Ghost Tweeting: The Real Phantom Menace

I just found out my favorite celebrity contracts their Tweets and I'm so sad....

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[ Social Media]

One of the coolest parts about  my job is the fact that I am always up to speed on the latest and coolest stuff in the world of search, social media and things of that nature. Over the course of the past decade, there have been no shortage of things to keep my eye on. That’s one of the cool parts of my job. What makes it interesting however is not necessarily the emergence of these new tools and/or technologies but how they end up being used.

I’ll give you an example. A couple of weeks ago at SES Chicago, our own Abby Johnson had a chat with Liana Evans about the concept of ‘ghost tweeting’. Ghost Tweeting is the practice of having multiple people twittering on the same account. Earlier in the year, Guy Kawasaki kind of got the search marketers buzzing about this a little bit at SES New York when he admitted he employs people to post updates on his Twitter account.

So you have Twitter, growing like crazy, immensely popular… then you have marketers like Kawasaki doing something a little differently with it. What happens? Well, it doesn’t take long before people start to point and say things like; ‘he’s doing it wrong’ or ‘that isn’t how you’re supposed to use it’ and when folks really want to climb up and stick a flag in that moral high ground, they question the ethics. They’ll call it unethical. They’ll call it amoral. Why, I have no doubt that a few of them will even say it’s contributing to global warming. The nerve of this guy… um, Guy. Twittering in such a way. It’s unnatural.

Do you think ghost tweeting is a problem or a bad thing?  Let us know in the comments.

Now on the one hand, I can’t argue the rationale used when critics will say: it has his name on the account. It has his picture on the account. Therefore people assume that he is actually doing the talking. True, true and true… but so what? If you follow Guy, do you follow Guy because, gosh, he’s just so awesome and having a look at what he’s thinking every hour or so is just the high point of your day? Or, do you follow Guy because you like the articles, ideas and links he posts? I suppose if your Guy following is a product of the former, then, yes, you might reasonably be expected to feel somewhat disillusioned to learn that his hand may not be directly on the wheel of some of those updates. Then again, if this is the case, I would submit that you might need to talk to someone about adjusting your meds. Here’s a little revelation for you: the people you follow on Twitter are not your real ‘friends’. They are people who feel like they have something interesting (or not) to say and that somewhere someone might find what they have to say interesting enough to read it. That’s it.

Twitter ethics? Please. Morally responsible Tweets? I mean really people. I follow Kawasaki myself and have no problem suggesting you do too because he frequently has updates I find interesting for some reason or another. Does it matter that he isn’t personally typing or finding the updates? Not to me. Not even a little. He is employing people to Twitter things on his behalf and I assume, if nothing else, if they were Twittering things he didn’t agree with, like, or find interesting himself… well, he’d go get somebody else to do it. If the updates weren’t interesting, I would just stop reading them… or unfollow him altogether. Being upset because you find out Guy isn’t personally typing updates into his Twitter account is akin to seeing Michael Jordan out somewhere and being upset because he’s wearing something other than Hanes and drinking something other than Gatorade.

Was Twitter originally designed for marketers? No probably not. Again, so what? The Internet was created as a communications tool for the military. Was it designed for people to be able to order stuff from Amazon and play farm town? Was email designed for newsletters? Was video designed for porn? Ok, I’ll give you the porn thing maybe, but the rest of it? No, I don’t think so. The best internet tools are the tools with the broadest range of applications. If you have a good tool, invariably someone will use it in a way that was previously not considered or maybe even intended. Does that make the new application somehow wrong or evil?

As for ghost tweeting, I suppose it comes down to basically what Liana is saying in the video. It’s about the expectations of your followers. If they are following you because you are ‘you’ and ‘you’ are Tweeting about you (which is just creepy)… you may need to do your own updates. Otherwise, if the people following your account seem to be engaged and interested in what you are putting up there, then what in the world difference does it make as to who pushed the update button?

So where do you stand on this whole ‘ghost tweeting’ thing?  Sound off in the comments.

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  • Max

    Ghostwriters are used everywhere. Famous people employ them all the time, since writing is not the principle talent of a lot of celebrities. It’s only natural that high-profile people will employ others to do the tweeting for them. Even if one is an excellent writer, it’s often more cost-effective to have someone else do one’s writing.

