Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why GPS Locations in Twitter Profiles Are a Bad Idea

When I first noticed strange code in my followers' Twitter profiles, I was thrown off and wasn't sure if this was a new techie trend and I somehow missed the memo. After digging around further, I learned they were GPS coordinates (where my followers are geographically located).  It left me scratching my head. It seems like people jumped on the bandwagon, and thought this was a good idea - hey, let's make it easier for people to find us by our GPS coordinates. 

But it's not a good idea for your social media marketing. Before you add your GPS coordinates to your Twitter profile (or any social media profile), consider the following: 

1. It makes you difficult to find on Twitter. When the average person searches for information on Twitter, they don't type in "social media consulting companies, +40.689060 -74.044636." They type in the actual name of the city. The coordinates mess up your SEO and the point behind social media is that you want people to find you and connect with you easily. It also leaves people wondering - where the heck are you located? And no one has time to search for GPS coordinates. 

2.Twitter profiles look strange, and doesn't make you visually appealing or approachable. I would rather connect with John Smith from New York, New York than John Smith with a long string of odd-looking numbers attached to his profile. It doesn't look "friendly." 

3. You could accidentally include the wrong GPS coordinates. It could happen. Instead of Mary Jones from Los Angeles, California you become Mary Smith located in Denmark. Whoops! 

You may think it looks cool and savvy to include GPS coordinates in your Twitter profile, but for social media purposes it's not a good idea. Tell people what you do and how you can help them in your Twitter bio. GPS coordinates will just leave people feeling confused and they might not follow you.

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Therese Pope, Copywriter/Content Developer & Digital Buzz-icist

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