*Deep breath* – Okay, I sometimes have these melt downs when I’m on Twitter. Today is one of those days. I’ve written so many articles on how to use Twitter, I just can’t do it again but you can read all of them here.

–But what I will share with you today is my own version of “You Might Be a Redneck.” It’s called “You Might Be a Douche Bag If…

Below are a few faux pas a lot of people do, even the “gurus” out there. Someone needs to smack them silly. I’ve also included some new tips and safe bets when using all the wonderful aspects of Twitter – if you do it right.

You Might Be a Social Douche Bag if Your Twitter Account…

Egg Pic

Still Has an Egg Pic 

Do you still have an egg as a bio pic? What is this, Twitter in 2006? Come on, people – Just. Let. The. Egg. Hatch!

Why would you do that? Can you at least put your logo on there, a puppy, a cat – even a can of freaking soda would be better – than those eggs. Use something that speaks of you/your company/anything other than a freaking egg.

It’s lazy, and speaks volume of what a douche bag you are. Sorry, but I have no tolerance for that sort of laziness. You own a business. Twitter is offering you free advertising space. Can it GET any better…?

Use that advertising space for something other than prepubescent poultry. In order to get the most out of it:

  • Personalize your image with a logo or even a crisp, fun image of your smiling face!
  • Create a biography that’s approachable and memorable
  • Use your brand colors and images to create a background for your bio page

Don’t let it go to waste!

Next! You might be a social douche bag if your Twitter account…

Da Douche

Is Full of You Retweeting Your Own Stuff

Are you RT’ing your stuff with a thank you?? I would add another question mark, but I know my editor is already going to have a hard time taming this article.

Let me be as gentle as I can be. I get it. I know you want to get more shares on this social platform. We all do, honey, we all do. –But there’s a right way and a douche way, and yours is… well, it’s not the right way.

If you retweet others retweeting your messages and just add a thank you, it doesn’t leave any room to continue the conversation. Escape the “Social Douche Bag” title with this one. Personally I have heard this from quite a few people and they, too, think you are a douche bag, so STOP IT.

If all someone ever did was yell at you about how great they were, would you want to socialize with them long? Probably not. Twitter is a social platform. Instead of what you’re doing, try these:

  • For every personal link you share make sure you share an additional 10-15 from other people
  • It’s not always about sharing feeds; saying hello and chatting with a few people is not a horrible thing.
  • When you are sharing other’s posts make sure you add a smart comment or an encouraging word about the post.
  • When sharing your own articles, try to keep it short (100 rather than the full 140) – this will allow people to share their own word or two.

Let’s go on. You might be a social douche bag if your Twitter account…

Spam Man

Is Using the Direct Message Spam Ticket

I actually get the sweats when I add new followers on my Twitter. It’s not that I think I’m so freaking wonderful and don’t want to add people as followers, but for the love of all things right and good in this world, remove those automatic messages because you are not fooling anyone. Everyone knows it’s a canned message and there is nothing personal about it.

I can’t tell you how many time I have seen, “I love your tweets, here is my latest e-book.” I don’t know you from Adam, and this horrible first impression is the one you want to leave me with? “B.S, B.S., now check my stuff out”? I feel used, violated and dirty. Thanks – I need to go wash my Twitter account now.

You can send an automated, “Hey, thanks for following me,” if you must get all personal, but leave it there. Don’t sell me, spam me, or try to hoodwink me into following you elsewhere. When using a DM, it’s not for anything more than to be brief and get a message across. If I follow you and get one of those messages, I will un-follow you and send you a link to this article. Don’t say I don’t give back…

Mashable wrote an article about people using DM’s for group messaging. It’s a pretty good one, although I personally would rather use Google + or Skype for a group get together.

You might be a social douche bag if…

Dont Do It

You Jump on the Twitter Train Feeding Frenzy

It starts with good intentions. Some sweet person woke up thinking of community and started a good morning thread. You, oh dear one, are a part of that thread. You respond – also thinking of camaraderie and community and those other “c” words – by saying hello back. All is right with the world, unicorns eat flowers and poop rainbows.

-But see, you, even if you’re trying hard not to be, are a social douche bag. And you RT the hellos instead of just responding back. And I, who was also one of the people in that thread, have a Twitter feed that has suddenly been taken over by “hello, hi, howdy, howareya, good day” for the next 267 minutes.

Listen… you don’t have to jump on that train. Just. Say. No. Keep your hashtags to a minimum and respond only to the ones that actually address you!

This Has Been a Public Service Announcement: Don’t Be a Social Douche Bag

Figure out why you’re using Twitter. Determine your strategy. If communication then communicate – influence, discuss and advise. Don’t tweet noise; create meaningful interaction. Sure it’s only an infinitesimal moment, but enough of those moment will create memories and illicit positive emotions in your connections.

If listening, then listen – choose a variety of news, filter out the noise with twitter lists, hashtags and other filtering tools. Share those things you find interesting and useful.

You don’t have to be a social douche bag. You can be a social maven.