Twitter tweets: twiterature or bulltwit?

Twitter tweets: twiterature or bulltwit?During my meanderings on Twitter I find I’m becoming increasingly irritated by tweets that try to cram so much junk into those 140 characters that the message can only be read with the help of an electron microscope.

Do these affect you the same way? And do you agree with me that a lot of junk not only obscures a business message, but also can make you feel positively hostile towards the product or service being punted?

Twitterjunk rules…

First of all there’s the adverb grabber, e.g. “Easily and simply write your autobiography: quickly get it written, published and selling well – become a published author http://etc.etc.” Am I really going to believe I can go from diddly squat to a published author selling loads of books in 140 characters? Stop, draw breath, and tell me something more realistic.

Then we have the hashtag queens …  “Great widgets #smallbusiness #bigbusiness #majorcorporations #nonprofits #littlecornershops #SMEs #younameit #whocares” http://etc.etc” No, no, dear. Tell us a bit about what you’re selling rather than shriek out your target markets like a parrot with its tail on fire.

Next, there are the never-mind-what-I-do-or-who-I-am-just-click-on-the-bloody-link business Tweeters. Unless a Tweeter identifies him/herself I’m damned if I’m going to click on a bald, lone link without any accompanying explanation. Why should we? Because we like the look of your beady eyes in the thumbnail pic? I don’t think so.

Finally, we have the Tweet-and-run artists. These people schedule their business Tweets 6 months ahead and then move on to other things, forgetting that Tweets for their money-making scheme in time for Christmas run all the way through to June. And especially during times of national stress like freezing weather and ankle-deep snow, their Tweets about cut-price lawn mowers are just the weensiest bit inappropriate. Does this encourage me to buy from them? Not.

Twittermation: OK, but within reason

OK, many business people haven’t got the time to supervise personally every Tweet that goes out on their behalf, especially if they use one of the myriad automated Tweetomators available now. But for heaven’s sake can we please encourage business Tweeting – whether automated or not – that:

  • Makes sense without throwing too much information at you
  • Is written in comprehensible English, not a string of lame adverbs and adjectives
  • Has fewer than 18 hashtags so leaving space for some information
  • Gives Tweetees information relevant to the time and day

What do you think? Could Twitter Tweets use some good old fashioned editing to make them comprehensible and reader-friendly?

Share your views, please …

Tweet on tweautifully… with my help!

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Business Writing Made Easy”…everything you need to know about writing for business in English

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English
photo credit: Newchurch ™ via photopin cc




  1. Yes, however, I have always argued keep the 140 characters, but make handles and links additional to the 140. Hashtags can be counted as it can be interesting to work them into a tweet rather than just slapping them on the end. The problem is people not using the platform to tweet (or micro blog). Tweeting is an art.

    • Or perhaps have two forms of tagging in tweet hashtags and a separate a tags field for the tweet as a whole like in the way you have tags for a blog post and interlinking in the post itself (which could include linking a word to a tag or category page). However, tweets should be simple so scrap that idea 🙂

      • Thanks for your comments Andrew! I agree, tweets should be simple and above all else not consist of three-word messages with the remaining characters used up on hashtag words and other paraphernalia.

  2. Charlotte says

    I agreed so much with the sentiment in this blog. I hate seeing the language turned into a weird set of of words and tags that seem meaningless. I try to use twitter for conversations rather than adverts and hate with a passion the obviously planned in advance tweets which are nothing but drivers to sales.

    • Hi Charlotte – I recognize you from Twitter! Great to see you here too. I admit I do run reminders of old posts on Twitter as you’ve seen, but I also go in 2 or 3 times a day and retweet stuff I find interesting, as well as sharing anything I find elsewhere on the web that’s relevant. When I get a new follow I check out whether they have retweeted other people’s tweets or added at least some tweets manually … if I don’t find anything after scrolling for a while, I don’t follow them back… anyway thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon!