Think of the most annoying person you know. Give them access to the Internet and a Twitter handle and undoubtedly their ability to bother you will multiple by 100. Whether it’s your mom posting embarrassing baby pictures of you and your sister on #tbt (or Throw Back Thursday) (sorry mom) or your former college roommate jabbering on and on about politics—we all have that one person we wished never joined Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+… the list goes on.
While thought leaders, do-gooders and informative folks far outweigh the babblers of the Internet, it’s a slippery slope. After all, how many times have you been tempted to go ham on someone in 140 characters or less? Its okay, we’ve all been there. But a little self control goes a long way in cyberspace – especially if you’re a business.
I recently came across a Forbes article titled “The 10 Types of Twitterers and How to Tame Their Tweets.” In it, author Steve Faktor identifies 10 types of “twitterers” that exist and details with each one’s social networking characteristics. So which alias is your business and which should you be wary about becoming? Here are the top three twitterer personas I would stay away from:
- The Undead: Though your newsfeed never seems to sleep, surprisingly 60 percent of Twitter accounts are inactive. If your business decides to join Twitter (which you should) commit! Don’t just sign up because you think you should or because your competitors are tweeting away. An inactive, non- engaged Twitter page is a death sentence and only tweeting a couple times a day about how great your company is doesn’t look good. Customers want to interact with your brand, receive updates on your latest news or products and see what’s going on in your respective space. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t follow you. Give the people what they want: tweet, actively engage with your customers, and hey why not follow them!
- The Protector: The purpose of Twitter is to spark conversation, connect with like-minded folks and disseminate information to the masses. So why do almost 12 percent of people lock their Twitter accounts? Now I understand keeping some things private from Twitter’s 200 million users, but for business purposes, your success hinges upon your transparency. After all, no one wants to do business with the company that keeps consumers in the dark. Wal-Mart doesn’t pick and choose its customers so why should it choose who can view their tweets? If you unlock your Twitter profile to the world, you’ll be on your way to unlocking thousands of new customers and followers – which is always good for business.
- The Chirper: The typical chirper is someone who fires off random tweets about what they had for lunch, their sentiments about the beloved “24” returning or what they think about Republicans. According to Faktor, chirpers have one characteristic in common—a lack of strategy. These social media users have an inkling that they need or should use Twitter, but are not sure why. But when it comes to business the question is not whether you need Twitter, its how you can use it to stand apart from the competition. And if you are on Twitter, you certainly need a strategy. Tweeting every single tidbit of information about your company, its promotions and its offerings is not beneficial. Approach Twitter like you would a marketing campaign for a new product. Select a point person to send out your tweets and build a roadmap focusing on what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do it.
What drives you crazy on Twitter? Share your social networking horror stories with us.