Category Archives: Twitter

An Automation Abomination On Twitter

I hate automated tweets. The “thanks for following” and “thanks for being my top engaged follower this week” tweets run rampant, yet what impact do they really have?

If you’re asking me – it’s an automation abomination.

I said that in one of those Monster Truck announcer voices, just so you know.

The whole point of creating automation is to help you with that pesky manners thing and to drive engagement, right? (I hate to even use the word “engagement” because it’s been abused enough that its meaning is probably unclear by now.) My point is that it doesn’t do what it’s intended to do – it doesn’t make people feel warm and fuzzy. It doesn’t make them think they’re special to you. It doesn’t mean that people will call you first with their next great opportunity or to network. It doesn’t mean that people feel your gratitude and that they are a valued part of your team.

It means they let a robot access all of their profile information. It means their Twitter page reads like a marketing page for whatever company you’re using, who insists on mentioning their name at the end of every tweet.

A quick note to the companies who build this automation as a service, just because you put your name in parenthesis doesn’t make it seem any more like an authentic endorsement.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a true southern lady and I believe in manners and thank you’s, just like Allison Lane in her latest post about “thank you’s” in a digital world. However there’s no such thing as engagement automation that doesn’t come across as, well, automation.

Think about it – what if you started getting robot calls, that appeared to come from your nephew, that said “thank you Aunt. I appreciate you” then just hung up. Would that feel like an actual call from your nephew? Nope. When you automate a thank you tweet, that’s pretty much what you’re doing.

How To Remove Automated Twitter Bots

I keep going on this automation rant and the first thing people say is “I don’t know how to turn off access.”

I’m here to help.

  1. Log into Twitter on a desktop browser.
  2. Go here:
  3. Click “Revoke access” next to anything you don’t actually use Twitter as a login for. I’ve even included a picture in case you’re blind.

revoke access on twitter

That’s it.

Thank you for clicking all the buttons and saving me from yet another automation abomination on your Twitter account.

And you’re welcome.

stop your shit

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Why Most Marketing Sucks

Being a great marketer in the context of a big corporation really isn’t hard. Most roles in their ever-expanding marketing departments serve a very narrow function – SEO, SEM or just Social Media – and if you simply make sure the pages are live and nothing goes horribly wrong, you’re a success. You have fulfilled your corporate duty and until the day you quit to go do that same narrow function somewhere else, you’re good.  Box checked. All is well.

That box checking is quite simply why most marketing sucks. We leave innovation to someone else to do, typically conceptualized and executed by expensive agencies who have budgets that would make a startup gasp. I realize I’m probably lifting a curtain on the marketing magic but it’s time you knew, and I’m happy to break that marketing code and reveal it.

In that handoff of responsibility for being remarkable, a lot of companies that specialize in marketing automation and nurturing snuck in with a bunch of checklists and convinced everyone that marketing is something anyone can do with a photoshop subscriptions and a Twitter handle. That if you follow their prescriptive success plan, the outcome will be respectable enough to showcase on some powerpoint slide when the quarter ends. Those assholes convinced everyone it’s really quick and easy to do great marketing.

But great marketing is not like a Sham-wow. It is not quick or easy when you actually get it right. It takes personal connection, relationship building, empathy and awareness in the context of great risk and rare reward. See, you can’t automate and outsource to actually make an impact with great marketing. And most of the time, even if you get it right – no one will see it because of the sheer volume of marketing people are attacked with every day.

Social media is the format where this reality is most apparent. Now, when I think about social media that represents me – like my Twitter handle, for example – I have a certain set of values and criteria for things I share. I have a distinct voice – my own. I don’t automate any of my tweets for fear that the content that is shared via that feed won’t represent my opinions and values. I’m not naive enough to think every tweet I read is read by anyone else but tweeting just to tweet isn’t worth it to me. I’d rather say what I believe is right than just say something.

