings in person. Today’s post (obviously) is tongue-and-cheek, but humor can be the best teacher even if we’ve oopsed.
Tip #1—Only Use Automation
Writing a 140 characters is SUPER time-consuming. We aren’t Jack London. Besides, people LOVE talking to robots. I know when I feel lonely, I call AT&T because I know a human being will NEVER answer…EVER. Humans can be so boring and don’t offer us the option of hitting 6 if we want to hear everything they just said all over again.
Real Life Application: Program cell phones to call friends and family at regular intervals to ask for money. They’d dig that.
Tip #2—Make Sure All Preprogrammed Tweets are “Carefully Crafted”
Because when we take time to artfully craft our spam, people don’t mind. They LOVE believing a real person is there only to be fooled. It’s like when that cute guy/gal in high school pretended to want to go out with us. Now we can relive that experience as adults by being duped into thinking we were chatting with a real person who actually cared.
Real Life Application: At the holidays, volunteer to bring a Honey-Baked ham, then show with Tofurkey. They won’t know the difference if we use lots of ketchup.
Tip #3—When Programming Tweets Include Popular Hashtags
Who goes to social media to socialize? People LOVE finding a community of real people to talk to and then having it crowded out by the same advertising over and over…and over. Because research shows that it takes at least 20 times to see an annoying face before we want to punch it.
Real Life Application: When attending any party, make sure to hand out lots of fliers, advertisements and coupons. Have a children’s book for sale? Stake out bounce house parties and put ads in all the little grab bags. Kids don’t want toys, candy and stickers, they want our BOOKS. Feel free to crash weddings, graduations, bachelor parties and maybe even funerals. If potential readers aren’t coming to us, we should go to them. Find where they gather then SELL. So what if it’s against their will?
Tip #4—Make People Prove Who They Are Before Talking to Them
Twitter validation services are awesome. We love meeting someone, only to have to jump through hoops to prove our love. We even get the added advantage of being redirected off Twitter to an outside site where we’re easily hacked. How else will all our friends receive direct messages from porn sites posing as us? Nothing seals an on-line relationship like giving others a social media disease. Who will they think of when they have to spend hours removing viruses and trojans from their computers.
Can we say “Top of Mind”?
Come on! It takes three whole seconds to unfollow a bot. We need those precious three seconds to carefully craft witty preprogrammed tweets. Let the other person do the fifty hoops of leg-work to earn our trust. They have plenty of time.
Real Life Application: Whenever we meet someone and start chatting, if we like them, halt all communication until they fill out a detailed background check. Throw in a pee test to be extra sure ;).
Tip#5—Tweet LOTS of Articles—Ok, ALL Articles
Most of us, when we wake up in the morning, think, “Gee, I wish I had a super long reading list. I sure miss my college syllabus.” Those of us with a corporate job LOVE people who hit Reply ALL so we can read more. Wikipedia is a hot place to hang out. Why not bring that encyclopedic magic to Twitter?
Real Life Application: Make sure to print off a box of articles for that wedding you were invited to. Who wants to dance or flirt when they could be reading about Three-Act Structure or Intestinal Parasites? Handing people a stack of reading material is way better than getting trapped in a “conversation.”
Tip #6—Ask for Stuff Immediately
The second someone befriends us, it’s our job to send an automated link to their Direct Messages so they can do stuff FOR US. Buy our book, like our FB page, follow our blog, or even answer a really inane question (as if we care about their answer) *rolls eyes*. Hey, great to meet you. Do you like vampires or werewolves?
Real Life Application: If someone is nice to us in the grocery store, make sure to have books to sell and the ability to take credit cards on the spot. Sure, that person is trying to buy a chicken to make for dinner and now she can buy OUR BOOKS, too. Win-win. If we don’t have books for sale, we can ask for life, love or career advice from total strangers, because that isn’t creepy at ALL.
Tip #7—Tweet from Several Accounts/Identities
People on Twitter might miss out on all those “carefully crafted” preprogrammed tweets. Make sure to have anywhere from 2-7 identities sending the same messages. What’s better than spam? MORE SPAM, duh.
Real Life Application: This tactic ROCKS for singles on the dating scene. Meet a date then several times throughout the conversation, change names and accents. Multiple-Personalities are just more people to love.
Tip #8—Never Tweet ANYTHING Original Just Retweet
Again, 140 characters cuts into word count. Save time and retweet what everyone else has to say. Two clicks? DONE.