  • Sandy

    I agree with the last comment. Our Twitter is under the company name Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau. All our staff can tweet on the account so I guess it’s kind of ghost tweeting. It brings different flavors to tweeting about our local attractions and events. Our goal to get visitors to come to our area and all staff are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about it.

  • http://www.spacecoast-trading.com Guest

    I can understand the ghost writing issue and it has been around a long time. However, with today’s “one degree of separation” on such venues as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, there needs to be a way to distinguish the “real” people and their personal input vs. random input from a ‘hired’ person. It DOES make a difference. If the post ARE coming from the “real” person and simply being physically typed, no issue, it’s proxy tweeting. NASA astronauts used this type of system. Now, if the tweets are random posts from ‘hired’ people that meets a basic criteria set forth by the “real” person, they could could be deemed genuine. If they are random tweets just for the sake of tweeting from a high profile “real” person. I think that’s a bummer. Tweeps, FB, MS, LI peeps have to have a way of telling ‘fakes’ so as not to divulge info to a ‘robot’ you think is a ‘friend’. It could lead to a slippery slope of data mining.

  • Web Pro News Hater

    This is so funny — I was just now trying to think of something more lame than Web Pro News and their endless double opt-in emails. Celebrity tweets. Yes, that’s it.
    Get your head out of the sand, all you fricking cows.

    • http://www.spacecoast-trading.com Guest

      This is so funny — I was just now trying to think of something more lame than someone who sits around all day with nothing better to do than stifle open conversation with rude comments and obtuse myopic views. Crappy posts. Yes, that’s it. Get your head out of your bum, you moron. Suggestion: resolve yourself this year to learning more and using your frontal lobes. Happy New Year! :oP

      • Hater of Web Pro News

        This is so funny — I was just now trying to think of something more lame than someone who sits around all day with nothing better to do than attempt to look like a hero by pigpiling on someone whose opinion isn’t shared by him.

        The jocks stuffed you into your locker a lot, didn’t they.

        And also. If you’re actually learning anything from this common-sense garbage, you’re worse off than I could ever hope for.

    • Guest

      So unsubscribe, Moron. If you actually READ some Web Pro News, maybe you’d know how easy it is to do.

      • Hater of Web Pro News

        Attacked by the Three Stooges!

    • Mike McDonald

      Um, OK… Well thanks for sharing your enlightened point of view.

      email support@ientry.com (the email address in everything we send) if clicking that unsub button is just too daunting a task.

      Michael McDonald
      Follow me on twitter.com/mmcdonald”>Twitter!
      Managing Editor
      iEntry, Inc.

  • Twodogs

    Garbage in – Garbage out. Why should anyone be surprised or outraged at anything that appears on social networking. It all ranks right up there with wrestling and reality television. Useless, utter baloney.

  • http://www.MyChaga.com/susan Susan

    I agree with the article’s writer. With the multiple faux celebrity pages on MySpace, Facebook and elsewhere, most normal people have come to expect a hired hand at the tweets and posts. And any reader who feels disappointed truly DOES need to seek some professional help. Those who feel their ire piqued by the discovery of a Ghost Writer should check their core motivation for seeking out the celebrity tweeter. Come back to reality folks, it’s just another tool for accomplishing a task.

    • http://www.spacecoast-trading.com Guest

      There is definitely a stalker thing with some of the posts I see. LOL Although most users of SN’s DO realize that not all accounts are created equally, some do not. With the Internet still the ‘digital wild west’ with laws struggling to keep up, I can see where ‘pro-ghosting’ COULD, but hopefully not, lead to deceptive marketing, piracy and theft of personal information of less savvy users. Most of us understand there are ways to verify who someone is, their account or even get a verification for yourself; however, I can see the down sides to ghost tweets, posts and accounts. It is certainly NOT the standard ghost writing that most people think of [i.e. someone writing a book because the ‘star’ can’t write for beans :o)] It’s a convoluted area that’s worth keeping an eye on and see how it’s used in the future.

