Twitter Etiquette 101

OR how following a new person on Twitter should be treated like a first date.

So, I’m a happily married guy and fully admit I’m not up on the latest trends of the dating scene. But somehow I doubt that walking up to someone you’ve never met and saying “Hey babe, what’s your sign?” or “I play the field, and it looks like I just hit a home run with you. ” is a way of charming someone and it probably won’t get you a second chance…maybe a drink in the face though. Don’t be that guy.

With that in mind I’ve recently noticed a really annoying trend occurring on Twitter where I will follow someone and I get a direct message back from them with some lame sales pitch or directing me to a “free gift” for following them. Why on earth would your first personal contact with me on Twitter be a direct sales pitch? Really? I hardly know you. What would ever possess you to think that this would work.

Twitter is all about building relationships and interacting with the community at large. If I follow you on Twitter and like what you have to say, I’ll start seeking out your tweets. If you continue to provide interesting conversation, content and ideas to the flow of Twitter…I’ll check out your profile on my own and if I want to learn more about what you do or the services you offer, I will contact you. OR if I pose a question on Twitter and your business has the solution…that is the perfect opportunity to engage me and tell me how your product or service is the answer to my dreams.

If I send a direct message to someone when they follow me it’s a casual “Hey thanks for following me! I look forward to reading your tweets!” Just something friendly to acknowledge that I do appreciate you following me because…well…I do appreciate everyone that follows me. Everyone uses Twitter differently, but I would have to guess that no one is logging on to Twitter to hear everyone’s “elevator sales pitch”.

So please…don’t be “that guy”. Like all those cheesy bar pick up lines that don’t work and are insulting to peoples intelligence – starting a conversation with someone using a sales pitch is a sure way to turn them off and get a virtual drink in the face in the form of an “unfollow”.

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