Real Life Application: Repeat what everyone else says. People love parrots, so why not harness that fluffy colorful cuteness? I know I LOVED it when my little brother repeated everything I said…until I put him in an arm-bar.
Okay, Serious Now
Twitter can be very valuable and a great place to make wonderful friends. Be real and enjoy. People are on social media to be social. We crave connection, fun and escape. If we wanted more ads we’d read the door in the bathroom stall or not bother fast-forwarding through commercials. We don’t need to be profound, deep or immensely witty to do well on Twitter, we just need to be vested, present and authentic ;).
I LOVE hearing from you!
What are some other things people do on social media that in real life would be ridiculous? I think sometimes we fail to extend that logic. Do you get tired of the same automation tweets? Have you ever bought a book because someone you friended automatically sent you a link to buy?
To prove it and show my love, for the month of January, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).
WANACon is a virtual writing conference loaded with top-tier industry professionals—authors, agents, editors and best-selling authors. Right now we have an Early Bird Special. Sign Up Here.
I hope you guys will check out my latest book Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World and get prepared for 2014!!!!
Also, this Saturday, I have a new class, Many Roads to Rome—Which Publishing Path is Best?Use WANA15 for 15% off.
I love Twitter but there are definitely dos and don’ts. Thanks for sharing this information in such a delightful way.
For limited time you can still get Christina upholstery for your living room set…has all my best quotes for your friends to see and sit on. There’s also wallpaper! 😉
These are great.
Great post. Twitter should be fun first 🙂
Great post as always, Kristen. I’ve been less participatory on Twitter than I could be, because there is such a mass of these types of Tweeters. I also find myself struggling with balance so I don’t become one of the Twitter zombie hoarde: when is retweeting too much (especially when you’re helping friends share their tweets), what to do when you try to interact with real conversation starters and all you get back are the crickets chirping. Thanks for the ‘real life applications’ – that makes these Twitter faux pas pretty clear. Will be re-blogging this. 🙂
This is a well written article. I like the pictures that you used.
It was because of all this that I stopped using twitter! Great examples.
Reblogged this on kristin nador writes anywhere and commented:
Do you struggle with Twitter ‘etiquette’? Wonder why you haven’t been having the social media impact you hoped for? Author Kristen Lamb lays it down for you as only she can…
lol Thanks for the laughs. 🙂 I often unfollow people who dm me with “buy my book” or things like that, and I never bother with Twitter validation. My main fail (I hope 😉 on Twitter and other social media is I’m not on there consistently. Thanks for all the good posts.
Woo hoo! I think I’m finally on the road to getting it right, I don’t do ANY of these thing — now, thanks to you Kristen! Thank you! What’s your opinion about the 3-tweets in a row. I’ve seen that a lot and wondered about it. I also read you should tweet the same tweet once in the morning, once midday and once at night? Bogus?
Excellent advice! I’d like to add two more:
(1) avoid re-tweeting the same tweets over and over. We really don’t need to see that link to a blog post / interview / book review 10 times every day for a week (and yes, I realise this is an extension of automating because you can bet they sat on Twuffer or Tweetdeck scheduling the same tweet over and over and over again!)
(2) those #FF lists!! I’ve stopped visiting Twitter on Fridays & Saturdays because I know all I’m going to see is long lists of names. And those well-meaning tweeps who #FF me are clogging my @stream with them too. I appreciate that you’re thinking of me, but I want to see what people are saying to me or about me, not long lists of meaningless names.
Those are great, thanks for adding. PS, I LOVE your profile pic!
Loved this. I loathe validation services, I just think meh and give up. Also, those “thanks for following please buy my book/like me on facebook/follow my blog” really get on my wick. As a result, so far, I’ve tended to use twitter to chat to specific people who I’ve met elsewhere and who I know are on it. If that makes sense… hoping that might improve when I get a better, data enabled, mobile phone.
I love “get on my wick.” 🙂 Sad to say, I unfollow if I get an immediate DM to buy the person’s book. I think it’s tacky. Usually those are the same users constantly linking to their book or other people’s book with very little orginal content.
I love your witty posts. Don’t know where you come up with all your ideas, but keep them coming.
And for those who still may not have a clue – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8huXkSaL7o
PS: *bows head* I apologize for my childness.