  • Guest

    Well Mike – or whoever wrote this article even though your name and photo are on it – I disagree. I think ghost tweeting is lame. Sure, most celebrities are too busy (and too self-absorbed) for “social networking”, but let’s use Guy as an example. It would take little to distinguish his personal tweets from staff tweets, and as you say, if the info is valuable, great, no matter who wrote it – but I think the differentiation is worth it for him. (I don’t follow him, and have no ax to grind either way with him.)
    As for myself, I’ve had some interesting back and forth tweets with people well known in fields that interest me, and think of social networking more like dinner conversation with people you’ve just met. Can be fun, you learn a little bit, they recommend other people they like and so on.
    For those who want to market, that’s fine, but I think using your own name, and using your business name separately is better.

    • Mike McDonald

      This was mine. I promise. You can trust me… you met me on the internet ;)

      Michael McDonald
      Follow me on twitter.com/mmcdonald”>Twitter!
      Managing Editor
      iEntry, Inc.

  • http://www.leadgsuher.com/r/constantcash Yvonne Finn

    Hello Mike,

    That is a new and interesting take on the Twitter World!
    It never even crossed my mind that Twitters would outsource that little bit of real estate.
    But why not?
    Does anyone really think it strange that some website content never sees any input from the site owner?
    Absentee website onwers are the rule, and not the exeception.
    So why not “hands off” Twitterers?

    I look for interesting and quality Tweets, not love affairs on Twitter.

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to give my two cents.
    Happy Holidays!


  • http://mst3.wordpress.com Doc

    I agree completely with you Mike. People tend to extend too much importance to their interactions (apparently even when it’s just one-way) with others on the internet. The vast majority of us are just a handful of digital bits that may or may not resemble what we purport to be. To try to assign human qualites and expectations to those bits is not only unrealistic, but foolish!

    Early “authors” that used ghostwriters also were scoffed at, for the same reason, and I think it was nearly as invalid then, as is the case with Guy and countless others.

    Definitely time for a med-check, people!

  • http://www.ozeworks.com Guest

    It was meant to be personal. Akin to speaking. That was its appeal.

    If these “famous” people don’t have time to tweet for themselves then they can just remain silent.

  • antiTwit

    Yes i said twiting, Twitter is just abotu dumb enough as it is, and of course all the fan fair is really just paid advertising for the website.

    Almost 80% of all news stories you hear today is really some sort of paid advertising, either by promotion or paid slander to ruin a product, a person, who to stop people from buying stuff.

    What does this have to do with twit-ering, everything, twiter is just another form a hidding advertising, hence why celebs are paying advertising agencies to do there twiting for them.

    People who fall for this crap are just twits!

    You are told all over the media this is the next big thing, how is having limited typing space a big thing? No one cares if your taking a crap or sitting in your couch!

    The fact is they just want you to cocus your attention, to become a member os some celebs group before you know it your buying stuff advertised for sale by some celebs, BOOM your a twit!

  • http://www.opendooronthenet.com Larry Palmer

    Really I don’t see why people are making a big deal of this. As a freelance writer, I have spent the last few years writing a ton of web content for a variety of different people. Sometimes I get a byline but most of the time someone else gets the credit for my work.

    If the quality of the tweets is not diminished by having an extra writer on board, why complain? Do you really think that every website you visit was written entirely by the owner of the domain name? Wake up folks. Ghost writing is big business and ghost tweeting is just one of its many faces.

    We all retweet great information when we find it. What is the difference between someone like Guy Kawasaki retweeting your tweets or paying someone to research and write about something?

    Great article. I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

  • antiTwit

    Yes i said twiting, Twitter is just about dumb enough as it is, and of course all the fan fair is really just paid advertising for the website.

    Almost 80% of all news stories you hear today is really some sort of paid advertising, either by promotion or paid slander to ruin a product, a person, or to stop people from buying stuff.

    What does this have to do with twit-ering, everything, twiter is just another form a hidding advertising, hence why celebs are paying advertising agencies to do there twiting for them.

    People who fall for this crap are just twits!

    You are told all over the media this is the next big thing, how is having limited typing space a big thing? No one cares if your taking a crap or sitting in your couch!

