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Social Media in this day and age is huge, it’s also big business and not all of it good or even legitimate. Social media has dozens of uses; business, personal, a platform for change, social issue campaigns, web site sharing, fundraising, news and much more.

With that being said; one of the most popular Social Media tools out there is Twitter. It seems like everyone is on Twitter, well almost everyone.

In this article I’m going to show you some things you should NOT do on Twitter. Some things are just annoying and may even cost you followers; some are downright unsafe. I will also show you a few things to grow your following on Twitter – legitimately.

  1. DM Bombing: this is when someone repeatedly sends you the same message or close to it on Twitter’s direct message. Often a hacked account trying to get you to click a link (more on this later), someone trying to get you to visit their site of choice, buy Twitter followers, look at their product, etc. Don’t do this, it is not only very annoying it is also a good way to get ‘un-followed’ or reported to Twitter possibly resulting in a suspended account.
  2. Solicitation: People will often attempt via direct message or by using @ mentions (4) to get Twitter influencers to look at their web site etc. My advice – don’t do it. By doing this you can often get the result you did not want, being ignored or un-followed by the very person you hoped would help you. I will have more on how to do this the right way later in this list.
  3. Thanking people and not following back: This is one that really annoys me personally. People will thank me for following them and not follow me back. It is fine if someone chooses not to follow me back, but then don’t thank me for following you! This is poor Twitter etiquette in my opinion.
  4. ‘I un-followed’: Many if not most Twitter management apps out there will help you tweet (using their name of course) how many people you un-followed or followed etc. It’s only my opinion but this is in poor taste, we all un-follow people for various reasons but does this need to be broadcasted?
  5. Opening links: I advise being very careful with links you choose to open on Twitter, especially if those links are contained within a Twitter direct message. Using a link shortening service or Twitters own link shortening right in the tweet you are composing – there is no way to tell where that link originates. Links can and do give a hacker the ability to access to your password for Twitter using Java-script inserted when you click the link. Or they may be spam or marketing links. If you are not familiar with the person who sent the DM, or suspect the link in the tweet, do not open the link!
  6. Buying followers: this is a very ill advised practice, don’t do it! When you buy followers you are buying fake accounts, these ‘fake followers’ may do more than you bargained for. Fake followers may be hackers, and you might then be helping them spread malicious code and spam to your other followers that are legit.
  7. Fake Followers: Fake followers can be bad news in more ways than one. They may be spammers, or worse yet hackers looking for prey. It is advisable to check your Twitter account for fake followers and un-follow them. This is what Barracuda Networks had to say about fake followers: Fake followers can incur phishing, hacking and even infecting real fans with spammy links. Security solutions company Barracuda Networks performed a study on fake follower accounts in August, and uncovered plenty of dangers hidden within fake followers. “Hackers spend a lot of time preying on social networks, and they’ll try any method to do it,” explains Paul Judge, chief researcher at Barracuda Labs. “And when we looked at Twitter, we saw that attackers have become very efficient at utilizing the viral features in Twitter to carry their own attacks, which are found in those fake follower accounts.” (1)
  8. Dealing with fake followers: to deal with the problem of Twitter fake followers I recommend the following: use a Twitter management application such as StatusPeople’s Fake Follower check (2) to see if you have any fake followers. This app will scan your Twitter followers and give you the results. Better yet use one of the Twitter management apps that let you do a whole lot more with your account such as bulk following, un-following, checking for fake accounts, no profile image accounts, inactive accounts, account analytics etc. (some of these features require a pro account) I recommend ManageFlitter (3) for this and if you have multiple accounts it is great for managing them. This app is easy to use and makes short work of managing 1 account or several, especially if you are trying to grow your following (using a pro account). Whether you choose the free account or paid, I highly recommend ManageFlitter, I used the free account for years and was always happy with it, but since I have switched to the paid version I have never regretted it – it is a huge time saver and the price very reasonable.
  9. TrueTwit validation: This is a service in which after you attempt to follow someone on Twitter, you are sent a direct message via Twitter that you have to validate who you are. I understand the concept behind this being account security, but I advise against this service or anything like it. If I have to jump through additional hoops to follow you, I will not do so, it is not worth my time. My advice: stay away from this service.
  10. Staying ‘on topic’: If you use Twitter only for personal use and fun, well have at it! If you however use Twitter for a targeted reason like I do for ministry, or maybe you use it for business, or as a sharing tool for your web site etc., then you will want to be careful of what you tweet. Your tweets need to be focused mainly on your targeted goal. Lets say you own a coffee shop and you have a Twitter account set up for that; 90% of your tweets should have something to do with coffee, your coupons and promotions etc. Staying ‘on topic’ lets your followers know what you are all about and helps attract like-minded people. Be sure your profile description makes it clear what your Twitter account is all about.
  11. Gaining Twitter followers: If you are looking to build a following on Twitter there are ways to do that. The best way to do this is not only free; it is also safe and effective. As I mentioned before, keeping your tweets focused helps in growing your following as well. To grow your following, find people that are like-minded and follow them, an easy way to do this is to follow the same people someone else does, preferably someone who has a lot of followers. A caution here however: if you follow/un-follow to many people in a day, this will throw up a red flag to Twitter and they may suspend your account. This is where using ManageFlitter (3) really comes in handy, as they will prevent you from following/un-following to many people by warning you that if you proceed you risk being suspended by Twitter.
  12. Gaining the attention of Twitter Influencers: You won’t get popular people on Twitter to re-tweet you by deluging them with DMs, nor will you attain this goal by using a lot of @ mentions (4) that focus on you. But wait! There is a way to do this and accomplish your goal. Does your Twitter influencer of choice have a web site? Interact with that person on their web site and or Facebook by leaving comments, of course keeping in mind that what you say should be relevant and add value to the discussion. Re-tweet them using an @ mention – in this case it is a good thing! They will see that you often re-tweet them and may eventually do the same for you provided they see value in what you do. Above all, when doing any of this be sincere, it is not very hard to see someone out only for himself or herself, attempting to make a name for themselves at everyone else’s expense.
  13. The definitive Twitter users guide: If you are looking for a user guide for Twitter that is jam packed with easy to understand practical information and hints; whether you are a newbie or a more experienced user – then please visit my friend Peter Guirguis. The Twitter user guide is free and contains a lot of useful information. I gained over 1000 followers in a roughly 6-week period using his methods, again free and legitimate! Do you want legitimate followers that are like-minded meaning people who you can engage with because they are interested in the same things you are, or paid for followers that are apt to be problematical?
    ** Just a note here** I recommend Peter because he is a personal friend and his methods and recommendations for Twitter are safe and effective.

(1) You can see the full article on buying fake followers here: Fake Twitter Followers

(2) I am not an affiliate of this app, I only recommend it’s use, as always be careful what apps you choose to use!

(3) This IS an affiliate link for ManageFlitter and if you covert to a pro account I receive income from this link.

(4) @ mention – this is using another Twitter users Twitter account name in your tweet, also refers to tweets you are ‘mentioned’ in – mine is @writinggomer


Viewpoints expressed herein are of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted or linked therein, and do not necessarily represent those of The Olive Branch Report

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Since 2013, Christian news magazine The Olive Branch Report has featured the insightful writing and reporting of Greg Holt. His writing has been featured on American Prophet, American Clarion, Eagle Rising, Capitol Hill Outsider, Sons of Liberty Media, Rev. Austin Miles, and others. Greg is also the Publisher and Editor of Inspirational Christian Blogs.

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