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Heather Townsend

The Excedia Group


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5 ways we fill up our twitter stream with rubbish


 … and I’m not talking cheese sandwich type conversations. I’m talking about the type of tweets that people post without really thinking about their target audience and what they want to read. After all, the point of being on Twitter is almost always three fold:

1)     Attract your target audience to you by providing valuable content

2)     Attract your target audience to your blog by providing valuable content

3)     To have conversations with your network and target audience via Twitter

However, I see so many people falling into the trap of posting up these tweets which, add incredibly little value, and may even cause someone to stop following you.

Four square check-ins

Many people have a habit of checking in on four square and allowing it to automatically send a tweet to Twitter. There is nothing wrong per se with doing this, as long as you add some context to your tweet. Just telling someone that you have checked in at Starbucks or are now the mayor of your local Tesco, generally adds very little value to your followers.

Who has unfollowed me?

For some reason people seem to think that it is good to tell everyone when they have been unfollowed. Why? In fact, it is actually pretty aggressive to mention by the various automated tools who has unfollowed you on Twitter. Yes, sometimes Twitter randomly unfollows people for you (grrrr….), but do you really want to advertise to the world that people are not finding you interesting?

Uncurated automated

I know the jury is out on whether the papers actually add any value. In my humble opinion, the answer is yes, but only when curated properly. Far too often people set their to tweet out automatically and they don’t take the time to curate what goes in or doesn’t go in the paper. Consequently the paper is often full of irrelevant or promotional content. Remember the golden rule here is to add value to your followers by what you tweet.

Follow Friday lists

This is a massive bugbear of mine. If you are going to add value with your follow Friday tweets then do take the time to really personalize them. Don’t just send out a massive block of tweets with #ff and a list of Twitter handles. If you are like me, you tend to ignore these. If however, someone has taken the time to really personalize their follow Friday recommendation, then this becomes a valuable guide to your followers on why you should follow someone.

I also find it incredibly annoying when one person on this list replies to all on the tweet to say thank you for the #ff…. Remember the key here is to properly and personally engage with people on Twitter. It is not a good mass broadcasting tool.

Long lists of RTs

Let’s be clear here, RTs are good things for you to do. What I am talking about is people who will go into Twitter and then do 10 RTs or more in one sitting. All they do is clog up your Twitter stream with mostly irrelevant tweets – which are very often part of a personal conversation- but because of the way they are using RTs, you get the benefit of just that one part of the conversation.

Is there anything I have missed from this list? What are your personal bugbears?

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Heather Townsend


Read more from Heather Townsend

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