Do You REALLY Think You’re THAT Important?

I am going to give everyone a fair warning that today’s post is a rant.  With that out of the way, let me get into the subject I wanted to cover.  One of the things that I am always trying to do is connect with new people on various social networks.  As I’ve stated before, I am somewhat of a Twitter addict.

Once in a while I will focus on growing my sphere.  To do this, I will visit friends I am already connected to and like and see who they are talking to regularly.  I figure if I like this person already, and they seem to like these other people, I will get along too, so I will then follow them.  What bothers me more than the automatic DM’s that some people send spamming an automatic link to some MLM product for following them are the people who are set up a program called TrueTwit.

Whenever you follow someone using TrueTwit, you get an automatic DM like the one to the right.  How annoying!! I see this service being an Anti-Social Media tool.  Why?  Well first off, it makes people have to do more work to connect with you.  Normally I can hit “follow”, add to a list and move on.  With TrueTwit, it makes me go back, click on the link to validate myself.

Validate Myself? Yes, I have to validate to the person I’m attempting to follow that I am a real person. I find this to be a major turn off when I receive these messages.  It makes me feel as if the person is too good to connect with me.  Why? Because I spent the time researching and trying to connect with a person, but their time is obviously too important to do the same in return.  Instead, I have to invest more time jumping through hoops.

I understand the reason someone would think this is a good idea is because of all the spam on Twitter.  I get that, there is a ton of it and I hate being spammed too. However if someone takes just 30 seconds to do a little research on me they will find out quickly that I am an actual human being.  All you need to do is look at my Twitter stream and you’ll see that I am not someone babbling on about getting rich quick, or posting the same link 3,385 times a day.  The other thing you could do is look at my Tweet Stats.

As you can see there,  70.44% of the tweets I send out are directly replying to others.  Also, 6.45% of my tweets are Re-Tweets.  That means that almost 77% of the almost 20,000 tweets I have sent are conversational in nature. That leaves only 23% for posting links and stuff about my business.  If it weren’t for me connecting my FourSquare account to Twitter, this number would be even lower.  Obviously, it is easy to tell that I am an actual human and not a cyborg.

What’s the big deal?

As I already said, services like this are the anti-social media.  The first part of the term “social media” is social.  We don’t make people who come to our neighborhood barbecue pull out a utility bill to prove they are part of the neighborhood.  We simply welcome them in and enjoy the delicious potato salad they brought with them.  Why then do we feel we need to put up barriers like TrueTwit on social media platforms?  Doing this turns people off and makes them not want to connect with you.  The fewer people connect with you, the slower your sphere will grow and the less effective the platform can be for your business.

So if you are using a service like TrueTwit, please shut it off, disconnect it, and delete your account immediately.  There are other ways.  Personally, here is how I handle my Twitter stream: I openly follow anyone & everyone who follows me.  If you don’t believe me, follow me on Twitter, and you will get notification almost instantly that we are now connected.  Instead of setting up barriers that might offend a new connection, I simply set up lists and filters to engage specific groups of friends and followers.  My main funnel of friends stays off to the side and only gets viewed when I have the available time.  It doesn’t bother me if a spammer is in that column as I rarely use it.  I WANT to connect to as many people as possible.  It can help to expand my brand and business even further than it is today.  I try to set aside time each week to spend connecting with my new followers.  It may only be 30 minutes sometimes, but at least I am reaching out to them and letting them know I appreciate being connected to them.

So do you have barriers affecting your social media marketing?  If so, you may want to take a few walls down.

Jeremy Blanton

Jeremy Blanton is the Co-Founder of 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors. He is a social media speaker who shares with thousands of people each year on things like how to use Facebook for Business, Blogging, and How to use Twitter.

When he is not coaching or speaking, he spends most of his time working on Custom WordPress Sites for his clients.

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  • Great point. No one likes those validation links!

  • Mike

    Yes, I see your point and why the validator is troublesome for a Twitter “heavy user” like yourself. On the other hand, for someone like myself who has a Twitter account and uses it very infrequently a validator would save me time. I didn’t know they existed and didn’t know about most of the things you mentioned in your rant. What I do know is that 90% of what I get on Twitter is spam and a validator would save me the time of dealing with them. Maybe that’s what (and whom) they cater to. Your list idea is a great workaround.

  • Mike- What I would say though for those not using Twitter that much is that the less you use it, normally the less number of people want to connect with you. Using the list type of thing is much more effective. I don’t have to think about it all. When I have a few minutes, I then go into my cesspool of nothingness 🙂

  • Agreed!

  • @allstarmom3

    Jeremy, where do you find that percentage?

  • Which percentage? My percentage of replies? When you access your tweet stats and scroll down there is a graph on the left.

  • Jason Rosen

    Jeremy,
    Nice post. You bring up a lot of good reasons to take down the obstacles to social media. I use TrueTwit. It wasn’t so much about the spam. As I still get a fair amount of spam even with the validation service in place. The real reason is that my account was hijacked several months ago. This decision is more to protect those who are in my network.

    Keep up the good work.

    Jason

  • I agree, I have only run into the TrueTwit validation once, and it just so happened I wanted to connect with the user bad enough to push through, otherwise, forget about it. First of all, who cares who is following you, you don’t have to follow them back. The validation would save me about .5 seconds, which is usually how long it takes me to recognize someone as a spammer. Usually you don’t even need to click their profile, and often I don’t even need to read the description, but can tell from the photo.

    That said, if someone was to use a validation service, something with a simple click would make more sense, ie You click follow and a popup comes up asking you to click a checkbox to verify that you are real. The WP plugin from GrowMap works this way. This would eliminate all the follow-bot stuff these folks typically use.

  • /agree

  • you really are trying to get me riled up right? Of course you are right. sharing this post with a linkedin group thats giving its members really bad advice.

  • I wonder if it is the post I saw a few months back about setting up an RSS feed to twitter, spamming everyone & you would gain 1,000’s of followers that way. There were hundreds of comments in that thread. I was one of about 10 that disagreed. Everyone else just saw the ability to get 1,000 followers. Little do they realize the followers are just spammers.

    Some will never learn 🙂