How to deal with spam on Twitter

My initial experiences with Twitter were very positive. I found a platform that is used by professionals, inventors and innovators. Twitter is used by real people who are great at what they do and when they have something to say to the world, they do it over Twitter.

Compared to Facebook, Twitter has significantly less fake news and less nonsense. It is mostly used by people over the age of 30, who value their time in a different way than Facebook users do.

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But like everything, Twitter has a dark side to it too. There are a lot of accounts used by bots, spammers and people who promote their business in the fashion of spammers.

I recently decided to set up a separate account for my gaming tweets, because I believe that for a Tweeter account to be notable, it has to retain its narrative. Tweeting about many different subjects may be something that appeals to me, because I like these equally, but not to people who follow me just for my security tweets. So I decided to splits accounts.

What better way to gain an audience than to exchange follows and likes with accounts that deal with gaming, lineage 2 and mmorpgs? Well there is a better way, even though its a slower way. Trying to rush my lineage 2 presence on Twitter resulted in a lot of spam by many accounts run by bots or by annoying individuals. When I confronted one of them by telling them that this is spam (on a direct message), he claimed that it is just an introductory message. I replied that an unsolicited advertisement in a message is the very definition of spam. He then justified his commercial message by saying that since I followed him, it was not unsolicited.

Well let me tell you something:

A Twitter Follow is not a solicitation for spam.

If you want to create a relationship of trust and respect with your followers they have to actually like YOU and your high value content.  Moreover you have to allow them to discover it themselves. Forcing people by using spamming methods is counter-productive. This tweeter did not realize that he was interacting with a potential customer that was not satisfied. He had the opportunity to apologize for the inconvenience and convince me through his considerate attitude that maybe he really does have worthy content that may interest me. But instead he chose an offensive attitude that led me to not only un-follow him but to block him as well. The reason I blocked him was because I don’t want to follow him again by mistake (because I will forget his name soon). If he had replied by apologizing, I would have developed a completely different attitude towards his account. When someone is nice and considerate you are almost forced to like them and “do them a favor”.

Most major companies have a support policy of not showing negative emotions to their customers. They are quick to apologize and attempt to provide help to the unsatisfied customer. Even if their support sucks, they still do it in a polite manner and this is a key to successful support.

I like Twitter when I deal with accounts of real people and not with bots. I like Twitter when I meet genuine individuals, who do not over-commercialize their presence. I like Twitters who do not sacrifice quality and human interaction in the altar of commodification. The first rule of marketing should be to show respect for the consumer.

The first rule of marketing should be to show respect for the consumer.

From now on, I am going to be very careful about whom I follow on Twitter. My  new policy for a clean account is: Whoever sends me Spam in DM, is immediately blocked.

The question now is, how can we reach people who are looking for content like the one we create? The answer is we don’t. Using hash-tags and connecting with real people that have similar interests is the best way to create a real social network and not one run by bots and spammers.

Update: After posting this I was DMed by a bot advertising auto DMs to new followers xD. Well, we don’t like those and we don’t approve of them. Don’t use them, lest you may end up in the block lists of your best customers.