8 Ways to Make People on Twitter Want to Stab Us IN THE FACE

Image via QuickMeme

Image via QuickMeme

One would think a lot of what I teach about social media (Twitter) would be self-explanatory, but hey…we live in a world where a box of frozen corn dogs has a warning that I need to REMOVE the corn dogs from the box BEFORE placing in oven. Hell, who KNEW?

As a social media expert, I run into all kinds of strange behavior and tips that make me scratch my head. Social media is social, meaning it’s supposed to be an extension of how we might interact with other human beings in person. Today’s post (obviously) is tongue-and-cheek, but humor can be the best teacher even if we’ve oopsed.

Tip #1—Only Use Automation

Writing a 140 characters is SUPER time-consuming. We aren’t Jack London. Besides, people LOVE talking to robots. I know when I feel lonely, I call AT&T because I know a human being will NEVER answer…EVER. Humans can be so boring and don’t offer us the option of hitting 6 if we want to hear everything they just said all over again. 

Yeah, all my BFFs send me automated messages.

Yeah, all my BFFs send me automated messages.

Real Life Application: Program cell phones to call friends and family at regular intervals to ask for money. They’d dig that.

Tip #2—Make Sure All Preprogrammed Tweets are “Carefully Crafted”

Because when we take time to artfully craft our spam, people don’t mind. They LOVE believing a real person is there only to be fooled. It’s like when that cute guy/gal in high school pretended to want to go out with us. Now we can relive that experience as adults by being duped into thinking we were chatting with a real person who actually cared.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 8.41.07 AM

Real Life Application: At the holidays, volunteer to bring a Honey-Baked ham, then show with Tofurkey. They won’t know the difference if we use lots of ketchup.

Tip #3—When Programming Tweets Include Popular Hashtags

Who goes to social media to socialize? People LOVE finding a community of real people to talk to and then having it crowded out by the same advertising over and over…and over. Because research shows that it takes at least 20 times to see an annoying face before we want to punch it.

Real Life Application: When attending any party, make sure to hand out lots of fliers, advertisements and coupons. Have a children’s book for sale? Stake out bounce house parties and put ads in all the little grab bags. Kids don’t want toys, candy and stickers, they want our BOOKS. Feel free to crash weddings, graduations, bachelor parties and maybe even funerals. If potential readers aren’t coming to us, we should go to them. Find where they gather then SELL. So what if it’s against their will?

Tip #4—Make People Prove Who They Are Before Talking to Them

Twitter validation services are awesome. We love meeting someone, only to have to jump through hoops to prove our love. We even get the added advantage of being redirected off Twitter to an outside site where we’re easily hacked.

How else will all our friends receive direct messages from porn sites posing as us? Nothing seals an on-line relationship like giving others a social media disease. Who will they think of when they have to spend hours removing viruses and trojans from their computers.

Can we say “Top of Mind”?

Come on! It takes three whole seconds to unfollow a bot. We need those precious three seconds to carefully craft witty preprogrammed tweets. Let the other person do the fifty hoops of leg-work to earn our trust. They have plenty of time.

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Real Life Application: Whenever we meet someone and start chatting, if we like them, halt all communication until they fill out a detailed background check. Throw in a pee test to be extra sure😉.

Tip#5—Tweet LOTS of Articles—Ok, ALL Articles

Most of us, when we wake up in the morning, think, “Gee, I wish I had a super long reading list. I sure miss my college syllabus.” Those of us with a corporate job LOVE people who hit Reply ALL so we can read more. Wikipedia is a hot place to hang out. Why not bring that encyclopedic magic to Twitter?

Real Life Application: Make sure to print off a box of articles for that wedding you were invited to. Who wants to dance or flirt when they could be reading about Three-Act Structure or Intestinal Parasites? Handing people a stack of reading material is way better than getting trapped in a “conversation.”

Tip #6—Ask for Stuff Immediately

Oh, sure! Let me drop everything to buy your book.

Oh, sure! Let me drop everything to buy your book.

The second someone befriends us, it’s our job to send an automated link to their Direct Messages so they can do stuff FOR US. Buy our book, like our FB page, follow our blog, or even answer a really inane question (as if we care about their answer) *rolls eyes*. Hey, great to meet you. Do you like vampires or werewolves?

Huh?

Huh?

Real Life Application: If someone is nice to us in the grocery store, make sure to have books to sell and the ability to take credit cards on the spot. Sure, that person is trying to buy a chicken to make for dinner and now she can buy OUR BOOKS, too. Win-win. If we don’t have books for sale, we can ask for life, love or career advice from total strangers, because that isn’t creepy at ALL.

Tip #7—Tweet from Several Accounts/Identities

People on Twitter might miss out on all those “carefully crafted” preprogrammed tweets. Make sure to have anywhere from 2-7 identities sending the same messages. What’s better than spam? MORE SPAM, duh.

