How does that Pink Floyd song go..."Twitter and waste the hours in a off-hand way..."
Oh...I think, quite. But perhaps not as you might be imagining.
Social Media continues to be a top buzzword in marketing, and until something bigger, better, faster, and somehow...more... comes along, Twitter does seem to be leading the way. Even grandmoms are Tweeting these days. So too, of course, is every business, organization, club, and other entity out there!
My GAWD, what a traffic nightmare - if you don't know how to navigate the webways of Twitterville!
Not that I am a Formula 400 driver, by any means. My rig is more likely to be a little pony cart with a load of hay, trying to get to market.... But even so, I have seen some things. And in the seeing, I have also learned. I'd like to share my experience with you, in the form of "Do's, Don't and Suggested Methods of Operation."
1) DON'T Follow Indiscriminately! ~ Just because someone has done the favor of Following you does NOT mean they deserve the same courtesy. Look at that user and see just what they are after; if it's only you cold body, why would you want to accommodate?
I go over my Followers first thing when I check my page. Opening each of the new ones in a separate Tab, I check them pout one by one. First, I look at the numbers on their Follow/Followers. Users with thousands upon thousands in their list are either saints, like Greg Mortenson,(who doesn't even have such numbers and HE almost won the Nobel Peace Prize last year), or sinners. OR - even worse- SPAMMERS! For gawd's sake, don't eat it!
If I see high numbers and there isn't a darned good reason for me to investigate further, I not only Block the user; I click that little "Report for Spam" Action button. Oh yes I do!
Why not simply ignore them and let them stay on my Followers List? Because. They are going to use my list to Follow each and every one on it. And other spammers will cull THEIR lists to up their own ante. Friends don't let friends(or Followers) be used. Plus, you'll be floated about the Twitter Spam World like chum being dragged for sharkbait. If you are too timid to report them as spam, at the minimum you should Block them.
Next, I click the website in their profile. Why? To make sure it is a legitimate website, related TO the Twitterer they purport to be! Spammers are not stupid people(they just aren't very ethical). They will make up a profile(or more likely, many profiles) that would appear to be of interest to you - so you will Follow them back out of courtesy). Say you are into rock climbing, like I am. FancyFreeClimber has a cute profile pic - they certainly LOOK like a climber! They even have climbing Retweets posted in their stream... if you don't look too far downriver, that is.
But when you click their website - you get an Amazon.com Affiliates Page, or a Get Rich Quick pyramid scheme advertisement...
And finally - look downstream, as I said. You may see the first few posts seem genuine. But then, posts with link after link. All pointing to their scheme. Look before you leap!
2) Do Create Lists! ~ Twitter, not so long ago, devised a way to organize those in our Twitterverse, via Lists. I'm not entirely sure what good putting my people in piles like "Phtographers, DotOrgs, and Esty Shops" is going to do me, but I thought I'd better do it sooner rather than later. If you know how the lists are useful, feel free to leave a comment and clue me in!
My thinking was "Suppose I discover the "magic of list use" at some point when I have many, many, more in my little world? How cumbersome the organization would be!" So - I set aside some time, and went through and sorted things out. Now, whenever I Follow a new user, or they Follow me, I classify them straight away. It feels good, if nothing else.... Besides, there are times when I really want to see what the "Photographers" are going on about, and now I can just click on that list and hide everything else.
3) Suggestion: "Secret Lists" ~ Your Lists can be viewed by others, or not. I am considering making all mine private, so as to throw a wrench in the Spam List Gatherers machine... Something to consider.
But! I discovered a useful tool, in the making of private lists.... For one, I have "Real Friends" - This is a private lists so I can click it and see what the people I REALLY know are up to, yet at the same time not offend those who don't quite qualify. For example, I have "Climbers" which is a public list, and includes plenty of people who...climb. But I also have "Climber Friends" as a private list.... I'm glad you sent 5.12, Climber, but I'm moire interested in seeing that my good friend from SoCal struggled up a 5.8 a week after getting the cast removed from her broken leg! Know what I mean???
And now - the dirty little secret about the private list.... If you Followed me, and I sort of feel I ought to return the favor - but you have an annoying tendency of some sort..... Say, it looks like you might have a tendency to post links to your Etsy shop every half an hour, for example. Well then, you might go on a private list titled something like "Keep an Eye on This One."
Of course, you are still on my "Esty Sellers" public list. And since I pretty much allow my post stream to run au natural, I still DO see your posts. But every so often, it's my intention to click that private list, and get an idea just how much drivel is being drooled by those who I was concerned about.... It's easy to not notice, when there are hundreds of interesting posts surrounding such crap. But by boiling the mix down...the sauce thickens, you see. I get a much clearer picture of what is being posted, and whether or not it pollutes my river of thought.... I give a hoot; so don't pollute, or you'll end up UnFollowed!
4) Suggestion: Speaking of Following ~ To Be Continued! Follow this blog for the next installment, or Follow me at Twitter!
For Updates on Special Offers, our Fashion Perspective and More ~ Follow Talisman Studios on Twitter!