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A celebrity with 3M followers mentioned me: you won't believe what happened next

Would you like to be a social celebrity? Careful what you wish for.

My name is Paolo Amoroso and I'm on Twitter as amoroso. My last name is the same as that of some major celebrities such an Italian singer, at least one football player, and a South-American politician.

From time to time my Twitter profile receives reactions intended for the celebrities as the users unintentionally mention my handle or don't remove it when replying or quoting. Up to now I got at most several dozen reactions at a time.

Yesterday the wildly popular football celebrity Alex de Souza, who has 3M highly-engaged Twitter followers, unintentionally mentioned me in this tweet while meaning the football player by the same last name:

All viral hell broke loose.

De Souza tweeted overnight. Opening TweetDeck today I was greeted with thousands of reactions, mostly likes but also dozens of retweets including some by users with over 100K followers.

The TweetDeck notifications column seemed straight out of The Matrix, with new items countinuously dropping for a while. Scrolling down the notifications page on the Twitter website doesn't show all the reactions and I even bumped into an error or two. I can no longer access my old notifications. I suspect it'll take me weeks to clear the extra notifications.

I muted de Souza's profile as well as those of the users who retweeted him. Things seemed to improve and the dust settled. But my Twitter notifications remained unusable for a while.

Is there any way of hiding all the reactions to a tweet? Should I block de Souza's profile instead of just muting? Any tools for bulk processing tweets?

All this happened because of a single tweet.

I can't imagine what celebrities and influencers face daily on Twitter. They'd likely pay good money for effective tools to handle these social floods.

If you think this drive-by engagement could bring some advantage, all I got is fewer than 20 new followers. My online properties linked from the Twitter profile got no traffic at all. I'm sure there's some lesson here on how walled the social gardens are and how overlooked the open web is.

Also, there's zero overlap between what I do and the world of football — I'm possibly the only Italian who doesn't follow football.

So now that I'm Twitter-famous I guess I should get a limo or something 😀

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    The <20 followers gain is not surprising, and very likely they're accidental follows or bots. There must be a very compelling reason for engagement to happen — many people don't fully understand this. They think that if an account with a lot of followers retweets them or mentions them, they'd get a lot of followers or traffic, but it almost never happens unless the context of the tweet has a compelling reason for that engagement. This is something that surprised me as well in the beginning: I got retweeted a few times by 400K-700K accounts in my Twitter early days, and the effect was almost zero except for a high impression count.

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      While I expected an incidental mention to not bring any meaningful engagement, and I'm reasonably sure the new followers confused me with the football player, with over 30K reactions I also expected a non negligible number of curious users who might explore the profile, click links, or poke around.

      The passivity — apathy? — of most users, their blindness to links, and their online life buried in a social feed is at the same time expected and surprising.

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    You should definitely start some football-related product :)

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      Perhaps a non fungi-ball? 😀 The problem is these users don't check Twitter profiles at all regardless of whether there's something that might interest them or not.

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    I'd probably change Twitter handle 😅

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      LOL They should change their handles. I've been on Twitter since well before it was cool.

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