How to misuse Twitter and piss people off

Posted on 22 March 2011


I’ve been doing some work for a recruitment consultancy recently so I’ve started following a few recruitment industry accounts on Twitter. To find them I simply searched Twitter for accounts to do with ‘recruitment’ and ‘human resources’ and followed a few that looked interesting.

A lot of them turned out to be job boards which I didn’t follow for long because that’s not what I’m interested in. A few of them have turned out to be useful, although none of them really go in for the two-way communication that makes Twitter valuable. A lot of them are very obviously automated. I understand the need for companies to embrace efficiency and I’ve scheduled tweets myself, but sometimes it’s just not appropriate.

Key things that really piss me off about some Twitterers are:

•        Publishing several tweets in a row. Two, maybe three, in a few minutes is fine, but not six or seven within a minute. You just clog up your followers’ feeds and make them want to click that unfollow button. If you have your tweets for the day pre-written, at least use a third party application to schedule them across the day for you.

•        Tweeting the same thing over and over.

•        Using your Twitter account solely as a feed for your blog or to promote your products. As a friend likes to say, using social media like that is akin to going to a party and talking loudly and constantly about yourself. You’ll be left alone pretty quickly. The only accounts to get away with this are celebrities, politicians and actual news media, and even some celebs and politicians @reply to their followers.

•        Trying to look like you’re interacting with the community and starting discussions but not actually engaging with anyone who responds to your discussion bait.

Key things I love about some Twitterers are:

•        Interacting with followers. Optus once replied to a tweet of mine wherein I bitched about my mobile phone account. Their tweet included a phone number I could call about the problem and the name of the person who wrote the tweet. I don’t know if that’s Optus’s procedure or that particular tweeter just knows what she’s doing.

•        Linking to relevant content created by others rather than just to their own content.

•        Random philosophy or ideas on whatever it is the account is about.

Has anyone else got anything to add? What do you love/hate about tweeters?

Image credit: Twitter cupcake by Mixy under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence