Top 10 Reasons Why I Don’t Follow You on Twitter

There could be a hundred reasons why I don’t follow someone on Twitter; let’s try to narrow that down to 10…

Top 10 reasons why I don’t follow you on Twitter:

  1. You direct message me with spam. No explanation needed here (though, you could read my previous blog on the manner here). Unless you have something to ask me that you wish to be kept private, don’t DM me. I probably will not click your link; and when I reply back to your “hello, thanks for following” message and don’t get a response in return, I get annoyed and might even stop following you.
  2. All of your tweets are actually just Foursquare “checkins.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Foursquare geek, but I usually turn the Twitter/Facebook syncs off. If I really cared where you are all the time, I would follow you on Foursquare…
  3. You have nothing but @mentions in your Twitter feed. If I check your Twitter feed and you’re just talking to your friends back and forth, I usually don’t follow back. I mostly use Twitter to find content/people I can learn from.
  4. Your tweets are just sent from your Facebook page.
  5. It’s obvious you are just trying to get more followers. The biggest red flag here is using hashtags such as #followback or #500aday. Twitter should not be a popularity contest. Grow up.
  6. Your profile tells me nothing about you. I typically follow like-minded Twitter users–people in PR, marketing, social media, advertising, photography or related fields. So if your profile says something like “Hello world,” I probably won’t follow you. Use your profile as an introduction and sincerely express your interests. Oh, and post an actual website.
  7. Non of your links contain hashtags or otherwise appears you have no idea how to use Twitter.
  8. You have poor grammar. Social media is not an excuse for bad writing.
  9. You do not have an avatar. This is a big one. That default image of an egg is annoying to look at for a reason. People like to follow real people/companies. Take the time to put a profile picture up and I might think you’re a real person.
  10. You follow more than 1,000 users, but have zero tweets. Why are you even on Twitter?

Basically, I am on Twitter to meet people who share similar interests as I do and who I feel I can learn from. Networking is also a major reason I am on Twitter. My ultimate goal of following people who live near me and share similar interests is to eventually meet them in person. Lastly, I don’t really see the point in trying to gain 100,000 followers just to have 100,000 followers. Whether you are an individual or a company, you will benefit from Twitter more from having a tight group of followers who share similar interests than a bunch of random people who are just on Twitter to gain followers.

If you are still confused why you only have 10 people following you on Twitter, here are some great resources:

Why I Hate Auto-DMs on Twitter

Maybe the most annoying thing with Twitter is getting automatic direct messages (or auto-DMs). Most auto-DMs are spam. Nobody likes spam.

Why I hate auto-DMs on Twitter. Auto direct messages suck.
No caption necessary for this image...

This topic idea came about several months ago when I started following Mark Stevens on Twitter. Stevens (@Mark_MSCO) is a self-proclaimed marketer known for “delivering business insights with blunt truth and unconventional wisdom.” He is the author of a book titled “Your Marketing Sucks.” With a book title like that, I guess that does make him rather blunt. However, without attacking the guy too much, I do want to point out my problem with Mark Stevens. He sent me auto-DM on Twitter shortly after I began following him, which read:

Hi, it’s Mark. Here’s a private business training video I recordedthat will help you declare war on your company: http://bit.ly/aHhiYX

Besides the typo in the message, the auto-DM did not appeal to me the least bit. For one, I do not own a company or work for one, and if I did, why would I want to “declare war” against it? Needless to say, I did not click the link. I just ignored it and gave the guy a break for sending me an auto-DM and trying to be a good social media marketer. However, a few weeks later he sent me another auto-DM:

It’s Mark. Can you subscribe to my YouTube videos? Here’s the link: http://youtube.com/user/BusinessDispatch101

This direct message is even worse. It is far less formal and gives me absolutely no reason to click the link and certainly not a reason to actually subscribe to his YouTube channel. This message also has poor grammar: Yes, I can subscribe to your YouTube videos, but why should I? Noticing how proud he is of his best selling book “Your Marketing Sucks,” I replied with:

Your marketing sucks. I’m not going to subscribe to your YouTube channel without you giving me a reason to. I’m not even going to view it.

