The Trouble With Tweetable Twitter Tools


twitter tools

Think before you auto tweet.


Twitter has a seemingly endless amount of third party auto-tweet options and tools. But how many of them are necessary? And let’s be honest, how many of the obnoxious, canned Twitter tools that tweet out brags bleed their way into your feed and turn you off of the person tweeting it?


The point of Twitter is brief conversations and random thoughts; it’s a fantastic tool for conversation, sharing thoughts, ideas, links and in-the-moment news. Here’s what it isn’t:


A place for you to tweet that your Twitter account is worth $35,000.


A place for you to say, “How I Did On Twitter Today!” and brag about how many followers you gained, engagement, and reach achieved.


A place for you to brag on how many people and who interacted with you the most.


No one cares except you.


This isn’t connection. It’s conversation poison. Would you do that in person at a cocktail party? Let’s extend the cocktail party scenario:

  • “So, tonight I’ve had 10 people come up and talk to me, and so-and-so talked to me the most.”
  • “My time at this party is worth $35,000.”
  • “How I’ve done at this cocktail party tonight: three numbers, two repeated sentences, and nine thumbs up! “

Don’t do this, please. It’s stupid. Yes, I said it. Stupid.


Bad Twitter Tools – Good Reason

These tools are developed for what is likely a very good reason. My sense is the developers think this is a value-add to twitter. The quantifying of social media helps make business decisions. Here’s what I can’t quite fathom: tweeting the information out to your followers.


You know what *actually* adds value to Twitter? Non-canned, genuine responses. The napalm method of spewing out Twitter stats all over the place in hopes of killing something makes you appear social-media inept.


Respond to people in an actual way. I’m not certain what the expected response from Twitter followers is supposed to be when these tweets are published. You don’t start a conversation with an opening like that, do you? People would assume you are a complete clod. Twitter is a conversation space. Don’t be a clod. Resist the temptation to use Twitter tools like this. You look bad. Actually, you look like a bore.

Are You Using Your Friends To Make Money?

are you using your friendsThere’s a scene in the movie, “The Truman Show,” where Truman and his wife, Meryl, are arguing. He’s becoming increasingly suspicious of his surroundings, and she’s becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the ruse and finding it difficult to continue.

A pivotal moment in the scene is when, in the midst of a very emotionally charged conversation, Meryl grabs a can of cocoa and flips into product placement advertising mode. It’s odd, jarring, and utterly inappropriate for the moment.


Are You Using Your Friends?

Social media is starting to feel like this. In the midst of a serious conversation where real learning, connection and listening is happening, someone grabs a can of cocoa and goes all smiley and #ad hashtag on you. It’s every bit as jarring and inappropriate as Meryl’s cocoa commercial.

I see this most often with multi-level marketing companies. I see, time and again, post after post, personal relationships and friendships being leveraged to make sales. Being on the receiving end of these posts and invites, the high pressure to sell the goods under the guise of “Hey! Aren’t these cool? I just love my ________. You want some? Do you want to sell some?” adds a barrier between friends. Every interaction becomes, “are you going to try to sell me something?” I recall recently seeing a friend’s Instagram account suddenly go from enjoyable pictures of life moments to photo after photo of essential oil blends all accompanied by an endless stream of hashtags.


Interruption Marketing

Before social media caught on in such a significant way, the hostess would throw a party, and it was one evening or day out of the attendee’s life. Now, we are bombarded with daily advertisements. Think Meryl with the cocoa. This is called “interruption marketing.” A potential customer has to stop what they’re doing to deal with the marketing message. So when a MLM rep starts getting your stream full of advertisements, what is really happening is that rep is forcing their friend – and potential customer – to “deal” with the post in some way. Ignore, unfollow, exit a group they were added to without permission, turn off notifications, scroll past…you get the idea. If you are a MLM rep, is this what you want? To be ignored, unfollowed, dumped?


How SHOULD you do it?

There are ways to be successful in MLM companies that don’t burn your friendship bridges down. Coralie Lynch, a friend and rep for Pure Romance, was kind enough to give me some insight into how to build a successful business with a MLM company:


“After nervously going into direct selling in 2003, not wanting to be one of ‘those women’, I decided I wouldn’t be. Pushy direct sellers give us all a bad name. My circle was just friends at the beginning, and not very many. I did not push them. I held a party, my friends came, my sales were really low, and I didn’t book any parties. I kept at my business, always putting my relationships before my sales. The main reason for my success, I believe, is that my clients and my team know I am never going to make them feel uncomfortable or obligated into purchasing or selling. I am proud of the business I have and encourage other direct sellers to put their relationships before their sales. Do unto others. That’s what creates loyalty in your client base. When you put their needs before your own, you will both win.”


So think about your social media streams. How many times do ads come across your streams that you fly by? When you put an ad up under the guise of simply sharing your life, are you being honest? Passive selling in such a way is as annoying as pushy selling.

I understand the strong desire to have an alternate revenue stream coming into your home, one that allows you the freedom to set your own schedule while you earn extra cash. Be aware of the cost of that extra money.


Put your relationships before sales.

Service Is To Serve


Since my online writing beginnings in 2007 as a casual writer to a behind the scenes content person for small businesses now, I’ve seen some big changes in how businesses approach their presence online. In the three years since I’ve been writing content for small businesses I’ve learned one major thing:

The best online marketing plan on earth won’t make up for rudeness and an unwillingness to be humble with your customer.

I can spend hours writing content with a friendly, welcoming tone, stating that the business is there for their customer’s needs 24/7. I can make it perfectly clear that the business WANTS business and will provide the service they are selling with a friendly face, kind words, and a smile.

When a person online reads this, believes my words, calls the business only to be met with defensiveness, rudeness, and an overwhelming desire to get in the last word, I’ve just been made a liar.

I spent many years on the front line of dealing with the public. I worked in retail, restaurants, front offices and phone software support. I’ve worked with children and their parents. I’ve seen people be crazy mad, upset, fearful, and even sad. Here’s what you DO NOT do:

Hang up on them. Turn your back. Tell them that their business isn’t worth your time or effort. Tell them that they don’t understand what YOU have to deal with being the owner of said business.


Being Humble Is Hard

I get it. Being humble is hard. It’s really difficult to listen to someone yelling at you. Listen anyway. Because really, that’s what most of us truly want: to be heard.

Most of the time, when I was dealing with a person who was really hot, my silence while they vented was all it took to cool them down. I would say, “I hear you. This is my understanding of what happened. What would you like the result of this conversation to be?” If they interrupt you, let them.

If you are providing a service, you may believe that your customer needs you and your knowledge, and therefore when they have a complaint they couldn’t possibly know what they are talking about. You’re wrong. You don’t know what your customer has been through that day, that week, or that month, or even that year. That’s when you allow yourself to be a blank slate. They can call you any name in the book. Let it roll off your back. Get to the heart of the problem, do your best to fix it, and then move on. As often as possible make certain that the customer leaves the conversation feeling like they’ve been heard.


Service Is More Than You Think

The root of the word service is serve. Did you know there are two definitions of serve? One is to perform duties and services for a person or organization. This is the second definition:

be of service to, be of use to, help, assist, aid, make a contribution to,do one’s bit for, do something for, benefit

As a business owner, success depends on you embodying both definitions.