Real Life Application: This tactic ROCKS for singles on the dating scene. Meet a date then several times throughout the conversation, change names and accents. Multiple-Personalities are just more people to love.

Tip #8—Never Tweet ANYTHING Original Just Retweet

Again, 140 characters cuts into word count. Save time and retweet what everyone else has to say. Two clicks? DONE.

Real Life Application: Repeat what everyone else says. People love parrots, so why not harness that fluffy colorful cuteness? I know I LOVED it when my little brother repeated everything I said…until I put him in an arm-bar.

Okay, Serious Now 

Twitter can be very valuable and a great place to make wonderful friends. Be real and enjoy. People are on social media to be social. We crave connection, fun and escape. If we wanted more ads we’d read the door in the bathroom stall or not bother fast-forwarding through commercials. We don’t need to be profound, deep or immensely witty to do well on Twitter, we just need to be vested, present and authentic😉.

What are some other things people do on social media that in real life would be ridiculous? I think sometimes we fail to extend that logic. Do you get tired of the same automation tweets? Have you ever bought a book because someone you friended automatically sent you a link to buy?

I LOVE hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of JANUARY, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on AMAZON, iBooks, or Nook

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  1. #1 by Steph Mignon on January 9, 2015 - 12:35 pm

    I think this falls under tip #5 and #6, but I CANNOT STAND when my feed is cluttered up with writers quoting their ebooks constantly, fire selling them, or begging for people to buy them. It’s like, have some dignity people!!!! I am a quarter way through your book KL, and I have to say you are a genius! But I think I might be too, because much of what you say is intuitive, to me at least, haha. You’re just helping me better trust my gut and it’s been refreshing to learn that my instincts aren’t all wrong! Thank you for you and for this!

    • #2 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 9, 2015 - 12:44 pm

      And really that is why I WROTE my books. Writers have great empathy and instincts and a lot of social media stuff “felt” wrong and creepy because it WAS. My books are simply to codify what you already “feel” intuitively and then clarify with a plan of action that is authentic, fun and doesn’t take up a lot of time. Great to see you on here and happy you changed your Twitter handle! Pretty name. USE IT!

    • #4 by Jennifer Austin - Author on January 9, 2015 - 2:58 pm

      I was going to comment this, but yeah, what she said.🙂

  2. #5 by dianaflegal on January 9, 2015 - 12:39 pm

    Seriously ROTFL! Tofurky and auto tweets. #makemefurious🙂 Thanks for putting into words my favorite pet peeves about social media! While I am guilty at times, I promise to mend my ways!

  3. #6 by eve1ynaster on January 9, 2015 - 12:41 pm

    I agree, but it’s also hard being polite. I see people making lots of sales and they’re sending out automated tweets all the time. I try to be real and my book sales are pretty much zero.

    • #7 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 9, 2015 - 1:42 pm

      If you checked the numbers though, I bet their sales aren’t being generated off Twitter messages. They have a terrible ROI. Just keep writing more books. Compounded sales is your FRIEND😉 .

      • #8 by eve1ynaster on January 9, 2015 - 1:50 pm

        That’s what my lover keeps telling me🙂

  4. #10 by Wenchy on January 9, 2015 - 12:46 pm

    Enjoyed the read.

  5. #11 by Les Edgerton on January 9, 2015 - 12:50 pm

    Kristen, I had to laugh when I read your opening about the corn dogs… It’s because of people like me that those warnings exist, methinks. Back when TV dinners first came out, my mother bought some to try (this was before microwaves). When my father came home, he became enraged (kind of a typical day at our house…). I still remember seeing the dinners flying out the door into the snow like frisbees and him screaming at her that he never wanted to see crap food like that on his table again. Everything in our house had to be made from scratch, as per his rules. For instance, we never had a cake made from a mix or biscuits from a tube… Did I mention he was a bit of a dick? (That’s irony, folks…). Anyway, I had no experience with TV dinners so when I left home, the first thing I did was buy a TV dinner. I followed the directions fully (I thought), and just about when I was to take it out of the oven, I saw smoke emanating from the door. Nowhere on the directions had it said anything about taking it out of the cardboard box… I’d like to laugh at the dummies who need directions like this… but, alas, I can’t. I’m guilty myself. But, in my defense, I didn’t have a model on how to prepare them…🙂 Sometime, I’ll relate how I blew up my first microwave… Some of us need all the help (and directions) we can get…

    • #12 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 9, 2015 - 12:51 pm

      Well, I confess to putting in a pizza and not removing the cardboard stuck to the bottom. WTH??? *fans smoke*

    • #13 by Sandra Wagner-Wright on January 9, 2015 - 1:37 pm

      The first time I made tuna-macaroni casserole, I didn’t know you were supposed to cook the macaroni first.