    The fact is they just want you to focus your attention, to become a member os some celebs group before you know it your buying stuff advertised for sale and BOOM your a twit!

  • david wall

    This comes as a surprise to anyone? With thousands of social networking sites out there… it would take literally hours for people to update every possible web site. I am sure once in a while they try and get on and check things out in person – But for the most part… they have people who manage all these accounts. I have my assistant manage my pages and I’m not famous (or even that interesting)…still it would take about 3 Hours a day to update everything and with what I do – I just don’t have time to be there but I need the sites updated.

    I don’t think it has anything to do with talent or the ability to write. I believe it has everything to do with the amount of time it takes in a given day to handle everything.

  • http://hamchatforum.lefora.com w8eeo

    Looks like spam to me. I’m sure it is done to enlarge an individual or Corporate image so the thought is the more the better. Then on the other hand, it seems that we all have the desire to enlarge our presence on the web in any way we can – Happy New Year to all!

  • http://www.spacecoast-trading.com Guest

    As much as I love correcting typos in my head to read a post, I would have to say that I follow very few ‘Celebrities’. There are very few worth following. Most have no real input into the world other than good acting skills and mediocre media philanthropy. Yes, there are celebs that do great things, I’m talking in general here. I follow interesting ACCOUNTS (regardless of who or what they claim to be). Most turn out to be real people that share common views of the world (not people, events or things). I agree that it is most likely due to time issues that most people hire tweeters. I can’t keep up with all of my own biz’s SEO let alone all my personal updates. I hire a company to run SEO for me and my biz including writing articles and reviews. However, my hired posts don’t appear to be a person. They don’t represent anything but the biz. They are CLEARLY advertisement. SN’s are blurring the content between personal and business. It’s important to know if you’re dealing with an account, a person or a robot. Some users can’t, that’s my concern. Is grandma gonna get suckered by a ‘nice person they tweeted with online’?

  • J Brady

    It’s about the ethics of advertisement. I don’t find ghost tweeting any more unethical than the products that overstate their abilities. You are at the mercy of your own discretion when evaluating the validity of a products. WARNING: Unless otherwise stated, the statements in tweets can be from anyone!

  • Guest

    I have a slightly different take. Tweets, in and of themselves, are free. The only thing being affected by a “ghosttweeter” is some amorphous “relationship” between the tweeter and the tweetie. Whatever fantasy the tweetie buys into as a result of those freely attained words, that’s their responsibility. (We are assuming here, of course, just an exchange of words, not meetings in dark alleys being set up between adults and minors!)

    OTOH…When you start talking ghost writers for books, i.e. where money is being exchanged in direct response to misinformation, then the lack of true acknowledgment of who did the writing is false advertising with a direct monetary value, and therefore, IMO, dead wrong. A “biography” is fundamentally different from an “authorized biography” which is fundamentally different in turn from an “autobiography.” And each has an increasingly high dollar sign associated with it. BECAUSE of that dollar sign, that boundary s/b clearly defined. Anything less is unethical. If it is ghost written, it is the words of the individual being interpreted by a third party. To claim that is an autobiography is quite simply false advertising and should be treated as such.

    And when you start talking novels based loosely on a one line concept from a celebrity’s PR department…well, it’s simply not an ethical way to make money, IMO. And if it actually turns out a good book, there’s a struggling author somewhere who then never gets the following they deserve for actually knowing what they’re doing.

    That subjective difference having been made, if tweets are used to promote the type of misinformation that deliberately leads to buying a similarly misrepresented product, then I’d have a problem with it.

    I actually find this blithe acceptance of real ghost writing for monetary gain a bit disturbing, but that’s just my opinion.

  • http://conniemotz.blogspot.com/ Connie

    Do readers actually think that their favorite celeb is really Tweeting to them personally?!! Really???!! One word – naive.

  • http://www.trenton-real-estate.ca malcolm

    Does this mean that Jennifer Anniston wasn’t communicating with me directly? Good grief.

  • http://www.starpowerconnections.com Guest

    As the owner of a company that provides those services, I have no problem with ghost tweeting/posting/blogging for busy clients. Just as a growing business needs a PR team to create ad campaigns, secretarial staff to answer phones and type emails / letters, personal assistants to shop, attend events and a plethora of other tasks for which the business owner has no time, a team of Social Media Consultants manages the online community.

