Twitter Strategies: 3 Steps to Avoid Being Mistaken As A Spammer

ComputerShopper published this deansguide article 11-23-09
The Courier News (Chicago Sun-Times News Group) published this deansguide article 11-23-09

Twitter strategies are numerous and often confusing. The moment you think you understand the network, something new poses a challenge to your efforts. One of the first challenges new Twitter users will experience is understanding who to follow. The first and worst mistake new users make is to beginning following hundreds of people or companies immediately. The resulting lack of strategy places the new Twitter user in what is called a “upside” down position. Simply put if you follow hundreds and very few are following you, you give the appearance of a spammer, MLM hard sell marketer, or worse yet an affiliate marketer.

This is a very basic first phase description of how to screen the people and companies that follow you. Due diligence is important, unless you are a spamming hard sell MLM or affiliate marketer, to building an effective network. Let’s examine my due diligence steps with social media analyst Jerimiah Owyang:

3 Due Diligence Steps to Build Your Twitter Network

  1. Read Bio: read the bio of the person-company following you. Understand what they do and if they fit into your network of followers, if they provide information valuable to you, if they have a large network you wish to leverage, and if they are in your industry or niche.
  2. Links: click through the link provided in the bio. This link should lead to a website-blog with mission statements, purpose, goals, industry, and niche. This IS my most important step in the due diligence process.
  3. Tweet “Stream”: read the tweet stream to understand what is being written. Does the person or company provide valuable information to you and your network? Is this person providing new thought leadership like Jeremiah? Do they share techniques or new processes? Do they tweet breaking news about your industry or niche?


It is up to you how you screen your twitter followers and who you will follow in return. I utilized this process 80% of the time. The downside to this process is that it is time consuming. The upside is the fact that you will have a more targeted network that will serve your research, broadcasting, prospecting, sales, networking, announcement, crowdsourcing needs in the future

4 Ways Twitter Could Eliminate DM Spam

In our last article “Twitter Strategies: 7 Day Waiting Period on Direct Messages” we described 3 methods to curb or eliminate DM spam.  The following list are four more ways to eliminate DM spam on Twitter like the example below:

4 Ways Twitter Could Eliminate DM Spam

  • Crowdsourcing Court: Twitter users vote on the guideline of penalties awaiting a company or individual who is found guilty of spamming the Twitter network. Base it on Dell’s Ideastorm crowdsourcing site
  • Eliminate Links: disallow the use of links in any DM messages with the hope that spammers will no longer see the benefit of using a DM
  • Less than 140: cut the number of characters in half for a DM making it a 70 character messaging channel thus challenging a spammer’s ability to create spam
  • DM Limit: create a limit for the number of DMs allowed each Twitterer per month. Once you reach your limit, you have to wait until the next month to send a direct message

Twitter Strategies for Entrepreneurs: How Not to Use Direct Messages

Direct Messages

The most annoying habit of Twitter users is the strategy of sending a DM aka direct message as a greeting to anyone who follows their tweets. Why would, what appears to be a smart method of introducing yourself to a new connection, a DM end up being detrimental to your ability to connect? The answer is automated response tools.

5 Reasons Not to Use Auto Direct Messaging

  • Perception: you are immediately perceived as not caring enough to personalize your message to your new connection because no name is attached to a automated tweet
  • Sales Pitch: 70% of the DMs I receive are direct hard sell sales pitches asking me to become a facebook fan, read a blog article, or follow other Twitterers.
  • Interruption: this is interruption marketing at it’s worst. If you want to be relevant re-read Seth Godin’s idea of permission marketing
  • Follow Strategy: most automated response DMs are the byproduct of a Twitterer’s follow strategy. Most entrepreneurs that auto tweet have follow strategies built to create mass numbers regardless of the value of the following.
  • DM Examples to Avoid: never do the following if you must use automated direct message tools

Yay, I’m on auto but that doesn’t mean I don’t care! You’re on Facebook? Let’s be friends there too “

“I have written a free quide on the ‘smart’ way to Twitter: (url link) it’s to the point and it’s free. Thanks for following me. Hey it is great to follow”

Thanks for the follow! I found you via this Twitter marketing tool: link and If you want a lot of followers (like I do), you should check this amazing website: link”