In the below video and abbridged transcript, we discuss Twitter etiquette. Direct messages are the best place to find examples of people who “just don’t get it,” and misuse automation and automated responses versus those whose Twitter interactions show they are communication pros.
Eric on etiquette: So the big problem occurs because a lot of people are using “auto-responders” – I think it’s a good way of phrasing it because really it’s like an auto-responder that you use to email when you’re on vacation for example. But they’re doing this, especially of course when you first follow someone, they auto-respond. And very often it has a really, I would say, “hard sell” in it. So it’s something like “Thanks for following me. Buy my e-book online for 30% off, right now!” So it’s just completely inappropriate. And it’s done so much that it’s created part of this confusion about Direct Messages and quite frankly, the fact that people ignore it. I mean, I used to think of my Direct Message “Folder” so to speak, as my “Spam Box”. Just because it was so full.
Trish: That common?
Eric: Well, yeah. Just because yea it’s just so full of, it’s just so full of stuff like that. And I’ve missed out that – wow, somebody actually sent me something that’s was a personalized, something I need to respond to. And it’s very odd to me that people don’t think this through. Do you really want your reputation to be downgraded because of the this?
I think some people, they’re almost using this as an alternative to sending out mass emails that are targeted emails. But they’ve got their picture there. People that used to send out spam for example, because it’s illegal now, it’s still sent out but when it was legal, let’s say, a long time ago. And people that were doing it more frequently, they wouldn’t use their name. They’d find a way to make it so that at least it doesn’t screw up their brand or their personal name. But when you send a Direct Message, and its got your name and your picture or your brand and its picture, what does that say to about you? You’re just basically unsolicited, sending out these things. Totally impersonal, unasked for.
You meet somebody and give them your business card at night. And then every time you collect business cards, you then auto-respond to people that have got your email and send you the first message to your email with a solicitation. It’s the same; I mean it’s totally off-topic and it’s completely wrong. So why are people doing this? It’s because they’re not thinking through – and it shouldn’t take following laws or something like that to get them to [understand basic common sense goes a long way towards good Twitter Etiquette]. It’s just that they don’t have time to really figure out all the best practices for different social platforms. And I think that a lot of them are just not really aware of best practices for Twitter. And again I use the analogy of sending out auto-emails inappropriately.