May 072013

Don't FollowHave you ever sat down and tried to figure out exact who you follow on Twitter, and why? A while back I went through my list of people i followed on my Twitter accounts and begun to pare the list down. It was amazing. The hundred of bots, and spammers, and people who aren't even using their accounts. There are a number of online tools that will help you to identify these kinds of users for you. They take a long time with larger accounts, but it's still faster than trying to do it manually.

Like many of you, when I started with Twitter I followed pretty much everyone that I could. The notion of having 10's of thousands of followers is quite alluring.  The problem is, just how many of these people do you actually care to read about, not to mention, REAL?  At that time I created myself a set of rules that I have stuck by for a long time.  I would like to share some of them with you, and perhaps you too may consider a bit more about who you follow and why.

Reasons I don't follow you

  1. I do not follow anyone who does not have an avatar (Profile image).
  2. I do not follow anyone who does not have a BIO.  I want to know something about you. This is where most people will look to see who you are. Tell us about who you are, and what you like.
  3. I do not follow users who are "mean". If you're negative towards everyone and everything, chances are high that I will not follow you. I can read your previous posts and see who you are, and what you're about.
  4. I do not follow people who like to pick fights for the sake of doing it.  The "you're an idiot" styled postings.
  5. I do not follow people who opening mock or insult other people.
  6. I do not follow people who send me a link, just because I said a word, or phrase. In fact, I will likely report you as a spammer.
  7. I do not follow people who are following 1000's of people, and near no one following back.  Chances are high your a spammer, and I have no time for spammers.
  8. I do not follow people who do nothing but post quotes, or only RT other people. I want to know what you have to say, not what someone else has to say.
  9. I do not follow people who post every little detail about their day. 8:45am, i went to the bathroom, 8:46, brushing my teeth. 8:47, flossing my teeth.  I don't care that much about such things, and chances are quite high that no one else does either.  You could change "I just cooked french fries, yummo" to "I just cooked some delicious French Fries from this website I found <link> I recommend you give it a try, and let me know what you thought".  See the difference?
  10. I do not follow those who do nothing but promote their products/business.  Let's face it, there's a time and a place for promotion, but every single post is not a good way to do it.  If you went to a store and all you heard was a continual sales pitch, what might you do?
  11. I tend not to follow those who post primarily about topics that I may not care overly much about.
  12. I will not follow users who auto message me and attempt to sell. I want to know more about you, not what you're selling. Perhaps if you get to know me first, we can do business. Telling me to "visit my webpage for the best deal ever" when I don't know you = Unfollow or No Follow.
  13. I will not follow people who use strange or unrecognizable speech. "Do u no wat i meen, biatch?"

Twitter RelationshipsReasons I do follow you

  1. I follow people who I find 'funny'.  I don't mean that I follow comedians, I mean you have an interesting way of presenting yourself in 140 characters.
  2. I follow people who make me feel like I am a part of something much larger than just another person.
  3. I follow people who make me think.
  4. I follow those who can provide me information about things that I am interested in.
  5. I follow people who have engaged with me in some non-spammy capacity. (Engage)
  6. People I follow will help promote something that I am passionate about, like this post for instance (hint hint).
  7. I follow people who are willing to admit when they have made a mistake
  8. I follow people who are polite and courteous when pointing out when I have made a mistake.
  9. People I follow will teach me something.
  10. I follow people who care about what I post about, and engage with me about it.
  11. I follow people because they are real people.
  12. I follow people who tell me something about themselves.

You have to admit when you sit down and think about it, it's not really that unusual of a list of things, is it?

Will you be changing how you Follow people?   What rules do you have when you're following people?  Let us know in the comments below.