Brilliant! I hear people actually preaching the equivalent of “the solution to spam? MORE SPAM!! Love this: “research shows that it takes at least 20 times to see an annoying face before we want to punch it.”
I am so stealing this.
Thanks for this. I just started twittering recently. I keep trying to talk to people, and mostly I just get article links back. I was afraid maybe *I* was the one doing it wrong.
I really enjoy getting the 140-character jacket blurbs EVERY FIVE MINUTES SO NO ONE ELSE’S TWEETS CAN APPEAR IN MY FEED! (And that is why some people have been unfollowed and really need to quit asking me why.)
Great examples! This kind of stuff always irritates me on Twitter.
Reblogged this on Tricia Drammeh.
Ack, entire comment eaten! Boo.
Well, I was saying that I would love to send this post back as a link to anyone who sends me a twitter validation. A quick scan through a days worth of my tweets and anyone can see I’m not a bot. I agree, validations are insulting and unnecessary.
I recently unfollowed a well-intentioned blogger whose tweets consisted ONLY of promoting other writers’ blog tours, cover reveals, kindle deals, giveaways. Every tweet had at least three #hashtags. Just looking at the feed made my eyes bleed. I kind of want to send her this link but I don’t want to start any trouble…
Throw in a pee test…LOL. Yep. I hate it when people on Twitter don’t actually ever CHAT. That’s the whole fun of Twitter for crying out loud. Yes, I give and receive tons of cool information, but really, its all about laughter for me. 🙂
OMG I can’t stop laughing! I hate the ‘hey we should connect on FB’ spam DM. Hello? Maybe you should say hey first. Thanks Kristen you made my day. 🙂
Reblogged this on Cynthia Stacey and commented:
Awesome post about Twitter from Social media expert Kristen Lamb!
I was a Twitter holdout. Two months of Twitter shows me how right I was. I’m not really getting anything resembling actual human communication out of it. 🙁
I am ruthless with bots and link spam on #MyWANA.
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE getting direct messages from porn sites! That’s happened to me twice since I started Twitter and I can’t get enough of it. Please, someone out there with less sense than time on their hands, send me another link for Busty Asian Babes…PLEASE! Whatever would I do without those lovely little (or big) nuggets fouling up my computer!! And don’t get me started on the people who ONLY tweet, “Buy My Book!” I have never read one of those, ran for my credit card, clicked on the link and downloaded their book. Never.
Loved this, Kristen!!
Have a wonderful evening,
So what’s with people on twitter following and unfollowing? This is the most obnoxious behaviour. Any insight there?
They do it to juke their stats. Seems like a lot of work just to piss people off, LOL.
I realized I’d done that to people accidentally. In my case I was trying to get people to follow me when they didn’t after a while I unfollowed them., But then I think I went back to the same places where I was looking to make connections and tried refollowing them again. Later I was shocked to see some random people had blocked me and I guess that was why. I just didn’t keep track.
I only unfollow if people are bots or act poorly. They might have a life crisis and not be on-line. Could have had a computer crash. Never know.
Guilty of the mostly-just-retweeting thing. (Mainly because C. S. Lewis and ChaucerDothTweet say it better than I do.) I’ll try to live a more interesting life so I can tweet about it. One thing I have sworn — someday when my book is published I will NOT be a “buy-my-book” spammer. Hopefully not even a “full of advice” tweeter. Hey, when my book is published my life WILL be much more interesting!
I’m gonna have to buy your book, Kristen, because I have zero clue how to properly use Twitter.
How about the automated private message to follow their facebook. Listen, I don’t even know you yet and FB is so more personal. Make me laugh first = twitter equivalency to having a drink.
So many things to say and so few characters in which to express myself – at least that’s how I’ve felt while using Twitter. The site has been a challenge for me in many ways but the rewards (so far) have been worth the effort. You’ve got great points about the automated communiqués, but my personal favorite was being followed by a handful of hoochie-mamas who were convinced I’d be interested in reading porn. Felt icky just by association and promptly blocked them. Relief.
lol, I’m bad for the re-tweeting thing also. Have to work on that. Almost scared to share this now 🙂
Hey, this is an ever-evolving thing and we oops. It’s why I use humor. You can RT. It is okay. Just diversify ;).
Reblogged this on jbiggarblog and commented:
lots for me to work on 🙂
Thanks for the tips. As a new Tweeter I can use the advice!!
