If you’re British and old enough you’ll remember the TV adverts from the 70s. Three people are out and about. Two of them are in some discomfort, but it’s not clear why. The third is all smiles. Then the two catch each other’s eye behind the back of the third and the advert delivers its killer blow as one of them mouths the letters “B.O.”.
Body Odour was the silent social killer. Nobody would tell you that you had it, but it was your ticket to pariah status. The only solution: buy some deodorant and rejoin the human race odour-free.
Move forward 40 years and we have a similar problem – Social Media BO, and yes, you may suffer from it.
You won’t know you suffer from SoMeBO because – in the words of the advert – even your best friends won’t tell you. But the numbers will. Probably the most telling symptom of SoMeBO: you regularly gain followers, but just as regularly seem to lose them.
What’s going on?
Probably they are unfollowing because they’re not getting what they thought they would when they followed you – and that will be because of your tweeting habits. Here are some typical tweeting habits that will give you SoMeBO:
- Tweeting too much in clumps, not spaced out
- Whining and complaining – so desperately unattractive
- Sighing at the world’s inadequacies – probably worse than 2)
- Providing too many vacuous uplifting quotes
- Always asking questions, but never volunteering answers
- Tweeting mostly a series of 1-to-1 conversations, excluding all your other followers
- Sniping, unpleasant, snarky, abusive or snobbish tweets that reveal you’re rather pleased with yourself and your superiority to others.
That last one is the killer habit, the one that will stand out, tellingly, no matter how pleasant the rest of your communications.
I’ve done some of these from time to time, and have seen the consequences. Luckily, I’ve also had friends honest enough to point out my failings to me. I’m sure I continue to fail in my tweets, but perhaps slightly less often than in the past.
In truth, we all suffer from SoMeBO some of the time, because we’re bound to upset others sometime. But do you want to consistently, unknowingly, alienate those who have chosen to read your tweets? [Deep 70s TV voice] Ask yourself the question today:
Do you suffer from SoMeBO?