10 horrible Twitter tips.

I helped a lot of people a few weeks ago with my post, “10 horrible blogging tips.”

I don’t like to use the phrase “life changing” but there it is. Seeing the response, that in a lot of ways was global in nature, I thought it might be good to ย give you some tips on how to be horrible at Twitter as well. You’re welcome.

10 horrible Twitter tips.

1. When someone follows you, send them an automatic direct message that asks them to do other things as well. Tell them to follow you on Facebook, read your blog, take care of your yellow lab when you go away for the weekend, etc. People love this kind of thing.

2. Retweet compliments about yourself constantly. Could you just reply with “thanks?” Sure. But where’s the fun in that? Instead, retweet their whole statement and then add thanks at the end. How else will people know you’re amazing?

3. Don’t have a shirt on in your profile photo. This one is strictly for the guys out there. You want to establish immediately that yes, I do life bro.

4. Ask people you like incredibly vague questions like, “Any advice on starting a business?” If they can’t summarize starting a business in a 140 character response, they are dumb.

5. Complain to people who don’t ever respond to you. Nothing makes someone want to engage in an online conversation like shame.

6. Click on a suspicious url, give them your twitter password, spam all your friends and then claim, “I was hacked,” as if you were asleep while a hacker in Kosovo broke into your Twitter account.

7. Use the phrase “Please RT!” as punctuation for everything you tweet.


9. Tweet a link 19 times per blog post you write.

10. When someone makes an honest complaint about their life, respond with #firstworldproblems, when they share something they are excited about, respond with #humblebrag.

You might notice I left off, the “public unfollow.” That’s when you publicly announce you are unfollowing someone. I left it off because it’s so stupid that I think people stopped doing it. If you still do though, bully for you!

What horrible tip would you add?


  • Nick
    Posted at 04:26h, 19 February Reply

    Ha! #1 irks me the most.

    You must have the discipline of a Buddhist monk to stop at 10 (or 11…). Egg profile pics, auto tweets, too many hamsters, 138 characters full of hashtags, follows and then mentions that you can increase followers for the person… so many possibilities.

    Fun stuff.

  • Joanna
    Posted at 05:24h, 19 February Reply

    Send #tweets #full of #random #hashtags that no-one would #ever be likely to #search for if looking for the #information you are #tweeting


    Send @ mentions to people you don’t even follow asking them to check out your product/service/event

    Use automatic services that tell everyone you follow how many times you got retweeted and followed that day

    Call yourself a social media guru/maverick/rockstar/legend/ruler/ect in your bio

    If someone you’ve followed doesn’t follow you back, unfollow them and refollow them again and again until they finally see the light and follow you

    • Charity Craig
      Posted at 09:11h, 19 February Reply

      Nailed it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Travis
      Posted at 12:26h, 19 February Reply

      #You #Are #So #Right #LoveIt

    • kcvearner
      Posted at 21:40h, 19 February Reply

      I just tweeted: #runlotsofwordsintoalonghardtoreadhashtagnooneelseisevergoingtouse

  • Josh Collins
    Posted at 06:34h, 19 February Reply

    Not gonna lie. I’m guilty of a couple of these, but you know what, that’s ok. I’m learning. I’ll get better.

  • Pam
    Posted at 06:48h, 19 February Reply

    Make sure you hide your real self in your favorites because your future employer will never think to look there.

  • Justin Deiter@TruthandWord
    Posted at 06:50h, 19 February Reply

    It is #amazing how many #mistakes #you can make in #under 140 #characters. #mindboggling

  • Caleb
    Posted at 07:01h, 19 February Reply

    Live tweet the Grammy’s ๐Ÿ˜‰

    In all seriousness, my horrible twitter tip would be.

    Make sure 90% of your Tweets are Retweets – after all there is so much good content out there.

    • Joanna
      Posted at 16:02h, 19 February Reply

      That can be okay in some cases. If the purpose of your account is to round up news on a particular topic it might be appropriate, on a more generally focused personal account it’s probably too much.

