Be The Signal, Not The Noise

Sometimes your run across something in your twitter stream that just makes you immediately unfollow that person. Many times this is caused by political or religious content, other times it is the dreaded sledge hammer like barrage of sales pitches.

Now I’d be the last one to say brands and businesses should not use social media, but I would suggest developing some basic familiarity with it before diving in. Case in point: I had recently followed a small business on twitter. I was already interested in them and went into it knowing that a lot of the content would probably be broadcast style (i.e. all projecting outwards rather than being interactive and personal). I had opted in and was good with it.

Then I discovered that every few hours or so I would be barraged with about 15-20 tweets in a row from this account, effectively clogging my twitter stream each time. What made it even worse was discovering that this biz has several different twitter accounts that would each send out burst content like this. As you may imagine a rapid series of unfollows occurred.

Think about what the people seeing your content see. Ten tweets for ten different products sent out that rapidly can completely block up some-one’s tweet stream. Is this the type of thing you would want to see when logging into your account? It’s like the guy at the really great party who wants to talk to you about insurance, even if you need a policy the barrage of sales talk will likely turn you off. Even just spacing these out more instead of ten at a time bursts would be an acceptable alternative.

This also brings to mind one or to other things you can do to get more out of twitter:

  • When tweeting content you want to go viral via ReTweets you should leave about 15 characters empty at the end. This leaves room for the “[email protected]” that gets added on. Most people will not take the time to edit your tweet down in order to share it, so if you don’t do this you miss an opportunity.
  • We all use URL shorteners to make links fit in our tweets. Double-check yours and make sure you have not cut off the last letter or two of the link by accident. Remember that if the link is broken it drives no traffic.

See, now wasn’t that easy? There is a ton of “noise” on most social media channels, these simple steps will help you in not accidentally becoming part of it.

 is the owner of SocialGumbo, LLC


  1. Well said, mate…and good points to follow – this way Twitter will continue to work for all of us as a conduit of social discourse and “shameless self promotion” without being spam in a slingshot…

  2. “Spam in a slingshot,” I love that! Nice turn of phrase Capt.

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