10 Tips to Avoid Being a Twit on Twitter

Image via WeHeartIt.com

By: Stefan Pinto, guest blogger

Do you ever come across those people who seriously make you angry on Twitter? People who are clueless about everything around them save themselves and really perpetrate everything “the media” and critics, alike, say is wrong with Twitter? If you know them, send them this…

1. Auto direct messaging new followers.

Incredibly annoying, not to mention disappointing. An auto direct message is equivalent to a 1980s answering machine message: “Hello? Are you there? Ha ha, you’ve reached my machine…” Dumb. Twitter auto direct messages are a waste of time and as they come in via a text message, this makes it super annoying.

Turn them off. Now.


2. Tweeting someone you know nothing about simply because they used one of your “marketing” buzz keywords.

After I posted a TwitPic that my car arrived in LA, Allstate quickly tweeted me suggesting I contact them for auto insurance on my “new car.” Had Allstate read *any* of my other tweets, they would’ve realized that the car was not new, I despise Twitter spam and I loathe insurance companies. #rant.

FYI: Allstate even went so far with an(other) @ reply telling me that it is “marketing.” #fail

3. Continually tweeting “get more followers by…” “how to get more followers now…” “increase your followers instantly…”

Aaargh! We are following you presumably because you used to be interesting. This is useless rubbish. Besides, those that are unfortunate enough to fall for it, end up invariably becoming annoying themselves.

4. Never engaging in any “@” conversations.

Ever go to a cocktail party and just talk about yourself? Zzzzzzz. Twitter is about engagement. Recognize that other people have something to say: respond, comment, RT their posts.

That is why it is called “social networking.”

5. Not reading your DMs.

How aggravating is it when someone gives you their email address, only for them to later tell you, “oh, I never check email.”

DMs (direct messages) are personal and sent only to you — presumably for a (networking) reason. Use TweetDeck. Your DMs show up automatically. 🙂

6. Complaining on Twitter, one tweet after another, after another.

Yes, times are tough and a lot of us are up the creek without a paddle, but frankly, this is why we don’t need to hear it. Imagine turning on TV and seeing people scream and yell about their problems? Wait, that is on TV.

7. Tweeting like the media wants you to.

Twitter really isn’t about people tweeting mundane, useless trivialities, “finally woke up,” or “ha, ha, yes to the party” or other bizarre messages that no one knows to whom you’re tweeting (if anyone *cough*Facebook status*cough*).

Be engaging, be informative, tweet something useful — preferably, riveting.

8. Tweeting only links, with no title, like “Wow, check this out – link” Um… no.

Google indexes your Twitter post and if you’ve never received a Google Alert with one of your Twitter posts, then chances are, your tweets are not searchable and quite possibly not useful to anyone. Remember, Twitter is networking.

Be useful.

9. Not Re-Tweeting, anything, ever.

Come on, play nice. Remember there is no “I” in “Team” and if you want to be considered — at all — on Twitter, you need to RT. Of course, it should be within your “niche” or somewhat interesting to your followers.

10. Following everyone, without a care in the world.

That is up to you, but be careful, as some of those followers are Bots, or worse, some silly girl wanting to show you something that isn’t work safe. The more people in your Twitterfeed, the harder it is to weed out the useful tweets from the not-so-useful.

Besides, you could catch a virus and we have enough Swine Flu drama in the world…

Stefan Pinto is a freelance writer and adventure seeker. In 2000, he handed AT&T their laptop and said, “I quit.” He lives in Los Angeles. Find him @StefanPinto.

Copyright © 2009 SashaH. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.


  1. maialagerstedt says

    Thanks for writing this! Of course, I was guilty of the auto DM for new followers, but you make a very good point. This is great information for anyone new to Twitter–and some guilty veterans!

  2. Very sound words of advise that I use in my daily twitter practice. Print this out and read it at least once a week.
    Auto following and DMing is the worst practice to employ. If I get an auto DM, I usually auto-unfollow.
    Thanks for the blog post!

  3. Great post, Stefan! Especially like the “no constant complaining” rule. Bad attitudes are contagious and deadly!

  4. The auto DM one is meant to be helpful; people want to be acknowledged. But in this instance, it is understood and therefore unnecessary. Twitter is an instant tool, and like the days of telegrams (remember those?), when space meant dollars, no one wants to spend time (which is money) on redundant messages.

  5. Great tips. Most of which I incorporate into my daily twitter stream. I'm not a fan of the auto DM either. It makes it more difficult for me to read & respond to the personal messages. As for RTs & engaging with others; very important. As you said, we are here for social networking. Also, I feel that giving a shout of thanks to those who RT & @mention is simply kind twitter etiquette. Thanks for the post!

  6. Thanks for this, it made me go back and look at my twitter account.

  7. thanks for the tips.
    it's understandable that some people make these mistakes when starting on twitter, but it's not when they've been on twitter for a while.
    ty 4 the post gonna RT it! 🙂

  8. Great list! Nobody likes to follow a twit on Twitter! @trishskram

  9. Thanks Misty. RTs are so incredibly important.

  10. These have been so helpful for those of us who are trying hard to leave the “dweeb” category, but so far, still feeling like the leader of the pack!

  11. andydickinson says

    Great advice

  12. Great info! thank you for posting this.

  13. Love the style of your blog! And agree with everything in this article – its RT material!

  14. Well said! I hope that the offenders take note.

  15. Thanks Ann 🙂

  16. Thanks! This is great advice. I will certainly try to follow these words of wisdom.

  17. This is wonderful advice. Thanks for posting it.

  18. I couldn't agree with this more.. Excellent way to put this in one place.. Not to mention I hate the auto DM and “get huge followers” tweets… thanks 🙂

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  20. Really enjoyed your article. I am a big fan of the NO auto dm's. Can you be more insincere when you so obviously can't take the time?

    I also agree about being a discerning follower. I actually agreed with all ten points you made, lol.

  21. All great tips but the one that really rings a chord w/ me is the first one. Auto DMs are sooooo annoying. Especially if it's one of those.. “check out this system that got me 400 followers!” colossal #fail

  22. Thanks Trish.

  23. Gerald, sadly many people do not even realize how annoying this is. Furthermore, some don't ever check their DMs or “@” increasing alienating followers.

  24. All great tips but the one that really rings a chord w/ me is the first one. Auto DMs are sooooo annoying. Especially if it's one of those.. “check out this system that got me 400 followers!” colossal #fail

  25. Thanks Trish.

  26. Gerald, sadly many people do not even realize how annoying this is. Furthermore, some don't ever check their DMs or “@” increasing alienating followers.

  27. Excellent advice! I am still figuring the whole Twitter thing out and your column was very useful-thank you..and yes, I shall RT you:-)

  28. Great advice-thank you! I'm still figuring out Twitter and you shed some good light here…and yes, I shall RT you:-)
    Marci Geller

  29. Nice tips!

  30. Buckintown says

    #3 is my “favorite”! 🙂

  31. Buckintown says

    #3 is my “favorite”! 🙂