Note to Businesses Following Me on Twitter

Please, please, please don’t just drop an ad/PR bit for your product into my tweet stream. One, it’s not nice, even if you didn’t intend not to be nice. Two, an ad/PR bit sent cold to my tweet stream will likely get you muted or blocked because you’ve shown me that you consider me a mark, which I don’t appreciate. Three, if you do it to enough people other than me, then you’re spamming. Which will likely get you blocked and reported by a number of people.

Which is to say that your ad/PR pitch will fail, which is the opposite of what you want.

This does not mean that your business account can’t tweet at me or talk to me — I get that all the time, and mostly it’s fun, and indeed a good corporate Twitter presence goes a long way with me (see: here, where a nicely laconic response to my frustration with a company’s product was on my mind when I bought the replacement product, also from that company (the replacement product works just fine)). But there is a difference between conversing with me — even while promoting your product — and just dropping an ad/PR pitch into my tweet stream.

If you’re a company who is hoping for me to promote a product of yours, via retweet or mention, first, read my policy on retweets, and second, outside of retweets the best way to reach me in terms of product awareness is through email. Yes, lots of businesses and publicists already do this, you won’t be alone. Dropping an ad/PR bit into my Twitter stream doesn’t work because I will mute it. I don’t mute PR pitches in my email. Email is where the pitches are supposed to be. In fact, I even have a publicity policy.

(Don’t send ads to my email, however. Those will just get shunted into the spam folder.)

In short: My tweet stream is not for company ads or pitches. Don’t make me mute or block you, it’ll just annoy the both of us. Thanks.

10 Comments on “Note to Businesses Following Me on Twitter”

  1. Then you click through to their tweetstream and see it is the same tweet sent to 50 different “influencers.” And that shows just how much they think of you . . . as a target.

  2. This is really well stated.

    I dislike it when I follow someone who writes on Twitter and they DM me a canned auto-spam message to read/buy their book. I’ve already followed you. If I want to buy your stuff, I will. If you’re going to DM me, why not do it as a human being and ask me something from my timeline or from my Twitter bio. Let’s get to know each other first before you cram the book spam down my throat.

    Last, I have, admittedly, been guilty of sending unsolicited ‘@’ messages to more popular accounts. I was crowdfunding, it was a crazy time. This is a good reminder why that didn’t work. I’m going to send it back in time to myself to stop that madness where it started.

  3. Ah, the difference between being a notable person who can promote a product and a tech executive who purchases them. You can afford to be polite and redirect them to your email. I want them out of my life, completely. My blog post would be along the lines of:

    “Don’t pitch to me on Twitter. Don’t follow me on Twitter if you are only interested in selling products to my company — I don’t represent my company on Twitter, as my bio plainly states. Don’t favorite all of my tweets hoping that I’ll follow you back so you can DM me. Don’t reply every time I mention a product similar to yours telling me that I should look at your product. Instead of hounding me on social media, redirect that effort into designing a product or service that is so good that it sells itself, and will come up on my radar should I be looking for your sort of thing. Because hounding me on social media reeks of desperation, and instantly suggests that your product must suck.”

  4. I just assume an out-of-the-blue and impersonal tweet at me is spam and block&report. I’m not real optimistic that twitter is going to actually sanction anyone but the little guys, given how in bed they’ve gotten with advertisers, but at least I myself am not going to hear from them again.

  5. Dear Johntshea,

    At a minimum, that will depend on which of us lives the longest.

    pax / Ctein

  6. For johntshea and ctein: “Me too”.

    For scalzi: Have to wonder if you’d include NYSE:KO in that category.

  7. The only person in the world not on Twitter is as likely to happen as the only person not on Myspace.