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How to Not Piss People Off: Great Power is Great Risk

Posted: 2017-01-18 12:33:41

Photo Credit: International Wolf Center - Don Gossett

"With Great Power comes Great Responsibility" - Voltaire, not Spiderman's Uncle Ben.

That's right, Voltaire said that, or close enough. Uncle Ben paraphrased it for Spiderman. Not that Uncle Ben wasn't a great man.

He was.

He raised a Millenial with superpowers. O. . .M. . . G!

I think Uncle Ben also invented rice, but don't quote me on that.

"Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely" - Lord Acton, John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton

Do you see a recurring theme here?

This post is a warning, major caveat, and a How-To.

We created to give a major advantage to its members. It puts the full power of Twitter's API at your fingertips.

That's a lot of power. (see Voltaire/Uncle Ben quote above)

We envisioned the probability that we would need to police packmates to make sure that all that power was not misused.

We did not envision how it may be misused inadvertently. (see Lord Acton quote above)

We kept a great deal of flexibility in the system. Flexibility is a requirement when you want to tame a Wild Beast like Twitter. Flexibility also increases the odds of potential abuse, accidental or otherwise.

You can, if you wanted to, schedule out the same tweet to post every hour for the next year. You'd be nuts to do it, but you can.

One new she-wolf scheduled the same tweet 900 times over 900 hours. I saw it and deleted all scheduled instances before she got herself into trouble.

Twitter doesn't particularly care how many tweets you tweet.

Twitter does care about spam. Twitter cares even more about complaints about spam.

Tweeting the same few tweets over and over is the definition of spam.

I often use the analogy of a radio station to describe how to best use Twitter. A single radio spot doesn't do much. It takes many spots. The same holds true for Twitter.

It's time to expand that analogy.

You are not a Radio Advertiser. You are the Radio Station!

No radio station in their right mind would intentionally run the same few spots repeatedly over the long term. They could, but they don't.

You could too. You too shouldn't. It will come back to bite you in the ass.

Most people understand this instinctively. Others not so much. Maybe some "Best Practices" are in order?

How To NOT piss people off.

The smaller the accounts who follow you the more careful you need to be. My Twitter feed rolls by at over 3000 tweets an hour. You can be spamming me, and I likely won't notice.

Most people will.

It's not really about how many tweets you tweet. It's about how many similar tweet you tweet.

If people find you tweet too often, they'll unfollow you. That happens. It's okay.

If they find you tweet the same stuff all the time, they'll report you for spamming, then they'll unfollow you. That's more serious.

"Variety is more than the spice of life. It's the spice of your success on Twitter." - Paul, the myTweetPack Guy

You've been warned.

Tweeting Best Practices

Here are some basic rules for playing safely on Twitter. They can be broken in very short bursts but only if (absolutely, positively, beyond any shadow of a doubt) necessary.

In other words, they can't be broken very often at all.

No single tweet should post more than 8 times a day, and that for short bursts only. That means every 3 hours. If you build a Daily Schedule, that does not mean it's ok to tweet every hour for eight consecutive hours for the long haul.

Four to five times a day should be your normal frequency for any one tweet. You can squeeze more in if absolutely necessary, and if done very occasionally.

Say you have to liquidate a bunch of product. You deep-discount it and tweet it out every 2 hours. Ok. . . don't do that for more than a day or two max, and only if it's mixed in with other stuff.

The Minute Interval scheduling method lets you schedule every 60 minutes. That's fine for very specific needs. Example: Starting a short series of 5 hourly tweets at 06:00 to promote your 12:00 webinar.

Don't schedule hourly tweets over a longer term than that. . . EVER!

1:3 is the Golden rule. That's 1 of your posts for 3 shares. That's a minimum. Tweeting Share to Twitters and Retweets goes a long way to building up your variety. (See Paul's quote above). Play with your Pack and Super-Pack retweet settings. Increase them or descrease them as needed. Err on the side of caution. You can always add tweets from your invetory to a day's schedule with just one click.

Don't start scheduling tweets until you build up an inventory. Store your posts. Store Shares to other people's posts. Build up an inventory of content. Then you can start tweeting it out. Or, start off slowly as you build your inventory. Our scheduler lets you delay the start date/time. Soon, our bulk upload from RSS 2.0 or ATOM feeds will go live. That will help those who have such.

This is the one rule you can bend, provided you keep them a minimum of 360 minutes apart. If you use the Minute Interval or Daily Tweet Schedule scheduling methods don't bunch them up. Spread your tweets around.

The sweet spot. I find that 60 to 90 tweets a day is best. That's provided the rules listed above are respected. I know that some people like Jeff Bullas regularly blow far by that number with no adverse reaction.

Jeff tweets a lot. Jeff tweets far more than I suggest here. Jeff also rarely tweets any single thing more than 3 or 4 times. Jeff is also a Twitter-God.

I ain't Jeff Bullas and neither are you.

If you find yourself way over these suggested limits drop me a line or chat on the Live Chat. Ask me and I'll wipe out your scheduled tweets so you can start from a clean slate. I regularly go back and delete scheduled tweets if I find I'm tweeting too often.

Tweeting too often can easily creep up on you. All that needs to happen is that you find a bunch of really interesting posts on the same day. Before you know it, you've scheduled too many.

That's why there are delete functions on the dashboard. You can delete full schedules on the dashboard with juts one click. You can also delete specific instances on your Tweets Posting Today page for either yourself or your Alphas.

If you want a complete re-do, that's when you ask us.

What happens if you Ignore these "Rules"

One of two things will happen depending on who notices first.

If Twitter notices first: That means you got a few spam complaints. Twitter will see you have developer tokens. They will cut write permissions to those tokens. That means you won't be able to tweet, follow, unfollow, retweet, or do anything else that requires writing data to Twitter's servers.

That pretty much covers everything you want to do.

Not the end of the world, but definitely not good. Reach out if it happens to you. Better yet, avoid it in the first place.

NOTE: In Twitter Dev parlance, we say an app has been "write restricted." Your actual Twitter account remains unaffected. It's just your automation rights that are temporarily cut off. At worst, you'll lose a few days worth of scheduled stuff.

If we notice first: We'll delete all scheduled tweets. This isn't a punishment. We do it to protect you and your followers. Better us than Twitter. It's less of a hassle.

Let's remember why we're doing this

We want to build a large targeted following. We want people who are interested in our stuff. We want to drive those people to where they can engage with us.

Maybe they'll even buy our stuff.

Seinfeld's Soup Nazi got away with pissing off his customers. That's because it was written in the script, not because it would work in real life. Pissing potential customers off is never a good idea.

Let's drive them to us, not away.

"Hey, Let's be careful out there" - Sergeant Phil Esterhaus, "Hill Street Blues"

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