How NOT to Use Microblogs

If you’re a microblogger (Twitter, Friendfeed, etc) trying your best to annoy your followers and drive many of them away, here’s some great suggestions for you. You’ll also enjoy the added benefit of drawing in spam types and clueless vendors who misuse microblogs as spam tools and PR release websites as you let go of valuable followers. Follow these three steps and in no time you’ll be the next big typhoid Mary of the social web world:

Step 1: Spam Your Followers to Death

Blogger Josh Chandler decided to share links upon links of coverage during a recent news event. The result was Josh getting spanked for this clusterf.. er, debacle:

in all fairness to Josh, he’s owned up to it. Bravo. But other egregious examples remain, like this little retweet maven posted up on Andrew Mager’s blog:

For those of you who are unfamiliar with re-tweets, they’re basically just a copy and reposting of what someone else has said. Mager’s convinced me to stop this practice, since watching this is about as painful as sitting in a 400 degree oven while simultaneously being present as the IRS audits your 2004 tax return.

Step 2: Be a Fake

Seth Godin, speaker and marketing book author has his own blog, and recently showed up on Twitter as well. Some followers became immediately suspicious when they noticed Seth wasn’t engaged in conversations and wasn’t following other (a big no-no on Twitter). It turns out “Seth” wasn’t the real deal, but rather an imposter who simply link posted from Seth’s blog.

Needless to say once “Seth” was exposed, he was dropped en masse. By the way, the lack of following and conversation us to our next point..

Step 3: Don’t Interact

Here’s a question for you: are you wondering if Washington is out of touch with citizens and voters? The following screenshot should eliminate any doubts about this politican:

Other candidates actually follow (even if in just a token way) and engage. The hilarious irony here is that the Hillary-in-drag on Twitter follows and converses with zero people, and yet somehow posts this:

“This has always been your campaign, and there’s no one I want to hear from more than you.”


Here’s another example of how software as a service provider NetSuite engages its customers on Twitter:

The last post was 4 months ago? Now, I’m a big fan of NetSuite since I worked there for a number of years, but using Twitter as a link to your webpage is soooooo 1999 (link swapping was the hot ticket back then). Predictably, the NetSuite account attracts an industry groupie gangbang of resellers adding zero value to anyone looking to have a meaningful discussion of CRM and ERP adoption strategies:

My favorite is the utterly B.S. sounding “Value Chain Group”.

Compare this to how more innovative companies like Virgin America, Aria Systems (who I currently work for), JetBlue, and Comcast use Twitter to really get to know their customers, and you’ll see what I mean.

This entry was published on August 5, 2008 at 4:29 PM. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

8 thoughts on “How NOT to Use Microblogs

  1. You forgot the ones that just come in, say good morning, good night and are MIA all the other hours of the day 🙂

  2. Too funny.. it reminds me a bit of the old IRC chat days. Half the chat was “ok dudes see you later” followed by a string of “bye!” x 100.

  3. Awesome post. People will learn how to manage their information better in the future. Or at least I hope so.

  4. I sure hope so Andrew. Thanks for coming by.

  5. 🙂 Thanks for calling me out, it keeps me on the straight and narrow seeing reminder posts like this.


  6. Thanks for dropping by Josh. I tried to be fair and note you retracted quickly. Still, it was funny. Keep up the good work on the blog mate.

  7. Eric, you wrote a fantasticly balance piece. I have no qualms against your opinion, keep up the great work 🙂

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