  • Carrie
    Posted at 07:06h, 19 February Reply

    1.) Tweeting 4 part tweets.

    2.) Tweeting an absurd amount of tweets in a row. I’m going to define absurd amount as 5 or more for the sake of this comment section. But in my real life, I’m annoyed after 3. Or 2, depending on who you are.

    3.) Only retweeting other people’s tweets. Your entire timeline is nothing but retweets. Why am I even following you if you have nothing original to say?

    • Jon Acuff
      Posted at 07:11h, 19 February Reply

      Tweeting in four parts, such a good one! So horrible

    • Adam Faughn
      Posted at 09:15h, 19 February Reply

      Your #2 is my #1. It doesn’t make me want to keep following you when you send out 12 tweets in a day, and all of them come in a 4 minute span.

    • Jeremiah Martin
      Posted at 10:47h, 19 February Reply

      Yes. I hate when people do this. (1/3)

      • Jeremiah Martin
        Posted at 10:47h, 19 February Reply

        It’s especially irritating when it’s something I really don’t care about (2/3).

        • Jeremiah Martin
          Posted at 10:48h, 19 February Reply

          But the worst thing is when they don’t at least do them as replies so you can follow the chain logically if need be (3/3).

          • Becky Castle Miller
            Posted at 05:30h, 22 February

            I wish Jon’s comment system allowed thumbs up. It’s so much easier to click one button to tell you I smiled at your comment run than to take the time to type out actual words telling you I think it was funny.

  • Laura Crosby
    Posted at 07:18h, 19 February Reply

    Similar to #7. In your blog put “Tweet this!” You shouldn’t have to tell me if it’s an amazing statement that is tweet-worthy.

    • Rachel Holland
      Posted at 09:04h, 19 February Reply

      Ha! Yes!! The “Tweet this!” link drives me nuts!

      • Jordan Fortenboher
        Posted at 12:51h, 19 February Reply

        YESSS…This makes me so mad!! You should not have to tell people what is or isn’t tweet-worthy from something you wrote yourself. UGH. LOL ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you SOMEONE for saying this!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Joanna
      Posted at 16:06h, 19 February Reply

      Yes! I know it probably gets results but it feels manipulative and breaks the flow of the article

  • Marcy Leavitt
    Posted at 07:19h, 19 February Reply

    Drunk tweeting, vent tweeting, and ranting tweets. Then deleting the aforementioned tweets with a long “I’m sowry!” Or “I was hacked!” Ugh I just hate those.

  • Bryan Logan
    Posted at 07:21h, 19 February Reply

    If you have a post you’ve created, for example “Setting up a WordPress blog in 20 minutes” , make sure you schedule that tweet every single day for FOREVER. Because there’s nothing I enjoy more than reading the same tweet daily.

    • Susie
      Posted at 09:02h, 19 February Reply

      Yes! That one drives me absolutely nuts! If I wasn’t interested in reading your blog post the 1st or 2nd time you tweeted it, I probably won’t read it the 4,000th time I see it.

  • David Johnston
    Posted at 07:55h, 19 February Reply

    Though I never do it, I actually think #10 is hilarious. A total jerk move to do it but the boldness of those who try to pull it off is always humorous because it never fails to backfire in their face.

  • Erik Fisher
    Posted at 08:19h, 19 February Reply

    I see people do #2 a lot.

    Wait, that came out wrong.

    Wait, so did that.

    • Steven
      Posted at 09:38h, 19 February Reply

      I feel you didn’t get appropriate props for this very witty post. So kudos.

    • Heather
      Posted at 09:47h, 19 February Reply

      Thanks for the laugh!

    • Russ
      Posted at 10:29h, 19 February Reply

      You must know who #2 works for!

    • Jeremiah Martin
      Posted at 10:49h, 19 February Reply

      I hope everything comes out alright next time!