Funny thing is, I couldn’t remember his Twitter handle, so to find him on Twitter I typed in “yourmarketingsucks” and found a post from @MissBeckala, which read:

When I follow you, don’t auto-DM me a contest for Twitter with a link pointing to your Facebook page. #YOURmarketingsucks @Mark_MSCO

Apparently this guy has a history of automatic direct messaging people spam. I stopped following @Mark_MSCO and started following @MissBeckala. Also, I retweeted Becky. Why auto-DM anyone at all? This seems a little “old-fashioned” for the fast-moving social media world.

Below are some more rants and suggestions regarding Auto-DMs:

Do you have a good auto-DM story? Please share in the comment section below!

PR in Social Media: Owning up to Mistakes

Just like Homer Simpson, we all make mistakes sometimes.
Just like Homer Simpson, we all make mistakes sometimes.

In my last post, I talked bout the power of social media on a personal level as it relates to St. Cloud State University choosing to eliminate homecoming. I had a short anecdote I wanted to include, but omitted due to my goal of keeping posts at 500 words or less. The anecdote was about a typo I had on a Facebook post for KVSC on homecoming being eliminated at SCSU:

“Top story at kvsc.org today: St. Cloud State University to climate Homecoming.”

Not sure what “climate” homecoming is all about, but people started making fun of the typo almost as soon as it was posted. Although the headline was posted as KVSC, I was the one behind the typo (or auto correct more specifically). So once it was called to my attention, I had to make a choice: remove the original post (also removing user comments) or own up to my mistake with a personal remark.

Being a PR guy, I felt it was important to be transparent and admit the goof up. So I simply replied to the post (with my name and face next to the comment) and made a little joke out of it with a reference to damnyouautocorrect.com.

Many social media experts believe it is important to always put a face with a company status update. Personally, I feel it depends on the type of post. Posting an article that is “trending” on your site should not require a face behind the post. However, if there does happen to be a typo, whoever made the error should own up to the mistake.

Lastly, just as a reporter should never remove an article with a factual error, a company should never remove a post or tweet with a mistake. It is much more professional to admit fault. Plus, admitting your mistake can only create more impressions and build credibility as a reputable source of information.

Thankfully, this was merely a typo and not anything offensive. Some celebrities and journalists alike have made “jokes” on Facebook or Twitter that have turned out to be quite offensive and created backlash from their followers. Check this article out to learn of a larger-scale mistake and how Kim Wilson suggests handling a “Twitter Faux Pas.”

I should mention I had a mistake in my last post as well. When I omitted the part about my mistake, I left a sentence in that was completely out of context. It was up for a few hours before I noticed it. Can’t even remember what it was now. Did I just break my own rule of owning up to mistakes?

Social Media is Not an Excuse for Bad Writing

Text Messaging ShorthandIn my last post, I discussed how social media has changed the way people are finding jobs, the criteria employers now follow and how many in the PR field are branding themselves and networking via social media sites. The videos mentioned noted some astonishing statistics, making it impossible to ignore the social media wave or pass it off as a fad. In this post, I want to talk about something important in every industry: Good writing skills.

Some might not view text messaging (or SMS) as a form of social media, but it is one communication tool that has fundamentally changed the way people communicate. Though abbreviations such as OMG and LMAO (along with a long list of other text messaging shorthand) may be cute and a much quicker way to get a point across, they really have no place in communicating a company message or in any attempt at branding yourself in an online world. If you’re like me and you mostly maintain a Twitter account and a blog to show potential employers what you are all about and some of the skills you have, you should basically never use shorthand.

It can be a challenge to fit a quick pitch and a link to the full article in 140 characters or less for Twitter, but our society’s attention span has grown increasingly short and relies on bite sized pieces of information to give them the knowledge they need. Maybe the first lesson I learned as a student of mass communications was to be concise in my writing. Give the important information up front and all the minor details in the body and towards the bottom (inverted pyramid style of writing).

That’s enough about Twitter. The point I really want to make is that good writing is important. I feel that I am a decent writer, but that’s because I work on it nearly everyday and have been since I started college. However, I can always work on clarity, creativity and brevity, among other areas. With that, please let me know if I have any typos or if you see areas I can work on to improve my writing style … I am open to all suggestions.

So this is my public service announcement to anyone who has a blog or posts short messages to Twitter, Facebook or any other social network that broadcasts to basically the entire world: Be a good writer.