The 5 People You Meet In Twitter Hell

published September 23, 2015

When promoting something I tell clients to think of Twitter like a cocktail party. Twitter’s 140 character limit and real-time chronology make for a more casual environment than Facebook. You can join several conversations and demonstrate you’re a regular person without simply pushing an agenda. Just like a cocktail party there are some bad behaviors you should avoid. Conducting oneself like any of the following 5 types of party-goer will get a Twitter account muted, unfollowed, blocked, or reported by other users.

1. The Loudmouth

Everyone has this experience. You’re on your feed when a string of tweets from one user is all you can see. In terms of the cocktail party this is a person who doesn’t let anyone else get a word in. These people may have something worthwhile to say, but they’re so obnoxious that people find an excuse to go talk to someone else. On Twitter this is likely someone using a service like Hootsuite poorly. If you have 10 posts cued up for the day, don’t post them all at once. People who enjoy using Twitter like to see what everyone they follow is saying. Even if you have thousands of followers, if your The Loudmouth I’d be surprised if 10% of them actually see your tweets.

2. The Bully

These are people who bicker, regardless of the gravity of a tweet. They like to get attention by stirring things up. It works often enough, but if you’re trying to promote something think about what you’re communicating in terms of the cocktail party. You’re standing in a group of people, everyone has a wine glass in their hand, casually exchanging opinions. If you started harassing someone, even those who agree with your opinion would likely look for another group of people to chat with and avoid you for the rest of the evening. Remember that although serious issues get discussed on Twitter, 140 characters aren’t enough for a formal debate. Try to play nice.

3. The Foot-in-mouth

This is a favorite of celebrities. Alec Baldwin is one of several famous for saying unbelievable things on Twitter (Google: “Baldwin Stark Tweet” for just one example). You don’t have to be a huge name to let this bad behavior get the better of you. In terms of the cocktail party, you’re in a relaxed setting and you think you can say anything. Casual doesn’t mean anything goes. I’ve got another name for you: Paraskevi Papachristou. Although this kind of singular, career-ending tweet is rare, it’s the perfect example of not thinking before you tweet.

4. The Egotist

Similar to The Loudmouth these are the people with potentially thousands of tweets, but few if any retweets, replies, or favorites. This is the guy at the cocktail party who doesn’t even pretend to be interested in what anyone else is saying, yet inexplicably stays in their company and talks about himself. This type of tweeting behavior can be acceptable for celebrity accounts, where Twitter is basically just another news outlet for them. If you’re that popular, go ahead, talk about yourself and ignore everyone else. If you’re not Oprah though, you’ll need to take an interest in someone other than you.

5. The Clone

If you want to do something fun, put the following text into the Twitter search field:

“Life is like a piano”

Now click over to the “People” tab of the search results: Attack of The Clones! There are several of these account types. They appear to be a mix of real individuals and fake accounts participating in some sort of networking scheme. These accounts contribute to the total number of your followers, but they don’t add any value to your audience. This would be like a cocktail party in which half the attendees were paid to be there, pretending to mingle, asking for business cards, and putting everyone on the worst mailing list ever. Gross.

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