5 Twitter Marketing Tactics Guaranteed to Annoy

Today I began checking out a new social media marketing dashboard.  I entered the hashtag #midlife and I saw posts from two of my most savvy blogging tribe compadres doing everything right, I note what they are doing right and move on, and then I see it.  The twitter post went something like this (oh and all the links have been changed, unlinked, and changed to a pretty light blue that means “there was once a real link here”):

Get your FREE Midlife Manifesto e-book buff.ly/1cmUVEm #midlife #women #wisdom http://t.co/xyz773pic.twitter.com/xyz77

This tweet seems promising, I love the concept of  issuing a manifesto, so I click to find out more about the book.  A Mailchimp sign-up box appears.  This makes me think of rule No. 1 in “How to Alienate Potential Customers, clients, and readers.”  In a word, phrase with image actually:

bird saying "twit!"

Don’t be a Twit!

Please do not do any of the following if you want to attract my demographic group, that has both money and power btw, to your site or product.

1. Engage in a one-sided sales pitch

Per the Tweet listed above: Who in their right mind will sign up for email from a site they haven’t even seen?

This shows that the person or company behind this tweet or site knows nothing about marketing. It certainly means that the poster places no value on me and hasn’t taken my experience into account.  Maybe the content is good, maybe it isn’t.  But I now have negative confidence when a few seconds ago I was neutral.  Don’t do this.  The subject may be great but you didn’t put any effort into finding out how to get me to want to see what you have to offer and download it.    That shows me that you don’t really value me.

Or this one that will set many if not most women into a frothing tizzy.

 2. Insult me
I saw a tweet just like this one this morning from  [names have been changed to protect the stupid):
@soandsolifeguru  Are you over 40 & lacking ‘spark’? I’ll get you fired up #motivation #midlife pic.twitter.com/yrbusstudwalltheanswrs 

Yeah, sure.  Put me down, call me old, and say that you, a man, can change me and teach me how to  act like something I am not, a giddy 20-something babe.  What your message really sends out to me: You are really telling me I’m old, have lost my zing, and  that you can save me.  I’m in the prime of my life, Mr. Creep.  Go back to the 1950s and help some TV Mom.  You want me to click on you.  No way.

3.  Appear Desperate, Un-savvy, or Rude

You can do this by tweeting what is essentially the same post, slightly altered in no way that counts several times in a row.  I found what I saw as essentially the same tweet appear concurrently in my search feed at 10:43 AM, 10:36 AM, 10:31 AM, and 10:29 AM from the same account @shewhoshallremainnameless

Obviously I’ve changed the account name because I am a nice person.  Only the links have been changed to protect the innocent in these actual tweets:

Tweet #1

She’s Got A Ticket To Ride, But She Don’t Care: Paula in #Vegas E-bk A #BLANKETY BLANK  ATE MY #MIDLIFE thisismywebsite.com

Jan 14, 2014 10:31 AM

Tweet #2

Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone: Wendy in #Vegas E-bk A #BLANKETY BLANK  ATE MY #MIDLIFE thisismywebsite.com

Jan 14, 2014 10:31 AM

Tweet #3
2 Sandwiches Short of a Picnic: Paula in #Vegas E-bk A #BLANKETY BLANK  ATE MY #MIDLIFE thisismywebsite.com
Jan 14, 2014 10:31 AM

Tweet #4

#Velveeta Cheese Shortage got you down? Laff it off w.: #Vegas E-bk A #BLANKETY BLANK  ATE MY #MIDLIFE
Jan 14, 2014 10:29 AM

Posting essentially the same post several times in a row definitely shows that the poster either does not understand the etiquette of non-sequential posting, or does not know about the scheduling of posts.  Either way there is a lack of professional knowledge about how to use social media to promote a publication.  The last option is that the poster is just rude and does not care enough to take the user of the social media channel into consideration and that is simply rude.

4. Post a Professional Retweet Without a Disclaimer
 Here is a “anonymized” version of what I would consider another bad tweet I spotted today:
RT @PenelopesAgent: “titleofmemoir” by @PenelopeBoredom is “Truly inspirational!” viewtitle.at/titleofmemoir  #sequel #memoir #midlife #depression http://t.pseudonymauthor.co.uk
This is questionable under several of my  “Annoy Me” triggers, but the biggie is that I have seen this retweeted several times this morning by the same two or three people.  Either they are friends of the author in which case they need to understand they are hurting the author more than helping her, or, and this is a big or, this is an undisclosed paid tweet.  If so, it is illegal in the U.S.  Any compensation for any post has to be disclosed.
5. Be Blah and Use Empty Words

The tweet discussed above in number 4:

RT @PenelopesAgent: “titleofmemoir” by @PenelopeBoredom is “Truly inspirational!” viewtitle.at/titleofmemoir  #sequel #memoir #midlife #depression http://t.pseudonymauthor.co.uk

uses the word inspirational which is a ho-hum word.  No one can know what inspires me.  It is presumptuous to use the word inspirational.  If I have been inspired by something I can say it inspired me to do something or be something but that is the extent of how it should be used unless you want to make people like me yawn.  The hashtags #memoir #midlife #depression signals a real sleeper to me.  #memoir should never be the first tag.  Personal exploration would be better, it uses more of your 140 characters, but it says volumes.  Similarly, the hashtag #depression does not exactly provide motivation to click through.  Cure depression, survive depression, stop depression; these are phrases that could be turned into hashtags that convey much more.  And the contextual association of midlife, depression, and memoir sort of create a “downer nexus,” no?

I know coaches tell us all to get out there and just do it and you will learn, gain experience, and become better or even expert, but it really is just fine to research best practices early on in your Twitter career.



  1. says

    Thanks, Nancy! I’m definitely still a newbie (and no expert at sending tweets), but i’m slowly learning how to engage in the Twittersphere. I know I’ve encountered annoying things too (to me)…guess if they are off-putting to me they probably are to at least a few others,huh?!

  2. says

    >>Who in their right mind will sign up for email from a site they haven’t even seen?<< Not being in my right mind, I've done this twice! Ugh. I've learned my lesson, though, so that the next one that pops up, I back out and go on my merry way. It is definitely an annoying tactic. Then, when I get an email from these companies, and they have something I would really like to investigate, I have to put in my email address (again) and my password just to see what they want to sell to me. As you can probably guess, I've bought nothing from these places nor ever will.

    • Nancy Hill says

      dkzody,I confess I was guilty of some of these too! So I share my ignorance for the benefit of the community. Using other examples, of course. :-)

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