  6. #14 by Jessica Barrett on January 9, 2015 - 12:55 pm

    FAB.U.LOUS. I was laughing so hard! As a writer, I feel somewhat “pressured” to be on Twitter and somehow be completely amazing, but truth be told, all of that spam and automated nonsense makes me feel alienated. I’m so relieved when someone is just being themselves and posts something original, vulnerable, honest, etc. I see a lot of authors out their selling their books through auto-messages and I’ve sometimes thought, “if that’s how I need to sell my books, I’m in trouble”. This blog post was so spot on. And I think I may have peed a little.

    • #15 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 9, 2015 - 1:09 pm

      Then my work here is DONE😀.

    • #16 by Leila on January 9, 2015 - 6:27 pm

      As a Twitter n00b I’m finding it all a bit overwhelming and safely hiding behind a rock just throwing out the odd retweet and links to my blog and other articles that I find interesting in the hope that others will too, so did blush a little whilst reading. After Facebook 140 characters is HARD, especially when I have so little or so much to say (if that makes sense!).

      Some people have such a bad grasp of online (or even RL) manners, though, and you’ve totally got them to rights!😀

      • #17 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 9, 2015 - 8:36 pm

        Monday I will blog more on how to use Twitter😉. Gotcha covered. If you are a writer you are just probably overcomplicating it😀

    • #18 by kirizar on January 9, 2015 - 7:11 pm

      I wish you could ‘like’ comments on here. The tails of woe regarding cooking abound! I baked a chicken and then decided I wanted to make some kind of gravy at the end…so I decided to pour some water in the glass pan. The glass exploded. My recipe for glass chicken involves calling for pizza afterward.

    • #19 by tanyadesigns on January 10, 2015 - 9:37 pm

      Jessica, tmi, but sooo funny and I’m glad you shared. LOL!😉

  7. #20 by Lorraine Roe on January 9, 2015 - 1:02 pm

    Agree!!!! Yet, as a writer I write all original tweetsand I find I get a low response to most tweets. My better platform is Facebook. Although- I love the cleverness of Twitter, the activism, and the humor as an audience member. I think you’ve completely nailed what doesn’t work. The Twitter validation is ridiculous. Thanks for the post.

  8. #21 by robin witt on January 9, 2015 - 1:07 pm

    I really like tip 6. We just met, you shouldn’t be asking for more already…
    So many things should be obvious, but aren’t.
    So here’s a story: There’s a really nice old married couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses who come to our house once a month. We usually chat with them a bit just to be nice, and we take the magazine they are handing out. They write a personal letter (about 1 page) Every month about the magazine and the bible (’cause that’s their gig, right?).

    So this has been going on for about 2 years, and yesterday their letter said, hey, if you have 15 minutes a week, on your front porch or on the phone, we’d like to talk to you more about God and the bible.

    After 2 years, of real, in person, ongoing monthly contact. I think that’s an example of the right way to build a real relationship… and not rush things.

    thanks for a lovely blog, I always get something useful from your posts.🙂

  9. #22 by sbjamestheauthor on January 9, 2015 - 1:07 pm

    I think you’ve covered just about everything that annoys me on Twitter. Makes me want to go through my list and unfollow anyone that’s still doing these things. My most meaningful interactions on Twitter are with fellow authors who aren’t doing that oh-so-annoying bot thing. Thanks for this!

  10. #23 by Janet O'Kane on January 9, 2015 - 1:09 pm

    Great post but what a pity you even had to write it. My pet hate is people who are included in an #FF list and fell the need to thank the originator without deleting the rest of the list and/or RT the original tweet, again leaving the list intact. All this does is clutter up the timeline of anyone else mentioned and the RT comes over as a bit needy: ‘Look, I’m really popular’.

    • #24 by jeanmariebauhaus on January 10, 2015 - 4:33 pm

      THIS. I’ll see a high number on my notifications tab and think, “Wow, a lot of people want to talk to me!” and then I click on the tab and see a flood of #FF retweets and thank yous. Grr. Arrgh.

  11. #25 by wendyannedarling on January 9, 2015 - 1:10 pm

    All so true! I have to agree with Steph Mignon too… I read ‘Rise of the Machines’ and breathed a huge sigh of relief. I detest ‘pushing’ my book on friends and your approach to marketing made so much sense. If they want to buy and read it, they will. Your advice freed me up to enjoy FB and get involved with other social media while increasing exposure along the way. My only regret is that I didn’t read it BEFORE publishing my debut and am still playing catchup. Never mind. Live and learn! What I have learned from you, Kristen, will most definitely have a positive effect on all I do from now on.🙂

    • #26 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 9, 2015 - 1:13 pm

      Thanks Wendy. But I had to do the same. In the early years I took advice that felt creepy. Was going to name my first book, “I Did ALL the Dumb Stuff So You Don’t Have To.” It actually will repair/build quite quickly with good habits.

