Twitter is dead to me

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Since the world is busy this week with holiday stuff and I can’t get shit done business wise I thought I would rant a bit.

When Twitter first came out I didn’t get it….

Then one day I did…

I became somewhat obsessed with twitter… Having contests to get followers

Then I made a shitton of money with twitter… Sometimes as much as 5 grand from one tweet (WTF?)

But now Twitter has become MySpace. It has become over run with shit. and I dont mean shit like a lot of stuff… I mean shit literally.

Its like someone emailed all •*¨¨*•-:¦:-•*MySpAcE UsErS AnD tOlD ThEm ThEy CaN AnNoy PeOpLe In ReAl TiMe•*¨¨*•-:¦:-•*

I think Twitter will be awesome for the former MySpace users. For advertisers its too bad they are broke.

I have over 100,000 followers and I am willing to bet 99% of them are bots.

Lets talk about money and ROI

I still make about $600 a week from sponsored tweets. All my stats are publicly available in sponsored tweets and its obvious (to me) that its not a “good deal”, but advertisers keep coming. Maybe its a branding play… whatever…

Twitter is THE WORST ROI that I have ever experienced. Without going into too much detail I will tell you I have received FREE money to spend on twitter advertising networks. I have done sponsored tweets with accounts that have millions of followers. It backs out to pennies on the dollar.

So how do I use twitter now?

I pretty much only use twitter now to post links from my latest blog post, things I am currently reading, or paid advertisements.

If you follow me now on twitter its because you must like to read the same things that I like to read, like to see what I am whoring myself out for, or are a bot.

The real deal is that almost everyone I know is using twitter the same way that I am (well most without the ads).

As far as following people

I don’t. Its more of a link roll of friends.

As far as checking out who @shoemoney’s me

I rarely look at anyone who @mentions me because its usually:

  • A plea for me to re-tweet about a charity or someone in need.
  • Some retarded DJ who wants me to re-tweet about how awesome his song is.
  • Some anonymous weasel talking smack.
  • A plea for me to re-tweet about their latest dumb youtube video.

Maybe I am just spoiled by the quality of Facebook.

92 thoughts on “Twitter is dead to me

  1. CheapSites.com

    Sadly, I agree with you. Twitter has been overrun with automatic replies and useless information. Then again there are some people who do add value and make twitter a cool resource to have.

    1. d3so

      I use Twitter as a source for latest news updates. But sometimes I’m annoyed by bots who retweet useless info and flood the timeline.

    2. KrisM77

      This post is quite tough to decipher, Shoe. As I see it, Twitter can be a total waste of time or a totally awesome tool. Then again, the difference lies within your strategy. Unfortunately, most people and businesses jump in to Twitter with no strategy at all.

  2. Marcus Neto

    I guess I can see your point. As a geek it is a place for me take part in the conversation. The community that I am a member of is one in which people help each other and regularly share information. So it is more like a big open IM session than anything. But for the masses Twitter is dumb.

  3. Josh Davis

    I can’t speak to having one hundred thousand followers, but I do think it is a little concerning that you don’t even look at your @ mentions anymore.

    It seems people like @jason and @jaybaer have found ways to make Twitter useful to them even with their “Internet celebrity”. And brilliant, but C list celebrity @joerogan seems to have found a way to interact with a large fan base while still enjoying and using Twitter.

    Perhaps it is the nature of the crowd you attract. I follow you because you are a leading voice of affiliate marketing that isn’t always about hype. Affiliate marketing is no longer my focus, years ago it was, but I know that, this industry to tends to attract a large share of “get-rich-quick” people.

    Since Twitter is ultimately about conversation or at least speaking and listening in some combination, the get-rich-quick types haven’t and likely will never find a way to make money. If they follow you, they likely move onto the next best thing and if they engage you, I don’t find it shocking that they are pitching less than meaningful ideas.

    I don’t have a solution for this, but I hardly think your experience with Twitter is the norm even given the follower numbers you have. And given I found this article via Twitter and even took the time to comment on it, I think you can say you do have some actual followers out there that aren’t bots.

