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The top 8 reasons people hate your Twitter so much right now

Mon 27th Oct 2014
By Todd

Here we go then, a blog about Twitter tips.

But this isn’t about how to succeed or gain more followers.

This is aimed at stopping your Twitter car crash if you’re really not getting it.

Oh, and you may not KNOW you’re not getting it – so read on…

I run loads of Twitter accounts for clients and I spend far too much time on Twitter. Because of my career choice (I highly recommend it) I see it all.

In fact, I see too much. I see activity on Twitter that I’d rather not see and I sometimes (often) tweet about it when it really gets to me.

I’m a huge Twitter fan and I feel really strongly about using it for business and for life to succeed in networking and find new connections. So with that in mind, this isn’t a rant; it’s a calculated assessment of Twitter and what you’re doing to annoy people.

Oh OK… it’s kind of a rant – but it could be very useful!

So, here’s what you’re doing that’s ruining your Twitter output and literally turning people off your Twitter account.

The top 8 reasons people hate your Twitter so much right now

#1. Auto Direct Messages

Let’s start with a big one. Now I’m not suggesting that you don’t use auto DMs. If you run a huge account with tens of thousands of followers and you’re gaining more than 100 new followers each day, then yes – use them.

If you’re that busy then you don’t really have time to say hi and cement a possible new connection. So yeah, link to your new book, push to Facebook or sell your webinar. That’s fine. You won’t lose out as you’re already rocking it.

Auto Direct Messages on Twitter are spammyBut…

If you’re new to Twitter, if you’re a small business, if you’re getting fewer than 100 followers a week, then stop auto DMing people. STOP NOW.

The thing about Twitter is – it’s SOCIAL!

The thing about auto DMs is – they’re not!

If you’re a small business then you need to connect with people. If someone walked into your business you’d offer them help or advice, not throw a business proposal under their nose at first instance. Say hello and introduce yourself before you sell.

Please turn off auto DMs and only use them when Twitter becomes so huge and unmanageable that you can’t cope. No one likes them!


#2. True Twit (or True Twat as I like to call them) validation

Twitter is full of bots and spammers (that’s what I’m trying to fight here). Just deal with them like I do – block them. Don’t treat everyone with the same introduction by asking people to jump through hoops when you follow them – you’re turning them off!

I don’t think I’ve ever gone through the process to prove I’m human. I am human and I’m dammed if I’m proving it to you before you say hello!


#3. Your bio may not be as funny as you think it is (or as informative)

Bios are important. You have 160 characters to sell yourself to Tweeters.

Don’t muck it up. Don’t put ‘space rocket scientist’ and ‘peanut butter invertor’ if you’re not. Don’t put “one day I’ll rule the earth” and please don’t bother with “all views are my own” unless you’re linked to your employer and they’ve told you to.

Your bio should be informative and tell us about you. It should include a cool fact about you and also say where you are in the world. And very importantly – have one!

Don’t start using Twitter without a bio because no one will know who you are and you won’t get anywhere near as many follow backs. It’s obvious, but it’s still an issue in my timeline(s).


#4. #BuyMyStuff

People don’t like being sold to. Social media is about being social. Businesses started using social media after everyday people. Twitter was full of interesting celebs before your boutique shop or doughnut stand rocked up. Be interesting.

Stop selling your shit and stop spamming the hell out of people’s timelines!

In my experience people won’t unfollow you unless you really annoy them, but they won’t talk to you – and that’s a big mistake right there. Keep the selling to a minimum. Do it, but do it around 20% of the time you’re there.


Facebook thumbs down#5. You’ve linked every other network to Twitter with a cool dashboard

I don’t like you on Facebook, connect with you LinkedIn, circle you on Google+, follow you on Instagram, subscribe to your newsletter, or anything else. Yet you clicked a button once and now all that falls onto Twitter in an awkward dump of updates.

If all the social networks were the same then there wouldn’t be loads of social networks.

Each one has its own style, language and audience.

Don’t be lazy or you’ll turn people off.

For example I do link my Instagram but I don’t always share to Twitter and I never share posts with more than a few hashtags.

Think about your audience.


#6. Can’t think of anything to Tweet? RT everyone else’s stuff!

Could you not? As my Grandmother used to say, “If you can’t think of anything useful to say, don’t say anything at all”. (Actually she said ‘nice’ but I’ve re-worked it.)

If people follow you then they follow you for updates about you and your area of interest and what you said you’d tweet about in your bio.

Don’t say you’re interested in motorbikes and then spend all your time RTing funny gifs of cats or news about politics that your followers may not like. Sure, share and RT content but don’t make it 90% of your output. It’s good to share but you’re you and you’re the person they’re following.


RIP #FF Follow Friday is dead#7. #FF off!

Ok, I’m calling it.

Time of death June 30th 2012.

