Saran Wrap Series – My Transparency on Twitter

Welcome to a new mini-blog series that revolve around transparency in your market/sales called “Saran Wrap Series”. Understand that Saran Wrap has nothing to do with this post, or me, I just saw it in the kitchen while writing and realized it’s transparent and it sounded catchy (see what I did there, I was transparent about the blog series title. I’m cool like dat)

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Part 1: My Transparency on Twitter

When I started getting some momentum on Twitter, gaining up to 500 new followers a day during the craziest of my tweeting addiction, I turned off notifications of new followers. I couldn’t keep up with them all. I then had a choice, become a Twitter Diva (or “Twiva” if you want to annoy the eggnog out of people) and not follow anyone back, or auto-follow everyone back who followed me. I picked the latter, since I figured it was a nice way to say thanks for following me, and hey, if they followed me they at least have that going for them :-)

This was a mistake for three reasons:

A pic of me in a cow costume seemed suitable for #1

1. I followed back spammers/porn accounts and other undesirables. I got nothing against porn stars. I’m sure they wake up and put on their latex pants like the rest of us, but I had no desire to hear about the sequel to Long Dong Silver in my tweet stream. Also, on your profile page, it shows a collection of people you’ve recently began to follow. Some of those profile pics don’t reflect fondly on your brand, and why are you following @WhipsAndChainsForMen anyways?

2. I ended up following 30,000 people. I barely look at my “All Tweets” screen. I’ve removed it from Tweetdeck. There is so much noise, that I’ve had to make custom groups called “rockstars” and “awesomesauce” to read the tweets of people are learn from/know. I should’ve stayed selective in those I followed back and now only follow those I learn from/laugh from or that engage with me and I find them interesting (a great tool for that is ReFollow.com I check off “Not Following” and down below check off “Users who have @ mentioned me” to see whose been engaging with me but I haven’t followed.) And don’t get me started on all the auto-dm’s it opened me up to. Even after using socialtoo.com to block most of them, if I get one more “it lets your Facebook friends find you on Twitter” DM’s I’m gonna start getting all stabby.

3. It was not being transparent. I was trading authenticity for automation. Efficiency for transparency. People would tweet or DM me that they were flattered I followed them back, and I winced every time. I couldn’t tell them that it was automated.

Twitter is different than a newsletter. There is a much more personal connection on it. Just like auto-tweeting, which I’ll go over in the next post in the series, as soon as you throw automation into your relationships, they stop being that. Is it worth deceiving people, if that’s how they might see it, for the sake of automation? I realized a little too late, my answer is “no”.

What’s yours? Does it make you feel all warm and fuzzy if someone follows you and you get that notification? How do you feel about people auto-following back? Or any automation? Comment below! And sign-up for updates to get notified when the next post is up! I’ll cover what other people are doing with automation, and why it can kill your image.

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