  12. #27 by Ainsley Wynter on January 9, 2015 - 1:17 pm

    Great list! I love Twitter but there are so many impersonal things about people’s feeds. I loved the image of an author having their book and a credit card reader handy at the grocery store in case they strike up a conversation with someone.

    I struggle with wanting to put out good content, especially since it also needs to be professional. So, as a newbie and unpublished writer, sometimes I’ll err on the side of not tweeting any ole random thought or fear about writing. It needs to be social, not my stream of consciousness. I try to watch my retweets. Try. I’m the oldest and that side comes out on Twitter by me trying to be helpful and pass on info. But, I’m working on it. 🙂

  13. #28 by Sandra Wagner-Wright on January 9, 2015 - 1:38 pm

    Mahalo, Kristen, for my morning chuckle. Yes, yes, and yes.

  14. #29 by Rachel Thompson on January 9, 2015 - 1:40 pm

    Thanks, this makes me even more glad that I’m not on Twitter. I don’t need to generate more complications and work– I already have too much. My real associates call or email–I don’t text. Go figure. The best thing I ever did was kill face book.

  15. #30 by laurieboris on January 9, 2015 - 1:45 pm

    Thank you for the laugh. Trying not to do these things. (*facepalm*) But I really hate the auto-responders and the twit-verifiers.

  16. #31 by alexandrited on January 9, 2015 - 1:48 pm

    Thanks, Kristen. Hilarious, but oh, so true. I especially love #7. I know a guy (sounds like an opening, eh?) who uses several identities and thinks he’s not doing anything sneaky, gross, or fitb (fill in the blank). As for tv dinners, my family also refused to serve them, so I never tried one until I was well into my 40s. By then, I was so busy as was my husband, exhaustion was our third family member. We, too, made many mistakes, but we comforted ourselves with tales of his youngest brother’s wife. She made everything according to the directions, either on a box or a recipe. Even when she baked, she would put the item in the oven, set a timer, and when it dinged, served it. One Thanksgiving nearly the whole family was there and she served a turkey cooked according to the directions. As many stories went, she did not remove the neck, etc. since it wasn’t on the directions, and she cooked the turkey according to the suggested time. It was very underdone and awful. The good news was, my husband and I had not gone that year as we just didn’t feel like taking the long trip. Yay! Thanks for the trip down memory lane as well as the wonderful post.

    • #32 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 9, 2015 - 1:49 pm

      I am AWFUL. I’m all DIRECTIONS ARE FOR SISSIES! Yes, I am the one who ends up with extra screws, LOL.

  17. #33 by Amy Shojai on January 9, 2015 - 1:50 pm

    Sent this to my CWA peeps, this is PAW-some! And…broke a rule to tweet with both my id’s cuz it’s different followers (bad amy!). Thanks for the giggles.

  18. #34 by drshaywest on January 9, 2015 - 1:51 pm

    Another one of my Twitter peeves is when people announce in their profile’s that they unfollow if someone doesn’t follow back. Just seems a strange thing to have a description of yourself. Surely there are more engaging words that make you irresistible so people are driven to follow you, not some thinly-veiled threat😉

    And thanks to Laurie Boris for making me nearly choke on water laughing!! 😀 Twit-verifiers is so perfect of a description!

  19. #35 by ontyrepassages on January 9, 2015 - 2:01 pm

    I laughed even while I was cringing because I actually get this stuff. Apparently someone out there doesn’t follow your blog. :O

  20. #36 by Jody Thompson on January 9, 2015 - 2:20 pm

    I was cracking up laughing when I read this. Oh-so-true. Cheers!!😄

  21. #37 by Michele Huey on January 9, 2015 - 2:21 pm

    Kristen, I follow your blog as often as I can, and I learned a lot from your book, “The Rise of the Machines.” Can you address the changes that Facebook is supposed to be implementing in 2015 and how these changes will impact writers, especially writers who use social media to get the word out about their books (and speaking and teaching engagements, etc.)? I’ve you’ve already done so, will you post the link to the blog? I’d appreciate it very much. Thank you!

  22. #38 by wac on January 9, 2015 - 2:33 pm

    Each and every one of your “real-life applications” is something that I have seen seriously recommended, several times over, by “social media experts” and others who purport to advise writers on how best to flog their books. So who am I supposed to believe, huh?

    • #39 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 9, 2015 - 3:50 pm

      The one who recommends stuff that jives with common sense. And we need to look at the experts and watch. If they are teaching how to blog and yet have no comments or single-digit comments, is that a person who is being successful with their own advice? Do they have a service to sell beyond the book? I don’t. I’m not tweeting or blogging for anyone. I’m not doing social media to get people to sign up for packages. My book is max $14 (paper) and even then, if you want to spend the time, feel free to peruse the blog for free.

      If you look at an “expert’s” feed on Twitter is it all spam? Is their Facebook one giant advertisement? How many followers do they have? How many people are authentically interacting with them?

