Twitter Psychiatry | Common Twitter Afflictions and Remedies

So, you’ve heard me talk about the genius app, Twit Cleaner, that analyzes the people you follow on Twitter to help you create a high quality Twitter experience.

Using Twit Cleaner’s helpful guidelines for what makes for quality tweeting, I’ve analyzed some common Twitter problems and suggested some solutions.  Call it my Twitter DSM, if you will!

Lie down on this nice couch, and remember: the first step is recognizing you may have a problem.  If any of these conditions sounds familiar to you, take my prescription, or call me for a caring and supportive consultation 🙂

Ailment: Twitter Nymphomania. You are relatively unpopular: less than 30% of people are following you back.

Prescription:  Dear friend, recognize your worth.  You don’t have to follow everyone to get them to like you.  You need to be more discriminating in whom you follow.  Slow down.  Follow people you know who are likely to follow you back.  Unfollow the accounts of people you don’t know.  Get your ratio of followers to following closer together.  And stay out of those pick-up bars.

Ailment: Twitter Phobia. You haven’t tweeted much at all, maybe less than 10 tweets.

Prescription:  Ah. Well, you have a little trouble getting into the water, hmm?  Could it be performance anxiety?  Well, remember, like flossing, Twitter doesn’t take very long to do, but the benefits build up over time.  You need an actionable Twitter strategy.  Commit to what you can handle. Can you post 1 tweet every other day?  Or two tweets a day?  That’s less than 10 minutes and is manageable for most people.  Just tell yourself: this week I will retweet one article I’ve read, will post one update about work, and will comment on at least one update a friend or client has tweeted. Start small. Nothing breeds success like success. And um, don’t think about it too much.  That just makes it worse.

Ailment: Twitter Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  You never interact with anyone on Twitter.

Prescription:  I know you aren’t truly anti-social or narcissistic.  At least, I hope so! I’ll bet you feel overwhelmed by the stream of information.  Or you are just using Twitter to feed your blog links (lazy bones).  Well, it’s time to recognize that Twitter is called a social network for a reason.  Here’s an easy way to increase your interactivity: create a list of your favorite people on Twitter, as well as your clients and people you need to keep tabs on.  Read just those tweets on your list for a while, and strive to comment (at mention) on one or more of those at least once a day.  It will soon become second nature for you.  And while you’re at it, you might want to consider doing some volunteer work, just sayin’.

Ailment: Twitter Insecurity Complex.  You don’t post original content.  70% or more of your updates are links.  Or 70% or more of your content are retweets.

Prescription: You need to look in the mirror and recognize your tremendous value!  I bet you think you have to tweet, but you just can’t think of what to say.  Or you’re afraid to put yourself out there as a subject matter expert.  It’s time to let your light shine.  Think about what your key messages are for your personal brand.  Ask yourself: for what qualities and expertise are you known? Then blog on that, post reviews, make comments.  While you’re at it, I think you’d also better start taping daily affirmations on the bathroom mirror!

Ailment: Twitter Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  You post too much.  30 tweets or more a day is considered too much by Twit Cleaner.

Prescription: Okay, you are a little “too” You.  Did your teacher have to scold you in school for talking too much in class?  Clearly, you like to share and you like to write. Okay. Blogging was made for you.  Remember, Twitter will not do that much for your SEO or personal brand — not anything near what blogging will do for you.  Cut your tweets down to no more than 10 per day max, and redirect your energy to crafting blog posts on your thoughts; daily if you must.  But exercise a little self-discipline!  There is life with out Blackberry.  Get outside more.

Ailment: Twitter Depression.  You’ve had no activity on your account in over a month.

Prescription: This is a problem that afflicts many brands, as well as some people.  After all, only a fraction of Twitter accounts are active.  But that is not a good look for your brand.  Think about it.  Would you open a branch store and then leave the doors locked for a month…or 769 days?  No, you would not, and Twitter is like that branch store.  Unless you want to appear unresponsive and out of touch by your customers and by influencers, you need to take action.  Go ahead and take down the account and come back when you have the motivation and resources to keep it active. Yup.  No Twitter is better than depressed Twitter.  This is tough love, but hey.  You won’t be able to get your Twitter name back, but it will be better than having it just sit there, dusty and vacant.  If you’re uncomfortable with that, then you have one option: start using Twitter!  And try getting more sunlight and exercise.

Follow the Doctor on Twitter: @MaryFletchJones


About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a mom, teacher, and blogger. She is also the creator of "Living Well With Autism," an online resource for caregivers of children, teens, and adults with autism and related special needs.

Posted on June 15, 2011, in Twitter Tips and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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