A successful entrepreneur shares her thoughts on business success and failure.

Top 10 Signs You May Be a Social Media Douchebag

Social media douchebag
Could you possibly be a social media douchebag?
Read these 10 signs and see for yourself…
I wrote this list because, unfortunately, I’ve seen every single one of these episodes of ultimate douchebaggery.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was today, when I received a Twitter DM advertising some sort of Christmas shopping junk. I went to the guy’s profile page to unfollow him, and there, right on his bio, it said “I am a social media marketing expert.” I Tweeted publicly (without including his name): “If you DM spam me, you are NOT a ‘social media marketing expert’. You’re just an asshole.”

That led to the creation of this list…the worst of what I’ve experienced in nearly 3 years of Twitter and Facebook:

The Top 10 Signs You May Be a Social Media Douchebag

10. Every time you sign up for a new “social media” website, you gladly enter in your email username and password so it can send invites out to all your friends.

9. You send out “e-invites” to your “webinars” to all your friends on Facebook. Surely that guy you had a crush on in elementary school will be interested in your “101 Ways to Grow Your Knitting Business” webinar!

8. You subscribe to or buy anything that promises you can “increase your Twitter followers 100x, overnight!” Never mind that most of the people promoting it only have a handful of followers…you’re different!

7. You find this cool program that lets you set up your Twitter to auto-broadcast all of Mashable’s latest articles. Now you can definitely claim the title “social media expert”!

6. You DM all of your Twitter followers regularly about new offers from your clients and from companies that pay you. As a bonus, you sometimes include “Tweet this!” as an indication that your followers should do something nice for you after you’ve spammed them.

5. You let all those “Increase your Twitter followers”  and “OMG I just created a survey!” programs DM your followers for you, and don’t know how to stop them. (Hint: Go to Twitter -> Settings -> Connections and remove them, or change your password.)

4. You write on your friends’ walls and beg them to come join your team in Mafia Wars, help find that poor lost cow in Farmville, or otherwise waste hours of their time helping you in some ridiculous online quest.

3. You broadcast anything on your Twitter stream about how a mom discovered a new way for everyone to have whiter teeth, how you can trade the Forex market for just a small “investment”,  how anyone can “get ripped”, or how Donald Trump wants to help you become a millionaire.

2. You think RTing quotes from people like Zig Ziglar and Tony Robbins makes you look cool. Here’s a hint: If we wanted quotes, we’d go look them up on the Internet, or read those guys’ books and info products (they sure put out enough of them!)

1. You write anything on your public Twitter stream that includes “Help me get to ___ followers!” or “Only __ away from ____ followers!” (Hint: No one cares! We’re people, not “followers.”)

Bonus: You respond to this list by saying, “Hey, if they don’t like it, they can delete it!”

Erica’s Note: How I Got 20,000 Followers on Twitter…For Real

I now have over 20,000 followers on Twitter. I suppose I could “sell my secrets”, but how about I give them to you, right now, for free?

I went out and followed thousands of people who shared interests with me. (I even wrote a blog post on one technique I used.) Many of them followed me back. Six months of doing that and I had gone from 4,000 followers to 20,000 followers. I’ve also met a ton of new friends.

I don’t follow people so they will follow me back. That wastes everyone’s time. I follow people who share interests with me. Unfortunately, even real people sometimes get roped in by scams or turn their Twitter stream into a crap-filled chorus of poorly-thought out promotions. I keep it simple: if you’re not communicating with your audience–if you’re a one-way, broadcasting billboard–I unfollow you.

Want 20,000 real, human followers on Twitter? There ain’t no free lunch. Go work for it.

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After selling my online business at age 26 for over $1 million, I created this blog to help you grow your own business quickly.

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