I HATE spam just as much as you do I promise! I already receive over 100 legitimate emails each day and if you were to add the amount of spam messages I get I’d say the number would be closer to 1,000.
Thank God for spam filters!
If you couple this hatred with the fact that I wholeheartedly believe in working hard to attract highly targeted visitors to your website and not simply build traffic simply for the sake of building traffic, you may find it difficult to believe how I fell into the trap … that is unless you’ve fallen in the trap as well.
Here is how it all happened …
Way, way back in early 2008 I heard of this crazy website called Twitter. I am sure you had the same type of thoughts I did when I first checked it out.
You thought …
“Boy that’s kinda dumb!
“Why would anyone care if I had to use the bathroom?”
Well I can tell you I had no intention of returning to the site since I just couldn’t get a grasp of why anyone would care what I was doing at any given second of the day.
I continued on living my life, and anytime I heard someone mention Twitter I kinda chuckled and thought to myself, “boy they need to get a life and maybe keep their bathroom habits to themselves.”
One day a few short months later I was getting my car serviced and was sitting in the waiting room at the dealership. I looked up at the TV and saw CNN was on the screen. After listening to a few seconds of their literal blathering I began to lose interest and began looking around the room for an interesting magazine to read.
…And then it happened!
I heard the CNN commentator telling the audience how they could send in their “tweets” and he began to read some of them online. Huh?
I never in a million years would have thought media would embrace such a silly technology. This event must have triggered my reticular activating system because once I left the dealership it was as if the flood gates were open and everyone was “twittering” this and “twittering” that and referring to each other as “tweeple” and how they are part of the “twitter-sphere.”
How weird! But also very intriguing.
I decided since I was part of the Internet Marketing world I should probably set up an account and begin to familiarize myself with Twitter. The more it became popular, the more interested I became. The more I read, the more excited I became.
Although I was becoming obsessed with Twitter and excited about the possibilities, I just couldn’t get my head around it. I did however, realize I could use Twitter to create a substantial amount of entry points to my various web projects and this was extremely attractive.
The term “knowing enough to be dangerous” was exactly where I was. I began sending out “tweets” with links to articles I had written and noticed whenever I did … I received visitors to my blog. It was awesome.
I quickly built up my followers and the people I was following to several hundred people. I had a difficult time seeing through all the noise since I could “tweet” something and within a minute or two that tweet would disappear and many other tweets would come on top of them. It was frustrating but I knew I could figure it out.
Then it came to me……
I could get my message in front of people over and over if I just kept saying it. That MUST be the key. I began with this obsessive posting and watched my blog views rise every single day. I thought I must be on to something and I was amazed there weren’t more people following this incredible formula.
This went on for a few weeks and I didn’t think much about my strategy until I received an email from a good friend of mine, Jacob Vanderzee.
Jacob and I had a couple previous conversations regarding “breaking through the noise of Twitter.”
We discussed how the people we’d like to get our message in front of are already following thousands of other “tweeple” and if we had a tough time staying on top of the constant flow of new messages … how would they see our stuff.
His email started by answering the question many of us STILL have today … What the heck is Twitter?!?
Twitter is a combination of Instant Messaging, Email, and blogging. Each of these technologies has certain rules of etiquette and reasons for their existence.
The strange thing about Twitter is it can be used the same way as IM, Email, and blogging. The only rule is that it must be communicated in less than 140 characters.
Each of these mediums have had to put mechanisms in place to make sure people didn’t take advantage of the ability to get a message in front of people. That’s how spam filters came into existence for IM, Blog comments, and Email.
These same type of mechanisms have been put in place for website search engine optimization as well. These filters were created to stop the incessent interruptions caused by these obsessive spammers who feel if they reach enough people with their non-sense messages that some of these people will have a low enough mental capacity that they’ll actually respond.
Man, these spammers are a real piece of work. That’s when Jacob asked me the question that made me wake up. He said, “look at your Twitter profile page and ask yourself this question … Would you recommend a client have their website or blog look like YOUR Twitter profile looks?”
OMG! I had become one of those low life spammers that we all hate!
Well, the first part of getting better is admitting you have a problem. I have since eliminated all my duplicate posts and my profile page now contains what I hope my followers will consider valuable, worth wile content and not just a bunch of repeated, interruption based marketing messages.
All of you who have fallen victim to my repeated spammy messages … I apologize. I promise from this point forward I’ll only “tweet” one time and make sure it is valuable information that will make you WANT to consume it.
Since I am now a reformed spammer who will never enter that dark world again, I promise to spend time in the coming days discussing some great ways to use Twitter without violating any spam etiquette rules. If you’ve fallen victim to spamming on Twitter or any other medium I’d love for you to share your story. We promise to support you on your road to recovery. 🙂