Having an artist page myself, I’ve been noticing a pattern in regards to how other artist, writer, activist and other promotions pages partake in an activity I’d like to call “Twitter Rape.” Twitter Rape can be defined as “tweeting & Direct Messaging promo links to other Tweeters without the slightest hint of invitation given OR permission granted.” It’s invasive, it’s impersonal, and at times, downright rude. There are many different versions of Twitter Rape, and I think all forms are tacky beyond oblivion for the simple reason that most times, it lacks that “personal touch”; and what I mean by “personal touch” is, quite frankly, have we had a conversation, and/or have you even given my tweets a glance? Most times, these artists, writers, and activists haven’t, and are more concerned about desperately getting their message out than connecting to the very people they hope to have support their cause. I’ll let a few tweeters offer their opinions:
“The whole market yourself on Twitter idea annoys me, especially people who don’t have anything else to say. It’s about relationships, in my opinion.” @rexi44
I posed the question “If someone you followed, followed you, DM’d a link & promptly unfollowed, how would you feel?” @Alien_Hybrid answered “probably pissed, that ain’t so cool, but twitter has its shallow people as well as real life.”
“If you dm me or tweet me about your music or anything else I will report you as spam. I don’t work for a record label.” @ReignsSupreme.
Lets discuss the different types of Twitter Rape. The first type is the infamous “Please follow me!!!” also known as “begging for followers.” Some don’t even say “please”. This one doesn’t fly with the everyday tweeter because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of spammer accounts who “@” and paste a potentially virus laden link and beg for followers. With that said—artist, activist, writer—what is separating you from the average spammer account? It is also highly impersonal and comes off a bit desperate to many tweeters. Most people tend to ignore tweets like these, so its best to strike up a conversation, then send a link. Me personally, if I see a “follow me” with or without a link attached, I’m assuming it’s spam & block accordingly.
The second type of Twitter rape is something I’d like to call the “The Twitter Hit & Quit”. You follow an account, they follow you back, hit it—as in hit your account with a seemingly personal DM message—then quit it by unfollowing you. They’re so quick with it, that you didn’t know they were following you in the first place. I was first confronted with this poor, tacky type of promotion when a certain inspirational account sent me a DM shortly after I’d followed them. The message was kind, with a link at the end, which felt personal. When I decided to write back and ask questions about the link, I’d gotten the “you cannot message someone who does not follow you” screen, & thought to myself “well, there’s one blog I won’t be checking out anytime soon.” Again, impersonal & tacky. I would have much rather had the account send me an “@” with their blog link than go through all that trouble, and it appears I’m not alone in believing so. No one wants to feel they’re being pimped for a follow, or that they’re just a number. After all, the United States of America already accomplishes this by calling American citizens “consumers” & assigning us bar codes also known as social security numbers, but that’s another blog.
I’d like to also add, know your market. There are some people who just may not be interested. If you encounter people who show a strong disinterest in your product and you continue to bombard them with your music, brand, blog, etc, in my experience, it usually ends up turning said people off even further. Instead of wasting your time trying to convert an “unbeliever” of your product into a “believer”, focus on those who are showing interest. It’ll save you time & spare you from having to put your ego on the mend on a consistent basis.
Independent artists, activists, writers, et al, we’ve got to do better. There’s a reason why many companies put so much emphasis on providing a personal customer service experience. There’s a psychology to getting people to give your brand a shot, and I can promise—having worked as a customer service rep & consistently being awarded for top-notch customer service via customer surveys—providing the personal element is one of the best ways to market yourself effectively.