Monday, December 19, 2011

Don't compromise your Twitter account by sending same message to multiple people publicly

This past week, I reported and blocked 3 personal Twitter accounts for sending me a spam message. This is when "replies" are used to send the same message to multiple people via Twitter.
twitter_spam, originally uploaded by ecblogger.

I don't mind receiving plugs once in awhile. However, if I open the sender's Twitter feed and all I see is the same message sent to multiple folks, I perceive that as spamming.

Here's what I suggest to avoid getting your Twitter account or you tagged as a spammer:

1. Use direct message.

If the person you are sending a message to is also a follower, best to send them a direct message.

Then add a follow-up message that you are doing it as a one-time plug and disclose if needed (like you are joining a contest or hired to send such one-time message).

By personalizing it, the person can even do you a favor of sharing (or re-tweeting) your message, among others. You might even get a prospective client referral.

2. Use your pseudo, corporate, personal Twitter account identity with caution.

If you are using a pseudo or anonymous account whose identity built around a certain ideal or intent, it will be "off" to see that sending a blast message pointing to a commercial web site. If you are doing it for advocacy, clearly indicate that or best to point to the advocacy site instead.

Be wary of using a corporate brand as your Twitter handle - then send blast messages promoting its service. If you are not authorized to do such, the company, if they found out, can make you accountable.

If you are using a personal Twitter account, the more you should be wary in sending same message to multiple people for commercial plug purposes. Best to make your Twitter plug and ask your Twitter friends personally to re-tweet or re-share for you.

3. Take care of your Twitter profile.

A Twitter campaign done wrong can harm a person's Twitter account and social media profile. If done right, it can open more opportunities and build trustworthy connections.