      If you don’t want to go the course of high-pressure sales, many of the “experts” are not a good fit. I was a bit different. I was and AM a writer FIRST. So I came up with methods that allowed us to be real and do our job…writing more books.

  23. #40 by R. A. Meenan on January 9, 2015 - 2:51 pm

    Yyyyup, I agree with everything here. Also, I get frustrated by people who tweet a bunch of witticisms many many times a day. I’ve followed people who others have retweeted because their tweet was funny… only to find that they tweet these “funny” tweets every 5 to 15 minutes. It takes over my feed. They usually only last an hour or so before I get frustrated. XP

  24. #41 by John Holton on January 9, 2015 - 3:06 pm

    I tweeted this and marked it as “REQUIRED READING.” I don’t think people can read this enough. Not that it’ll make any damn difference; I’m sure there are more than a few Brand X social media gurus who tell their readers that spamming the crap out of their followers with DM’s telling them to buy their book, subscribe to their newsletter, and follow them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+ is the sure path to social media stardom. Maybe it is… As Oscar Wilde said, there’s only one thing worse than being talked about, and that’s not being talked about.

    I used to use one of those verification thingies, and someone finally tweeted me and said, “Do have any idea how f***ing annoying those things are?” So I turned it off. TrueTwit et al. don’t seem to do anything about the followers who offer twenty bazillion Twitter handles for $29.95.

    I’ve gotten to where those who spam my timeline (or whatever Twitter calls it) with constant reminders that yes, they’ve written a book, and yes, you can buy it at Amazon for only 99 cents, and yes, they have glowing five-star reviews (probably written by themselves and their loved ones) get the heave-ho in a hurry. In fact, I’m reading their tweets before following them back.

    And don’t you hate the people who have to advertise how many people have followed and unfollowed them?

  25. #42 by A.J. Goode on January 9, 2015 - 3:50 pm

    Thank you so much for this! I’m afraid I’m guilty of doing a lot of these things. In my defense, I think perhaps I’ve been getting some bad advice from people who have been teaching me to advertise on Twitter, and use Klout to schedule all of my Tweets. I even paid for one of those mass-robo-Twitter blast campaigns for my book release last month.

    I don’t think any of that has gotten me any sales, but I started wondering if I was perhaps just annoying the heck out of a lot of people instead.

    Thank you for this. You really reinforced my sneaking suspicion that I was learning from the wrong people.

    • #43 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 9, 2015 - 4:02 pm

      Don’t feel badly. Part of why I started teaching social media is I felt a lot of the advice was…unsound. My methods have always been very different but they are a LOT more fun and cost nothing other than maybe the price of my book. But, even then. Read the blog for free. More time-consuming, but it’s there😀 .

  26. #44 by Cyndi Perkins on January 9, 2015 - 3:53 pm

    Can’t abide when I follow someone and they immediately want me to like them on Facebook, et al. We’re just starting out on our blind date and you’re blowing it! I do post cool writing links, like this one, but also try to do my own thing because that’s what I want from others: authenticity not a sales pitch.

  27. #45 by Rii the Wordsmith on January 9, 2015 - 4:05 pm

    In trying to figure out how to make my Twitter something other than my Facebook but shorter, I decided to do something thematic with it. Not all my tweets are great, but they’re not stupid drivel either since I gave myself a focus, making my twitter account for mixed-genre villain tweets. My main focus is on writing tweets that are funny, or at least mildly amusing, because those are the kinds of tweets I like to read. That’s my guiding force for what I tweet – Would I enjoy following myself? I’ve never been a good salesperson because I know when I encounter a salesperson who tries to make me buy something, I hate them for it so I don’t want to do that to other people.

  28. #46 by bearfilmcritic on January 9, 2015 - 4:12 pm

    Liked your post. If you could, check out my blog. #irony

  29. #47 by submeg on January 9, 2015 - 4:36 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. I’ve cleaned out the people I follow for a second time; I’m tired of retweeters and people wanting to help me publish a book by spamming me with rubbish.

  30. #48 by Darlene Arden on January 9, 2015 - 4:53 pm

    So true. My personal pet peeves are the obscene Tweeters. How do they find me? They get blocked and reported as do the ones who want to sell followers or “Team Follow Back.” My followers, all 16.2K (Twitter is counting) are, as far as I can tell, real people. I interact with as many as possible. I’m no fan of “cutesy” tweets but it’s a mine field of those when people tweet as their pets.

  31. #49 by M. Howalt on January 9, 2015 - 5:19 pm

    Hi, this was an informative post on the subject. Please visit my site, buy my products and like me on Facebook.

    • #50 by M. Howalt on January 9, 2015 - 5:21 pm

      (Or in other words: I so agree. Automated messages are annoying. And your examples very so funny that I felt inspired to leave the answer above.)

