Spam is spreading like cancer on Twitter faster and faster each day. (See this post from Mashable for some examples.)
It’s to the point where I’m sceptical of every new follower I get. Out of every 10 new followers of my Twitter account, I’d estimate that 5 or 6 of them are trying to con me into buying their junk.
If you’re a business with a Twitter presence, make sure you’re not using the medium to try to directly sell your products/services. You can still use Twitter to help your business achieve greater levels of success, but NOT THROUGH DIRECT SELLING. Instead, use Twitter to listen, answer questions, and let your company’s personality shine through.
How can you make sure that the tweeple you follow don’t mistake you for a spammer? The answer is to simply follow good Twitter etiquette. Here are a couple tips.
1. ENGAGE! Talk to people. Spend some time commenting on their tweets. Let the twitterverse know that you’re there to chat and meet interesting people — NOT to sell them anything.
2. INFORM AND ENTERTAIN! Provide links to things other than your company’s products and services. Show people important industry news or helpful tips or fascinating photos or entertaining websites. If all you’re doing is linking out to your own stuff, you’ll be perceived as short sighted, narcissistic and spammy.
3. RETWEET! A great way to show the world that you’re not self-centered and just out to make a buck is to retweet other peoples’ interesting thoughts. Show people that you appreciate their contributions to Twitter.
These are the minimum characteristics I look for when deciding which of my new followers are worth following back, and which ones should be ignored — or worse, blocked.