    We create social media digital marketing strategies with our clients, conduct an interviews to get a good idea of the ‘personality and tone’ of the client and initiate brief, weekly conference calls to gather updated information.

    Business owners focus on running the business while we get their message out to as many folks as we can and field incoming comments, make strategic alliances and keep the community happy.

    • http://www.spacecoast-trading.com Guest

      Nice site BTW. :o) See, this company does interviews with the owner and ‘advertises’ for the company on its behalf. I use the same type services. It’s when you get unscrupulous blackhatters, phishers and scammers running accounts where SN’s become a ‘criminal front’ for unethical practices. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. I get tons of follower emails, but when I click to read their profile, they’re ‘Owled’. It’s that blurring of real person, biz and bot on SN’s that opens that window of concern for abuse.

    • VAL

      I appreciate the concept of ‘Saving Time’, but what is the point? No, really – If the business would like the benefit of ‘socially interacting’ with members of an online community, but cannot find the time to be personally involved – what’s the point?

      Unlike PR (Advertising with News angle), Social Media is best as a one-to-one communication tool between a group of people with a common interest (As a whole – unless it’s a Celebrity). It’s like being invited to a party and then sending a rep to attend in your place – not quite the same.

      Even better, clients should be simply instructed to run full page ads in the newspaper – at least it’s blatant advertising and not a marginally deceptive attempt to sell something under the guise of building a one-to-one relationship.

      Further, many businesses are largely engaged in one-way communication requesting that customers follow them on Twitter, however does the business actually have a genuine interest in following each of it’s customers? Probably not.

  • http://www.vozvisual.com Kris

    We tweet therefore we are? Nonsense. If it is fair to assume that the writers of best selling authors employ the help of researchers and editors then the book itself takes on a collaborative feel to it. Guy talks about brand management and marketing all the time and has his hand in many projects. Unless the secret to his success is time-travel or hither-to-undiscovered realms of Star Trek technology, he needs help. He needs a team…of sorts. It is understandable that he employs people to tweet for him. What becomes a bit worrying is if he doesn’t okay these tweets before they are propagated through the web. He is doing what he always told us and something he is very good at …managing a brand, the Guy Kawasaki brand.

  • http://www.kruse.co.uk/ UK Services

    It’s just branding tweets that’s all. If you buy John Lewis, or you buy Harrods, you expect to buy quality, doesn’t matter who makes the product. You see a tweet with a quality name on it, hey, you expect a quality tweet. I have no problem with it.


  • Guest

    What is the difference between ghost tweeting and those cranked-out PR letters written by a celebrity’s publicist in years past? Many of these tweeting celebrities probably haven’t had an original thought in years (can you say Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson?) Even with tweets, they need an intellectual crutch. Why ruin their image by pretending to be coherent?

  • http://www.marketing-junkie.com Stacy Karacostas

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for this timely article. As a Practical Marketing Expert specializing in small businesses, I often find entrepreneurs who haven’t embraced Twitter because of the time commitment. When I mention that I regularly pre-write my own Tweets then have my Virtual Assistants post them for me, their ears perk up. When I explain that I also have them write and post Tweets on my behalf whenever they put one of my new articles on my blog, they get even more excited.

    While I don’t have anyone finding content and Tweeting about it for me, these simple methods of ghost Tweeting save me tons of time. And they let my followers find out about a lot more wonderful info than I would have time to Tweet myself.

    That’s a win-win for everyone.

    Plus I agree with the other comments here that it’s a bit silly to believe everyone on Twitter has nothing to do but Tweet all day. Of course folks have other people helping them get this done. It’s no different from a magazine like Oprah’s. Sure, she sets the content guidelines and probably has a hand in the final choice of books and products to recommend. But she certainly doesn’t write every article herself.

    As long as the content consistently reflects the writers intents and interests who cares who typed it on the keyboard.