    • Jordan Fortenboher
      Posted at 12:52h, 19 February Reply

      HAHA! I am dying laughing right now ๐Ÿ™‚ THANK YOU. LOL

    • Jan Moyer
      Posted at 21:16h, 19 February Reply

      Best thing I read today, Erik. The best.

    • Angie
      Posted at 21:47h, 19 February Reply

      #LOL #thatwasveryfunny ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kevin Ammons
      Posted at 22:36h, 19 February Reply

      Imagine my surprise after attempting to back my way out of this incredible post and very informative comment section, just to follow the funny guy who made the. “Number 2” remark., by clickiing on his name, only to discover that he is the guy behind the “BeyondTheToDoList” Blog that I have heard about so many times in Pat Flynn’ s podcasts! Great comment, Erik. I look forward to checking out your blog, next time I’m “in the library”.

  • Tracy Mc
    Posted at 09:05h, 19 February Reply

    Misspell words or use terrible grammar in your tweet that contains a link to your blog. If you can’t bother to figure out the difference between “your” and “you’re,” I’m not going to be able handle reading an entire blog post, nor do I want to take you seriously.

  • Sean Buck
    Posted at 09:10h, 19 February Reply

    Put your URL in your profile, and go follow 100,000 people hoping it’ll drive traffic to your site.

  • Nathan Jacobson
    Posted at 09:11h, 19 February Reply

    Follow people for 3 days, if they don’t follow you back within that timeframe, unfollow them.

    You know, because we’re all dying to have one more follower, even if it’s DJ Wiz and we have to see his 1200 obnoxious tweets a day.

    • Charity Craig
      Posted at 09:13h, 19 February Reply

      Ha! Exactly!

    • Joanna
      Posted at 16:08h, 19 February Reply

      Even better if you’re following people from another country who couldn’t use the small business you’re promoting even if they wanted to

  • Amber
    Posted at 09:14h, 19 February Reply

    Subtweet constantly (usually teenage or immature twenty-something girls).
    Talk about smoking pot, your amazingly-fantastic-sweetest-ever boyfriend, or how all your friends leave you EVERY DAY, every five hours if possible. (same demographic, usually)
    Yes, I just unfollow eventually.

    The long hashtag, oh my.

    Make sure you have Twitter linked with your Xbox so I know you played COD:Ghosts in the last 24 hours, and tweet every Instgram picture, pin, and Foursquare check-in, so I won’t have to follow you on Instagram, Pinterest, or Foursquare to see it.

    • Jeremiah Martin
      Posted at 10:51h, 19 February Reply

      Instagram is the worst (No offense, Jon). I don’t mind the same content, but I hate having to follow the link to see the image.

    • Joanna
      Posted at 16:11h, 19 February Reply

      Agreed on Instagram/Pinterest (and add facebook photos to the list). I don’t mind links to the occasional interesting picture if they include a comment about what they are linking to, but when it is link after link after link, especially with no comment, it drives me batty. If I wanted to see everything they posted on instagram, I’d follow them on instagram!

  • Aaron
    Posted at 09:17h, 19 February Reply

    haha! Add FOLLOW ME AND I’LL FOLLOW BACK because it’s a guaranteed way to get new followers.

    I’ve never done this one, but I would say that, #2 could be a useful way to engage your followers if you’re a public figure. You don’t want to overdo it, but it validates the persons opinion publicly. It makes them feel good. Like if I tweeted, “John Acuff is the funniest guy on the entire internets” I’d appreciate a reply “thanks” of course, but if you took the time to retweet it AND say thanks… well, that’d just be awesome!

  • Susie
    Posted at 09:17h, 19 February Reply

    One that I’ve seen (thankfully not too often) is begging for attention from someone who is famous, and complaining that they won’t respond to you.

