Category Archives: Social Media Marketing

How To Tweet To Lots of People And Not Get Suspended

If you tweet to people that don’t follow you, and they decide to mark you as spam, your Twitter account could be suspended for “sending multiple unsolicited mentions to other users.”

In this post I’m going to tell you how you can talk to lots of folks on Twitter and avoid being suspended for multiple unsolicited mentions.

But: this doesn’t protect you if you violate the Twitter rules, break the following best practices, or go against Twitter’s automation rules. Tweet smarter, people! If you don’t know the rules and best practices click and read the links earlier in this paragraph.

First, Understand How Twitter is Trying To Protect Us From Spammers


It’s simple really:  Twitter is trying to protect us from strangers sending us tweets we don’t want. And who are strangers? They are people we have no relationship with.

So ask yourself: On Twitter, how can you tell two people have a relationship? Any one of these ways count:

  1. We’ve been faving or retweeting each others’ tweets, or adding each other to Twitter lists;
  2. We follow each other;
  3. We’ve had past conversations;
  4. You’re current tweet is a reply to a tweet from me.

The Secret

I’m amazed that more people don’t see the obvious that is staring them in the face. I get questions all the time from businesses saying “I want to sell things to people in my tweets, but they mark me as spam and I get suspended. What can I do?”

If you’re one of those people who think it’s not efficient to spend time with people before trying to sell them something, even though you should go home and re-think your life (see video below), I’m going to help you with an efficient solution to your problem.

While I’m going to give a very quick process, hopefully I’ll actually be able to convert you to building relationships instead of just trying to trick people into accepting spam from you.

35 Extra Seconds Starts A Relationships

Here’s the minimum you should do before sending someone a sales tweet. First, have Twitter advanced search and open to speed things up.

Use Twitter advanced search to find tweets from people that might be interested in your product or service. This you would have to do anyway, so I’m not counting this against your extra time investment ;-)

  1. 5 Seconds: Click to open their bio and review quickly. If they seem unsuitable, skip them. If there is a link in their bio that seems interesting, click and check it out. (Not strictly necessary, but I always do this when I meet someone new.)
  2. 5 Seconds: Use the steps in to go to the page for the tweet that shows their interest. Bookmark it (use Ctrl-D for speed) so you can come back to it later.
  3. 5 Seconds: Follow them and add them to a Twitter list (here’s how to do that) called “Interesting People.” Yes, you could call it “prospects” or whatever makes sense for you, and make it a private Twitter list, but the public list approach is better.
  4. 10 Seconds: Copy their username, Go to, click the “Choose User” link at the top, paste in their username, and press enter.
  5. 10 Seconds: You are now looking at that user’s most popular tweets. Do one or more of the following steps: Fav one or more that you like. If you really like one, retweet it. Finally, consider replying to any of their tweets. (You might want to also review their most recent tweets on Twitter.)

Wait at least a few hours (days are better) to see who tweets to you. Some will thank you for the fav or RT or follow. Next, go back through the tweets you bookmarked in your browser. They will indicate who has followed you back. Tweet your friendly, helpful carefully worded sales pitch to the ones that tweeted you, or followed you back. (I’m not counting this against your time investment because you would have done that anyway.)

A Better Way

Hopefully by following this process you’ll have found some interesting people that you really want to connect with, and will have actually spent more time with them, such as by reading their recent tweets, and reviewing their blog or website and commenting on it.

Spending time creating relationships with people that are interesting to you will make you much, much more successful than any other approach on social media. That’s why we call it social media.

Even better is to create some educational articles and videos that can help people who are looking for a product or service like yours. Then when you find someone in the market for what you offer, instead of sending them a sales pitch, tweet them a helpful comment and a link to your relevant educational information.


I wrote this so I would have a reply to people who just want to send spam without being suspended. If you’re one of those people, I hope you are considering spending more than just a few seconds building relationships with people. If you want to be really successful on social media, learn how to become popular with influential users.

If you’re like me, and not  just looking for a more efficient way to spam people, we both know that you don’t build real relationships in just a few seconds, but I hope you will have found some tips to get your new connections on Twitter off to a faster start!

How Social Marketers Can Keep Their Edge in 2013

With so much changing at a rapid pace, how can marketers put together a successful continuing education plan?

Here’s an approach that should pay big dividends in the coming year: First, I’ll suggest some specific options for you, then I’ll show you how to pick your own areas of study.

Where to Focus Your Efforts in 2013

You’ll need to keep up with what emerging best-practices are in at least 1-2 areas, and curate important news in probably at least 1-3 areas.

I suggest the most profitable area to have cutting edge expertise in for 2013 will be changes to native ad products and strategies withing the top 2-3 social networks (probably Facebook-Twitter-LinkedIn in that order for most folks). As each network refines what works, marketers who stay educated on what works and what doesn’t within the top networks will have a significant edge.

However, in the mobile space, the most important innovations will happen outside the top networks at first. The big guys know they can’t innovate fast enough in mobile, leading to events such as Facebook acquiring Instagram. Expect more rapidly-growing networks to appear, and to be acquired for their edge in mobile. Internal goals at Twitter and Facebook are a big drag on their ability and desire to innovate.

So there’s one area to maintain expertise in (native ad network changes at top social properties) and one to curate the latest news in (overall mobile innovation with social features).

To maintain expertise, carefully curate what the top thought leaders are saying and dig deeper on interesting developments.

To keep abreast of cutting-edge news, customize news services such as Zite to give yourself a quick daily read on what’s happening.

What’s Most Important To You Now?

Beyond these overall trends, you’ll have to keep your existing skill set and expertise in top shape. Probably what those areas are is intuitive to you, but it may be worth doing a short exercise to crystallize your thinking.

So ask yourself, what are your core competencies? To get a handle on that, start by answering these three questions in any combination:

  1. What work currently pays you the most?
  2. What are the most skilled at?
  3. What do you love doing the most?

Thinking about your answers to these questions should clarify two areas you want to keep brushed up on.

What Do You Think The Most Important Trends For Marketers Will Be?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! I’d be glad to update this post and link to and credit authors of interesting ideas :-)