Why I Do Follow People on Twitter
I’m always looking for new people to follow on Twitter, but I’m fussy. I want to follow people with some interests in common from whom I might learn something new. And I want to follow people who might actually want to interact — not just post and run.
Since I wasn’t sure how to find the right people to follow, I finally broke down and bought a book to teach me more than I knew. I reviewed Tweep-e-licious in a post on Review This! If you are also looking for help on Twitter, you, too, might want to get Tweep_e_licious. I got many new tips from reading this book. More of the right people are following back now, and we are actually talking to each other.
3 Reasons Why I Won’t Follow Someone on Twitter
1 – The Twitter profile doesn’t provide enough information to make a good following decision
Let’s say you have followed me. Have you made it easy for me to look at your profile and follow you back? Not if you decide to protect your tweets when you set up your profile. Not if you use “True Twit” so that I have to take time to verify before I can follow you. If you do these things, it’s like telling people you really don’t want them to follow you or follow you back.
If it appears someone is stalking you or behaving in ways you don’t like, you can block them or report them. As for finding out if people are real, check their profiles. I never follow someone I don’t know until I’ve done that.
How I Tell if a Tweep is Real and Active
Real tweeps are serious about Twitter and post an avatar. They don’t leave the default egg avatar since most serious tweeps don’t follow eggs.
Serious tweeps fill out their profiles. Savvy ones make good use of all their 160 allowed characters. This helps other tweeps know what kind of tweets they can expect to see if they follow you. I look for a real geographic location, as well — not something vague like The Universe.
Serious tweeps have feeds that seem related to the interests in their profiles. If the profile indicates the tweep is a social media guru who likes dogs and music, for example, you would expect so see tweets on using social media, some dog photos, and maybe some favorite music videos or articles about bands. You would not expect to see a feed full of unrelated shocking or weird photos from exotic places and very little information about social media.
That doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be some variety, but it becomes obvious when you’ve looked at enough profiles to recognize those that don’t post anything original. Instead, their feeds are full of retweets and bizarre photos to get attention. Serious tweeps fill their feeds with links to valuable or fun resources and photos that are related to their stated interests. Sometimes their tweets are original observations or questions to encourage interaction.
Active tweeps tweet. They don’t leave a week or a month between tweets. They appear daily most of the time. The tops of their profiles will show they’ve tweeted at least 300 times for each year they’ve been on Twitter.
My largest account at Twitter, @barbsbooks, shows I’ve tweeted on the average around 5 times a day. I probably tweeted less when I first started, and now I try to tweet at least ten times a day not counting interactions. Someone who has never tweeted but has lots of followers or is following lots of people is probably a fake, along with many of his followers.
2 – There’s too much obvious automation
Many Twitter gurus encourage tweeps to automate their interactions with a program called Crowdfire. When people use the free version, it advertises its presence with every tweet. It loves to report on follows and unfollows, as do some other automated programs. It can leave you with a feed like this one. This is just part of the feed. It went on like this throughout several scrolls. In fact, there was nothing else I could see.
Is that what you want to see every time a person tweets? Boring! Just a string of commercials.
Another thing Crowdfire will do is see who you interact with and send automated @______ shout out tweets to those who have interacted with you the most. Of course, the free version lets everyone who gets the tweet know that you didn’t personally send that message. When I see these automated tweets I often wonder if the person posting them ever really personally interacts with followers.
3 – I see no interaction with other tweeps
A person’s Twitter profile will give you a good idea if that person does more on Twitter than post and leave. Right above the feed on the profile is a header next to Tweets: Tweets and Replies. Click it and you will see any replies that person made to other Tweeps.
Also, check the tweets themselves to see if there are any you would be tempted to reply to. Any questions to answer? Any topic you have an opinion about? Can you find anything on their profile you want to share or retweet? If so, do it. If there is something to reply to, reply with your comment. See if the Tweep responds within a few days.
How to Make Others Want to Follow you on Twitter
You can start by showing you are an active serious tweep. Make a profile that explains what you’re about and then tweet accordingly. I have three accounts, each with a different avatar and profile description. Each is meant to attract a different target audience. See them below.
Before I tweet, I check my own profile to see if that tweet fits my stated interests for that account or the audience that follows me. Example: Although on @barbsbooks I mostly tweet about books, blogging, and education, I know I also have some artists and travel bloggers following that profile. For this reason, I sometimes tweet or retweet something relevant to them, usually something related to nature, which is a stated interest.
I no longer join promotion groups on Facebook that require everyone to retweet what everyone else in the group posts. That would require me to send tweets that have little to do with what my audience expects from me. Those tweets would dilute my brand.
Are You Doing Any of the Three Things Above That Might Keep People from Following You?
If you are, all those things are easy to correct. Spiff up your profile in a few minutes. Tweet more often and tweet more of what your followers expect from you. Keep your profile visible to all and stop using “True Twit” to make it harder for people to follow you. Start doing more live interacting, or even scheduled interacting, without depending so much on free automated programs that leave their footprints.
If you make a few or all of these changes, you should see more people start to follow you. If you tweet content that interests them, the followers you already have will probably stay with you. If you make these changes, I would see no reason not to follow you on Twitter.
Do you need more help? Try one of these highly reviewed books. Yes, I checked the authors’ Twitter profiles before recommending these. I eliminated two books because I had more followers than their authors. I’ve also read Tweep-e-licious and found it a valuable resource.
Twitter for Writers: The Author’s Guide to Tweeting Success (Writer’s Craft Book 8)Tweep-E-Licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically
Do you have any Twitter tips you’d like to share?