8 Ways to Avoid Overwhelming Your Followers' Twitter Stream

36 Comments

WWDYikes! I participated in two Twitter chats last night and lost a follower as a result of overwhelming his stream with my tweets.

Here are eight simple ways to avoid driving your followers crazy by dominating their streams, and perhaps losing them in the process:

  1. Use a second ID for chats: One brilliant user has a second ID that was identical to his main ID, except with “Chat” added at the end.
  2. Avoid responding to everything: Some well-meaning users respond to almost every individual question or comment with a tweet rather than summing up and holding back. If you want to thank someone, then send a direct message (DM) instead.
  3. Ease up on #followfriday: Oh my gosh, some people have nothing but “@name @name @name (x 10) #followfriday” in their stream on Fridays. Their whole Twitter page is full of names. Make your #followfriday more meaningful by recommending less people and explaining those recommendations.
  4. Watch those links and quotes: Sure, we all appreciate a good quote and links to great articles. Just take care not to fill up your stream with quotes, links or both.
  5. Schedule tweets: Typically, I don’t recommend automating anything in Twitter as it will likely lower your rep. However, if you’re like me and only check Twitter a couple of times a day, then you may want to spread out your tweets, replies, etc., using an automated service. This avoids cluttering a person’s stream with bursts of tweets.
  6. Dump the short tweets: Some people’s Twitter page show lots of meaningless tweets, such as “Cool!” “I agree,” “LOL” and “Thank you for RT.” DM those messages instead, or expand your responses to add meaning.
  7. Share your own links sparingly: Just now, one user has three tweets to his own blog in my stream. It’s OK to share your stuff, but certainly not one link after the other. Spread ’em out. A good rule of thumb is to tweet your stuff no more than once a day..
  8. Drop the play-by-play: Lots of us love sports, but not when you give us every play at the event you’re attending. This applies to conferences and events, too. Instead of “live tweeting,” give one or two summaries of what’s happening.

Every rule has exceptions. Some folks tweet from conferences and share great insights. The point is to tweet carefully and wisely. Follow us on Twitter @webworkerdaily.

How do you tweet without irritating your followers?

Image created at twitlogo

36 Comments

B

I think the idea of the chat profile is great especially on profile that provides a news service like mine. Great Advice. Thanks

Vikas KM

Well put,

My twitter page changes faster than seconds and i have only 84 following.. people keep on tweeting everything.. like they are some kind of work with twitter. Hate it.

My rule: If people keep streaming, I block them.. if they good or bad. no matter.

Followfriday.. yup list is full of @name we need details as y should we follow them.

Love this post.

Scott

This is really good advice. If you do want to learn how to use Twitter for your advantage, you should start by looking at the story of Guy Kawasaki, who tries to change the world one tweet at a time: http://thestimulist.com/guy-kawasaki/

Meryl Evans

@Sharper Image, can’t use DM for chats because the chats involve over 10 people.

While people love to see their @ID in the public stream, more people will love you for not filling up stream with thank yous and such. Or try to thank a group of people in one tweet.

The Sharper Image Review

What about “#9?” – Use the DIRECT MESSAGE feature when having a chat on Twitter. Then the public steams aren’t dominated but you can keep the conversation lively.

preetam mukherjee

I say this with love but could someone please forward this post to Guy Kawasaki?!

Robert Higgins

Twitter is a starter. Take it to FriendFeed to have a conversation.

Much Much better, actually most of the people who convert to friendfeed reduce there twitter use and increase there thread conversations

its much much nicer for that

Art

Great suggestions. I usually end up “unfollowing” those who overwhelm my feed even though I’d like to be able to follow them.

FYI: #3 should say “fewer people” not “less people”. Fewer is used with countable unique items such as fewer people, fewer computers, etc. Less is used with uncountable things like less water, less talking, etc. Example: Fewer tweets have less impact.

Meryl Evans

Thank you for all the great comments, y’all.

@Tom, RT helps forward good tweets to others in your network who aren’t on the original tweeters’ list.

@Finbarr, I’d love to see something like that. Some people believe Twitter is not the place for chats — and they have a good point. Yet, Twitter could take advantage of the opportunity to create a twitter chat app that still connects twitter IDs and such — but keeps the stream off the live stream while making the chat searchable from search.twitter.com.

If you’re worried about not getting followers on your separate chat ID, just put a note in the profile what your main ID is.

jennyonthespot

I feel these are very good points. Excellent tips/suggestions. Will probably tweet this link, but will wait until tomorrow… since to balance out my stream :)

Liz @ extremetelecommute

This is great–as a beginning twitterer, I’m happy to learn tweeting etiquette. :) I had to laugh at Twitter’s option to email you if you haven’t updated in 24 hours.

AskAPhD.org

It is amusing that I found out about this post by a user that constantly retweets and has dominated my feed. Great post! I am afraid I’ll have to RT this one as well!

Finbarr McCarthy

Perhaps there is an opportunity here for the folks at Twitter to add a facility for segregated chats – ie more than pm’s but like a temporary chat room?

Max

Excellent post – I absolutely agree to all of them. Especially scheduled Tweets are great because – just like you – I don’t follow twitter all day long and so suddenly posting many interesting things within a short amount of time would literally flood my followers streams. But aside from that, automating something doesn’t make sense to me here.

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