4 Worst Types of Twitter Users

April 1st, 2009 |


Ploked.com is all about being plugged into social media. We strive to provide informative, relevant, and unique perspectives in the world of social media.

As many of you are well aware by now, some of the peeps you are following on twitter can flat out get on your nerves.  You know what I am talking about!  These are more than likely newbies to the twitter scene or social media in general and have no clue on what they are doing.  Typically, they are easy to spot.  While many of these types can get on your nerves, so can actually be entertaining to a certain extent.

I am going to talk about the 4 most annoying types of users on twitter I have come across.  Let me know your thoughts on each, or if you feel that there is a type that should be part of the top 4.

Shameless Pluggers

First and foremost are the “shameless pluggers”.  You know exactly who I am referring to.  This is the twitter user that does nothing but spam your twitter feed with blatant, spammy attempts to get you to check out their lame product.  While some users may very well have a good product to offer, they will probably lose more business by using twitter the wrong way.  For example, I don’t need to hear about your “acai berry diet” on my “aneroxic help group” twitter account.  I mean seriously?  (please note I do not actually have an aneroxic help group account)

Twitter Trolls

Up next we have the “twitter trolls”.  For whatever reason, this user is the type that will follow you around twitter no matter what in order to sabotage anything you do.  Their sole purpose is to make your twitter life hell by attempting to ruin your image among your followers.  Trolls exist for a number of reasons, such as jealousy or no real “social” life at all.

It’s best not to “feed the trolls” in that if you simply ignore them, most of the time they will eventually find someone else to bother.  By not responding to them, you don’t give them anymore reasons to continue following you around on twitter.  Soon enough they will get bored and be gone, soon enough your twitter life will be back to normal.

Chronic Retweeters

I like retweets just as much as the next person, but I am not fond of twitter accounts that consist of nothing but retweets, aka “chronic retweeters”.  Of course if something is worth retweeting (such as this post), by all means retweet it!  Seriously, it’s nice to share something original with your followers.  Not something like “today i am having a turkey sandwich for lunch”, but something of real value for your followers.

Failure to provide substance to your followers is a sure fire way to lose a good chunk of followers.  If you are a “chronic retweeter”, step away from twitter), and come back when you can offer the world something relevant.

Self Proclaimed Marketing Gurus

Finally, we have the “self proclaimed marketing gurus”.  While I will not get into a debate on what establishes someone as a “guru”, these self proclaimed ones are very easy to spot.  Some notable characteristics of these users are that they can fall into the “shameless plugger” category above, do not have their own domain name (ie. use blogspot, or wordpress.com domain names), and are ultimately marketing one of those products that made them “$624,756.92 in the past 7 days”.  Seriously, does anyone by into that hype?  Unfortunately the answer is yes.

These self proclaimed gurus are for the most part not making any money at all.  They are struggling because they are going about it all wrong (completely different topic all together).  However, they want YOU to believe their method/system works and that they are truly a guru in marketing and want you to buy into what they are offering.

Are there successful marketers on twitter?  Yes, of course there are.  Finding the self proclaimed gurus not making any money are easy to spot if you know what to look for.  Maybe we should make a game out of it?…..hmmm…..

So There You Have It

Those are my top 4 annoying twitter user types.  What are yours?  Are any the same as mine, or do you have something different?  Maybe I completely overlooked a group deserving to be in the top 4…if so let me know!

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/AmandaVega AmandaVega

    My biggest annoying twitter user is the one that blocks their profile. It drives me INSANE. It's one thing to use the powerful "unfollow," but to somehow think it's ok to make yourself private in a very public tool seems contrary to me. I would also add to the list those that ONLY tweet news articles. That's not conversation. Or, how about the ones that tweet things indicating that they really think they are famous – when really, no one knows them. One last thing – people that follow 567,345,222 people – come on – it's not a popularity contest – this isn't "how many friends can I amass to prove i'm valuable" – it's a tool to listen and communicate. And now matter how fast you are, you can't truly listen to that many people so you look a bit silly.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ploked ploked

    very good points! i definitely do not understand the twitter user who blocks their profile….kind of defeats the purpose of twitter in a way. but i guess there are some who just like to keep to themselves?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/AmandaVega AmandaVega

    do you think they just sign up and tweet to themselves back and forth? haha

  • http://barbsbooks.wordpress.com/ Barb Radisavljevic

    Perhaps they are people who should be using FB instead. The only excuse I can see for this is for people who only want to share Tweets to keep track of their families or close friends and don't want anyone else to see.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/AmandaVega AmandaVega

      Oh, yah, never thought of that. So, I say Facebook is a much better option for them! I'll suggest that along with my flame each time I get a follower like that. They can even do updates just like Twitter in there!

  • http://barbsbooks.wordpress.com/ Barb Radisavljevic

    The other kind of user that I will stop following is the one who tweets ten times a day to please follow him and rarely tweets anything else.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Benck Benck

    How about the Seth Godin type. The one who only puts a link to their book and has zero interactions. I guess you could call it the souless twat-er-er.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/ploked ploked

      haha, so true….that is almost worthy of making the list….maybe i should expand it to 5 lol

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ploked ploked

    agreed. facebook is great for those who wish to have more privacy on a social network.

  • jrbradley

    I tend to check out the bio / home page of everyone who follows me. I am always wery of the ones who have 950 followers off only 1 tweet. I assume they will unfollow me the following day and move on to continue amassing their list.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/ploked ploked

      very true…also be skeptical of the ones that have like 1000 people following them, while they are only following one person themselves…

      • http://crisjanzen.blogspot.com/ Cris Janzen

        ANYONE who tweets about either “getting more followers” or “the teethwhitening secret they don’t want you to know!”
        And anyone who’s avatar is a picture of a torso (male or female).

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  • http://www.thetrendwatch.com Luis

    Loved it! So true! I onde wrote a similiar article on Social Networks – http://tinyurl.com/dl9j8b – you may find it interesting.
    It's amazing the type of profiles you find on Social Networks. Each person finds their own purpose, be it good or bad, that give some consistency to the Social Network. Like micro societies.
    I'd love to read your approach on the best types of Twitter users. Check my article and let me know what you think.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/ploked ploked

      thanks Luis, I will check out your post….I also plan on writing about the best type of twitter users at a later date :)

  • Don Meissner

    I'm going to show my age here. In several ways it seems twitter hearkens to the days of the CB radio craze, where truckers and trucker wannabes chatted all day about where they were and what they were doing. I guess it still goes on to some extent. They even use codes and handles to keep their messages in the less-than-140-character range. While used for social connections, CB users know to keep the line open for real trucker business such as weather, road conditions, speed traps and emergencies. If someone abuses the channel they are shunned by the CB "community" and soon go away – or start using the channel as it should be used.. So to the good buddies at ploked, 10-4.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ploked ploked

    thanks Don, I would not have put the connection of twitter and CB radio users together. very nice analogy, thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.level343.com/article_archive/ Gabriella

    I am still a newbie, but finding my way around twitter and enjoying it. I would like to add the ones that NEVER RT even when you ask them Please. Let me explain the RT I am talking about has nothing to do with you but a human cause. Look I am not saying you have to RT but if its something as simple as clicking to feed someone in a third world country what harm is there in that? Another thing that bugs me about the self proclaimed guru's is they never respond. Maybe I am looking for conversation and twitter may not be the right place, but isn't that what "engaging" means? Funny thing is you read their blog and they preach about listening and engaging yet they do none of them. Thanks for this yours is the first DM I actually enjoyed and did not find it obtrusive in any way!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/AmandaVega AmandaVega

      What if they aren't interested in your cause? That may be why you don't get the RT on something. I'm assuming you are looking for conversation by utilizing search.twitter and finding those that have common interests. If so, not sure why you would NEVER get a RT.

      • http://www.level343.com/article_archive/ Gabriella

        Yeah I thought of that aspect… Rightly so but, I guess the point I was trying to make is people in social media sometimes don't listen to each other. They are so enamored with themselves they don't read others posts. Sure I will get maybe 3-5 RT versus the "Self proclaimed media guru's" that get a regurgitated message to go viral.

        Personally I couldn't walk away from a RT about helping buy a mammogram for a woman if you click on a button. Nothing to sign just a few minutes out of your day. Or play a spelling test resulting in10 grains of rice for every correct answer all free fun and I have to tell you gratifying.

        Maybe another way I look at it is a simple moment in time when you can actually RT something and make a difference. Okay am I an idealist? Maybe, however let me add, I use Twitter for business and pleasure, I have followed people very slowly and only by recommendations.. therefore my following and follower list is limited at best. Let me also add I have a few accounts on Twitter, and I have found I get more RT from one account versus the other… (just an observation really and rambling)

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/AmandaVega AmandaVega

          I totally agree and understand where you are coming from. My only other consideration is that probably more than half of your people you are connected with don't read all the tweets. I am in the world of social media, and don't keep it open all day long. Those that have messages that are vital to me, I subscribe to via my phone for alerts. But, I'd say 80% of those I follow don't get their messages read by me, unless directly sent or @ replies that I get mailed to me, except for a few times a day. Maybe that's one of the lulls in your response. Who knows, really. Just figured I'd chime in.

          • http://www.level343.com/article_archive/ Gabriella

            Hey Amanda thanks for taking the time and giving me another point of view. I totally appreciate it. Yeah, I can see how maybe ppl are just not reading. Or ppl are just not listening and only care about their own cause. Which for all intent & purposes that's what most of the people are on there for, moi included.

            But my style of doing business has always been about relationships as lame as that sounds it's true. I hardly ever talk about business or "selling" 9 out of 10 people come to me and ask me to work for them. I don't like pushy and never have been pushy! Again thanks for your thoughts. Last but not least, I would love your feedback on some of the article I wrote on our blog in regards to Twitter.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/tonyknuckles tonyknuckles

    Checking out the profile page of a follower usually tells me whether I should waste my time or not. And yes, I have been a victim of using the twitter tool for marketing. I have a second account that I use exclusively for this purpose alone.


  • http://www.uglydoggy.com San

    Another type that annoys me is the one that just want to collect followers… I guess is a matter of choices but I still prefer quality over quantity…

  • http://www.youravon.com/rachelrussell Slleepy AVON Lady

    Excellent Article. I agree about everything on this list! The ones who totally block you when You did nothing wrong like spam or pluging, etc. really annoy me. I don't shamlessly plug, and my following has consistently increased. I really enjoy the authentic friendships I have made on Twitter.

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  • Victoria Kouyoumjian

    I would have to say that Tweeting more than 5 times per hour is going the right way for a Block-ing. So, I concur with #5 on this list: See http://digg.com/d1olhN. For instance, I think Guy Kawasaki is the bomb, but for an incredibly-busy guy, he is a Tweeter-holic! I had to block him. Guy! http://www.twitter.com/guykawasaki

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/ploked ploked

      yeah, some people very easily over tweet….it can be hard to find the right balance of what works for some compared to others.

    • http://www.level343.com/article_archive/ Gabriella

      http://www.traffick.com/2009/03/is-guy-kawasaki-s… Guy ain't all that! I find that his posts are regurgitated and a complete bore. I have been in this industry for years and I remember him back from the day. He was creative without that big ego. Now he has ghost writers which is fine but, put the ego away. No one is impressed. All you have to do is Google his name along with Spam or con artist & you will see what the buzz really is about this guy. But hey if you like the guy more power to you at least someone is getting some use out of his ramblings.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/SynapticLight Phillip Gibb

    oh dear – there is a bit of them in me.
    or is the moderate and wise use of them actually good practice?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/ploked ploked

      it really depends on your followers perspective…some might have higher tolerances for certain users…if any of these apply to you, i would definitely use them moderately or you could end up losing followers that get upset with certain tactics/actions.

  • http://redneckenuff.com lilredneck

    THANKS for the advice. I started tweeting to promote my sites and maybe I have done some spamming, not all that sure I'm still new but I add a link in every tweet and I want people to go to them. Is that spamming, each link is to a different page of my site or to some of my blogs I link my videos and stories not always just mine, I'm very busy on the internet so when I find something cool I usually tweet it. Am I a spammer? I want to do this right, hoping that twitter can be good for advertising but I don't want to screw up and get blocked

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ploked ploked

    it is ok to tweet links to your site(s), but you need to be sure that your followers will benefit from your tweet. one key to twitter is to provide useful information to your followers….if you are doing this, then they will find value to your tweets and more than likely check out all your tweets. i don't suggest only tweeting to your site, but to find information/sites related to your niche and tweet them as well. the more great stuff you share (whether yours or someone elses), the better/stronger your twitter following will grow.

    • http://redneckenuff.com lilredneck

      thank you again

  • http://twitter.com/NetcomStudios Silver Firefly

    Add another one, a guy with a massive ego who thinks he knows it all and blocks you when you prove him wrong. :-)

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/ploked ploked

      ouch…you must have embarrassed him :) some people just can't admit then they are wrong or have made a mistake.

  • amanda vega

    This has been fun! I’ve got another one: Oprah and Ashton – peope that think they are clever are using social media when really they are abusing Twitter as another advertising “push” place – they don’t follow anyone, but amass and beg for followers. lame.

  • http://twitter.com/NetcomStudios Silver Firefly

    I expect I did. He seems to have a huge ego. I still read his blog on occasion because he knows about freelancing/business start-ups but I wouldn't ask him for advice about web design. 😉

  • http://www.modelkot.com/ Charlie

    Interesting, I`ll quote it on my site later.

  • http://twitter.com/KaylaWildflower KaylaWildflower

    Is there any way to tweet locally, like if I have a house for rent and don’t want to tweet it to all my followers?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/AmandaVega AmandaVega

    My biggest annoying twitter user is the one that blocks their profile. It drives me INSANE. It's one thing to use the powerful "unfollow," but to somehow think it's ok to make yourself private in a very public tool seems contrary to me. I would also add to the list those that ONLY tweet news articles. That's not conversation. Or, how about the ones that tweet things indicating that they really think they are famous – when really, no one knows them. One last thing – people that follow 567,345,222 people – come on – it's not a popularity contest – this isn't "how many friends can I amass to prove i'm valuable" – it's a tool to listen and communicate. And now matter how fast you are, you can't truly listen to that many people so you look a bit silly.

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