    Stacy Karacostas
    Practcal Marketing Expert

  • http://www.breedtraffic.com Kevin Hillman

    Ghost Tweeting is ruining Twitter. the term is TWITTER BOT and anybody using them 24/7 on multiple accounts just end up blocked on my account. If it is a bot, I can tell and nuke them. The term Ghost Tweets is used for those people too bust to tweet and hire someone ( A Real Person ) to tweet for them. Twitter Bot Posts are considered spam and get blocked. when enough people block them, Twitter nukes the accounts.

  • Pubcon Convert

    It’s ironic. Guy Kawasaki turned me on to twitter at a conference early this year. As a result, Twitter has become a great tool both for me personally and professionally. Within the first week of following Mr. Kawasaki, however, I decided to stop following him because his endless self-promotion amounted to nothing more than a steady stream of SPAM.

    I own most of his books, but Twitter has allowed me to get to know him well enough to decide that I don’t want to follow his example. This report further confirms this decision.

    • http://www.thewritestuff.be/ Michael

      I turned on Twitter on Christmas day and across four accounts, I think I counted exactly four Tweets that were actually intended as messages (they had some form of greeting or Christmas Day-related theme). The rest was pure spam, cranked out by – let’s face it – desperate people under the illusion that someone was going to interrupt their Chrissy dinner to download another “free” report or discover the “secret” of the law of attraction. It’s almost laughable. Are these experts and entrepreneurs so naive to think that? How would they react to a cold call on their home number with their same message on Christmas day?

  • http://www.livetrainingsession.com Flash CS4 Training Online

    It’s all about the substance of your tweets. It does not matter if Guy is on the wheel or not for as long as the subjects he’s tweeting about are interesting. Besides, if he spends all his day tweeting, I am pretty sure he will run out soon of things to tweet about or better yet not be able to run his business.

  • http://wordsforhirellc.com/blog Karen Swim

    I think that people would be surprised that many people from solo professionals to megastars utilize ghost tweeters. Communicating directly with a person definitely creates a different experience but I don’t have an issue with ghost tweeting. I agree that it depends on the expectation of your audience. If people follow a person/company to keep up to date with that person or the information they share then it really does not matter who is tweeting. If you’re clear about how you’re using your account I don’t think people will have an issue. I do, have an issue with paid tweets when the relationship is not disclosed.

  • http://www.vibranthealthworld.com G.L. Hoffmann

    I see nothing wrong with ghost tweeting. At least it’s a real person.

    What does irritate me is “machine” tweeting. IE those people who use auto-message software to reply to tweets. Many times I send messages and get what is obviously an “automatic” reply the content of which has nothing to do with the message I originally sent. Worse yet the message is usually some canned presentation about a wonderful opportunity.

    One of the jokes a couple of generations ago was when some manager would say “Let’s get together sometime” and the other guy would say “Yeah..have your secretary call my secretary to set it up.” These days maybe it should be “Have your computer send an automated message to me and my computer will send you an automated reply”. Sometimes I wonder if anybody actually reads tweets. Everybody appears to be just sending tweets. I asked the question the other day, “Are network and affiliate marketers building relationships on social networks or are they just sending automated advertisements?”

    Now, how about the reverse situation? How about one real person having multiple twitter accounts under different e-mail aliases? Anything ethically wrong with that or is it just against the rules?

  • Guest

    Guy Kawasaki is a writer- if he can’t be bothered to write some measly 140 character tweets, why would anyone follow him? (or hire him?)

  • http://www.HotelCharlotte Guest

    I would never relinquish the “voice” of our twitter. We are a little hotel in the Sierra Nevada on the way to Yosemite. With the hundreds of lodging options available to the traveler, I want to give visitors a reason to choose the Hotel Charlotte…Perhaps they like my style, character, charm…whatever it is that rings out to them. By being the only twitterer on our account the posts to take on a personality, just like our hotel has a personality all its own. We twitter at www.twitter.com/HotelCharlotte

  • http://www.morestar.ca morestar

    No matter what anyone tries to tell you, Twitter is a tool we can use for and by any purpose their terms and conditions allow us to. Knowing if a stranger just got off a plane is completely useless but in my case for instance, when someone publishes an article the article gets instantly Tweeted at my Twitter account.

