So, you’re bopping around, meeting people on Twitter. Having a great time. And then it happens. You follow a few people back and then your direct message inbox begins to overflow.

You stop by to check it out and discover that it’s nothing more than weak sales offers and scams. Nothing but direct marketing. Some guy’s “free” offer for an ebook explaining how he got to a zillion followers on Twitter in only 8 seconds.


Don’t be that guy

As with any relationship, Twitter is based on trust. When somebody follows you, there is an expectation. There is some expectation of a relationship and how that relationship will work.

This is especially important for communities, companies, and churches. Your audience will have expectations of what will come of this e-lationship they are forming with you. Be clear about what you offer and don’t violate their trust.

If you make it sound like they’re getting a real relationship with you or your organization, don’t have some bot post semi-interesting stuff every hour or two so that you’re always at the top of their stream.

Instead, read their streams. Respond to direct messages and replies with a person, not a machine. And when it comes time to send out an update, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Is this something my community will care about?
  2. Will this violate their trust or expectations?
  3. Will this compromise somebody’s privacy?

Just use a few steps, a little logic, good manners, and some caring and you’re well on your way to forming a lasting e-Lationship with your audience as well as deepening your relationships with your friends.

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