EJM Designs Limited Blog

Thursday, May 7, 2009

10 Reasons I Will Not Follow Back on Twitter

(or Basic Behaviors to Avoid)

EJM Designs Twitter

So you've seen my Twitter and you follow me, which sends me an email alert and gives me a chance to follow you back.

Some people have auto-follows set up so if you follow them, they follow you back automatically. Some even have robo-auto-followback direct messages, notably generic notes usually declaring how your Twitter account rocks. I can't stand that, so I make sure I click every profile, and if the person is relevant and I follow them, sometimes sending a brief but personal thank you.

Wha-what? You don't follow everyone back?

No. For me, Twitter is about developing online relationships and connecting to people and organizations that provide value. Not every one of the items listed here is - by itself - a deal breaker. But all are serious considerations.

  1. I do not know you and you have protected your updates
    I understand the need for privacy, but you've got to put yourself out there to get a little back. Your actual tweets are a good portion of why I follow.

  2. You have no location or bio information
    I connect with two types of people aside from personal friends: local Cincinnati (general Ohio, NKY too) interest and worldwide for tech, web, and SEO folks. If I do not know where you are or what you do via profile, I'm immediately turned off. And stop with the "Worldwide" or "Earth" for location. It's not quaint; it's trite.

  3. You have no (or very few) updates
    It's very much about the tweets. If you are not tweeting, you are not adding value, and I can tell very little about you. Get at least 10 updates posted before following.

  4. The whole of your profile page (20 tweets) is from today
    Other side of the post coin from absentee. If you're tweeting 50 times a day, you are not adding value, but clutter. Obviously newsfeed accounts and the like are exempt.

  5. The majority of your tweets openly (or secretly) link to your website
    If you tweet a couple times a day and almost every time link to www.yoursite.com, this is shameless self-promotion and you need to stop. You can still fix it. If you are pushing www.yoursite.com through tinyurl.com or the like so it looks different every time, but still shameless self promotion, you've forced me to click at least twice to find this out. You are dead to me.

  6. Your Twitter account is foreign language or very poor English
    I haven't even tackled French as a refresher on Rosetta stone. I am a writer with an English degree. I mean no offense, but if you have poor command of English, don't tweet in English. If your account is in any other language, I simply cannot read it.

  7. The majority of your tweets are @ responses or RTs
    I'm all for having a conversation and giving someone RT props when it's good content, but I'd like to see what value you add. Chances are, based on location or background, we follow some of the same people. Show me what you can do.

  8. You have 40,000 followers
    The drop in the bucket. You probably ruined your account with some auto-follow pyramid scheme and if 40K with no value makes you feel better, that's fine. That's how you drive your Twitterbus. I drive mine around you. Exemptions to some genuinely famous people.

  9. You offer me nothing
    That may sound snooty, so allow me to explain with several examples: you are tweeting about your sandwiches and bowel movements; you are promoting a one-shot contest; you are promoting a product I have no interest in purchasing; you are selling real estate...anywhere; you're tweeting solely about logging or knitting or any one of a hundred things that may be interesting but I am not (currently) interested in.

  10. You are Ashton Kutcher
    Bwahaha. No, really. I won't. That was tired 3 seconds after the billboards.

(And while you're at it, might want to make sure your background isn't cut off.)

It really comes down to what works in most of life: moderation. Don't get carried away on any one angle, mix it up a little bit, and you're building a great account. Reward yourself with a Tweetup. Shake some hands. And smile.

Is this a reasonable list? What are your thoughts? What are your Twitter turn-offs?

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