What’s the worst thing you can think of? No, worse than that. No, worse than that.
Ok, now imagine something a thousand times worse. Now multiply that by a billion. Now imagine that thing was even worse somehow. Imagine it transcending human intelligence, becoming something so awful that the human mind is unable to comprehend it. That our mortal standards of good and evil no longer apply. That to try and understand even a fraction of it would be to invite insanity.
Congratulations, you are now picturing this Twitter account.
We all know brands on Twitter can be awful. I do my own part in contributing to this with the work I do for a certain online brand. But I try to remain at most ineffectual, rather than outright evil.
What we have here, on @Brand is somehow a condensed form of everything bad on Twitter. If self-proclaimed ‘entrepreneurs’ are the crack cocaine of Twitter, and branded content is meth, whilst people who post motivational quotes over sunsets are like MDMA or something – then @Brand is pure, uncut, mainlined heroine. It’s pure awful.
I think what I hate most is that it’s not striving towards anything. What’s the point of it? To sort of discuss the concept of ‘brand’ in some kind of open and undirected way? It doesn’t seem to be doing that. Here’s the bio:
We want to share the life of a brand, the wins & losses. Each brand is different but we can all benefit from their individual experiences. via @johnrampton
Let’s go through this.
“We want to share the life of a brand” – literally nobody wants this. Unless they mean specifically “we people who are running this account”.
“Each brand is different” – I guess… but that doesn’t really mean anything
“We can all benefit from their individual experiences” – What? How? Are brands individuals now? What the hell?
So yeah, that bio isn’t a great start. I think it might actually be pure nonsense. It reads like some deep mission statement, but there’s nothing of content in it whatsoever. So, what kind of content can we expect from @Brand?
Here’s their latest tweet at time of writing:
Is this good content? A duotoned picture of a mountain with some stock font graphics over it? What’s the message? Blah blah the future is determined by today not tomorrow. Cool, a statement of material determinism. Thanks so much for this insight that my actions have effects. I had no idea. Also, my future is determined by what I do tomorrow, it’s just in addition to my actions today. So it’s sort of wrong too?
Look, this stuff simply isn’t impressive. Here’s something I made in 60 seconds with a free image off Unsplash.
Is my content better or worse than what @Brand posted? It’s no less meaningful, and I’d say mine actually makes you think. But nope, apparently 35 people consider @Brand’s tweet worth liking forever, and 27 people think it’s worth retweeting to their own followers.
Like, who’s the target audience here? There’s a weird subculture of people, partly on Twitter but especially on LinkedIn, who seem addicted to some kind of entrepreneur idolatry. Any kind of bland statement like the above is treated as divinely received wisdom. You’ve seen the kind of thing I mean, like a witty one-liner from Bill Gates or Richard Branson, as if success in business comes from knowing the correct adages, rather than a combination of hard work and extreme luck. It’s really depressing seeing people you just know will never become millionaires sharing quotes from millionaires about how, if they just think about things in the right way, they too could become millionaires.
That’s not how it works. People don’t get rich by repeating quotes. Like look at this –
“The only way to prove that you’re a good sport is to lose.”– Ernie Banks
— Brand (@Brand) May 5, 2017
What’s the point of this? Why does any of this content exist? And there’s just so much of it. The majority of @Brand’s tweets are just meaningless quotes.
It’s so depressing that stuff like this does well. Meanwhile my great posts about funny signs I’ve seen or puns on current events never do well.
Oh, and if your wounds aren’t salted enough already, @Brand is VERIFIED. Yup, Twitter decided that this account is the real deal. Despite the fact that @Brand isn’t representing anyone or anything, Twitter want you to know that it’s legit. Sigh.
A clue to understanding what’s going on here is that the account is run by this chap: John Rampton. He’s a founder of some payments provider, so very much falls into ‘the sort of person who has a large following of people who hang on your every word hoping they too can learn the secrets to success’. What kind of content does he put out there?
"Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness." Frank Tyger
— John Rampton (@johnrampton) May 7, 2017
Maybe I should just start tweeting ONLY quotes. Like that tweet there has done better than anything I’ve ever done. Tweets photoshopped onto mountains. With a Twitter bio that the world’s greatest team of forensic linguists wouldn’t be able to unravel. Is this what we want to see on Twitter?
I think we can do better.