Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Unspoken Twitter Rules

Pin It Now! Twitter rules. They are unspoken, but they are there. I am breaking them . . .

1. If you are a celebrity superstar, an expert in your field or somehow have become a social-media phenom like MckMama or Pioneer Women, you can do whatever you want on twitter. You have a lot of followers and there is no expectation for you to follow them back.

2. If you just use twitter to communicate and stalk your friends then this rule doesn't apply to you. You can lock your tweets and no one cares. You can ignore or deny followers as you please. My husband enjoys this kind of Twitter lifestyle.

3. However, if you do not fall into above categories - there is an unwritten rule. If I follow you, then you best follow me. Or else. Or else . . . I will unfollow you. And maybe even think bad thoughts about you or something crazy like that.

But here is the thing that is so weird to me - most people who follow mass tweeps don't really follow them. Because there are programs like TweetDeck and HootSuite that tweeps use to organize their twitter life. You can rank the people you follow so essentially there will be a lot of people who you follow and you will never even read one of their tweets. What is the point? Is it just so people can DM you?

There should be a button that says "fake follow" so people will know you are following them on paper, but in real life you don't give a rip about their tweets. Or more likely, you just don't have the time.

So when I see people tweet things like, "I am going through my tweeps so I can unfollow anyone who doesn't follow me" I just kind of chuckle. Do you want a bunch of fake followers so you can just look like you have a bunch of followers? And yet, I know that a lot of people do this for marketing/business purposes. And that is part of why I got started on Twitter - to help promote my book. But again, if you are on their D list are you really generating business out of that business? Is it worth all the effort? Perhaps if you really engage with and tweet @a bazillion people it is profitable for business. . . . but "I just can't do it Captain, I don't have the power." (First person who can name that movie quote gets a free copy of my book. Make sure your email info is in the comment.)

I think these should be Twitter rules - follow someone if you are really interested in them or in the 140 character things they have to say. Follow someone because you think they make cool stuff. Follow someone because they tweet inspirational quotes or Bible verses. Follow someone who you can relate to or who makes you laugh. Follow someone who provides insightful information on a topic you are interested in. Follow someone who inspires or challenges you. Follow someone because you are married to him. Follow someone because they ask you to and you're just in the mood to oblige. Follow someone because you will actually read their tweets.

If you are following me and I don't follow you it's nothing personal. If I once followed you and then unfollowed you it's not because your tweets were lame or you are an overtweeter. Well, maybe they were and maybe you are, but that is not necessarily why I unfollowed you. I guess what I am really trying to say is that I have three young children and I cannot keep up with laundry let alone all this twitter stuff.


Thanks for your understanding. If you have insights or clarification on this topic, I will make time to read it. Maybe I am missing something? Your thoughts on Twitter and the follow rules?
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29 comments:

Erika said...

see...this is why i don't use twitter!!! heck, i have a hard time even reading facebook! now reading blogs? that is another story- LOL!

TDM Wendy said...

Erika, one less complication/distraction in your life. However, I have found some old friends via twitter and some tweets are really funny, interesting, thoughtful, and/or insightful to read.

songskatesang said...

I follow people I likey. I just followed you. The. Happy. En. Ding

TDM Wendy said...

Songskatesang,
See, I will follow you back cuz I have interaction with you. You seem nice and all.

Kimmie @ Sugar and Dots said...

I'm sure that quote is from something more important, but all I picture is Jim Carrey's face. :)

SugarAndDots@gmail.com

And I adore you on Twitter. The end.

Jennifer said...

Ace Ventura Pet Detective, hate that movie but my son loves it, go figure.
Twitter is so annoying, I loved it when I first joined, but now it seems so fake.....however, it was via twitter that I found your blog post so maybe there is something to it...I just hate the fake following.

Christine Smith @LifeVerse said...

You've got me laughing on this one Wendy (as usual). Twitter is essentially branding your name, so if you don't have a book, product or service to offer, why bother- use Facebook instead, because you get really cool games there. If you want to brand your name or photo, then use Twitter. Each time I tweet a quote or bible verse, or rarely something personal, I am branding my name. People remember the name, not the words or the tweet. Sophisticated tweeters (which I am not) use twitter to link to their blogs and websites, and this increases their ranking in Google. There is a good book about this called Twitter Power 2.0 and I assume you missed Twitter Power 1.0? I'd lend you mine, but it has yellow marker and pencil notes.

Michelle Sarabia said...

So true Wendy. Twitter is a tool we can use for His glory.

Allyson said...

I periodically go through my "followers" just to remove the "bots" but hey, if you want to follow me & see what I say or RT, then have fun ;)

and I believe that was from Star Trek 4 when Scotty was trying to beam up the whales?

lfesvr@yahoo.com

Jessica Johnson said...

HA! Love it! Overtweeter. KILLING me! Kind of nervous for the unfollow. Not gonna lie. I'll sick Tonya on you... ;)

TDM Wendy said...

Kimmie,
You are right on Jim Carrey. I will send you a book even though you didn't name the movie. Because I'm crazy like that.

Jennifer,
I now have a love/hate relationship with you. You nailed it, but how can you not like "Ace Ventura"? It's criminal, but I will send you a book anyway.

TDM Wendy said...

Dear Queen of Twitter, I mean Christine -
You could have written the book on twitter. It totally works for you - for your business and social interaction. You follow a ton of people, but you actually read a lot of tweets and respond and interact. BUT, your kids are older so I think you can afford to be a part of that action.

TDM Wendy said...

Allyson, Star Trek? Whale beams?
Oh sister, you must go rent Ace Ventura if you have not yet seen it.

Jennifer said...

Jim Carrey has always annoyed me, not sure why, then when he broke up with Jenny, that crushed me.

I am so excited to get a copy of your book, thank you!!

Cravinchoc said...

Wendy...Ace Ventura just took the quote from Star Trek. It shows you that Allyson (and I) must be a bit older than you b/c we both remember it clearly. lol

merrichristmas@mac.com

TDM Wendy said...

Cravinchoc ,
Well shooooooot.... looks like I owe a book to Allyson too then.
Allyson, email me your address!

songskatesang said...

Dude - I missed winning a book! Dang it! I was so excited about following you on the twitters... I got all distractedy :)

TDM Wendy said...

Songskatesang,
Stay with me. There will be more opportunities to be a winner.

Nolie said...

What the heck. I could have swore that I followed you on twitter. Heck I stalk your blog, have tried to win your book, yet no twitter follow.

Well I am now and no you don't have to follow back. Look at my numbers on twitter, they don't match. I won't follow to return the follow or anything like that. Twitter streams are busy enough I don't need tweets I don't care about clogging it.

TDM Wendy said...

Nolie,
That's the other thing about twitter. Sometimes it unfollows people for you

Emily said...

I've tried twitter, a couple times. I really don't get it at all! Maybe I'm a Luddite? lol I prefer blogging, facebook and email. That's enough technology for me.

I don't have a cell phone either, so maybe that's why I don't appreciate twitter as much?

Rebekah said...

That would be why I don't Twitter. I dont know how you keep up with it all. I can barely fool myself into thinking I'm keeping up with my kids and email and blogs!

I must admit, I've never seen the original Ace Ventura, BUT if you throw out a quote from Ace Ventura, Pet Detective JUNIOR, I can be all over that because I've seen that movie about a billion times thanks to my kids. Maybe I should go rent the original for a change of pace. :)

TDM Wendy said...

Rebekeh,
Wow! No cell phone? That's kind of cool.
We don't even have a land line.

Lucy postpartumillness.com said...

I use twitter strickly for getting my blog information out there. There is just no way to read all of the tweets but I have found that it can be a numbers game just like anything and works well for my blog.

I do only follow those who follow me back and I try to make sure that the person is legit and not spam. I agree with what you say here but am also trying to figure out the best way to handle all this social media. Holy info overload.

I see you said something about promoting a book. I started an Oprah campaign and need likes for the page. Those that follow I tweet and FB all their business stuff in return. Here it is if you are interested just scroll to the bottom of the post http://postpartumillness.com/node/426

carlisle clan conversation... said...

Hilarious, loved every morsel of this goodness! Twitter is a funny little beast when ppl get way too serious about it. I {heart} ppl, their quirkiness, lovely posts, mad skillz, therefore I follow.

whoisbid said...

I have found some Tweets to be entertaining that might be considered to be spam by others. If you are investing scams it is advisable to follow all the scams closely and find out how they are deceiving poor souls. Then you can write about it in your blog and help others who are going to waste their life and money.
Studying scams have helped me to understand how a lot of the world works. Some people who seem to be openly scamming are sometimes far less dangerous than those who gain people's trust through "apparent goodness" and rip them off for big money.I think it is better to lose a few dollars on an open scam than lose your life savings on undetected ones.

Mirinda said...

I hate Twitter. I have deleted and then opened an account, FOUR times. It seems so 'click-ish' in the sense that unless you have hours all day long to sit and chat {Hello, I don't- and if you have children and you DO, there is an issue!} you tend to get ignored. Then the whole I'm-gonna-post all cause I want you to COME.TO.MY.BLOG drives me nuts! LOL I give up....

Susie B. Homemaker said...

I am so with you! I just commented on someone else's blog about this very thing. Why do all (ok, most) bloggers expect someone to follow them back? It's because it's all a numbers game... what happened to quality over quantity?! I only follow back if I am actually interested in that persons tweets.

Kel said...

Interesting post -- I have a twitter account -- follow some businesses I like, follow alot of dancers that my daughter and I like to find out about where there careers are taking them and what they are working on-- even if I have to wade thru the silly stuff, it can be interesting-- not sure if anyone really cares what I tweet but occasionally I will put something out there