I recently tried an experiment on Twitter. I tried following back everyone who followed me — well, almost everyone, as I’ll explain. The results were very interesting. Within a few days, I had gained more than 100 followers, and they weren’t dropping off like they used to. I also found that my Twitter feed wasn’t overwhelming me. If anything, the tweets in my feed were even more interesting and varied than before, and there was always something new, every time I tuned in.
Even though I was following back (mostly) everyone who followed me, I didn’t want my Twitter feed to become overloaded with spam. I quickly formulated some rules to weed out those folks who were worth my time and attention from those who weren’t. The rules are really quite simple. I won’t follow you if:
- You have no avatar. These are generally spam accounts, I’ve found. (If you have a pornographic avatar, I’m going to block you.)
- Your Twitter name ends in several numbers. Again, this shouts “spammer!”
- You have the words “social media expert” or “SEO” in your profile description. Or you have no profile description. I like to know a little something real about you before I’ll follow back.
- Your Twitter username has that “make money at home” vibe or includes phrases like “DebtFree.” Ditto your tweets.
- Your tweets are too hard sell or look like a series of spammy links.
- The links you post all point to the same domain name.
- You use hashtags like #acai #berry. Come on.
- You just repeat the same tweet over and over.
- You dominate my feed with your tweets. Or you don’t ever tweet.
- You don’t speak my language. Nothing personal, but there’s no point in seeing tweets I can’t understand.
- You abuse your direct message privileges. Actually, that’s a sure way to get me to block you.
I know a lot of people use Twitter for business-related reasons, such as public relations or networking. I don’t see anything wrong with this, as long as you keep in mind that Twitter is made up of people who are primarily interested in the conversation. You have to provide something of value. Share what’s going on in your community or post some interesting links that aren’t all self-serving. If it’s not a conversation — if all you’re doing is trumpeting yourself, your business or your service — then your followers will tune out. So if that’s all you intend to do, you might as well just shut up.
But if you’re interested in having a conversation with me, you’re welcome to follow me. I’m on Twitter as sturlington.
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