Worse Than Annoying, Your Endless RT’s of Twitter Names Are…

Let me be very clear. You should Retweet on Twitter. You should acknowledge others by retweeting. It is appropriate to retweet a group of people when in a large conversation.

However, simply retweeting a group of twitter usernames over and over and over is pointless. Not only is it annoying to the poor souls that are caught up in such behavior, but worse than that it isn’t engagement and will do nothing to build relationships.

Friday I got into it on Twitter with someone that was doing this with the others in a large group. Usually I just ignore such behavior, however this had gone on for so long, I finally requested that they stop. My mention stream was so cluttered with the worthless activity it was becoming difficult to maintain the real conversations that I had going.

After the subsequent disagreement and unfollow of the “Social Media Innovator” that was perpetuating the endless RT’ing, I decided to do a video to demonstrate the real life equivalent of this activity to make a point. Please excuse my epic fail of forgetting to turn on the video capture during our Google Hangout, but I think not having the video has emphasized the point further.

Prepare to be annoyed. *note (the main point is made in the first 1:20 of the below video)

Wasn’t that really hard to listen to? Worse that first 1 minute of audio would clearly do nothing to build relationship between the group, had no conversation and isn’t effective.

I have said this 1000 times. The only hard fast rule in social media marketing is do not spam. All of the rest of the things I write about and suggest are simply guides to help you be effective. Having said that, sometimes the most annoying and most ineffective practices will get you unfollowed, unfriended or even blocked by many.

To be clear here, I am not referring to the RT of a follow Friday mention. However, when that follows the same pattern of RT every time someone else Retweets it, that falls under the same category as well.

A good rule of thumb on social media marketing activity is to be sure you know why you are doing what you are doing. Don’t just do things you see others doing if you do not understand the reason and benefit. This will keep you out of trouble.

I have found that it is more important in social media to know and understand what NOT to do, then it is to know what TO DO. Don’t do things that annoy others and are not effective. :-)

Robert M. Caruso
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post


Filed under FAIL, Relationship, Retweet, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Uncategorized

33 responses to “Worse Than Annoying, Your Endless RT’s of Twitter Names Are…

  1. This video does demonstrate a good point that has been a pet-peeve of mine on Twitter, especially on Fridays. Re-tweeting a list of names amounts to nothing more than noise on anyone’s Twitter feed. There are some that simply tweet their entire follower’s list, but don’t really explain why we should follow these users. It’s a practice widely abused for “Follow Fridays.” For those who simply re-tweet list of names only, I have unfollowed. Thanks for the great demonstration video.

  2. Was caught up in something similar. Someone I did not know began tweeting just a list of Twitter id’s, mine included. Then 10 others retweeted, and it went on and on. My @mentions column became completely clogged. I sincerely just tried to ignore ~ impossible. Unfollow and block ~ manageable @mentions column again :)

  3. I havent seen too much problem in my own @mention stream but I did start seeing this in tweetchats. A couple of people (one I will remember forever) attend the chat and just RT anything interesting without adding to the conversation. Not exactly my idea of ‘tweet-chatting’. I was following this person and started to observe that all they did on twitter whether engaged in a tweetchat or not, was RT other people. You dont have to be a content creator to be active but you should curate once in awhile without everyone else doing your work for you.

    • sure, but a who other issue. There are different types of Twitter users. Some just RT content and I am ok with that. But RT’ing just usernames over and over is something totally different!

      Always appreciate your insight Christina!

      • I agree totally. I’m one of those who, in my ‘work’ twitter account, regularly RT others’ tweets, as well as tweet my own links. I engage totally differently in my ‘personal’ twitter account… But in neither do I RT lists of names! This is just *such* bad practice! Thanks, Robert, for blogging about this. :)

      • You got it! Thank you for the support!

  4. It really makes me wonder if common sense is just void in so many. Direct and to the point Robert, but I’m guessing, and certainly hope to be wrong, the people who need to read this and digest this will never consider themselves as the offenders! : – )

    • lol you could be right Christine, on all points. That won’t prevent me from trying to lead, teach and inform on all issues. Now I have something to point them to when they are doing it though. Just like I do with True Twit users. :-)

      Thanx for jumping in hun!

  5. Honestly, sometimes I have participated in this clutter. But I have also made reflections how non social this behavior is. Your video shows the truth! Thanks for giving us an “eye-opener” treat.

  6. Hey Robert, Glad to be a part of this conversation. I always like to show the other side. I can see both sides of this. As far as endless name lists this is annoying. On the other hand I can see value in tweeting for a FF.

    The reason is that literally we each all have separate followers and the people who engage with me or I find excellent I will suggest in a Friday Follow. I think this shows thoughtfulness and many times when someone adds my name to a list I go and check out the other people and follow many of them especially if it is coming from a person I know and respect. I do see how it can get spammy, but when someone on that list who doesn’t know you RT’s it to their followers it also lets you get into pools of people 2 and 3 levels deep that you might not have met.

    I think as a tactic for just gaining non-engaged followers it is highly annoying, but I won’t throw the baby out with the bath water on this one. I think you always have to be aware of your feed and if it is being spammy or annoying. I curate content but I try and only curate stuff that adds value. Even if I get in a twitter chat I try and post some other content so I don’t annoy people with only chat posts. Balance is the key.

