For those of us that tweet, getting new followers is a bittersweet event. There is that moment when you think, “Wow! Cool! Look at this! I’ve picked up ten followers in the last 24 hours! That’s great! People really care what I have to say!” and then you go to look at the people that followed you and you find that most of them are places like JimBob’sShoeShack, or Kedida’sLovelyHandMadeHandGunSales and you know… you have been plagued by the vague, but ever present.. twitspammer.
I’m sure that top 10 lists like this abound on the internet, and every blogger that tweets has written one, but I felt that for the sake of my sanity, I had to write mine as I blocked and reported ten spammers to twitter admins today alone. One of whom, only tweeted links to his ebay sales page… and somehow thought I would be interested in an xbox 360 controller, even though there is absolutely no mention of the console on my user info, or in my tweets.
1. No @replies to other tweeps on your first page.
This is almost always a dead giveaway that you are a spammer. If you’re not a spammer, then you’re not taking part in the community that is twitter. What twitter is is a giant conversation that is meant to be held with others who have like interests or other people whose interests interest you. This is not a livejournal type dumping ground for your bad mocha. This is a place where one must get involved with other people.
2. All @replies to other tweeps on your first page.
This is a dead giveaway that you are either a spammer, or don’t have anything interesting to say about yourself. Both are not good. If I am going to follow you back, you have to talk about yourself. You have to give me a reason to care about what you’re doing. You have to prove to me that you are worthy of my time. I currently follow 61 people on twitter, and this number grows on a daily basis. Why should I allow you a slot in the precious little space that I have to read your tweets if you don’t even talk about yourself?
3. There is a link in absolutely every single tweet posted.
And again, another dead giveaway. You are either a spammer, or you have posted your twitter page for the benefit of your business. I don’t mind tweeps like @timbuk2 which is blatantly a site that offers announcements for the timbuk2 bag company. They told me what they are, and I didn’t follow them back, but I didn’t report them for spamming and I didn’t block them from seeing my updates. They’re honest about what they’re tweeting and that’s what I expect from businesses using twitter.
4. You provide no personal “I hate Mondays” type tweets.
Tweets that say, “Check this out!” and provide a link, or say, “Ooh… look at this gadget over here!” are not in the spirit of twitter. I want to know what you are doing, right now!
5. You only link to one particular site or web page over and over again.
You know who you are. You are a twitspammer. You will be reported by me to @spam the minute I check out your twitter page. I don’t have time for you and neither do other tweeps.
6. You have the words “marketing” and “guru” in your bio.
I appreciate that you are trying to find a way to make twitter work for you, but I have to wonder what makes you think that I care? I won’t report you to @spam for this, but I really don’t want to learn about how you are going to teach me at some seminar about how to use twitter to market myself. I am already doing that and don’t really need your help.
7. You have no icon.
This means one of two things. You are a n00b, or you are a spammer. n00bs, I can forgive, but I will not follow them back if they only have one tweet on their twitter page. I will wait a few weeks to see if they actually use twitter and if they do, and figure out how to upload an icon, then I will give a followback. If there are links asking me to check out your new marketing website… to @spam you go!
8. You have a custom background with your business’s logo.
This is so obvious, I’m not sure it warrants an explanation. Isn’t this why your business has a website? You can even use that business’s website as a link in your bio, but please, don’t smear your page with it. I came here to hear about you, and if your business is important to you, great, but I am not gonna buy shampoo from some guy I read about on twitter. Just not gonna happen.
9. You tweet too much.
As I said above, I follow 61 people on twitter. If you tweet once an hour, I can’t keep up with you. No offense, I’m sure you’re cool and I probably would be interested in your tweets, but if you tweet so much that I can’t even follow what you’re saying if I walk away to go to the bathroom… I’m sorry. Followback denied.
10. You tweet too little.
If you haven’t tweeted in a while, or don’t tweet at least once every two or three days, again, I apologize. I’m sure you’re cool and I would probably be interested in your tweets, but I would also forget who you were every time I saw one of those tweets scroll by. I just have a really short attention span is all. There is nothing wrong with you, I’m sure.