Over the past years, but particularly over the past couple of months, the level of TWAM has been escalating. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s my terminology for Twitter Spam (Mind you, I’ve applied for trademark rights for TWAM 😉
This week, I’ve been personally subjected to it at least half a dozen times a day.
This new form of TWAM not done by professional TWAMMER’s. Those are the people inundating you with messages promising 100K follower, or other useless stuff. These are sales, marketing and others who are using social media terribly–discrediting themselves and the brand they are representing.
Here’s what one of those TWAM’s might look like:
@TWAMMER @Mike_Weinberg @Iannarino @jillkonrath @BarackObama @DavidABrock http://ht.ly/QiHEO
What the TWAMMER has done is identified some pretty heavy duty influencers like Mike, Anthony, Jill, and well the President (I added that for fun). They’ve added a link–sometimes to great content, usually something pretty mediocre.
In doing this, it appears in my feed, so confused and curious, I click on the link, wondering why @TWAMMER did this. Even worse, the TWAMMER has hijacked my followers and those of everyone else in they’ve included in the tweet. The tweet ends up in their streams as well.
Naturally, they wonder, “What is this? It seems somehow to be associated with Mike, Anthony, Jill, the President, and Dave. Perhaps I should look at it……”
So the TWAMMER is really seeking to hijack the followers of influential people on Twitter (I am far from that) leading them to their content.
Instead of building a reputation for quality content and engagement in Twitter, they choose a really shabby way to promote whatever it is they want, by hijacking the reputations of others.
Today, I got into a Twitter discussion with a TWAMMER. His profile indicated he was probably naïve and inexperienced, not malicious. I called him on his TWAMMING. His reply was, “If you had read the content, you would have seen it wasn’t SPAM, but great content.”
In responding to him, I explained how he totally missed the point. His method was deceptive and lazy. The content, was actually very good. But because his approach at hijacking my followers was deceptive, it left me with a negative impression of him and the brand he was representing.
Good content, delivered in a deceptive, manipulative, or unwanted manner is SPAM. In the end it creates more negative impressions than positive impressions.
Engaging people through social channels is just like engaging people through any other channel. There has to be a level of trust. Building that trusted relationship, building followers welcoming your content, wanting to be engaged with you, takes effort. There are no shortcuts.
There are all sorts of variants of TWAM. But pretty quickly, the community figures it out. It’s easy to see what someone is doing, it’s easy to detect the manipulation, so it becomes very easy to ignore.
If you are new to Twitter or other social engagement channels, take the time to build a following based on great content and engagement. Don’t take shortcuts, they’re very transparent–ultimately doing you and your brand more harm than good.
Postscript: In checking this article, I discovered there is someone who is @TWAMMER. That person has been on Twitter for close to 2400 days, has 1 tweet, 2 followers and is following 1. If that person sees this, forgive me for hijacking your Twitter name. I mean you no disrespect (I think)