For as simple as twitter is, the complexity of using it is nothing short of astounding.

Many people strictly update twitter via the web with nothing more than an account of their daily activities. Some “power users” have people that tweet for them, and some even have bots set up that removes the human aspect altogether.

Then there’s the issue of the auto-dm. Many users rely on scripted messages to be sent when someone new follows them. Often impersonal and down right cheesy, the auto-dm makes many of us cringe upon receiving them.


A typical auto-dm on Twitter

An extension of this inhuman activity is the use of TwitterFeed, a service that connects RSS feeds to twitter accounts. Users can pull feeds related to their interests and audience and auto-post them on Twitter. TwitterFeed is great when used to pull in your company’s blog posts or entries from your personal site. The problem is that many users rely on this entirely too much and will pull content from all over the web, completely removing any individual effort and interaction. Users will send out posts at a high frequency in hopes of getting several retweets, which has the potential of reaching new users, thus increasing the potential for new followers.

Where's the conversation?

Where's the conversation?

We recommend you don’t use auto-dm’s. Write a short, personalized thank you to your new followers- but don’t spam them or push your agenda on them.

Regarding TwitterFeed, like I mentioned earlier, it’s great for pulling in your own content, but don’t create a wave of re-posted content in your twitter stream. If you want to share good content you find, either retweet it from someone else, or write a special tweet for it. You’ll come across much more genuine and actually look like you know your industry- rather than just knowing how to set up a feed.

Think of it like this: remember the adults from The Peanuts shows? “Wahawah wah wah”; that’s exactly how you’re going to come across if you only broadcast pulled content.