Gartner Blog Network


The Spam Playground: Twitter, a Consumer’s Perspective

by Jenny Sussin  |  October 27, 2014  |  2 Comments

The irony of a research analyst responsible for covering business use of popular social media to connect with their consumers, posting a jaded consumer’s perspective is not lost on me. But over the last year, I’ve noticed that I have stopped tweeting as often or checking Twitter at all outside of major news events. And this morning I asked myself, “why?”

I checked my Twitter dashboard this morning and with the exception of my @mentions feed and my direct messages, 9 out of every 10 posts was meant to market to me (the 1 out of 10 exception was news.) And maybe it’s the people I’ve chosen to follow or the keywords I’ve chosen to follow that are the real problem; but I can’t help but think this is the “noise” that those who don’t tweet often associate with the medium.

Twitter was meant to be a forum for dialogue. Quick quips, but quips that encouraged response and engagement. Now every tweet I see points me to some blog post (noting that I will post a link to this blog post on Twitter and LinkedIn,) or someone retweeting a compliment that received. It’s just unfortunate to see what has happened and how it truly in the fears that were expressed by my peers when marketers really invested in the network a few years back.

So, how do we fix it? We re-appropriate our time. Twitter may become more of a news site, less of a social network, for me. But what do you do as a business when you see a blog post like this? How do you “fix” what you’re doing on Twitter so that you don’t get written off by the jaded consumer?

  1. Speak with specific people, not at them. Mass messaging works for some things, but not for others. If you want to show people you’re there of be a part of the community, then talk to the community members. Buy in from members makes you a community member, not using a hashtag.
  2. Get some context. Use social analytics to determine the what and why and who of the conversation happening on Twitter. Experimentation isn’t always the name of the game. Your consumers see so much irrelevant garbage on Twitter. Don’t add to the trash heap.
  3. Stop taking people off of Twitter. Let’s say someone has a service problem that they express concern for on Twitter. If you link them to your self-service site, you are not helping them. You are being corporate again. Have a dialogue with the person over their medium of choice. Don’t expect them to listen to your marketing noise on their channel and then come talk to you on your channel.

Am I going to stop using Twitter? No. Not today. But no one wants to play in a spam playground.

Additional Resources

View Free, Relevant Gartner Research

Gartner's research helps you cut through the complexity and deliver the knowledge you need to make the right decisions quickly, and with confidence.

Read Free Gartner Research

Category: customer-service  marketing  social-crm  social-media  social-networks  

Tags: customer-service  marketing  socbiz  social  social-crm  social-media  social-networks  socialcrm  twitter  

Jenny Sussin
Managing VP
7 years with Gartner
8 years IT industry

Jenny Sussin is a Managing Vice President for CX and Sales Research. Read Full Bio


Thoughts on The Spam Playground: Twitter, a Consumer’s Perspective


  1. jem says:

    You should carefully chose your followings in twitter to avoid spam and marketing. Thanks.

  2. Kevin Ireland says:

    Jenny, you are 100 percent right. I only use twitter as an instant news feed these days only because of the amount of spam I receive from twitter!!



Comments are closed

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.