    • I understand what you are saying, but when you RT the same list back and forth over and over without conversation, it is exactly like the audio I include in my post. It isn’t helping anyone. To be clear, I RT a group when it is relevant. I do it with conversation and I do it one time. Anything more than that is what I am referring to here.

      Thanx for the input buddy!

  7. Janetmoon1958

    I do participate in #FF but I try to collect them in groups of people I enjoy. The other day tho I was tweeted in a group conversation and my timeline blew up with each dumb comment even tho I wasn’t participating. I finally said STOP! You have some great points and I will try to learn and Do :)

  8. Awesome example of how to influence people and make them hate you. Clearly a problem too many suffer from. Good suggestions on blocking and unfollowing the perpetrators.

    What are your feelings on those who RT every mention of their handle and only adding a few letters or just a word or two? I think it’s ok sometimes but as a general rule, if I’m sending you an @ message, I don’t expect you’ll RT it and add your 3 cents.

    Maybe a topic for another day – but one that annoys me greatly.

    • Well, I respond to every single mention (outside of the reason for this post of course). So sometimes RT a post of mine that was RT’d by someone with a thank you, tells everyone why I am thanking them and extends the reach of the original post. Done occasionally is fine in my book. Done as a rule is not wise and will not build relationships whatsoever.

      My two cents. :-)

  9. This is actually kind of hilarious. But yeah I totally see your point — I had one follower mention me in a group every single day. For awhile it was nice, but it got annoying after awhile. So I ignored it.

    Do the video again! I’d like to be a part of it.

  10. when comes down to FollowFriday – people are going crazy: some many Twitter IDs to RT, right ;) I noticed (so far) 2 groups: 1. people who add 1-3 Twitter IDs in the tweet + few words + #FF and 2nd group: people who add as many as possible Twitter IDs in the tweet.
    I get it – not enough time, etc. but the moment I see a tweet with just 1-3 Twitter IDs and some text – I want to respond (so…conversation starts) but when I see tweet with IDs and nothing else …ohh well.

  11. I agree, to an extent. Many users seem to tweet user names with no game-plan. Often, there is no message, only a list of names. That does not help engagement. Though, we have to remember that engagement is only part of the game. We can debate the importance of engagement and what percentage of importance in social media marketing and networking it plays; nonetheless, engagement is only part of the game. We in social media marketing tend to hold engagement at a slightly higher importance that it make actually hold.

    The reason behind most people tweeting out username so often is to increase followers. It is annoying and I do not do it, though, the numbers do not lie. It works. It does grow followers. A small percentage of people will click on the name and follow. I don’t like spam. I doubt anyone reading this likes spam, however, it does have it’s place. Spam exists because it works for some people/companies. If it did not work, people would not do it. I am not defending the practice of spamming user names, but be open to the reality that it is effective for certain marketing initiatives.

    • What numbers are you referring to not lying Kevin? What study says that endlessly RT’g groups of names grows followers. What’s more what study show’s that it increases target audience followers? That’s all that matters anyway. I completely disagree that occurs from said behavior.

      Again, I disagree. People spam for a only a few reasons. That is an entire blog post in itself, on top of defining what SPAM is within social media marketing…

      I so appreciate you jumping in. I never agree with everyone, but I always love the discussion and various view points!


      • Robert,

        This is something I’ve looked into a good bit. I guess when saying “it works,” defining “works” is important. When I say works, I am saying any type of positive result, be it new followers or increased website visits and ultimately more sales. Spamming this way does lead to some positive results (and, yes, comes with HUGE negatives). It is something I have tested myself and both drastically increased followers and hits to a website. Of course, the percentage of targeted followers is low. Spamming in this way only works for a small, very very small percentage of people. It is a strategy others attempt and fail at often. It is exceedingly annoying. I have a friend who owns an online retailer who does this through various twitter accounts and experiences success. I would argue that they would get far better results if devoting their time to a different method. Nonetheless,it can lead to more followers and clicks on links, etc.

      • seriously? Endlessly RT’g a group of names over and over got you increased followers, web traffic and sales? 4 years ago?? I am not calling a fellow brother a liar, but I am so skeptical about that statement I can’t even begin to say how so. But wait, so doing it got more followers, only a tiny percentage of which are targeted, but you got web traffic and sales? C’mon brother…

        I agree. The small percentage it works for are teens and teamfollowback users. None of which sell anything or buy anything from anyone else.

        I am not sure we are talking about RT’g over and over a group of of names back and forth between that said group of people anymore… lol

        Thank you for all the input, perspective and comments Kevin. Really appreciate it!

  12. It was your Yoda language that got me reading: excellent headline, that is. Great post, and I agree 100%. The occasional group tweet string in a relevant conversation is fine, and #FF mentions are reasonable, but only before the point of annoyance and obnoxiousness. Unfortunately, those who perpetuate this practice do not operate with enough awareness — intentionally or not — to consider how their behavior appears to others. Repeatedly.

  13. Thank you for have nerves of steel to post about this annoying behavior and asking tweeters to stop!

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  16. Well, I do it with the intention of reaching out to those that have followed me, to let them know that I know they are there and Im open to interaction. How can I do this with my new and old followers without creating excess noise and clutter?

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