I learned that lesson from Matt Charney . He taught me that voice and opinion are more important than saying anything and the proof is in his following. I mean, I taught the guy to tweet and he has 5x as many followers as I do because he has always had a voice and won’t let anyone intimidate or scare him from sharing it. I will admit, however, that I know it takes really big balls to demand that in a corporate environment. To demand to have a voice and not to mince words but rather to call people on their shit on behalf of an organization.

But more often than not, these companies take the opposite approach to social media and pursue that automated, checklist strategy. I can’t think of many companies that say no to half-assed shit. How often do you, the person they’re hypothetically trying to persuade, realize there’s a real person behind that company with a voice and an opinion? Not often, I’d bet.

For big brands, it’s just too easy to standardize and make everything really fucking boring and for most companies, that’s ok. They’re measuring impressions and followers, not conversions and conversations. They’re focused on the wrong things so the wrong tactics are just fine.

Now, if you’re looking for some check-list to tell you what to do next and how to make marketing remarkable, you missed the entire point.

hate checklists

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How To Use A Hashtag

The purpose of a hashtag is to segment the firehouse of information that comes from a live Twitter feed when you follow more than 10 people. For example, hashtags can help people find career information when the title of the article doesn’t have the keyword “career” in it. Somehow, as Twitter has grown the purpose of the hashtag has been forgotten.

Lets start this with a little quiz. Here are 2 tweets. Pick the hashtag abuse:

A) Breaking News I’m presenting ideas #HRn #Vegas and so is #HRchat it’s kind of like #FoShizzle #hrtechnology look forward ;-)

B) How do you send a power tweet that increases #engagement by 400%? #Blogging

The answer? A.

Is that hashtag abuse? #FoShizzle (offense #1).  Why?

The answer is probably best explained with my hashtag rules

  1. Use hashtags for event names.Use hashtags to tell people you’re tweeting as a part of a live Twitter chat or an event. And yes,  the event name is always the better option for a hashtag over the location name.
  2. Your sentences should make sense. Your sentences still need to make sense while you’re using a hashtag. If the keywords you want to mention really don’t fit in the sentence, put them at the end of the tweet after the link.
  3. #NoHashtagConversations. #writingawholesentencewithnopuntuationandputtingahashtagatthebeginning? I’ve done this. It can be funny for 1 tweet. Do it all the time? Abuse.
  4. No punctuation.  Punctuation in a hashtag? It doesn’t work. The second you throw an apostrophe in, hashtags aren’t searchable by the whole phrase. #that’sright shows up as: #that + plain text: ‘sright
  5. Think general, not specific. Good tag: #jobsearch. Bad tag: #thesissentence. People who are searching Twitter are looking for a type of information, not a specific answer. If they want a specific answer, they’ll Google it.

I’m sure there are more. Add your rules to the list in a comment below. I’ll update the list to reflect all of our rules. Maybe a 10 Commandments of Hashtags? #Blasphemy

Fun Fact: Twitter’s Gone Hollywood

90 million tweets are sent every day. 70% of them are about TV.


You get 168 hours a week to save the world, breathe, all that fun stuff. If you’re in work for 45 hours a week (lets face it, the 40 hour work week is a fantasy) and the average person watches around 25 hours of TV a week, that leaves 98 hours for you to eat, sleep and do all those other things you should be doing to take care of yourself. What are you going to tweet about? TV, of course.

Tweeting about TV probably contributes to the whole “people only tweet about what they’re eating for breakfast and I don’t care” theory but I disagree. So why should you tweet about TV you ask?

It gets you in touch with other fans to make more connections. It’s the same reason I try to participate in at least one Twitter chat every week. I want to be part of the conversation (retweeting at least twice as much as I tweet) and it’s a great way to meet new people with similar interests. Twitter is about making connections after all.

So, TV twitterers. What was the last show you tweeted about? For me, it was the Superbowl (game and commercials).

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