The Top 9 Most Annoying Twitter Trends
First things first. This is not an attack on Twitter, nor anyone in particular. Let’s just say that this is more of overview of the trends that people go through and follow whilst on Twitter that don’t always make it a fun place to hang out. I can remember back to when Twitter was not included in any social media strategy and the hang out for one group of people in particular. Now things have changed and so too have the habits of both SEO professionals, celebrities and everyday users in general. So in no particular order:
1: Multiple Accounts/Profiles
I can remember a blog post put out by this company MD (and it was within the search industry) trying to emphasise the need to have both a personal and professional twitter account. Hmm, there’s some logic in that and if you’re someone who has a lot to say then this is a definite strategy. As I mentioned above, I can remember when Twitter was the domain of the SEO professionals so why would your friends and family want to hear about Google updates or social media strategy? That most certainly would be very boring to read. However, two twitter accounts you need Tweetdeck and a shed load of time to manage it. Organising everyone into lists helps but that still means you have your homepage Tweets to sift through.
2: Just had toast for breakfast
As the title suggests! I once followed someone in the industry (I won’t name names here) who tweeted almost on the hour, every day. This included quite a lot of updates on the guy’s cats. I love cats but to be honest, when I’m following someone for their brain and position I’m not at all bothered about his cat that just ate some prawns. Seriously, are you really bothered about who had what for breakfast? In my mind following a celebrity and getting excited about what they had for breakfast sort of puts you in the bracket of a stalker. This should be saved for something really special – or funny.
3: Updates from conferences
This is actually near the top of my public beating list. I recently attended a conference that had quite a number of big names in the audience. One of which sat next to me during a talk with his laptop. I saw he had TweetDeck open and he spent the whole session tweeting what the speaker was saying. Adding of course the obligatory hash tag for the conference. If you follow this guy, your entire inbox will be taken up with on-the-minute tweets about stuff you’re not privy to or will be able to know what it’s about. And if you’re not able to attend, are you going to get any value from fragmented lecture notes which you’re not able to know if full? I seriously doubt it. Would it not be better to simply take notes, write a good blog post and then share it with people later, with of course a hash tag for the conference? Isn’t that a more useful means of tweeting the learnings from a seminar?
4: Auto follow
Its great to get people following you. Obviously, Twitter does fall victim to spam bots putting fake profiles but some follow you for legitimate reasons. What is worst though is the automated follow. Its quite funny when you mention something quite simple, say ‘Microsoft’ or ‘Apple’, and then your followers doubles in minutes. These people who follow you may or may not continue to do so or after close inspection they may have followed you for the wrong reasons. I would hate to know how much time that a user has to spend to sift through the autofollows to see which one(s) are actually useful. Not a profitable use of time if you ask me. Seems that this should be developed further to include more broad and exact match keyword following.
5: The chronic re-tweeters
This either shows a lack of originality from the person, a lack of understanding about how to use Twitter or even a lack of anything worthwhile to say. It would be nice to know that there is some personality to the people you are going to follow. Obviously, points 2 and 6 need to be taken into account before starting to tweet!
6: The constant updaters’
Not to be confused with points 2 and 3 above. Its good to have a regular amount of Tweets as this will encourage people to follow you back. However, sometimes some people just don’t know when to stop. This is even applicable to people who are putting out good information and even better re-tweets. I have regrettably un-followed quite a few people who are guilty of this and I may have suffered for it. Some people in the industry just put out too much information so the problem occurs that you can just be bowled over by information overload! The main problem with people who Tweet too much is that they don’t consider their followers. More than 70 updates a day will totally clog up your homepage so the likely hood of seeing updates from other people you follow becomes remote. Quite often News sites are the most guilty of this. The result…Unfollow! Its like Email Marketing, you should only send out a mailshot when you’ve got something to say. Anything more, or send too much and people just un-subscribe. Simples.
7: The bandwagoners
Quite easy to spot from the randomness and general lack of thought to the Tweets. I think these people have been hearing about Twitter a lot on TV or heard about it from other people and have just joined because everyone else has. A lot of businesses are guilty of this approach as well (explained more in my previous post here). If you don’t believe in Twitter or sharing information, why bother setting an account up in the first place? This trend is also guilty of being nearly all of this top 10 list in one.
8: The clear mistaken identity
This doesn’t happen very often but some followers don’t really search correctly or just simply follow the wrong people. I once got a follower from someone who thought I was a long lost friend from College. Quite easily done but this chap didn’t look at my profile to actually see that I was English and not American. Therefore, clearly the wrong Stu. Twitter has perfectly allowed the facility of having the official account of people (mostly celebrities) to appear as Verified Accounts. Its a shame that the same can’t be true of brands or companies. It can be quite annoying when trying to find certain businesses or brands only to see that there are 20 odd fake accounts. The official one could be elusive. This I think is something Twitter should really be doing for brands by adding the Verified Account to give the confidence that they are following the correct one. Another reason is brand protection. Just as Google prevents brand advertising on PPC, the same should be true of Twitter accounts. If you are a big brand, the last thing you want is to miss out on your Brand username as someone who is sending out fake updates with your details defeats the legitimacy of the Twitter account in the first place.
9: Twitter is not a competition
A lot of people on Social Networking sites seem to treat them as some sort of popularity contest. Just as I don’t add people I’ve had a conversation on a bus with as friends on Facebook, I don’t see the point of following as many people as possible. As I mentioned on a previous post about how many people you can effectively follow on Twitter, there is a finite number of people that you can follow. Similaraly, there are finite number of people who can follow you. If you’re not someone who is an industry expert on something, famous or a big brand, you can’t possibly know 56,000 people all of whom are following your every more. If you’re just using Twitter for fun, why go out to follow as many people as possible in order to get that 50% of people that will follow you back. Lets face it, unless you’re Richard Branson or Rand Fishkin, you’re not going to get 56,000+ people following you so why try?
These are just my thoughts on the issues that Twitter faces along with how to monetise the site. After all, its still a young site and has plenty of room to develop. I hopefully see Twitter developing to being the place to get information. I use it everyday and I love it…but that doesn’t mean there is plenty of opportunity for people to use if effectively.