9 Twitter Myths That Make Me Unfollow
Ian Lurie Jul 9 2009
More hyped than Barack Obama, less understood than quantum mechanics… It’s Twitter, folks! (applause)
I’m here to dispel a few myths. There are lots of other Twitter mythbusting posts out there, so I decided to put my own spin on it. If you buy into any of these myths, and demonstrate by inflicting your beliefs upon me, I will unfollow you so fast your Obama particles will travel back in time:
I care where you’re eating right now.
Actually, I won’t unfollow you for Tweeting that you’re at the neighborhood deli. But it’s just not something that’ll change my life. Confine your Tweets to interesting links, news or funny/deep observations. Daily routine isn’t necessary. Revised per @toddhooper and @mediafortemktg: I do care if it’s a really great restaurant.
The world needs another Miracle System To Generate Money Online Without Lifting A Finger.
Send me a message selling one of those, and I’ll lift a finger. Then I’ll unfollow you.
Folks want to see your underwear/cleavage/other unmentionables in your avatar.
We don’t. If we do, we’ll ask, OK?
It’s cute to follow/unfollow/follow/unfollow/follow someone.
I’ll actually follow you back, if you do this. That way, I can find your house and yank your cable modem so hard it flies through the wall at relativistic speed, leaving only a distinct popping sound as air rushes in to replace it. It may seem like this is a neat tactic to boost your Twitter rank or whatever, but it’s really just a great way to irritate people.
People want automated direct messages saying “Thanks for the follow! :) ;) :>” when they follow you.
Once I sign up for Twitter, Good Things will happen.
I sympathize on this one. From what you hear on the media, Twitter will cure cancer, keep men from peeing on toilet seats and provide unlimited clean energy. Sadly, it’s a lot of work to get even a little bit of benefit from Twitter. You need to build your audience over time, for that One Time – a crisis, a success, something else – you really need to speak to them all. Then it pays off.
People on Twitter don’t care about spelling.
I just saw a Tweet that made me realize how much I do care about spelling. I unfollowed them. If you’re using Twitter professionally, or if folks you work with are on Twitter, you want to act professionally too. Use a spell checker, at least.
If you set up a Twitter account, it means your brand/company/organization is cool.
Yeaaaaah, sorry. If you set up a Twitter account and send me cool information, or help fix my problem with your product, then you’re cool.
“Autofollow 55,000 people on Twitter, and then spam them with product offers” is a good business plan.
Not unless you’ve invented a way to punch people in the face over the internet, and you’re sending me a free trial.
OK, I’m done. What Twitter myths drive you crazy?
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More