I’m updating and re-posting this article about Twitter Spamming because it’s as relevant today (probably more) as it was back in 2009 when I first published it.
I heard an interesting interview with Chris Brogan the other day. Chris is the best selling author of a number of books regarding all things Web, the CEO of Owner Media Group and a recognized expert in the social media space. He’s a great guy too!
Twitter, still the #1 Micro Blogging Platform
Chris was being interviewed about his use of Twitter, the micro-blogging utility that has become so popular. Among the various and sundry ideas that were tossed around was a comment about how he loathes getting blatant sales pitches from people who he doesn’t know, who are following him. No one on the interview had a good term, or any term for that matter, to describe this Twitter equivalent to junk mail or SPAM.
Well divine light has shown down upon me. Ladies and gentlemen, I have that term! And the term is, TWACK. Now I realize that sounds kind of goofy but, follow my logic. As with all words in the Twitter lexicon, it begins with the letters T & W, as in Twittonary (Twitter Dictionary). This is a cool tool you can use to look up the meaning of anything and everything on Twitter. TWACK also sounds like Elmer Fudd in hot pursuit of Bugs Bunny. “Be vewy, vewy quiet. I’m twack-ing a wabbit! Huhuhuhuhu…”
Birds of a Feather
Most birds chirp and tweet, the later being the term used to describe a micro-post (140 characters or less) by anyone on Twitter. These chirps and tweets are melodious sounds that are pleasing to the ear. Ducks, by comparison, quack which to anyone but a duck hunter is not a melodious or pleasing sound. A Quack is also a derogatory term used to describe a doctor of ill repute or perhaps a shyster. The word Quack is rather abrasive and obnoxious, which is in keeping with the previous comment. The term “TWACK” is also rather abrupt and harsh, when you say it. Try it out. It also sounds similar to “whack,” which is to hit or strike something with a resounding blow.
This gets to the real meaning of the term. Twitter is a great utility for communicating (one to many) short bursts of information. The content on Twitter ranges from the typical “what I am doing right now,” to quasi chatting.
As with all communications mediums there are those who choose to throw a blatant sales pitch at everyone (everything that moves actually) in the hopes of attracting an ignorant few with their message. Chris Brogan referred to this as marketing with a Bull Horn. As I alluded to above, this is abrasive and obnoxious and it flies directly in the face of what Social Media is all about.
Twacking then, is the equivalent to Twitter Spamming, and is the quickest way to become un-followed, or UF’d, by pretty much everyone. The bottom line is, nobody wants to hear your sales pitch without getting to know you first. Or more appropriately, you getting to know them first… As the old saying goes, “nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
Can We Shake On It?
Chris had a more colorful description for this sort of Twacking when he said, and I paraphrase, “It’s like you’re trying to french kiss me and stick your tongue in my mouth when we haven’t even shaken hands yet.”
You get the point!