    1. Linda Sherman

      I’m not a bot either. I only follow real people and I have managed to find over 2,000 good ones. I do understand the yearning for Real People and real interaction on Twitter. It was indeed much better in 2008 and even 2009 (pre the Ashton Kutcher CNN face off for 1,000,000 followers)

      I sent this tweet before reading your stand on Twitter.
      LindaSherman: Jeremy Schoemaker @shoemoney is running a most alluring contest for an #ASW11 pass with trimmings http://bit.ly/foy24w

      Obviously, I won’t “mention” you on Twitter again. No hard feelings at all. Thanks for your honesty. And great to hear the feedback on paid Tweets. Good to see that you read and respond to comments on your website.

      By the way, when someone @’s you spam – you can report/block them.

  4. Sean

    Twitter had a bunch of hype behind it when it first came out… But in reality Twitter was only being used (for the most part) by:

    – Celebs wanting to push their wares/movies/etc.
    – Marketers wanting to push their offers
    – Fans wanting to follow celebs or just be into the new hip “thing”
    – People that signed up strictly so that they could leave a tweet and hope to see it on CNN…

    If people want to talk to their friends they’ll just use Facebook.

    My view is if you have some new hyped up flavor of the month and Google (or some huge online entity) doesn’t try to buy you out then you should get nervous or re-think your site model before someone else does…

    Myspace was out before Facebook but Facebook created a better model, a better site, a better all around experience and the aftermath is pretty self explanatory.

    Not that you have to sell, just look at Groupon. People trying to buy your company is a good sign that you’re on to something that has the potential to be huge (huge meaning profitable).

    1. Robin Sterling

      Come to think of it, while Twitter makes the spread of information quick and painless (when the social networking site itself isn’t acting up) it also makes the spread of false news that much easier as well.

  5. Julie Montgomery

    What a bummer of a post. I have not experienced this. I love twitter and the help and relationships there.

    Just last week, frustrated as hell with wordpress, I soon found live assistance on twitter.

    Our company recently solved a server issue by searching twitter. Found a solution on the third tweet listed in the search.

    Colleagues in my industry who I previously only saw at conferences are now part of my daily watercooler talk.

    Do bots follow me? Sure. I don’t care. So do lots of other cool people I have met.

    I dread the day I feel the way you do. I love twitter.

  6. Joe DiNardo

    I think twitter is really an effective long term play for traditional business (retail, service industry, etc) and personal brands. For affiliate marketing I can see how it’s not a high value platform.

    1. Paul B

      Starting??? It’s been flooded with bots ever since the very first auto follow services started appearing. If you’re not famous and have more than 1000 followers I’ll bet that more than 80% are junk.

  7. Jona712

    I like twitter because it is simple to use. This social bookmark is designed to easy for all whether you’re just a web enthusiast or a marketer. You just type what’s on your mind and click the update button. Stopped applying my business strategies through Twitter though when it just suddenly became a debauchery of mostly useless stuff.

    1. WilmaP

      But you have to admit Twitter did introduce something innovative after all the social networking hype from MySpace and similar sites fizzled away into nothingness. Their 140-character micro-blogging feature just started a new trend in web marketing and article sharing that undoubtedly led to fresher online business innovations.

  8. moolahmachine

    Personally, I have never liked Twitter no matter what they say. My reasons? First, it can be very narcissistic (e.g. Does anyone care what I had for dinner?) and second, Twitter can be very boring — like is my average day so exciting that I have to share its details with the world? Any thoughts to add, Shoe?

    1. AnnieP78

      I do agree with your points completely but you forgot to take into account that the rapidness of disseminating information via Twitter is just crazy as well as the ability to share interesting articles plus online marketing baits is just a click away.

