People, organizations and businesses do a lot of stupid things on Twitter. Where do we start?


How about including the word SEO somewhere in your Twitter username? (By the way, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization). Or Mortgage. Or some really obscure combo of letters and numbers. Yup. These are bound to get you blocked. Even if you are legit. Way too many spammy tweeters use these in their usernames.

Then there are the goofballs who use their face as their avatar, but their tweets are virtually all based on an RSS feed. Brilliant. This screams “I don’t care about the ‘social’ in social media, but I’m trying to fake it by including my photo!” #fail.

Aside from the above, here are three really, really stupid things people, organizations and businesses do on Twitter:

1. Nothing but auto-posts from Facebook. Some users will set up their Facebook account to automatically cross-post everything to their Twitter account. Now, on the surface, this would normally be a way to maximize your social media time. Successful social media users find the time to monitor and independently use both Facebook and Twitter. However, social media pretenders try to pull the old two-for-one routine: They really only use one tool. The other tool (in this case, Twitter) is a ghost account. There are posts via a Facebook feed. But nobody is really staffing the Twitter account. It’s sad when you see other tweeters commenting on such posts or giving a shout out. Little do they realize, they will be ignored. Your existence doesn’t matter to these people, organizations or businesses. #fail

2. FollowFriday spamming. Some users will do dozens of FollowFriday tweets. FollowFriday is a tradition on Twitter whereby users recommend fellow tweeters worth following. FollowFriday spammers will often use this occasion to try to increase their number of followers. You can usually spot FollowFriday spammers. Review their tweets. They usually engage in almost no conversations. Ever. Yet they can reel off tweet after tweet of FollowFriday recommendations. In a nutshell, these spammers devalue the entire purpose of FollowFriday. Worse still, if you say thanks for a FollowFriday, they don’t acknowledge it anyways. #fail.

3. Include a web link in every single tweet. Face-to-face conversations don’t always end with “see this link” or “visit this website” or “read this article.” So why should tweets? Sadly, some tweeters do just this. Some do it in every tweet. Absolutely, Twitter is about sharing. That’s a huge part. In fact, one recent Canadian survey showed we prefer to get the news from our social media friends vs. traditional media. But you must go beyond just sharing links. Engage in conversations too. Start discussions. Solicit feedback. This is how you build a community. If you’re only sharing links all the time, you’re just a social media courier. #fail.