Last week I had a quick conversation with Seth Godin via email about Twitter and in passing I mentioned his Twitter account. I was shocked to get a response to him saying that he doesn’t use Twitter and that the account I was referring to was actually being run by someone else (who that is I’m not sure).
It seems that someone (probably a fan by the looks of how it’s being used) registered Seth’s name on Twitter and is using it to simply push out his content from his blog. The use of the account is by no means malicious at this point (in fact it’s probably doing Seth some good because the account has over 1400 followers) however it does leave me with a take home lesson.
Secure your names and brands on Social Media sites.
1420 people have become followers of this Twitter account at the point of me writing this post. I’m assuming that most are doing it because they are fans of Seth and want to interact with him. I’ve seen quite a few people use @sethgodin messages over the last month and in all cases it seems that the person thinks that they are communicating with him.
While in this case the name isn’t being used badly one could imagine how it could be used negatively to impact Seth’s good name and reputation. The person running this twitter account seems to only be pointing to Seth’s own links but imagine if they started to push in their own content and making recommendations with his name! What if they started pulling in favors from other Twitter users using direct messaging?
Again, it doesn’t seem that this is what is happening here but it is something to ponder. While Seth is probably benefiting from this Twitter user with a little extra traffic it could have been something of a disaster for him.
It highlights to me the important of getting a hold of account names for your brand and name on popular social media sites. Even if you don’t use the accounts that you create it can be well worthwhile securing them to protect yourself from others doing so. This is by no means easy (there are so many of these sites to have to get registered on) but it could be a worthwhile exercise to spend a few hours one day soon to do it on some of the most popular sites.
Update – I decided to search a little more to see how many people were actually attempting to interact with Seth on Twitter and found quite a few. What was particularly interesting to me were a number of tweets from Twitter users who were frustrated by his lack of interaction with them:
After Dark, My Tweet writes – “If you use it (Twitter), I urge you to use twitterfeed with tact. Otherwise, your followers will tire of the twitterfeed spam and stop following you, thereby branding you a stinker and an insensitive spammer. This is the exact reason I stopped following Godin. But if used moderately, I think there’s a place for it. I would say: use Godin as an example of what not to do, then promote your wares accordingly. ”
Brian Writes – “He never seems to tweet about anything besides his latest blog post. Most of those blog posts are one or two paragraphs. They could have almost been tweets. If they were, he’d have saved me a click.” (Seth responded to this one with a comment clarifying that it wasn’t him Tweeting)
TylerReed Tweets – “I am no longer following @SethGodin until he decides to follow other people.. he’s a cool dude.. but I have an RSS reader to see his posts.”
turoczy Tweets numerous times about Seth’s robotic Twitter use – “Apparently, @sethgodins’s not willing to put in the “sweat” to participate in Twitter”
prblog Tweets – “Godin: 1K+ followers, follows no one. Kawasaki: 3,100 followers and follows 3,200. Interesting math.”
These are just a handful of people who’ve written about it Seth’s ‘use’ of Twitter in a negative fashion. Perhaps it’s hurting his reputation a little after all.