The Twitter Cess Pool

Nice, Green & Gooey!  Jump In!
Nice, Green & Gooey! Jump In!

I write a lot about Twitter….as do a bazillion other people, but I had an Epiphany yesterday a while back that I haven’t seen anywhere yet…so please let me know if you think I am way off base or right on.

The Twitter Cess Pool
If you have an Auto DM set up to automatically follow anyone that follows you, have you ever thought of how many people are doing the same thing to you?
My guess is that you also just “push” info and don’t engage much, which means you probably don’t search for listen to people wanting & needing your help either.  Wow, can you say “missed opportunity”?

So, if you are guilty of any of this…either keep doing what you are doing & you will soon quit (C-Ya!) because you don’t “get it” and are not seeing any results from being on this Twitter thing….
you will change your ways by getting a social media strategy, engage with people & listen to the public…aka: your current & future customers.

Good luck…and get in the pool with the cool kids, there is plenty of room!

Drop Your AutoDM’rs Day

My two (2) year Twitter anniversary is coming up on May 16th.  I want to do something BIG.  My most read blog on a daily basis is The Auto DM Question, I thought I would expand on this a bit.

First, what is an AutoDM? Most Tweeple use the AutoDM to automatically send a Direct Message to someone that starts following them back (you can not dm someone that is not following you first).  The thought is nice…but it just doesn’t ring to the true-ness of what Twitter started out to be and what it should be.  And yes, I am telling you how to use Twitter – at least for the AutoDM.

TweetLater is a site that has offers amazing FREE & subscription based Twitter services…one of them being the AutoDM.  They sell it as “send welcome DM’s to new followers”…which it should read…”send impersonal, unsolicited ads to people who follow you-they will never know it was automated!”  ARGH. 

My quick .02 = be personal.  Tweeple are OK if they don’t get a response/thank you for following them.  If you don’t have 10-15 minutes a day to check out your new followers to see who they REALLY are, don’t bother being on Twitter.

Enough of the rant – here is the mission…..

On May 16th, I am going to stop following all the tweeple who have sent me an AutoDM.  It will be a good spring cleaning of sorts.  Clean out all the riff-raff who think they can gain market-share by making Twitter automated.

My plea to TweetLater…please stop offering this service, it really devalues the overall goodness of Twitter – please be an advocate to all that is wonderful about Twitter & stop offering this service.

Are you in?  Take the poll & let me know!

THIS is How A Business Uses Twitter

What a great use of Twitter! A Houston coffee shop is now taking orders through their DirectMessage feature on Twitter.  What a great use of customer input AND actually doing something with it.

Howe are you using Twitter for your SMB?  If the first thing you say is “what if they say something bad about us”…the truth is, they probably are and the fact that you said that means you know your business is flawed & you just don’t want anyone to know it…yet, they already do.

Small businesses that are jumping in SM are seing positive ROI when they interact with their customers and just don’t pitch them.  This is absolutly KEY when considering using & engaging in Social Media.  Treat, serve & speak to your customers the way you want to be treated…Golden Rule  my friends -nuff said.

Why Do You Get Dropped?

As much as we are all addicted to this little Twitter friend of ours, there are some that are just abusing it.

Why do you get dropped?

I love getting my TweetLess Tweet every week telling me that soANDso has stopped following me & soANDso has started.  Nine times out of ten, the people who drop me with-in the first week of them stalking following me are those just looking for a quick buck.  Now, why on earth would these spammers (ok, lets just call a spade a spade here) drop me?  They have an agenda that goes something like this (IMHO):

They “found” me & followed the Twitter rules by adding X amount of Tweeple a day.
They added me in the hopes that I would take their Auto DM bait of: “hey, thanks for the follow! Be sure to check out this widget that I am pimping to you…my-new-best-Twitter-Friend!”
I check them out, via their profile & find out they are selling the latest & greatest widget.  This widget can be (and unfortunately is) someones attempt to chat to the masses via Twitter because someone told them to do so w/out fully understanding what a conversational dialog is vs. shoving your product down your throat is.  (There is a better analogy of this by Chris  Broganhere…and I love saying it to people just to see the look on their face!  Yea, it’s that good).
Result: I don’t follow them & I get dropped w/in the week.  Ahhhh, schucks.

Good ridden I say!  If you don’t see the value in creating dialog with me (and most others on Twitter) instead of spamming me, then the age old saying of survival of the fittest will flourish.  Twitter is the ultimate OPT IN experiment.  If people don’t find value in your content, YOU WILL BE DROPPED and your ratio of who follows you will be way less than the number of people you follow.  This should be a huge clue that you should fire who ever told you to get on Twitter.

Why do you drop people?

Be True to Your Twitter – the Auto DM Question

What is an Auto response on Twitter?
There are quite a few Twitter tools out there that make your first response to a new follower (usually through a direct message, or @ message) hands off (see: canned) and make the first conversation be from a bot & not “you”.  Can you tell that I am not a fan?…hence why I am not giving you any links to them….bad news sister…read on.

Who uses the auto DM (direct message) and should we expect it?
My husband recently received an auto DM from a former collegue of mine that has his own conuslting gig now.   As soon as he got it, he said “yea, as funny as “X” is, that is just wrong”…and he immediatly stopped following “X”.  Is the auto DM’r a busy guy?  Sure, but so are the likes of @jowyang & @guykawasaki and a LOT of other people out there who I feel respect their audience and would much rather connect with them on a 1:1 basis.  If you get what reads like a canned message, know that you just got put on a mailing list, and no 1:1 conversation will take place.  You are just another notch on the Twitter-belt of love.

How do I respond to new followers that follow me back?
Check them out or course!  
See what they have been saying the last 10 or so Tweets (if those are in the past 10 minutes, I usually pass: no TwitterWhore following here!). 
I read their blog, see if we have some common interest (business, sports, coffee, mothering, more coffee)
What is their Following to Follwer ratio?  Are they going to care if I say something that could be relevant to them?  Or am I following them to get their info that is relevant to me? 
Great thing about Twitter?  It is what you make of it.  

Why NOT have an Auto DM?
Breanne Potter  listed it as #2 in her Ten Commandments of Twitter that it shalt not be done (and the other 9 are really funny too).
It is the general consencious (71%) that an auto DM or @ message is just plain spam.  You are not contributing to the conversation right from the start & because you had an auto DM set up, you really don’t care what my contributions are either.  Again, this is my take on those that auto DM…you as an auto DM’r might possibly disagree with me due to your busy and time consuming schedule (which we all hear about….on Twitter….hmmmm).

But I am a Marketer.  I don’t have time to respond to every follower.
Ok then…don’t.  But know who your audience is.  Take 15 minutes every morning & find out who wants to hear you speak.  Find a few every day & thank them – personally!  Find something interesting in them that might actually spark a dialog between two people (or more, if others are listening) and take value in the quality, not the quantity.  Have a personality out there, not a campain slogan.

Now in the case of my former collegue and his auto DM, pretty funny guy & he does contribute to the local Twitter flair that happens here in Boise…but I bet he would have a lot more responses and conversations if his new followers heard from him right from the get-go, not a bot. 

Have I changed your mind?  Are you going to use an auto DM now, or are you going to disable yours right away?
If you are still looking for some do’s and do nots of Twitter read: