How not to win followers & influence people

Call it round 2. Call it an explosion of sheer frustration. Call it what you want. Here’s my top 10 things which are irritating the hell out of me this week on social media and Twitter specifically. If you do these things, you’ll probably get away with one or two. Do all of them, and either I’ve already unfollowed you or I’m about to. Am I alone in feeling this way? That’s for you to decide.

What goes up must come down. Specifically, nurture your relationships built on social media through thick and thin. Because if you drop someone on your way up, be sure they will have no sympathy, no time, and no retweets for you on your way back down again. Time and attention are precious in the new world order.

Neither a borrower nor a lender be. Or in this case, only the former – the latter is positively encouraged. But don’t pretend someone elses tweet is yours, use MT if you’ve modified the tweet you are retweeting or add your comment after a < or similar. Attribution is the basis of social capital. Don’t steal someone elses capital. It makes you look stupid, because I’m assuming you have nothing to say for yourself.

Say thank you. For kind comments on blogs, for retweets on Twitter, for citations in articles. It costs you nothing, no one has any means of knowing if you meant it or not, but if you don’t, it’s noted. And if you’re an organisation on social media, times this by 1,000. Barriers to engagement include ignorance.

Man up if you cock up. If someone tells you auto-correct has failed, thank them. Then, either delete the original tweet and repost a corrected version or apologise, acknowledge the typo/error and then repost a corrected version. Pretending like no one saw the mistake is just dumb. Your cock up has been seen by 100’s if not 1000’s by the time you’ve noticed it.

Don’t hammer bent nails. If you’re getting drawn into an argument, take it to DM. The damage to your reputation, apart from anything else, will be permanent if you don’t win, and the risk is just not worth taking. You can’t delete the conversation. And meanwhile, everyone who follows you both is watching and reading with mountain horror while vowing never to do business with you again.

Don’t ask people to retweet your stuff. Especially, don’t ask people to retweet your stuff on email. It makes a mockery of the social capital built on Twitter and for some of us our genuineness is something precious – asking us to compromise that is going to make us deliberately not retweet you even if we do agree with you. Geeks, especially, will respond badly to requests like this.

Don’t email/phone/write to anyone in my team offering to train them for £400.00. a) it shows you have done no research whatsoever (a quick trawl of our front page would show futility), b) I have checked your Twitter account and seen how much you ‘use social media to maximise your networking and money making potential’ c) if you think you only need to spend 10 minutes on Twitter a day you’re a numpty. Sorry. Conversations don’t have defined time slots. You’re broadcasting.

Don’t use the word brand. Ever. People are not brands. People are messy, noisy, opinionated, unpredictable mistake prone stupidity in a skin wrapper. We make mistakes. We make inappropriate comments. Just deal with it and stop trying to make social media the digital equivalent of an operating theatre. Engagement doesn’t happen with robots.

Smile occasionally. In other words, be light hearted. Crack a joke. Link to a silly video. Tell me your daughter just learnt to count and you’re grinning like a loon. This ties into the above but be human. Please. I don’t want to follow a bot and some humans are starting to suspiciously resemble bots. Bots get banned. Don’t make me ban you.

Play nicely. Play genuinely. Play freely. But most of all, play.

Original post

Leave a Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply