How to be a Successful Tweeter

How to be a Successful Tweeter

James Cullinane

Judging from personal experience, I would venture to bet that everybody has a certain friend who simply should not tweet.  If you don’t, then chances are, you could be that friend.  You know what friend I’m referring to: the friend who is mercilessly chastised after interjecting into any conversation regarding Twitter.   This tweeter is often recognizable by their ignominious quantity of followers, most likely consisting of his or her closest friends and a handful of kindred spirits who lack the audacity to refrain from following this person back.

The reason why these twitters struggle to maintain followers is undeniably simplistic.  If you suck at tweeting, people will probably unfollow you; however, you’re more than welcome to return the favor.  For some, Twitter is nothing less than a revolutionary social networking site that could eventually double as the world’s leading news outlet.  For others, it is perceived as nothing more than an insignificant, yet highly efficient, procrastination tool.  With this being taking into account, it appears that the real point of Twitter is to allow its users to operate their accounts on their own accord.  If one chooses to overwhelm their follows with cunning humor, they will almost certainly excel.  However, for those who prefer to tweet about the mundane nature of everyday life, don’t expect a loyal flock of followers.

So, what makes a bad tweeter?  Well, the answer to this question is far more complex than one would expect; poor tweeting can be a result of a great deal of different “twitterary elements” (Yes, that was a joke), ranging from redundancy to downright insignificance.

In terms of redundancy, irritatingly repetitive tweets are a sure-fire method for losing followers.  For example, tweets regarding how strange it feels to be a senior are acceptable in some cases, but now that we’ve reached March, I’d say this should have become the norm for most seniors by now.  And yes, this category includes all nostalgic hashtags and Holden Caulfield-like complaints about the loss of childhood innocence.

Speaking of the over exaggeration of teenage emotions, most tweeters are bound to go through a breakup at one point or another in high school, but does everybody really need to hear about it?  Whether it be one publicly drowning in his or her own sorrows or condemning the former love of their life, the cyber world is notoriously unforgiving, and frankly, nobody cares.  By slandering the reputation of past partners, the tweeters in question really only make themselves look desperate and self-centered.  Sure, maybe I’m being overly heartless, but I simply cannot imagine any circumstances in which it would be safe to assume that all of one’s followers would be completely absorbed in the emotions of the tweeter at hand.  For this reason, spilling your hormone fueled emotions is one of the easiest ways to lose followers.

Perhaps even more dreadful than repetitious tweets are tweets of utter insignificance.  For example, on February 29, The Rebellion’s multifaceted Editorial Editor, Sydney Gillis, tweeted nothing but “Food” at Jenna Harrop, The Rebellion’s diligent News Editor.  This was particularly disheartening for me, as I have always considered Sydney to be one of the most eccentrically hilarious tweeters currently enrolled at Walpole High.  For this reason alone, I will allow a one time ‘get out of jail free card’, but next time, Sydney could be losing a once-devout follower.

The most entertaining tweets revolve around irony and hilarity, not what one had for breakfast on any given morning or how comfortable his or her bed is on any given night.  However, it must be acknowledged that it would be nearly impossible for every tweet to be a knee-slapper; even “Men’s Humor” and “The Fake Will Ferrell” have been known to produce some undeniable duds.

In this fact lies one of Twitter’s greatest challenges: one is expected to be clever, but always runs the risk of appearing to be trying too hard.  This being said, these miscues are certainly forgivable, as it would prove painstaking to find any tweeter who has committed this internet sin at least once.

Quite possibly the most perilous genre of tweets for the common wannabe comedian are those that commence with “the awkward moment when”.  Nothing infuriates followers more than a tweet similar to: “the awkward moment when I’m watching a movie alone” or “the awkward moment when I start my homework at ten” .  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but neither of these situations are even somewhat awkward. In like fashion, a national trending topic at the moment, tweets that begin with “#ThatMiniHeartAttackWhen” should most certainly personify stressful or worrysome situations.  Because they often do not live up to this hype, formulaic tweets such as these  often fail to leave  a favorable impression upon followers.

Sure, these tweets can be undeniably funny on occasion.  For example, the aforementioned Gillis recently tweeted: “When you see the shadow of a bug flying by the light in your room and you’re like ‘sos, I’m about to be attacked by a pterodactyl.”  If that doesn’t define eccentric hilarity, I can’t even imagine what does.  However, more often than not, they describe an event so pedestrian and unamusing that those on the receiving end of the tweet have no choice but to press unfollow.  For example, is it really that awkward when one’s phone dies in the midst of a conversation?  Not in my opinion. Unfortunate?  Maybe.  Tragic?  Probably not.  Awkward, though?  I just don’t see it.  So, for those looking to share their awkward moments with the Twitter world, please make sure that the circumstances at hand epitomize uncouthness; if it doesn’t, you could be unfollowed before you even have the chance to delete this incredibly awkward tweet.

In regards to retweets, there is a moderate set of guidelines to follow when utilizing this cool, yet potentially exasperating, element of Twitter.  If one has a favorite parody account, such as the aforementioned “Fake Will Ferrell” or the ever-popular “Pimp Bill Clinton,” there is nothing wrong with retweeting this user, even if you do it frequently.  In fact, the people who truly abuse the retweet function are those who retweet everybody who mentions them in a tweet.  Seriously?  Who are you, Chad Ochocinco?  When one’s best friend informs the tweeter in question how attractive and intelligent he or she is, it’s almost creepy for them to retweet it.  Even if you would not go as far as to call it creepy, it must at least be considered irritatingly pompous.

There is no formula that one can follow to become an original and memorable tweeter.  However, the formula for unsuccessful tweeting is undeniably transparent. For those incapable of gathering a sizable Twitter following, one of these contributing factors is almost certainly the cause.  Therefore, the solution to this problem is highly simplistic; one must avoid the abundance of annoyances that are so prevalent on Twitter, while also remaining their own individual.