Why You Should Shut Down Your Twitter Account (If You’re Not Tweeting)

Why You Should Shut Down Your Twitter Account (If You're Not Tweeting)

Not active on Twitter? Here’s why it’s better to shut down your account than to leave it dormant.

It might sound like counterintuitive advice, but sometimes it’s better to have no Twitter account at all.

For many new to Twitter, it can be overwhelming to not only stay on top of what everyone else is tweeting, but also to constantly write compelling, funny, interesting and useful tweets day in and day out. Many simply give up.

The scenario usually goes like this: Acme Business notices that their competitors are using Twitter. They have also heard from a customer or two that they’re being tweeted about. “We should get on this Twitter thing!” says Acme CEO.

They set out creating a well-branded cover photo and profile picture, shrink down their mission statement to fit their Twitter bio, and start tweeting. And for a few weeks or even months, things are good.

However, the Twitter manager at Acme goes on maternity leave. Or the intern goes back to school. Or a new project comes up that pulls the marketing department in a different direction. And inevitably, the Twitter account – which was created on a whim in the first place – starts sending fewer and fewer tweets until it simply sits dormant.

For some businesses, this scenario happened years ago. And they’re still linking to their Twitter account on their homepage… even though it hasn’t sent a tweet since 2011.

One of the main culprits for this fizzle is a lack of strategy. We’ve been over this before, but creating a strategy for your Twitter account is essential to its success. Without goals and tactics will help target all of your Twitter marketing activities to the right audience and get the results you want. Without a strategy, you’re bound to at best waste effort and at worst give up.

So why is a dormant Twitter account worse than no Twitter account at all? It’s all about perception. Think about your own experience as a consumer for a minute. If you had a complaint about your phone provider, for instance, and you sent them a tweet, you would expect a response. But if you searched Twitter to see that their customer service account hadn’t replied to a customer in over 6 months, you’d likely feel that they had a pretty terrible customer service account – even if, internally, they had actually hired more customer service representatives for their phone lines.

If you have abandoned your Twitter account, it’s best to remove it from your website, business card and anywhere else that might be pointing to it rather than let it sit dormant.

This doesn’t mean you have to delete the account permanently (although you can do that too) – you can simply set it to “protected” until you have the time to develop a strategy and tweet consistently. This will keep all your old tweets, lists, follows and username, but it will lock down the account.

Without the pressure of having to come up with tweets, you might just find that you have the time to develop a strategy and revive the account.

(Closed sign image via Shutterstock)