My pet peeve is people asking to be my friend and 2 seconds later after I accept, they send me url to buy their book. That’s the equivalent of approaching strangers on the street and saying, “buy my book.” The ironic part is that if they had just taken a couple minutes to introduce themselves to me and tell me a little about themselves and maybe even ask about me, I wouldn’t guarantee that I’d buy their book, but I’d certainly check it out.
Kristen, Love the blog and particularly this post. I’ve been trying to get people to follow me on Twitter but I’m having a hell of a time. I Tweet links to my blog (which I think is funny and informative), I make funny comments about news and other items I see on Twitter. I try not to be offensive or too edgy, just (hopefully) funny and sarcastic. What do I get? Crickets. There are also a few Twitter accounts I follow and I would love them to follow me. They seem like funny, witty people. I try to engage them in a social interaction. Silence. Like you said, I thought Twitter was a tool to be social with other people. Instead, these people just want to be social with people they already know and see every day. I don’t get it? Is it me? Am I expecting too much? Am I that unlovable? Do I suck that bad? Please help!
This is where hashtags help. It’s like communities or groups where people chat. #MyWANA is a good place to start. Also try hashtags of favorite shows or hobbies. Look for ones where people are actually TALKING and that will take trial and error.
Do what Kristin suggests, but here’s something to add to the list…and please don’t take it the wrong way: re-visit your decision to identify yourself as “manuregurl”. I don’t know if you’re a farmer, daughter of a farmer, and don’t want to offend farmers in general, but it’s an off-putting moniker, to say the least. It’s about as appealing as naming yourself “Sh*thead”, but more importantly, it sends a message that you don’t take yourself or your blog seriously. And if *you* don’t take yourself seriously, why should an anonymous reader/Twitterer/blogger/potential agent or publisher? -Just a thought. And FWIW, I’ll follow you and your blog – promise. 🙂 Best from Nashville.
Reblogged this on Chronicles of a 40-something Former Nurse Wannabe.
I decided that as an epic fantasy author, Twitter was against my religion. But I didn’t reckon on the sheer tidal fanaticism of this thing. I reserved a screen-name of one of my characters, just out of caution, never posted anything. Got four followers in six months. Realized I was getting followers despite having nothing to do with Twitter, and figured I’d better come clean or it would cause resentment. So I posted to FB “sorry guys, but I want to be clear, against my religion, etc.”. Did not even mention the screen-name I had reserved. IMMEDIATELY DOUBLED my number of followers.
There’s a lot I don’t understand here. Maybe if I renamed all my books “Lord of the Twitter”…
If I get the twitter validation service DM I go and unfollow them because ain’t no one got time for that..sorry. I don’t use automated anything.. I do post ads for my books on my time line (not automated) because frankly it works for me a little tiny bit, and I don’t mind others doing that, but I hate DMs that turn out to be ads for your book. DMs are supposed to be from friends it’s false intimacy and it sucks. If you want to advertise put it on your open time line.
As an MMA fan, I rather liked the armbar reference (probably way too much) lol
I’ve been a ‘lurker’ for awhile. I love your site. Between the practical advice and the humor, you make my day. This post is particularly spot on. I use Twitter with my writing organization and see the newbie, the inept, the professional, and the normal users. Twitter is a tool, not a lifestyle.
Thanks again for your post.
This was hysterical. You made my day. I’m still cackling over your bounce house comment. I’m afraid to share it because someone may think it’s a great way to promote kid’s books!
You forgot, “All your followers really, really want to know how many new followers and unfollowers you get each day. It’s so exciting and inspiring.”
I’ve gotten automated messages from a chunk of authors I’ve friended with links to buy. It really just depends on how hard I’m procrastinating if I engage or not. A few have actually led to me looking up the book and deciding to buy, however if that happens I’ll “bug” the author back and have at least a brief conversation with them. I guess I don’t really mind the auto-messages, but the majority of them get ignored.
Absolutely loved this post. I’m only guilty if one and that’s the auto thank you message for following. I just didn’t want to miss thanking anyone! But the ones I get super annoyed with are the multiple personality and the automated posts. I started replying to this one multiple personality autobotting account on purpose to see if he ever replied to my super witty comments. He didn’t. Thanks again for this post. I *gasp* tweeted it!! 😉
Cracking up at real Life Application for #7! Really just on the floor envisioning that one. Must be my quirky humor, but that just takes the cake. The rest are great too. I love your blog and how you can turn subjects inside-out with humor. I think this list actually sums up exactly why I became a Twitter Quitter. Thanks for the laughs!