    2. FirenzeZ

      While it is impossible to completely eradicate the negative aspects of a social tool like Twitter, it is possible to “tweet” in such a way that the “pros” outweigh the “cons.” As for me, I’d love to take part in the Twitterverse some more. :)

  9. newmediaist12

    The brilliance of Twitter is its limitation of 140 characters. Most blogs are surfed, not read. Putting out a brief quote will probably be read by more people than a long blog post. Even though you admit it or not, most of us web aficionados — whether we’re into marketing or just plain surfing — have become a bit too impatient and lazy to check out the nitty-gritty of things we come across the Internet.

        1. Vee Sweeney

          But isn’t that all social media? I don’t just think the whole having a voice without the person being held accountable is just a Twitter issue. What’s more is that at least Twitter only gives a user 140 characters to be an idiot; Facebook gives them 420 haha! I do believe that a deeper connection can be reached by Facebook, but I have had some customer service issues resolved through Twitter with a few companies and I cannot say the same for Facebook. Maybe Twitter will just turn into an online customer service platform for companies…hmm.

    1. Heinrich Sture

      The key is following the people talking about the things that matter to you, and sharing the things you think audiences would appreciate. I follow marketing people with smart ideas, tech people with cutting-edge news, and mommy bloggers who give me more perspective on parenting (among other things).

  10. Kevin

    I feel the same way. I think Twitter has gone Myspace on us. I used to tweet so much about 2 or 3 months ago but now Facebook is the man. I’m more focused into what FB can bring to the table and how much potential it has. I still want to be active on Twitter but it’s hard to do nowadays.

      1. floresparati

        The combination of a rush to publish and a low barrier to entry for microblogging makes posting quick notes to Twitter extremely tempting for people who are trying to break news. A web scoop tool? Definitely. A vehicle for spamming? Definitely. Depends purely on how you see it.

  11. medomoc

    Well, one thing I can say about Twitter is you don’t have to open your Web browser and go to Twitter.com to send and receive tweets. Instead, people download little programs like Twitterific, Feedalizr or Twinkle, they get the updates on their cellphones as text messages, or they use something like PocketTweets, Tweetie or iTweet for the iPhone. If you can’t call that innovative, then I don’t know what is.

    1. H delacruz

      I have dabbled in Twitter. But it is a bit much. After a while of seeing what my friends were doing after coffee, I started to wonder, how do I fit this one into my day? Who cares? I did try to find the value, and I continue to be open minded.

  12. AnnieLouJ12860

    I think Ilise Benun of Marketing-Mentor.com gave the best description of Twitter in a nutshell with this: “Twitter is the ultimate in self-centeredness. To imagine that anyone would want a running commentary of every moment of your life puts you—as a businessperson—at the center of your world when in fact that’s where your customer should be. It feeds the isolated narcissist who wants ‘followers,’ rather than live contact with actual customers.”

    1. Bputitout / Putitoutthere

      I am basically on Twitter primarily because I get to “follow” other people on it. Likewise, Twitter keeps me connected to others who put out edifying “tweets” and who pass along interesting information. Smart, eh? :P

    2. Heinrich Sture

      It’s impossible to have a worthwhile opinion about Twitter until you’ve tried it and really given it a shot. Twitter is like real life. It can be as valuable or worthless as you want it to be.

    1. Marnie Sho

      Agreed, that it’s not the tool, but how it’s used that determines the tool’s effectiveness. It’s endemic to the business world: texting, e-mailing, tweeting, etc., during meetings or conferences while a speaker is speaking.

  13. Alex

    Facebook is far better than twitter indeed. But twitter is still a wonderful communication tool that all serious marketer must be using.

    1. NicMoon

      Just like constantly checking e-mail, the barrage of twitters breaks concentration. It may well morph into something useful but I guess it’s still not there yet.

  14. Nancy Gomez

    I’ve been ignoring my twitter account and when I was over there yesterday I saw a tweet by me(?) with a link to a product I would never recommend and for which I would get no money. WTF!! I guess it was an automatic post by some app I subscribed to as a result of one of those how-to-twitter ebooks. anyway – I’m going to do a John Reese and shut the whole thing down.

