Feb 2012

Five things I wish people would stop saying about Twitter

Posted in Social Media | 2 Comments »

Picture of a somewhat clueless looking blue bird.It almost feels like five is too low a limit, but there you go; I’m sticking with it. Without further ado, five things people tend to say about Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks (no point in mentioning them by name, as they’ll all be gone in a year or two) that I wish they wouldn’t.

1. It’s a waste of time. Whether you’re an author, an SEO consultant, or a person who just likes to tweet about their day-to-day existence, social media is not a waste of time. If you’re getting something out of it, it’s not wasting your time, is it? Connecting with people, sharing ideas, learning about the world, following the news – yes, clearly this is all pointless. C’mon!

2. Team follow back! I don’t know who invented this bizarre trend of following someone to gain a single follower back, but let me smash through your preconceptions of how amazing that is, and explain something to you: a non-celebrity with 50,000 followers, and 50,000 friends, is not good at social media. A non-celebrity with 50,000 followers and a hundred friends definitely is. Why? Because lots of people follow that person because they are interesting, or funny, or both, or other cool things. They follow a few people, because to follow 50,000 people means your feed will be utter garbage.

3. Twitter analytics are informative when it comes to potential sales. No, they’re not. Tweeting to your 100,000 followers about a new laptop doesn’t mean you’ll have sold a hundred thousand laptops by the time you leave work. It means that most of the people following you will see it (some don’t check all the tweets gone past in the time since they last checked, some follow too many to keep up with). Social media works similarly to any other kind of advertising. You could have a tweet on the TV screen, half-time at the World Cup. Doesn’t mean everyone watching it thinking “right, off to the shops”.

4. It is only for self-promotion. You know what happens if fifty people shout their thoughts into a room with earplugs in? No one actually hears anyone else, and everybody leaves the room none the wiser. This is what happens when people assume that Twitter is a DIY RSS feed. Talk to people. Respond to people. Don’t plug your stuff all day long – it’s monotonous and makes you look incredibly self-centred. This goes for businesses, too.

5. Automation is fine. No, it’s not. Seeing a clearly automated tweet on my feed, whether it’s from some site charting what game someone’s playing to an announcement by FourSquare that someone’s out of their house (nice job – burglars will be pleased to hear that) drives me up the wall. It’s one thing to have it link to a blog post, and sometimes that … on the end of an automated blog announcement can be intriguing, as I recently found out. But can the rest of it. It makes you sound generic and thoughtless.

That’s just five – I’m glad I didn’t title this list “five things I wish people would stop saying on Twitter”, as five thousand would not be a long-enough list.

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2 Responses to “Five things I wish people would stop saying about Twitter”

  1. Victor says:

    Heh, I enjoy this post. More often than not, I notice friends and family utilizing social networks to waste countless hours of their time playing games, talking to friends, and updating their profiles with an endless stream of senselessness. While I truly perceive these types of actions and participation on social networks as futile, there is another side to the equation that most are entirely unaware of. The ability to engage your target audience in a direct capacity has resulted in large volumes of revenue generated through the social network medium. This is where I step in and monetize such services. To conclude, it’s all about how you’re using these websites. You can be one of the many fish in the sea mindlessly using these services or you can be a fishing fleet trawling the sea of social network users for leads, sales, clients, and whatever else is requisite for your online business to achieve success.

    Also, automation is clutch when adequately utilized. While I do spend a considerable amount of my time carefully crafting tweets and such, I do utilize automation to increase visibility. Strength in numbers.

    Back to trolling your posts Christos! :P

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  2. David says:

    Great post! I agree with what Victor mentioned above. Twitter along with other social media outlets can either used or abused. Even-though I have been blogging for over 6 years now, I still am learning about the power of social media, especially Twitter.

    The great thing I love the most about Twitter is that it can be a viral tool for your blogs, websites and other businesses. If used in the right way, (which I am still learning and figuring out) it can seriously launch your business and sales.

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