    • Joanna
      Posted at 16:13h, 19 February Reply

      Or listing in your bio the date the famous person finally followed/retweeted you. Seen it done, mostly re:boy band members

  • Adam Faughn
    Posted at 09:17h, 19 February Reply

    Make sure you live-tweet things in vague terms. I have one friend who tweets ball games (when there are several games going on, even on TV) with tweets like, “Well, that was a bad pass.”

    Now that really helps me take part in the discussion.

  • Ben
    Posted at 09:20h, 19 February Reply

    Wait. #2? You mean you follow Donald Trump too?

  • David Harris
    Posted at 09:23h, 19 February Reply

    Was “I do life, bro” supposed to be “I do LIFT, bro”?

  • Jean
    Posted at 09:40h, 19 February Reply

    #hashtag #every #single #word #you #wrote

  • ClintM
    Posted at 09:41h, 19 February Reply

    #Incorporating so many #hashtags, http://www.URLs.com, and @people that it is #almostimpossible to read what @youaretrying to #say. #TotesMagotesAnnoying

  • Jonathan
    Posted at 09:44h, 19 February Reply

    Manage the social media account for a large company (like JCPenney, for example), drunk tweet the Super Bowl, and then make up a hashtag (like #tweetingwithmittens) to cover up your foolish activities.

    • Jordan Fortenboher
      Posted at 12:54h, 19 February Reply

      There is something about #tweetingwithmittens that I just love. LOL. Yeah. Needs to go on the list of don’ts.

  • Roger Cox
    Posted at 09:47h, 19 February Reply

    I think social media should be used exclusively to promote my political, social, and religious discontent. I can change the world one tweet at a time.

  • Heather
    Posted at 10:04h, 19 February Reply

    I love this! Although some are ok in moderation. (well maybe just #2) I do not mind reading the retweet of a compliment every once in awhile. I see them mostly on Tuesdays when a band releases a new album.
    What burns me is the “If you love ‘Insert band’s name here’ you will love us! Check us out now!” I much prefer the subtle approach of just following me. I have found great music from people I would have never discovered if they did not follow the fans of the band they think they sound like. I always check the profile of new followers, I always wonder who is crazy enough to like me ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jeremy
    Posted at 10:12h, 19 February Reply

    Complain about your life. Even if it’s an honest one. I also unfollow people if they go on a twitter tear (20 posts in a row). You made me laugh with the retweet complements about yourself guy. I see this a lot. Keep up the good work Mr. Acuff!

  • Theresa
    Posted at 10:16h, 19 February Reply

    Wow Jon,
    Twitter confuses me… Your post was 10 reasons that I’m happy I’m not currently tweeting. I know I’ll eventually have to figure it out. I’ll be re-looking at your post again ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Katie
    Posted at 10:26h, 19 February Reply

    It goes along with #2– tweeting quotes from every positive review of your book that you receive

    Also, beginning tweets and retweets with “SHARE THIS”. Hi, my name is Intellegent Adult, I promise I will share what I think is worth sharing, I don’t need your all-caps directive, thanks.

  • Kathleen Caron
    Posted at 10:29h, 19 February Reply

    My pet peeve, and i will continue to say until the whole world listens, is when you are reading along in a blog and all of a sudden there is a command to “Tweet this!” I’m a grownup, please don’t tell me what to tweet.

    • Joanna
      Posted at 16:17h, 19 February Reply

      Please, please keeping saying it!

  • Paul
    Posted at 10:33h, 19 February Reply

    Give your children cutesy hashtag names or make sure every parental thing you ever do is followed by #dadlife or #momlife. We get it. You’re a parent. You do things.

  • Matt McWilliams
    Posted at 10:52h, 19 February Reply




  • Chad Nelson
    Posted at 10:57h, 19 February Reply

    Alert everyone to your intellectual and emotional depth by using conflicting emoji’s and hashtags…especially #sorrynotsorry. I wish I could bottle that kind of conviction.

  • Laura-Leigh
    Posted at 10:58h, 19 February Reply

    Copy word-for-word what another person tweets and then tweet is as your own thought.