  15. floresparati

    I’m torn between two definitive perspectives here. Nonetheless, I think it all comes back to how you use Twitter. If you hard sell, follow random people at mass, drop nothing but links to your pages, and try to use it for one-way communication, you will without a doubt fail. But on the other hand, if you use it to obtain feedback, make real loyal friends and fans, provide quality information, and actually have conversations, it can be an incredibly powerful tool that can yield exponential results.

    1. veronica_sm

      Twitter is useful for me for business, because I see it as a relationship-building tool. It helps me to interact in small, easy ways with people who I then get to know. And it has been said for years that success in business is all about who you know. I love Twitter. It is a pro vote from me.

    1. Dmitrii Anastas

      I believe anything that divides your attention from the moment at hand is counterproductive overall. Am I the only one who gets a pain watching how many people in any large group are tapping away on hand held devices instead of truly interacting with those around them?

    1. Richard Pascal

      Twitter, like any communications tool, only holds value if you can either reach the audience you want to reach or get relevant information from those who are there. If you’re in certain aspects of the tech world it’s a great resource. I find a lot of information out from people I follow on Twitter. In other areas, probably not so much.

  16. nealcal

    Twitter is a great resource, especially for anyone in marketing or PR. I have gotten a number of pieces of PR coverage for my startup company simply because I am using Twitter.

  17. Fridtjof Salomon

    Considering that I was not deep in the social media sphere, I was extremely hesitant about Twitter when I originally heard about it. I couldn’t fathom a reason people would be interested in knowing what I do on a day-to-day basis. However, since joining, I have found it to be a great resource to connect with people in a profession I would love to get into, and a place to get information that I more than likely would not have been exposed to. Say what you want, but Twitter is an integral part of my day.

  18. Rylan Howie

    Social media, including Twitter, has tremendous marketing and networking potential (among numerous other uses), but you really do have to use it to understand this. Face-to-face and phone contact are of course very important for business. However, using Twitter is an entirely different thing and ideally should be used in addition to these traditional strategies.

  19. BarbaraKB

    So, Twitter is useless because you can’t make money through advertising or some sort of affiliate deal? Gee. I now like Twitter even more! Long live those of us who use Twitter to find information and grow relationships. As for those who are professional online bloggers and community builders, good luck elsewhere within the next MySpace… Facebook! :)

  20. Jeremy Schoemaker Post author

    Correct twitter is useless to me being I make a living on the internet and twitter is full of broke people who don’t buy anything or have anything to contribute intelligently.

    Yes its sad I know.

    Where is your professional online blog? Is it the one you linked with 1 post?

    I been doing this for 7 years… lemme know how blogging works out for you.

    1. BarbaraKB

      Blogging is not the only way to make money online, Jeremy, as you well know. Some of us prefer a more “behind the scenes” work. Also, whether it’s Classmates, Friendster, MySpace, Twitter or Facebook, YOU need to own your relationship with your customers. These “social spaces” are there for one thing for a business: connecting with a customer (or potential) customer. Follow that, and you will thrive in any one of these social networks. Peace to your day, Jeremy.

    2. Michael Martine

      Twitter is full of broke people? You mean like all the ones running tech companies?

      You have everything exactly backwards. Facebook is the new MySpace: Hey, what if we made an exact duplicate of the internet, only dumber and with everything under the control of one company? Welcome to Facebook.

  21. Pangeran

    It’s a sad turning point.

    People just exploit the system which seems to bring some monetary benefits.
    But most of all it is encourage by the Twitter itself by giving out api and apps development. (For those bots?)

  22. BeltwayBoy

    I have to agree with you about the Twitter universe. I was like you in the fact of jumping on board late and then I got addicted to it after joining the party, but now I’m a recovering Twitter addict!

  23. Brian

    Lists man, lists. Weed out all the BS with finely tuned lists. Make sure to update said lists every few months, bc without a doubt, someone you trusted will make a run for the money. All I use for Twitter is Tweetdeck with my lists up. One for local news, one for SEO news, one for sports and one for my friends on twitter.. works wonders

  24. Agent Magenta

    I didn’t really get Twitter at first, seemed a bit pointless. But, I did find to be a good way of keeping in touch with friends, but like you say so much of it is rubbish. I only follow those who make the best Tweets and ignore everything else, simple really.

