The Mediation Times


A little story about Twitter…

by Amanda on January 26, 2010

I love Twitter. I wish I had more time to read all the great tweets and I have ‘met’ some fantastic people who have shared their own insights and generously promote what others write and even draw. Perhaps I have been lulled into a false sense of security because my experience has been good. Yes! I get plenty of spammy follows but I just block them. It can be quite therapeutic sometimes – like clearing out a messy drawer. Ping – @DollyDolittle789 – into the bin you go!

A few days ago I got this and I thought I might share it as an example of  “how to really break trust with your followers before you have even got them to follow you.”

A new follow. I check it out. Doesn’t look like spam because it is film and photography. I don’t like the tweets much so decide not to follow. Click link to web site to see if I am judging too early. Young film director promoting new film. I check out film. Find trailer. Click on trailer and I am promptly asked to give email and name to get the link.

Starting to feel a bit of irritation but in such good mood I continue.

Seconds later email arrives.

We received your request for information from “*******” the movie.  Before we begin sending you the information you requested, we want to be certain we have your permission.


Click the link above to give us permission to send you
information.  It’s fast and easy!  If you cannot click the
full URL above, please copy and paste it into your web

So I click the link and I get directed to a Twitter page which as you will have spotted is not the trailer I wanted to see. OK so it happens. The blurb gives the impression of a really worthwhile film

a contemporary and relevant film about how drugs have transcend all borders of our society and affect every facet of our lives

I give up disappointed but it is not the end of the world.

Then I get a second email which says

I just want to tell you how much we appreciate your interest in our film.

We were flooded with requests from fans to see the trailer so we released a version *not for public*…but it got leaked. (Duh!?!)

Sorry we had to take the trailer down. (Double Duh!?!)

Our sales rep advised us to do this so it doesn’t jeopardize our marketing strategy.

Again, we really appreciate your support.

Please help us spread the word about this film by sharing our Facebook and Twitter page to your friends.




Well! Mr Aspiring Film Director:

I just want you to know that you might find some tips on using social media useful otherwise you might find that people will resent the way in which you are trying to get them to sign up to be one of your 10,000 followers. I know I do. Resent the way you have gone about this. Mostly because you landed on a warm prospect.

If you have the technical ‘where-with-all’ to put a sign up page and link it to your twitter account then you have the where-with-all to take the trailer page down or put a notice that it is no longer available. The curious thing is that if you didn’t want the trailer to be watched ‘so as not to jeopardize your marketing strategy’ or even more confusingly label it ‘not for public…’ then why put it on your public web page?

And finally, if you want me to spread the word you have to give me something to go on, to put my name and opinion behind and so far all I have is a pretty poor experience of running around your site and twitter account only to be sent what I feel is a disingenuous email. And there I was, all ready to follow an aspiring film director.

If you are interested there are a couple of people I could put you in touch with (through Twitter) who know all about doing it well and a couple of books that might help. You could pass them on to your sales rep after you have read them. You could start with

Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.

End of grump!

Diane Levin
Diane Levin

Amanda, thanks for sharing your unfortunate experience with your readers! It's amazing to me that people are still making these kinds of tone-deaf blunders with social media.

Don't feel bad for being trusting - you're in good company. I followed back someone on Twitter who had recently begun to follow me. They were in Boston, and I'm always happy to connect with folks in my own backyard. I visited this person's web site and was impressed enough with the sincere tone of their bio to follow them back and send them a direct message thanking them for the follow and offering praise for their bio. Their response? To send me a direct message in reply pitching a legal marketing workshop they were teaching in Boston and asking me to "bring that good message there". [gag]

I understand that people want to use Twitter for business purposes, but for god's sake don't use your first direct contact with me to try to sell me something I don't want. I unfollowed immediately. It gave me instant relief for my sense of feeling hoodwinked. So I feel your pain!

Great post, Amanda, as usual.


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tammy Lenski and Amanda Bucklow, HNorthey. HNorthey said: RT @amandabucklow: From my blog A little story about Twitter… you were very trusting considering no provenance [...]

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