Love your article, why don’t you follow me on twitter and also my blog it is totally unconnected and probably of no interest to you 😉
Those validations services drive me nuts! But I’m probably the worst offender…I tend to go inactive a lot. Real life sometimes gets in the way. Thanks for the post.
Hilarious…and so true! And definitely one of the reasons why I’m not overly fond of Twitter…I once made a compliment about a book to an author I consider a friend and she went ahead and put it on a permanent tweeting schedule, every day, twice a day and this has been going on now for almost 2 months. She’s a friend so ok, I have to bear it, but I wonder how other people feel?
In any case, all that adds to so much noise, it’s almost unbearable. I can’t imagine why anyone thinks they can sell anything on Twitter. I know I have NEVER bought anything on the basis of a tweet. 140 characters is simply not enough to convince me…Twitter ain’t for selling, that’s for sure!
Another fabulous post. After being on twitter a few months now, I find the “buy my book” syndrome the worse. Other things are easier for me to ignore. It gets very hard to ignore, especially at high volume. Thanks for making us all laugh with the cool real-life parallels! 🙂
I don’t twitter, maybe I am just out of the loop, but I detest spam. I have been know to place my bookmark in every book at the library.
Still chuckling and also learned a couple of things I truly never thought about. Guess you could say I should be a better Twit now! 😉
I love snarkiness! One of my favorites on Twitter is someone who looked for Beta-testers for her website for a year and a half. Get on with it already!
Reblogged this on Shanah Davis and commented:
If you’re new to Twitter and have no idea what you’re doing to annoy your fellow Tweeters, then you are just like me and need to direct your attention to Author Kristen Lamb’s Twitter “treasure trove” of information. The do’s and don’ts of the Twitterverse, and basic etiquette on how best to tweet without making people want to trachea-punch you.
I know I’ve made MORE than a few of the mistakes mentioned in this humorous article.
Wow. I think I have committed more than a few of these Twitter no-no’s. Oops!
I mostly have a problem with intimidation and social anxiety performance. I want my tweets to be just as witty or pithy as the next person.
It’s not like I’m incapable; I consider myself to be witty on occasion, but stage fright happens on Twitter, so I just mainly retweet articles or other, “pithier-than-I” tweets. Now I will try to posts more of my own thoughts.
As for the twitter validation services, I’m staying away from those now. The day after I registered for one, my Twitter account was suspended “permanently” for “aggressive following/ unfollowing using automaton services” which, of course, I didn’t. I ended up having to make a new Twitter account.
Great article! Now I just need to get over my stage fright and start tweeting original stuff – scary! 😉
If you will go to #MyWANA, just talk to people. We don’t have to be witty. If someone makes word count? “Congratulations!” If someone is down with a bug? “Feel better.” Or, “Can’t wait for premier of Such and Such. Anyone else a fan?” Just be authentic. You are meant to be a per on, not a comedian or a spiritual guru :D.
Great advice! I’ll give it a shot. Thanks Kristen.
Great article, Kristen 🙂 Though I admit I’m guilty of using a robot – in fact there’s a 2X a day message being delivered by it right now…”Att: Twitter friends: I’m not on Twitter Mon-Thurs. Will catch up with you Friday. This tweet is delivered by robot r2TWEET2.” But agree that a lot of tweeps have gone over the top with auto tweeting and retweeting, to the point you don’t even know what half those people are about any more. You go to their feeds to reciprocate a retweet and scroll through 20 – 30 tweets only to find “Tweets by so and so are delivered by Roundteam – or whatever.” Enough already. Get real, people. Not saying I don’t use a tweet service, but I do show my face – my real one – and I have made some wonderful friends on Twitter as a result.
There’s another article with excellent hints and advice! Thanks for this Kristen.
I’m not the automated answer-person at all. And I might probably not sell one book, once it’s on the market – because I still am old fashioned enough to be polite and not ask for something before at least having exchanged a few personal words. *sigh*
Hee…Office Space. Love. I didn’t know some of these things existed being a newbie. Except Tip #6. Ugh. Please stop, people.
Thanks for pushing the “be authentic” because you can so tell when someone is trying to be too helpful, too enthusiastic, too funny. Be your own sweet self.
Be you. There will NEVER be another 😉