    • #51 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 9, 2015 - 8:37 pm

      LOLOLOLOLOL ((HUGS)))

  32. #52 by Gayle Mullen Pace on January 9, 2015 - 5:23 pm

    I couldn’t stop laughing! The image of cooking corndogs in the box was hilarious! I once fixed a ham and cheese sandwich and sat down to enjoy it. Halfway through my lunch, I decided the ham was the toughest slice of meat I’d ever tried to chew–until I took a closer look and realized I’d forgotten to take the wrapper off the cheese. I sure felt stupid! I have a Twitter account, but I’ve never used it. There were a couple of authors that I added up front during set up and the spam I got was shocking. The next day, Twitter blocked my account for breaking terms of service. How could I do that when I hadn’t even made my first tweet? I had to promise not to DO whatever it was they thought I did in order to get the block lifted. So, like a scolded child, I promised, and they lifted the ban. I immediately unfollowed the two authors. That was last summer. I didn’t go back until a couple of days ago, just to see if my account still exists. It does, but I still didn’t do anything with it. I’m like all of you. I’d like to have non-spam followers because I’d be one, too.

  33. #55 by Stephanie Scott on January 9, 2015 - 5:28 pm

    Love these tips! I’ve seen less of the auto tweets, so maybe people are clueing in.

  34. #56 by R. Floyd on January 9, 2015 - 6:01 pm

    Hello. This is a great blog post. Thank you.

    Seriously, though, I’m in total agreement, Kristen! I’m new to twitter and I wanted to connect to other writers, and all through the day I get a constant stream of spam. I didn’t realize this was coming from other authors using bots to send out tweets. I thought this was being sent out by the actual authors until I noticed they were telling me to go read blog posts they did a year or so in the past. Arghh! I don’t know if I’ll keep up with twitter. It’s not the social network I thought it was.

    • #57 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 9, 2015 - 8:32 pm

      Hang out on #MyWANA. I am going to post on Monday how to better use Twitter. It can really be a drag if you aren’t using it properly and connecting with the right groups of people.

    • #58 by Glynis Jolly on January 11, 2015 - 5:24 am

      I’m not having the problem with spam at Twitter. Or maybe it’s just that I’m not there enough to notice it. When I get tweets or a new follower, that’s my cue to go visit Twitter and do a little socializing. I pick who I visit by what they say on their tweets. I do tweet posts and articles but at those times, I’m not going to the Twitter site.

      I went to your blog. Where is your Twitter button? I can’t follow you if I can’t find you.

  35. #60 by Tricia Drammeh on January 9, 2015 - 6:21 pm

    Reblogged this on Tricia Drammeh and commented:
    Exactly this!!! Kristen Lamb is a genius. Tip #4 is one of my biggest pet peeves. If you use True Twit, or a similar service, stop right now. Just stop.

    I’ve been guilty of 5 and 8 to some extent. I go on huge retweeting/link sharing sprees and forget to create original, engaging content.

    Before you use Twitter, please read this excellent article.

  36. #61 by Leona on January 9, 2015 - 6:36 pm

    Stellar article! I have blogged about some of these issued before and it received a lot of good feedback. Dear friends Tricia Drammeh and Susan from Island Editions also tackled the social media issues, all of these posts received a lot of publicity. It is quite evident everyone is annoyed with a huge number of people behaving like spam bots following bad advice from shady marketers. It’s irritating and makes me want to pull my hair out. I am truly sick of the validation stuff, automated messages and useless tweets. I wouldn’t even go on twitter if it weren’t for the people who actually talk to me and act like human beings.

    I think we as bloggers need to get organized and run an organized blog feature thing to educate the writing community about social media etiquette.

  37. #62 by Leona on January 9, 2015 - 6:56 pm

    Reblogged this on Leona's Blog of Shadows and commented:
    Another brilliant blog post from Kristen… The real life examples are hilarious, well the whole thing is tragi-comical, but the real life examples gives you a very clear picture how those behaviors look.

  38. #63 by Natalie K. on January 9, 2015 - 7:03 pm

    Too funny, Kristen!🙂 (Also, I just discovered your blog recently and LOVE it. I spent way too much time at lunch the other day browsing your posts…) One thing I cannot stand is when authors follow you, and then you see that their only tweets are promoting their book, over and over and over again. It’s so annoying!!

  39. #64 by sabrinawrites1 on January 9, 2015 - 7:04 pm

    So true about someone you’ve just followed asking you to buy their book, or retweet it, it puts me off in a way, it’s not like I’m a fan or anything I just may have thought they were kind of interesting, and made a choice to follow them…When I get that enevitable link to Kindle I always respond bu saying ‘If I like it Ill tweet it, but I have to like it first’
    Look I understand we all want to get ahead, but I’m sure theres a better non sterile way of doing things.

