What’s the the most powerful feature of Twitter?
It’s definitely the ability to send an “@” reply to anyone on twitter – without their permission.
Now “great tools come with great responsibility” (yup, just made it up 🙂
Spam people on twitter, and you will get blocked, labeled a spammer, folks will hate on you, and word can spread very quickly. So obviously, you don’t want to spam folks and screw up your brand and reputation.
The “@” reply is so powerful that you can basically send a “tweet” to anyone who has an account on Twitter. Did you know that you can send a direct message to anyone from Bill Gates to Beyonce Knowles?
How cool is that?
Just remember, all “@ replies” can be seen publicly by everyone on Twitter.
But Twitter DMs (Direct Messages) are “private” tweets. They are seen only by the recipient. But before you can send someone a DM, they must be “following” you first.
Now there are Social Media experts who will tell you to simply “follow” everyone who follows you.
Now why would I want to do that? Just so that they can send me a DM?
Hey, if they must send me something in private, then it is probably important enough for them to go to my web site and send me an email. Or call me. Or @reply me and ask me for a way to contact me privately so we can take it offline. After all, if it’s that important, then I’m sure it deserves more than 140 characters.
And if I am following 17,541 people, then my twitter stream is going to be moving so dang fast, that it makes it practically worthless!
I only follow people, whose “tweets” I’m interested in.
I follow people because I want to know what they’re saying.
I want to know that they’re thinking.
I want to know what they’re reading, writing, selling, ranting about.
So to blindly follow everyone who follows you, makes no sense.
So here’s my take on this:
* Follow only those whose messages (and/or their timeliness) you’re interested in.
* Auto-DM’s and Auto-Follows are for spammers
* Feel free to use the @reply to butt-in to conversations in a relevant, non-spammy, non-commercial way
* Add meaning to a conversation, add value, and grow your network
Your impending “online rock star” status then can’t help but follow.