I like to keep things positive as much as possible. So I hesitated to use the word “hate” in the title of this post. But then I thought, aw, shucks, let’s just have fun with this one.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Twitter. I even gained a little notoriety writing an off the cuff post about it. But I’m going to be honest, effectively managing your Twitter following can be pain sometimes. Why do I care? Two reasons.
1. It’s been said that if you care anything about a certain number that is actually a subjective measure of your online influence, you may want to make sure that you have an audience that’s worth talking to. Meaning, they have a pulse.
2. More importantly, I like to follow back people that might actually be interesting human beings to interact with. In order to establish said humanity, I read someone’s bio, I look at who they are tweeting with and what they are tweeting about.
It’s this last one that has me categorizing the people on Twitter. I do it mentally and without thinking. Some make me smirk. Some make me roll my eyes. And some make me just laugh out loud, even though I’m sure that’s not the intended effect.
Here’s who I’m finding these days on Twitter…
That’s the term I’ve given for people who collect followers. Not for the interaction or the engagement. But for the numbers. You know the type I mean. The person who, out of nowhere, suddenly starts following you. They don’t really have much to say and don’t even seem to be relevant to your interests. Yet they have 47,863 followers. And the are following 47,889 people. Those numbers always run neck and neck. It’s as if they are seeking out new IDs to follow and and then waiting, hoping for the follow back. I usually never follow these people. And I bet if I cared enough to check, they probably ditch me too.
The Identity Thief
I hope you haven’t fallen prey to these people. I almost have. Not that any harm would come of it other than annoyances in my Twitter stream. These are Twitter IDs with real pictures and real names and real bios. They seem to be nice midwestern ladies named Shirley that like knitting and kittens. Shirley seems so nice. Let me just check her tweets. And then you see something like:
“fit to stand the gaze of millions veronica…”
“it was instant readiness”
And then you know that Shirley is actually some computer dude trying to get gullible followers (for reasons that still kind of baffle me) to think Shirley actually has something to say.
This is an obvious one. These followers may seem normal enough. DON’T BE FOOLED. It’s tweet after tweet after tweet for a injury lawyer, or internet marketer, or food storage containers. And it’s the same link over and over and over. Do people really click on those?
We all love a good retweet, right? It’s reciprocal love, baby. It’s how the online world works. I read something I really like? I retweet it. Somebody says something funny that makes me laugh? I retweet it. I don’t sit on the CNN website all day long and retweet every single news story. I don’t scout my tweetstream for articles or posts I’ve never read and retweet all day long. I can appreciate someone like Guy Kawaski who has an entire Twitter account and website devoted to amplifying content. I dig that. But everybody else? Nah.
The Smug Players
These are the people that probably have some pretty impressive accomplishments to their name. And it would be nice if those accomplishments spoke for themselves. Instead, we find their bio littered with phrases like “I was once a very rich mega important man in the days of the internet and now I’m back.” Which in my mind means, “I got lucky during the dot com boom and made a ton of money. I’ve clearly run through all of it and now I’m having a go at Twitter.”
People also find it cutesy or edgy to say things like “Hi. I’m totally awesome and you should follow me.” “I’m a pretty big deal on the internet.” Or anything that ends with the suffix -sauce (which was never actually intended to be a suffix for anything other than tomato, chocolate, or bearnaise).
I have my Facebook fan page linked to my Twitter account. When I update my fan page (once per day or so), it sends out a tweet with the update. I don’t do that with my personal account because you don’t really want to know I was up all night with a vomiting child. I save that for my personal friends and family. And for the same reason, I don’t link my Twitter account in the other direction. Can you imagine how insane I would drive people if my Facebook status was updated every time I tweeted?
But the Facebooker only updates Facebook. They create a Twitter account just for their Facebook feed. The problem? These people are NEVER on Twitter. They may have something interesting to say. You may respond to their tweet. But they’ll never know because they live on Facebook. Unless you’re going to BE on Twitter, don’t bother setting up an account.
Well, I feel much better. How about you? Tell me about your most annoying followers and what you do about them. And then let’s see if we can run them out of town.