Yes, it’s been that long (approximately) since Follow Friday has been used en masse. It was good while it lasted but yet again the spammers got involved and now it’s just a list of people with ‘#FF’ on the end.

Rest in Peace #FollowFriday. (Seriously, stop this now. Or give good reasons to follow someone.)


#8. Mass promotion to everyone, one-by-one, tweet-by-tweet

Twitter is good for promotion and I’ll admit to sharing my blog… a lot!

But it’s an 80/20 mix people. 80% social and 20% sales!

If you’re the type of tweeter who decides one night to copy and paste a tweet to every person you know to sell your stuff then prepare to be unfollowed. This is the height of spam. You just aligned yourself with my ‘honourable friend’ in Nigeria who ‘wants to put £20,000 in your bank account, please click here’.

Seriously, no one likes to be treated like this. Give people some respect and make them feel special.

Bring it up in conversation sure, but don’t just send it to them out of the blue. I’ve had these tweets from people who have NEVER spoken to me on Twitter. What’s that all about?

First rule of social media club – be social!


Right. That’s enough of that. As Jerry Springer used to say “Be good to yourselves and each other”.

Please don’t make a hash of your Twitter.

Please try to be social on social media. Turn off the automated ‘I can’t be arsed’ software because it’s not very human, is it?!

Business is built on people. People buy from… yeah you know it.

So apply it to Twitter and you’ll go far. Yes, one day you’ll ignore people and you’ll automate a lot of it – but if you’re not there yet then stopping acting like it.

Much love,



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8 comments on this article

  • Jo Hanson at 8:16am on October 28th 2014

    Hi Todd,

    Another awesome read!

    I didn’t think that you could advise us on anything more, since your previous blog on ‘What I wish I knew before joining Twitter. But your views are so spot on, I couldn’t help having a bit of a giggle, as your points are soooo true! It’s now been 9 months since I’ve joined Twitter, and I still find it a real useful platform for forming discussion and gaining knowledge on key topics of interest. I thought your point on people trying to promote there other social media platforms, such as LinkedIn is one I’m seeing more often. “Like me on Facebook” is also another one that often pops up. It is interesting… When people follow, I often read their bio before I follow back, but it is such a disappointment when people end up just spamming and advertising.

    As the people I follow has increased, I have found it a bit more harder to keep up with connections that I would of normally been sparingly in tune with, so auto messages can be a good way to say that you are still here, even if you can’t always spread the love 🙂

    I have also been looking into your more recent blog on how to use Tweetdeck, I haven’t yet given this a go, but it may help to filter and gain more local connections. I will let you know how I get on though.



    1. Todd at 12:31pm on October 29th 2014

      Thanks Jo.

      I like to dig up old views and blend with the new (blogging tip for you there). Some of these points I actually blogged about before on our previous website but they’re still relevant now.

      I really can’t stand the ‘like me on Facebook too’ crowd. I mean, chill out, we just met!

      I hope that one day we all get to the point where we have to auto DM as we’re too busy being awesome but until then we need to be real and we need to be social…
      … Although, I don’t think we need to be auto-replied unless we’re buying something online. I mean. I know it worked, I can see it says I’m following you! 😉

      Glad you enjoyed it x

  • Louise Fox at 10:06am on October 28th 2014

    #FF off… I might tweet that on Friday!

    I do RT any #FF tweets I am tagged in. I know some ‘tweeters’ who spend all day Friday just on this (I know, I know…!?!) & one follower actually number’s their #FF tweets, one Friday I was demoted to #FF #34 of their day, I was once #2…. #WhatDidIDo?? #Care!

    I do always take a quick look at the other victims & occassionally follow any that I think may be relevant or of interest somehow.

    Have a great day you two.


    1. Todd at 12:26pm on October 29th 2014

      Thanks Louise.

      God – 34?! You need to up your game! 😉 Honestly I wouldn’t worry. I’m glad I don’t feature on it at all. It’s not very ‘social’ is it?! Checking out other people in your #FF is a good plan though and something I do if I’m added to a list of ‘welcome new followers’ tweets.

  • John at 20:23pm on October 28th 2014

    I am amazed that Twitter has lost 10 % of its share value to day when it announced an amazing quarter profit? ( £300+million)
    It shows that the market is very fickle about dot com companies. It does not understand them and so will sell its shares at the slightest excuse. Good blog, thanks.

    1. Todd at 12:24pm on October 29th 2014

      New things are coming along all the time, John. I think one reason people are turning off Twitter is that they’re changing it and adding new tricks and worryingly moving towards a Facebook-style stream. People still use it though and we’re not done with it yet. Investors or no investors! 😉

  • Jeremy at 11:19am on October 30th 2014

    Very good tips Todd, been guilty of a few of these (not the spam ones though!) so thanks for the insight!

    1. Todd at 9:35am on November 7th 2014

      Thanks Jeremy,

      Glad you’re not a spammer! 😉 I think life is all about learning and improving, no?

      Keep up the good work!

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