    What’s wrong about that? There’s an accepted wordpress plugin that does this automatically for you and no one’s speaking about ethics when it comes to this form of ghost tweeting…

    Jealousy is all I can think is going on with any criticism in this regard. Use Twitter in any which way you want to as permitted by the terms and conditions and also try to make your Tweets useful.

    Let’s move on now…

  • ghostly

    tweeters had compliant about spam, massive spam. marketing spam and all kind of spam.
    Now we are seeing ghost.
    Some one please call the spam buster and the ghost buster… Oh maybe the exorcist or voodoo

  • http://www.klubx.org Kapster

    I am against ghost tweets , if your following someone famous and it says that their account is “verified” then you should be talking to the actual person not to some random who’s getting paid to do it .

    • http://www.baptismgiftsnow.com Charrosh

      It doesn’t surprise me since I see where you can buy social networking services to help your business with SEO. People are always working the angles to get ahead!

  • Guest

    First there was Ghost Writing, then Ghost blogging, now there is Ghost Twittering.

    Well, this is a question of demand and supply. There is a demand for such attention/ communication from celebrities, but your favorite celebrities don’t really have the time to twitt all day, so they supply it (by paying someone to write on their behalf)!

    Psychologically, humans have a social need for friendship and affiliation. In today’s world, technology has allowed us to ‘socialize’ on the internet. So marketeers and PR people are also tapping on this as a tool.

    I am not against or for it. As for me, I will not do it, because writing and sharing what I write is my passion. hmm.. I wonder what next, Ghost Facebooking? (Or do they have that already?)


    cheers to life

  • Cath

    I suppose if your Guy following is a product of the former, then, yes, you might reasonably be expected to feel somewhat disillusioned to learn that his hand may not be directly on the wheel of some of those updates. Then again, if this is the case, I would submit that you might need to talk to someone about adjusting your meds.

    So instead of explaining your view reasonably you decided to ouright insult anyone who doesn’t agree? Not the most professional approach to take.

  • http://twitter.com/darrenalbert Darren Albert

    I don’t see a problem from a followers perspective. It is your choice who you do and don’t follow and, ultimately, who you unfollow.

    As a Twitter user, I would never allow my account to be used for ghost tweeting. I personally like to engage with people and I feel I would be misrepresenting myself if others were paid to pretend to be me. I would also be uncomfortable with the potential of hiring people to tweet as me only to find out that they had tweeted something I wouldn’t say, wouldn’t agree with, or hadn’t actually hired them to say. Nah, I wouldn’t like that possibility anymore than I’d like to have multiple people using my email.

    I say who cares if people ghost tweet, it doesn’t bother me, but I for one wouldn’t be comfortable doing it.

  • http://thatsnews.blogspot.com Thats News

    I have ghost written comment pieces for a print magazine. so ghost tweeting? I don’t have that much of a problem with it.

    The problem is that people who, 20 years ago, screamed that it was not right to sell things via the Internet and who tried to have this evil practice stopped, have been replaced with people who think their vision of the Internet is some sort of holy standard that everyone should abide by. It isn’t. Leave us alone!

  • Rick Carter

    I can only speak for myself and that is the point … I know what I am thinking and feeling and like Popeye would say ‘… I yam what I yam … ‘ too many people already want to put words in my mouth … heaven knows what else!!!! Scary! Rick =)

  • http://www.tmpkennels.com Tommy

    I agree, provided someone is not presenting their account as only them, especially when it is a company, product or celeb that you are following, it should not matter who hits update so long as the content is what you expect and desire. If it becomes too much like spam then people will stop following and the issue is solved.

  • http://highpointseo.com/category/blog/ Denver SEO Company

    Ghost tweets are here to stay and people shouldn’t take offense. If you’re following someone with 100,000 + followers, you’re doing it because you like the content that is posted, not because you are trying to be their best friend (at least I hope not).

    If you are opposed to marketers on Twitter, don’t follow them. If you are using it for personal communications, limit your engagement to your real friends, not online “friends”.

    Sometimes the face behind the image is all that’s needed, and the true content is coming from someone else, that’s just how it is. If you like the content, follow, if not, don’t!

