It happens all the time. You’re at a party, having a good time, and you look over to the corner and see That Guy. You know That Guy.  He sits by himself in the corner, all alone while everyone has a good time. Maybe he’s glowering at the party-goers in stony silence. Or maybe he steps the crazy up a notch by talking to himself.


Regardless, everyone feels slightly uncomfortable in his anti-social presence, so he continues to sit all alone.

Twitter is often described as an online cocktail party, and it’s prone to its own share of That Guys. They typically fall into two categories:

Crazy Talking to Himself Guy

This is that user on Twitter who only broadcasts pushy sales information. All the time. No conversation, no retweets, nothing but “Click here to buy my stuff!” “Great deals on widgets!” Because this particular party-goer makes no attempt to reach out, start a conversation, and learn more about anyone else, he comes off as rude, stand-offish, and, well, crazy. As a result, this Twit won’t make any sales. Or any friends. Only other broadcasters will follow him back, and they’ll be stuck in an endless echo chamber of worthless updates.

Get to know people. Reach out. If someone says something funny, tell them so. If they’re thought provoking, tell them what you thought as a result of their tweet.  Not only will you exponentially increase your chances of someone caring when you do occasionally insert a shameless self promotional post, you’ll have a lot more fun.

Crazy Wall Flower Guy

For me, being at a party where I don’t know anyone is misery. Everyone seems to know each other, and they’re already broken into groups laughing and talking about inside jokes. How on earth can I penetrate such a tight-knit group without looking like a rude, bumbling fool?

I felt this same way when I first joined Twitter. Everyone else knew the drill, and more importantly, they knew each other. So I was afraid to inject myself into conversations without any invitation. But much like the wall flower at a real life cocktail party, the more afraid I became of joining the fun, the less likely it was that anyone would ask me to join. It’s all too easy to sink into a morass of self-doubt and silence.

The exact same advice applies for the wallflower as it does for the blabbermouth: reach out. The Twitter community is incredibly friendly–but if you’re not actively talking, you may not be on their radar screen. Just reach out to a few people. You’ll be surprised what a difference it can make, and how much better it can make your entire Twitter experience.

I beg of you, don’t be That Guy. If you’re new to Twitter and aren’t sure who to talk to, the entire Roundpeg team is always happy to help you learn the ropes and get to know folks. Just follow us, and join the party!

The members of Roundpeg, an Indianapolis marketing firm, routinely share twitter tips and facebook strategies.