Twitter-quette. It’s my turn.

I recently went over the 1,500-tweets mark.

In all my tweety time, I have recognized the same behaviors I see in life: rude, pushy, asinine, bothersome, annoying, hard-sell, read me, buy me, like me…

When I started my Twitter account, I followed a lot of people (writers, publishers, agents, bloggers) just to get a Twitter groove going, ya dig? I hoped people would follow me back – I did not stalk them if they didn’t.

Look at my …

Writers who tweet their book, their Amazon sales, their five-star reviews. And nothing else. Give us a break. Post something interesting or helpful, will ya?

Vague tweets

Some people post a vague link and that’s all. “See this,” “Look at this,” “Read this.” Why should I? Give me a clue! Entice me!

Tweet beggars

Please re-tweet me. Um, no.  Please like my fan page. Again, no.

The come-on

I follow someone because they look like a human being. Immediately I get a, “Check out my book on Amazon!” “Check out my awesome blog!” “Follow my fan page!” I’d be more likely to look at your stuff if you come back to me with a “Hey, I see you grew up in Delaware!” or a “I see you are a grandma! So am I,” or a “I see you blogged about Twitter nim-rods…”


You follow me, and then I look at your Twitter account. You follow 36,000 others. Really? Then why would you care about little ole me?

Spam tweets

We have all received these – “I just saw a picture of you …” Unless it’s a picture of me at 16 y.o. in the orange bikini (yeah, I was that hot), I’m not gonna look at it. Duh-lete.

Quote tweeters

You quote Poe, King, Angelou, President Lincoln, President Roosevelt, President Kennedy; you quote Fortune 500 power-houses and Saints and dictators and artists and musicians… Have an original thought, will ya?

Super-human-steroid book tweeters

I see tweeps posting, “Love this book!” 50 books in one day. If you could read that many books in one day, you’d be on Conan and the Today Show.


Re-tweet me and I will re-tweet you back. Ick. No. I am not for sale (not without a coupon).

Will re-tweet anything

Are you re-tweeting to garner favors? Don’t. Retweet when you actually read that book, that blog, or if you actually agree with that tweet.

Your last 50 tweets are thank yous

Boring. If you want to thank someone, send them a personal message. Don’t make the rest of us watch it.

Tweet @@@@@@@@ lists

Who reads these? You post a list of twitter names with “Great writer” or “The Best!” or “Deserves treats.” If I am so awesome, I would rather you single me out and say something way-cool about me.

Your profile photo

If you are a person (not a company), then I would prefer to see a real picture. Not a caricature or your cat. The last time I saw a cat send a tweet was when he swallowed a canary.

And the profile

Your profile is all about your books. Snore. Okay, you’re a writer, I get it. Put something in your profile about who you are. Or make me laugh. Are you a 60s hippie? A sock-puppet maker?

One does evil enough when one does nothing good. ~German Proverb 

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value. ~Albert Einstein

Twitter behavior – what bugs you? What do you love to see in your twitter feed?  

17 Twitter Marketing Tips From the Pros on Social Media Examiner, by Cindy King

Don’t Be That Guy by Shannon Paul

Ten Things You Need to Stop Tweeting About on The Oatmeal

Photo – Morgue File, by beglib

Quote source – Quote Garden


Filed under Branding & Platform, Social Networking

27 responses to “Twitter-quette. It’s my turn.

  1. I love the Einstein quote. I do not “tweet” at this time but if I did, I would tape a copy of your “don’t do” list on the back of my phone and refer to it every time I even THOUGHT about going to Twitter! Fabulous post, it made me laugh!

  2. I like this checklist. I’ve been guilty of a few of these. I like to share links & really try to make the link interesting.

  3. I’ve seen what you describe and pulled back on Twitter. In the end, it really is just noise. For all the funny Tweets, look at me, like me, great read – there is no hard evidence that Twitter helps an author. In fact, I’m now thinking it is the reverse and too much Tweeting is damaging.

    Like any social media, Tweet must be used wisely.

  4. John Bernard

    I have just begun to explore the Twitter world. It works best for me when food truck owners tweet daily where they will be located and what they are serving that day. The other good usage is when craft brewpub owners tweet what beers they are tapping each day; some even do it as they tap new kegs. So maybe twitter us just for urgently needed and time-sensitive info. And I guess my priorities are evident.

  5. Very good points and well taken…tweeters on steriods seem to be a norm in tweeter land. I’m fairly new to twitter and still trying to learn exactly what it’s for. Good post Karen! 🙂

  6. Thank you for all your comments. There is so much noise on Twitter. I try not to add to the fray. I try post helpful blogs or re-tweet articles I truly liked. I also tweet books I have read and liked and books published for good causes. I’m not perfect either, but try to be a good girl most times. Yes, if restaurants are running a special or brew-pubs are a-tapping – that’s good news!

  7. Like John and DiAnne, I am a new user of Twitter. I have had to block several people who have wanted to be my follower. It seems to me that there are many on Twitter who are only trying to add to the number of people they follow.

    • Barbara – that’s the way I feel when I see people with more than a few thousand followers. Hey, if that’s their thing, great for them. I have a hard enough time trying to keep up with Twitter with just several hundred followers/following.

  8. I tweeted this. lol Good stuff, though. And I need to beef up my profile – too much just writer stuff. Thanks/

  9. Thanks for the tweet, Yvonne. When I look at profiles, I like to see more than just writing stuff and books listed. I like to know about the person, too!

  10. This is great 🙂 And especially loved “I’m not for sale (not without a coupon).” Made me really laugh out loud. I am not on twitter enough to either do these things or bear witness to them….sometimes I wonder why I AM on there! LOL

    • I am glad you enjoyed! I don’t spend a lot of time on Twitter – mostly for the reasons listed above! I have found some great people and some great blogs, but I have to sift through a lot of fluffy-stuff posts to get to the yummy stuff. Most of my tweet-posts are promoting others and their fab blogs (and about 5% for tweeting my services).

  11. I’m smilin’ (because I recognize many of these frustrations) and pushin’ back (because I do some of them but have a reason). Just because someone is following hundreds of people doesn’t mean they’re following them regularly. For instance, I follow fellow classmates if I’m taking an online course — I set up a Hootsuite column for them while I’m taking the course. Otherwise I’d probably never see them in my twitter stream. I also have several various topics I’m interested in, so I follow people in those industries. But I may not look at their tweets until I’m ready to write a related article.

    I also like quotation tweets in my stream (unless that’s ALL a person does). Reading them makes me think or smile or be inspired. I retweet lots of them because I want to share that good feeling.

    But mostly, you’re right on target. If I get a tweet with nothing but a link, it gets ignored (too many are ads for something). I always want to see a real photo, and I DO read their bio before deciding whether to follow them or not.

    Great post, as always.

  12. lastseenat

    Ah, Karen, SO glad you took your ‘turn’. Our words should be a flowing out of some experience of creative recognition. Bombarded as we are with ‘twittertripe’, when I am moved to write, to follow a flicker of inspration, I find myself reflexively assuming a ‘hellenkeller’ modality, groping my way around the creative groaning board, snatching up crumbs, swiping up small puddles of juice, then swiftly secreting my trove in my ‘inchoate-prose-pearl’ pocket, whence it awaits a solitary, meditative moment. This because ‘twittertripe’, et al have blinded me to the point where recognition is, if not impossible, so distorted that no self-respecting quill would dip into it. We’ve become the super-saturated solutions of chem lab – not knowing whether the secret formula to expression of beauty is bonded securely in solvent or lurking in the sediment of detritus at the bottom of the decanter. Simple quotes my staple, I’ve rejected, nay, eliminated, all remaining servings from my plate, using only quotations for psychic rehab and/or inspiration. Lorane. . . .

    • Twittertripe – what a great word for it! There is so much tripe out there in the Twitter-sphere, it sometimes takes an hour to find one worthy of re-tweet. Thanks for your comment – what a lovely way you have with words!

  13. C.J

    I do tweet, rarely}. Most of my comments and quotes are original about 95% of the time. When I post these I’m being myself, giving people all I have in terms of love and experience. Now that I’ve tried twitter I realize I hate it. The thing is, my public is on it and I love them lol. I honestly don’t have the patience for Twitter and your post sums up the reasons why.

    I don’t want to become one of these types of birds; selling articles, books, politics, or bashing the opposite sex all day. Sorry, I’m not going to tweet from my car, on the toilet, or while having dinner with my family– just to see who’s watching what on TV or how your date sucks or how Jr. stuck an M&M up his nose. Is it just me . . .? Am I a twitter verse lame here?

    I have posted a couple of links to books or sites that I feel may inspire someone but almost never to promote my work. My goal is to make unencumbered connections with people. Judging by my following so far, it ain’t working lol.

  14. Gawd – I know. because of all this, I don’t frequent twitter all that much — I scan it, retweet what I find interesting, and check out new followers. But it takes a lot of time to do that – having to wade through a lot of white noise to come to those great nuggets!

  15. PS – if you were to look at my tweets, you’d have to really dig to find where I’ve talked about my books – I don’t unless I have some kind of exciting news that I want to share, and that doesn’t happen often enough to warrant more white noise! 😀

    • That’s exactly my point – there is so much junk in the Twitter-stream, you have to troll for an hour to find something worthwhile. Read me, like me, follow me, see my blog…blah blah blah.
      I don’t think I’ve EVER seen you promote your wonderful books, Kat, not that I remember.

      • I know – there are days I scroll and scroll and scroll my twitter feed and then give up! lawd!

        (I rarely do promote them – and thank you for your wonderful support and lovely words, Karen – they mean a lot!)

  16. CJ – from the toilet! Priceless. Yes, I’ve seen these tweets, too. Like I want to know that? TMI (too much information). You are not twitter-lame. You seem to be right up my tw-alley. I think you should continue – as expressed in your comment – just as you are!

  17. Not sure if I’m loving this post because it’s so true, or because it’s such a hoot.( …”The last time I saw a cat send a tweet was when he swallowed a canary” Bahahaha!).
    I have yet to fall in love with Twitter–and I have tried. It seems to demand more of a time investment than I’m willing to give — or that I even have to give. All that trolling through fetid water looking for a catch of the day, while dodging the barrage of “Buy Me – Buy Me, assaults.

    • Dang it! I thought my bikini remark would get the most comments! 🙂 I am so glad you enjoyed it, Barbara. I find when I need to get snarky or firm-fisted, it’s better to deliver it with humor. Twitter, fetid water … yup. A lot of it is. Like fishing in the Gulf after that platform explosion.

  18. nancyelizabethlauzon

    Great post, Karen, I’m going to retweet it! I think quotes drive me the most crazy, although all of what you mentioned is spot on. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Nancy – Thanks for stopping in! I like a good quote here and there, but not tweet after tweet after tweet….

  20. Pingback: Trading favors and your integrity | Karen S. Elliott's Blog

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