    • Jeremy
      Posted at 12:11h, 19 February Reply

      Pastor’s do this so much!

      • ClintM
        Posted at 15:54h, 19 February Reply

        Copy word-for-word what another person tweets and then tweet is as your own thought.

        -Clint M.

  • Zechariah
    Posted at 12:26h, 19 February Reply

    These are horrible, and I have done a few of them:( I will stop it I promise:)

  • Travis
    Posted at 12:30h, 19 February Reply

    Make sure all of your tweets are about how horrible your life is all the time. I want to see complaints about your work, family, and money issues. Nothing makes me want to follow someone more than all negativity, all the time

  • Eileen
    Posted at 14:16h, 19 February Reply

    One of my pet peeves is when folks ask a question yet consistently choose to never engage with any of the responses. I get that it’s impossible to engage with everyone but I often wonder why they posed the question if they have no intention of engaging in a conversation. Maybe it’s like talking just to hear yourself talk…sometimes we tweet just to see ourselves tweet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Matt
    Posted at 15:34h, 19 February Reply


  • Kristi
    Posted at 15:35h, 19 February Reply

    I love this so much! And I won’t lie – if I follow someone and get an auto-DM, I will immediately unfollow, because that’s just obnoxious.

    Also, people need to stop assuming that you’ll follow them back simply because they followed you. Sorry, dudes and dudettes… your follow is not reason enough to make me follow back! Engage in some conversation, and perhaps you’ll give me a reason to follow you!

  • Scott
    Posted at 15:35h, 19 February Reply

    Wear being blocked as a badge of honor. “X unfollowed me after I sent him 32 tweets in the last 24 hours telling him to repent. Guess he can’t take the truth.”

  • jana
    Posted at 15:39h, 19 February Reply

    This also goes for online dating profiles. great tips.

  • bill
    Posted at 15:43h, 19 February Reply

    How about ” if you. Don’t follow me back ur dumb! (or some other insult). ” Where is the rulebook that states becuase you found something I tweeted funny/profiund/insightul enough to follow me that I have to follow you back and see your porn, foul language, and half conversations with people who are local to you?

  • Hanna
    Posted at 16:11h, 19 February Reply

    Everyone should definitely go on a Twitter rant. Nothing says “maturity” like 10 tweets in a row about someone/something you hate.

  • Beth Demme
    Posted at 16:12h, 19 February Reply

    @Tweets @that @are @just @mentions of @other @people. It’s sort of the same as saying something valuable. You know, if you replace “valuable” with “waste of time.”

  • Ethan
    Posted at 16:19h, 19 February Reply

    -Freeze-framing stuff on TV to post a picture about it.
    -Running commentary on sports games.
    -Live tweeting in general.
    -Re-using joke formats over and over and over again.
    -Subtly showing off how awesome your life is by over sharing what you’re doing and with whom.
    -Less than 5 minutes between multiple tweets that are unrelated.

    • Zara
      Posted at 18:27h, 19 February Reply

      I absolutely live tweet my favorite sports games a lot. I love the community it brings with like-minded live-tweeters, especially since I live overseas and don’t have a traditional sports-watching community around me at the moment. Technology is wonderful like that! It’s like being surrounded by nerds and experts who tweet back and forth, which makes it a really fun virtual environment! It’s comforting to have people to talk to about bad calls and awesome plays, especially when I’m watching the big game at 4 am while the rest of my apartment building is asleep (and wouldn’t appreciate me screaming at the screen). Live tweeting is actually one of my favorite parts of twitter.

  • Zara
    Posted at 18:10h, 19 February Reply

    I love this! I won’t even RT a tweet that I *like* if it begs for a RT. I just can’t. Unless it’s about children or clean water or something social-justice-y… but in general… Ugh.

