How to be a Less Annoying Twitter user

How to be a Less Annoying Twitter user

Ever wonder why your engagement and traffic referrals are so low from Twitter?

Well it could be a number of things, but I’m learning that the main reason people don’t engage with you is because you don’t engage with them.

I am constantly told that Twitter is like being at a party and you should just join the conversation. Well, join the conversion, don’t just yell at people until they take notice of you.

I’m speaking to myself more than anyone here because this is how I’ve operated my account for the last 2 years and it turns out it is not the most effective use of the platform or my time.

An excellent example

Look at some of the best bloggers on Twitter. Have a look at their follower numbers and then the engagement they get.

World of Wanderlust is an excellent example. Brooke only has 4,000 more followers than me (at 24K) but look how much more engagement she gets than me. The reason? Just look at how natural and genuine her tweets are. People respond to people. Plus, what you can’t see is all the replies to her questions and comments. I rarely see this on my account and I bet you do too unless you’ve been doing it from the start.

World of Wanderlust on Twitter

World of Wanderlust on Twitter

Nothing spammy, just genuine interaction with her followers on where she is in the world.

I think part of this also stems from the quality of your following. If you play the follow/unfollow game your followers will be of a lower quality because they are not genuine followers, just obliged followers. I know how Brooke operates her blog and social media and it is nothing but genuine. This, I believe is part of why she has been so successful.

Post fewer links

Now if you compare that to my own Twitter feed, it is mostly links to other travel blogs via Triberr, and links to my own blog through the Revive Old Post plugin or occasionally one through Buffer. Rarely will I just go into Twitter and post something and I would hazard a guess this is very common for travel bloggers.

My twitter feed example

My twitter feed example

I have previously posted on why I love Triberr and how to use it, and I’m not saying you should discontinue using it. But what I’m going to do is use it less and try and post more genuinely on Twitter. To even up the balance between links, pictures, and me.

But I’ve also recently learnt that accounts that excessively use bots to post tweets and follow/unfollow people can lead your account to flagged as spammy.

But it’s not like Twitter has just come out and said this recently… It’s written in their offical rules!

Scroll down to the “Spam” section and see if you don’t nod your head accordingly at a few of those bullet points. I know I did.

The reason for my journey

Interestingly enough, I actually discovered this after investigating why the new Rise Leaderboard algorithm wasn’t taking into account my tweets or retweets containing the word travel.

Now lets be honest here, the Rise Leaderboards are essentially a vanity metric with little actual real world application – unless of course you’re winning 😉 – but I know that I tweet the word ‘travel‘ quite a lot and it gets retweeted so my curiosity was piqued.

And besides, the competitive streak in me wants to get higher regardless.

The support guy at Rise that I spoke to said that when he looks in the public search for my handle he saw nothing. But when I did it I saw plenty. So I logged out, tried again, and I saw nothing. I then did the same for a few other users I know use Triberr heavily and share a ton of links. Low and behold they did not show up either. (Some pretty notable bloggers too).

Well at least now I know I wasn’t the only one.

A few Google searches later I discovered what I mentioned above, that what is common practice in the Travel Blogging industry is actually frowned upon by the platform on which we operate.

Bots are People too

Well, no they’re not, but I needed a title.

When you think of a bot, you might picture a program that has been written to go out and post automated comments, or auto-tweet or auto-follow something. Because that’s exactly what it is.

But a bot is really just a program that does something without you having to manually do it. Triberr is a bot. I’m not saying it doesn’t provide value, but it really is a cheap way to provide content and Twitter believes that it looks spammy. I might disagree, because I genuinely curate the content that I share through Triberr, but then it doesn’t matter what I think in this instance because I’m not a multi-billion dollar corporation.

This is why I will be reducing my use of Triberr from here on in. It may be too late to remove the flag that makes Twitter think my account is spammy, but you never know when they’ll change the rules so I’m going to at least play by them.

Is this the end of the follow/unfollow game?

Ok, well some/many people already do not condone this and I know this strategy generally splits the room. But nevertheless, let’s assume it’s common practice, which it often is.

Incidentally, although I didn’t know it at the time, but all of the above is why I also why I stopped using Tweepi to automate the follow/unfollow game and Crowdfire to do send out an auto-DM to thousands of users when they followed me.

Not only are auto-DMs auto-annoying, they are also really ineffective.

And I’m quite certain that many people unfollowed me when they received it (ok it’s a hunch but I’m still certain).

This is another great article I found that goes over what a spammy tweet looks like. There’s some great examples, most of which will probably make you laugh, then die a little inside. I’ve done some of these and I’m sure you have as well, and I see them all the time.

So, how else we can make Twitter a less spammy place to hang out?

Be you, be genuine

Join travel chats. Like #NLTBchat for example. But there are plenty of others.

Post real time updates on what you are doing now, whether it is travel related or not. Remember, this is actually why Twitter was originally created, as a micro-blogging platform to share snippets of your life.

Also remember that people follow a travel blog follow the person just as much as the content. Use Twitter as an extension of your personality.

Ask questions to your audience.

This was actually the driver behind me starting #NLTBchat. I wanted a new way to be able to engage with other travelers and track it with a hashtag. (#NLTBchat starts on a Thursday and goes for a week by the way). So far it has been a huge success and I am ever so grateful to the people that join me every week. I get to know then a little better and they me.

Follow the Rules

Lastly, the real answer to the question asked in the title is answered pretty plainly in the ‘Twitter Rules”.

In life, as in social media, rules aren’t made to hinder anyone unnecessarily. They are made to enhance the experience of all users. To keep users safe, and free from harassment.

The rules reinforces what they define as spammy behaviour and it is rife throughout the travel blogging community, whether it looks like it or not.

Now obviously I’m a party to this as much as anyone and I truly believe it is due to ignorance rather than malicious intent. But with all that I’ve learnt this week I’m going to be doing my best to reduce the spamminess of my Twitter account, which hopefully is a win for everybody.


I’m considering opening a Next Level membership site.

The site will include an array of courses on travel blogging best practices like I talked about today, getting traffic, getting paid, and other relevant topics.
Does this interest you?
I still need to build it, and it will include a low monthly fee, but if this tickles your fancy, CLICK HERE to go on the wait list and let me know it’s something you would value.

Luke Marlin

Luke works a regular 9-5 job, and his salary he calls his travel fund. He and his wife spend most of their time in negative annual leave due to this expensive yet incredibly rewarding hobby.

Luke travels for 3 reasons: becoming immersed in a different culture, finding the less obvious attractions, and for hectic bragging rights back home.

  • These are great tips and I have noticed a difference when I have been applying these methods! I actually find that I am having a lot more on Twitter when I am more “human” with more interaction. For me, the trick is in “Social” media i.e, being social with other people, commenting, replying and striking conversations so thank you for this, I can take a lot out of this blog:-)

    • Luke Marlin says:

      Thank you Angie, I am happy to hear that both you got a lot out of this article and that you agree that social media is much better when it’s social! haha, if only it didn’t take most of us so long to realise this.

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A Little about Luke Marlin
Australian. Travel Blogger. Seeker of all things off the beaten track. Lover of nature, road trips and sunsets. Drinker of craft beer. Learning more about our world through the immersion in different cultures.
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