  40. #65 by Jueseppi B. on January 9, 2015 - 8:21 pm

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

  41. #66 by Lara on January 9, 2015 - 9:09 pm

    “Kids don’t want toys, candy and stickers, they want our BOOKS. Feel free to crash weddings, graduations, bachelor parties and maybe even funerals. If potential readers aren’t coming to us, we should go to them. Find where they gather then SELL.”

    bahahahahaha

  42. #67 by lynnkelleyauthor on January 9, 2015 - 11:02 pm

    I love your humor, Kristen! Thanks for the giggles.

  43. #68 by Karen on January 9, 2015 - 11:45 pm

    Other commenters are so right, how to behave is really intuitive. And I love how you used humor to organize and spotlight it all. I was a Twitter skeptic at first and in the last year have had a blast discovering and getting acquainted with like minds. I just try to keep it positive and keep it real and it works!

  44. #69 by The Story Reading Ape on January 10, 2015 - 4:28 am

    Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog….. An Author Promotions Enterprise! and commented:
    AUTHORS read this article CAREFULLY before you even THINK about getting on Kristen’s case about it – it’s NOT what it seems at first glance…😀

  45. #70 by njmagas on January 10, 2015 - 6:02 am

    This pretty accurately sums up my frustration with Twitter, especially the parts about automated DMs. I just followed someone who first followed me, and immediately after a received, “Hi, thanks for the follow, I’m going to follow you back now!” Ninty-five percent of the DMs I receive are automated requests to check out someone’s Amazon or author page. The other accounts I dislike are those that behave like automated marketing bots. Their content is an endless, daily stream of “buy my book for 0.99 RIGHT NOW OR THE PUPPY GETS IT!” Talk about desperate.

  46. #71 by Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. on January 10, 2015 - 7:30 am

    I will reblog this as all of what you so wittily conveyed is spot on. I now no longer follow back people who ask for validation. If they have come through my front door do not expect me to use your tradesman’s entrance. I love new followers but always check their profile before following back as in the past I have found certain body parts and graphic expletives adorning my thread when logging on in the morning.. However from a promotional aspect I have spent the year building up my social media sites and am only just starting to promote my books and business (irregularly as per recommendations) and it seems to be paying off. I would urge everyone though to provide a profile and to use the Pinned tweet function as a useful selling tool. Great article thanks.

  47. #72 by Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. on January 10, 2015 - 7:30 am

    Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    How to use Twitter with some great analogies to relate too and examples of what not to do. From Kristen Lamb

  48. #73 by Sally Ember, Ed.D. on January 10, 2015 - 8:39 am

    My favorite idiot consumer warning (to date) is on folding baby strollers: “Remove child from stroller before folding.”

    Thanks for the HOT TIPS!

  49. #74 by Jane Sadek on January 10, 2015 - 10:11 am

    Confession – I’ve had a Twitter account for a few years now, but I still haven’t figured out exactly what to do with it. Facebook is my social media of choice. I’d rather talk to the 300 or so people I actually know, rather than the almost two thousand folks who are following me for some reason I can’t imagine. For another thing, I’ve hit the 2K brickwall and even if I found someone I wanted to have a relationship with on twitter, I’d have to kick someone else off. I massage the account quarterly, but remain baffled by the whole concept.

  50. #75 by MonaKarel on January 10, 2015 - 10:53 am

    What great timing. Now I know what not to do on Twitter…our meeting program today is on how to deal with Twitter. I understand the 140 characters and I’m happy to promote other author’s blogs on Twitter but the idea of starting up a conversation is just a bit scary. I’ll let you know how it works out…maybe on Twitter?

  51. #76 by Lyn on January 10, 2015 - 11:00 am

    Mostly, this is sound (and funny!) advice.

    I’ll disagree with you about retweets, though. When I retweet, it’s because the tweet was wise, funny, or beautiful. Retweeting is not only a way to share something cool with my followers, it’s a way to show appreciation to the original tweeter. I feel flattered to be retweeted.

    Besides, if someone has said exactly what I think, and my hands are already sore, retweeting is efficient.

    On all other points, you are perfectly correct. Thanks for another entertaining and informative article.🙂

    • #77 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 10, 2015 - 8:04 pm

      If you note, I said, ONLY RT, not NEVER RT. I RT stuff all the time, but I talk to people too😉 .

  52. #78 by herheadache on January 10, 2015 - 11:04 am

    I can totally relate with all of this. I like social media because it helps me become more social. When things feel to scheduled and programmed an automated I can’t really buy into it or participate. I don’t like feeling fake. I don’t like thinking that somebody always want something from me and vice versa. I know that’s reality, but it’s hard for me to take sometimes.

  53. #79 by Dawn DeSousa (@DawnDeSousa) on January 10, 2015 - 1:08 pm

    Once I realized what twitter really was…a place to meet peps. I started hanging out and talking to people and one of them was you🙂 Looking forward to seeing you at a conference and giving you an actual hug!!!