    Keep up the great work! I loved the blog tips too! This is the year I’m taking my blog to the next level. I write an expat blog from South Korea and I’ve got a little following, but I realized that if I want people to take my writing seriously, I have to take my blog seriously first. “Attitude reflects leadership, captain.” #RememberTheTitansQuote #commenthashtags…oops…

  • EJ Boston
    Posted at 18:52h, 19 February Reply

    Create multiple Twitter accounts, but post the same thing all the time, every time.

  • Heath
    Posted at 19:09h, 19 February Reply

    Wait aren’t you the king of number 9?

  • Shawn
    Posted at 19:24h, 19 February Reply

    Using TrueTwit validation. It is a hassle.

  • Jennifer DeBord
    Posted at 21:39h, 19 February Reply

    Stealing tweets.

    RT’ing as a quote or with RT in front so it appears it’s your tweet, so you get the response.

    Jumping into all your tweets to others, especially when it’s a celebrity and ESPECIALLY when that celebrity responds often to YOU and not them. Go get your own celebrity and stop skating on my tailgate, trying to get noticed!

  • Jennifer DeBord
    Posted at 21:43h, 19 February Reply

    Multiple Twitter accounts and never showing who you really are on any of them and using them to bully people or deceive them to get what you can and use it against them later. And using stock photos and passing it off as though it’s you! #Psycho #Deception #Loser

  • Joe
    Posted at 21:51h, 19 February Reply

    Constantly tweeting about religion when you have so many other interesting things to say.

  • Mike Skiff
    Posted at 22:02h, 19 February Reply
  • Becca
    Posted at 22:24h, 19 February Reply

    My biggest pet peeve is people who are constantly tweeting famous people with “Follow Me I’m Your Biggest Supporter”…

    No, wait, the was my 2nd biggest pet peeve.. my first is when people can’t have their real name and have something obnoxious like “Justin’s Girl” or “Beliebers 4 life” or “~~Biebers #1 Fan ~~”
    Real names, people….

    Oh, and when they put celeb pictures. We know what Bieber looks like, and you’re not Bieber.

  • Kevin Ammons
    Posted at 22:53h, 19 February Reply

    Wow! Everything you wanted to know about Twitter, but were afraid to ask. Now that was 16 minutes well spent.

    Thanks again, Jon.

  • Aubrey Port
    Posted at 23:07h, 19 February Reply

    Anyone who puts #followback anywhere!

  • Matthew Rathbun
    Posted at 06:12h, 20 February Reply

    1 – Sharing someone else’s tweet, but dressing it up like you found it first

    2 – Passive Aggressive tweets

    3 – The #HumbleBrag by way of the #GivingGodGlory hashtag “I’m so thankful that God gave me this awesome ass so that I don’t have to go to the gym like everyone else”.

    4 – Copying the one clever exchange you’ve had on twitter to your Facebook profile in order to get more support – when the person you trumped on twitter isn’t your Facebook follower and can’t defend their position….. (Sorry, was that just my experience?)

    5 – The “Its too crowded on Twitter now that I’m so hot and popular… I need to unfollow some folks” tweet… Followed by seeing that this person has 12 followers, who are all herbal-life dealers.

  • David Costa
    Posted at 08:52h, 20 February Reply

    You could probably add, โ€œThe minute you follow me back Iโ€™ll drop you from my follows.โ€ Itโ€™s like these people (or bots, as the case may be) donโ€™t realize I have ways to find out who has unfollowed me. It must work, though, or they wouldnโ€™t do it. Right? It works, right?

  • George C.
    Posted at 00:12h, 21 February Reply
  • Michael
    Posted at 14:34h, 21 February Reply

    If your pic is so great, put it on twitter.There is almost a 100% chance I’m not following the instagram link. Or the Facebook or pinterest links either.

  • Scott
    Posted at 14:54h, 21 February Reply

    I actually hate the “auto-follow” option that some third party apps use when they have access to your account. Does anyone know which apps do that?

  • isabelle
    Posted at 18:09h, 25 March Reply

    This is another great post! My favorites have already been mentioned and to be honest, I made some of these errors starting out. Thanks!

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