  • VAL

    First, is Guy Kawasaki even aware of what his hired help is Tweeting? That is the question to be considered when thinking about the subject of Ghost Tweeting being right or wrong; At what level of involvement does the proprietor actually participate?

    The article began with a provocative question, but arrived somewhere in which you began justifying your decision to follow Guy Kawasaki, rather than objectively addressing the issue of Ghost Tweeting.

    Quite frankly, I do not follow Guy Kawasaki, nor do I have intention to follow ANY blatant marketer that chooses to use Social Media – there is more than enough commercial schlock in the world without cluttering every waking moment with someone trying to sell us something we don’t need.

    Now then, back to the subject, there is nothing wrong with Ghost Tweeting as long as there is some level of involvement and/or awareness on the part of the actual Account Holder. For example, instructing your help to Tweet about a particular item that is from your real personal interest – This would be done “Right”.

    However, if someone is pretending to be involved as an active member of the community but has an underlying ulterior motive to sell me something, they have not a clue (Kawasaki), then you have a situation of done “Wrong”. To put it bluntly, Social Media D*Bag.

    To alleviate the confusion there should be a “Business or Personal” account designation and all accounts that fall under “Business”, should be required to have a disclaimer statement of full disclosure, “Tweets may not represent the actual views and opinions of the Account Holder”.

  • http://dream-frog.com dremfrog

    Do you think that the writer of this topic is not ghost tweetering also.? :D
    I probably ask other people to write comment on my behalf.

    I follow people because I like what they write. When the article goes somewhere else
    It often amusing. But sometimes I agree for some adz. People need to make money too.

  • vmosso

    Quote…”Being upset because you find out Guy isn’t personally typing updates into his Twitter account is akin to seeing Michael Jordan out somewhere and being upset because he’s wearing something other than Hanes and drinking something other than Gatorade.” Unquote…

    I think that part of the mystical magic alot of people feel when following a celebrity tweet… is the same reason people buy the “Enquirer” tabloid…or watch E! Tv…. Its the feeling of being able to see into and be a very small part of the celebrities life, that you normally would never be privledged to. When people found out that Obama wasnt personally tweeting, there was alot of disappointment. I think people just like the idea that someone “greater” than themselves are actually including them…even if in a dumb little tweet. To find out otherwise, makes one feel jilted.
    Ghost tweeting is what it is…however, it should be noted somehow, that the person sending the tweet IS GHOST TWEETING…. and then you can decide for yourself if you want to follow that Tweeter for just the content….. and not for the imaginary delusion that you are actually being included in some “greater than thou” persons life.

  • http://littlebytesnews.blogspot.com Guest

    I don’t see a problem with it especially since you can’t be on twitter 24/7 but why not offer your followers fresh content via hiring ghost tweeters or with an rss you think they will find interesting. I do this with my @littlebytesnews account, as well as share some of my favorites via rss feed and RTs. There should not be so many restrictions and rules…people are free to use twitter as they like, if someone doesn’t like what they share then unfollow or block them. I rarely unfollow or block unless they are rude, vile, spamming sells links or a porn bot. To me twitter is about sharing and when you are able to tweet in person than try to connect with some of your followers by retweeting for them or chatting.

  • http://www.goodsamdental.org Mexico Dentist

    Do people really believe that the celebrities themselves actually take the time to tweet everthing they do? So why is anyone suprised.

  • Guest

    If the account show personal name, it should be his own comment. If he hire others, he should put his account name as Tweeting Daily/ with friends.

    What he is doing is misrepresentation and unethical in that he is not being upfront about it.

  • http://www.umbrella-consultancy.co.uk Old Welsh Guy

    I think if the account is in the name of the business, then fine, But when the account is in the name of an individual, I see that as deceptive. People are following a person, not some unknown faceless writer.

    We setup a spoof blog for a Wales tour, and we got a lot of followers, but we made it clear it was a spoof and there were multiple writers.

    Transparancy is the key IMO.

  • http://www.fanhistory.com/wiki/User:Laura Laura

    For celebrities, I don’t know that this is so much ghost Tweeting as it is personal brand management. They aren’t being personal so much as managing their product: Themselves.

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