  54. #80 by Isabella Norse on January 10, 2015 - 3:07 pm

    Amen! I’ve been on Twitter for almost two years and there are a lot of other authors in my news feed. I’m continually amazed by all of the ones that continue to do these things. BUY MY BOOK! DID YOU KNOW I HAVE A BOOK? BUY IT PLEASE! Ugh. The people that I actually interact with are the ones that, like me, tweet about their lives (the good and the bad). Yes, we sometimes talk about our writing, but we don’t beat each other over the head with it or continually spam the Twitter-verse.

  55. #81 by Sarah Brentyn on January 10, 2015 - 3:26 pm

    Yes! Thank you for posting this, Kristen. As you know, there are articles out there telling people to do (some of) these things. Ugh… I cannot stand these. The only one I’m guilty of is Tip#5. I tend to RT and tweet a lot of other people’s stuff, which is fine, but I have a VERY difficult time promoting myself so I don’t often have my own “look at me!” tweets. It feels weird–but you’ve got to do it. Also, I’ve read many places that you shouldn’t share what you’re eating or what you’re watching, etc. Hmm. There go all my “Watching The Avengers and eating sushi. Loving life!” tweets. Aw, too bad.😉

    • #82 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 10, 2015 - 8:06 pm

      But then we could get into a cool discussion about The Avengers or why people in Texas think sushi=BAIT😀

      • #83 by Sarah Brentyn on January 11, 2015 - 12:24 pm

        Hey! Okay. Fair enough. It’s true. All about the perspective, you know? It is bait. Delicious, soy sauce-covered bait.😀

  56. #84 by Wendy L. Macdonald on January 10, 2015 - 4:06 pm

    Thank you, Kristen, for the great advice and for making me laugh so hard. I’ve met some wonderful people on Twitter and hope to stay friends with them even after I’m a published author.

    Blessings for 2015 ~ Wendy ❀

  57. #85 by dragons4me3 on January 10, 2015 - 6:14 pm

    I’m not on Twitter yet, don’t have a smart phone, and only a desktop. I already spend too much time on Facebook. I’m not sure I want to risk Twitter. I’ll have to give it some deep thought.

  58. #86 by jcckeith on January 11, 2015 - 12:22 am

    Your article is exactly why I stopped using Twitter. It was mostly just people promoting their books. The only original tweets I ever read were from the comedians I followed.

  59. #87 by Frankie Ash on January 11, 2015 - 12:25 pm

    I was not on social media at all until I published my first book. I had to read Facebook for Dummies because I was clueless and didn’t want to do it wrong, any of it. I read countless articles on setting up and managing social media, and I learned to do exactly what I should be punched in the face for doing): I’m not doing everything wrong because I have connected with some great folks, but I do believe I have a lot to learn, so I bought your book. I don’t want people to want to punch me in the face.

    • #88 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 12, 2015 - 10:11 am

      LOL. Great to meet you, Frankie and thanks for getting my book. I hope it blesses you!

  60. #89 by tanyadesigns on January 11, 2015 - 12:27 pm

    Great and fun blog, Kristin, I’m afraid I’m guilty of a few of the points.😦. But as Oprah would say, now I know better, I’ll do better. Keep up the great work. Thanks.

  61. #90 by Julie on January 11, 2015 - 9:49 pm

    These are all things that cause me to unfollow! Plus those who talk about their numbers of followers, or ask me to like them on Facebook. And, and, and: there are way too many “experts” out there on Twitter.

    Real life: being at a party and talking about all the stuff you own, or texting someone else while we are talking, or basically being a know it all! Kick me if I do any of the things on your list!

  62. #91 by M T McGuire on January 12, 2015 - 2:29 am

    Love it. I unfollow anyone who sends me a dm asking me to check anything out: their blog, book, facebook, whatever and I unfollow anyone who uses a validation service because I’m certainly not going to voluntarily spend 20 minutes trying to decipher text captcha and getting it wrong.🙂

    Cheers

    MTM

  63. #92 by Kristen on January 12, 2015 - 9:09 am

    This article was so great that I want to share it on Twitter, but now I feel conflicted…

    • #93 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 12, 2015 - 11:02 am

      Feel free to share. There are just people who pump out link after link after link instead of being…a PERSON.😉

  64. #94 by Lorilyn Roberts on January 28, 2015 - 4:46 pm

    Thanks for the great article. I did leave a comment, but forgot to post the link to my blog. I linked at http://LorilynRoberts.blogspot.com

  65. #95 by renogalsays on June 29, 2015 - 6:53 pm

    Just signed into Tweetdeck today. I’m hoping to fine tune my tweets so I’m not annoying anyone and figure out how to limit who annoys me! I’ve been working on the ever confusing world of hashtags but sometimes I have a lightbulb moment and it comes together. I feel like I’m almost getting this social media world…and then maybe not. Thanks for trying to keep us all straight out here in the thecyber world Kristen. Always appreciate your informative blog posts.

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