  25. Paul B

    I’ve never got it and never will. Like you say it’s the most spam filled bullshit service since MySpace. The only thing I use it for (and it’s only for real people I know in real life) is to comment on the footy in real time, it lets mates talk shit to each other when they’re not in the same room.

  26. Mark

    Twitter (like Facebook, and almost ANY other social movement) are only good until Google makes some stupid announcement that they use it as one of their ranking indicators. Then it gets taken over by the spammers. (we use links as a measure of site quality, remember than one a few years ago?)

    I think you just gave Matt Cutts and the spam team a bit of extra heartburn about sponsored tweets… ala “The New Paid links” they need to algo out of the equation. Whats next… “Report a Paid Tweet”?

  27. Bryan

    I agree but i wonder just how much twitter has changed and how much of the equation thats changing is my own growing lack of patience and lack of enthusiasm for the spam. It feels like its additive and in the beginning when its all new, its all fun, the spam seems just part of the new experience and doesent stand out.
    Now, especially as ive developed lots of followers, that brings lots more saturation and the spam really grates on my nerves. when Ive built my own judgement system of rules and how it “should be done” those that don’t play by the rules of simple common sense social skills and end up being spammy really stand out much more than when i didnt have any preconceptions of what its all supposed to be like.
    I have to remind myself that
    1) everyone is new at something sometimes.
    2) there are jerks within every kind person, and apparent kind people who are really jerks on the inside. twitter isnt a good reveal of what someone is really like. it can just be a bad day,, or a sense of desperation and financial urgency or even a misinterpretation that colors how someone is percieved.

  28. John McNally

    I don’t get Twitter, it just seems to be full of spam. If 99% of your followers are bots, that explains a lot. I can see the value of Facebook, but Twitter? :roll:

  29. TYCP Magazine

    Someone above said it depends on your niche. I tend to agree with this. I’ve found that there seems to be way more celebrity fans on there than anything else. There are loads of people that signed up just to follow their favorite celebrities. If one is in the entertainment niche & they market themselves properly, they could make some good money because of these fans.

  30. Marco Lee

    it is mostly bots now! I agree! If not then they don’t even engage and talk back. lol Some do actually and those are the real people.

    I mostly try to make my twitter following spam free. i don’t follow anyone who does not have the time to reply to @mentions. I also don’t follow anyone who doenst even have a “personal” tweet about himself or herself; much like all the person tweets about are affiliate links.

    Twitter might be dead. I went back to having my own personal blog! The posts gets to stay there longer than being drowned with other and recent tweet.s

  31. Justin

    I have to say there are so many bots these days. Half the people who follow me have no avatar. Twitter really needs a better spam detector.

  32. Pedro Sttau

    Jeremy while I understand where you are coming from, I think you are looking at twitter purely form a “conversion” stand point.
    I don’t use twitter objectively for business purposes yet it has impacted me in a positive way in many aspects. For one it brings brands closer to the consumers in a different way than Facebook does. It’s also enabling companies to provide support in “real time”, almost allowing the resolution of problems as they are happening. There is of course a lot of spam and trash, but I personally I still find it to be a fantastic fun tool.

  33. mayline olidan

    Great stuff from you, man. Ive read your stuff before and youre just too fantastic. I love what youve got here, love what youre saying and the way you say it. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart. I cant wait to read more from you. This is really a great website.

  34. Ryan J

    The focus on twitter is all about what you have to say. Facebook involves a ton more interaction, and it is more of a way to keep in touch with people you know.

    I appreciate the simplicity of twitter, but I was turned off by everyone screaming for attention.

    I’d be interested in hearing what your thoughts are about twitter now that it’s been a few years after this post.

    Twitter has taken some steps towards cleaning it up by tackling the major tool providers that were used for spamming it.

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