10 Jan, 2013
How do you decide who to follow on Twitter ?
Posted by andrea tomkins in: The business of blogging
I think this probably happens to everyone who has an account that reaches a certain milestone, but suddenly I’m getting a whole bunch more Twitter followers than ever before. I’m not one of those people who automatically follows everyone back. I spend about 5 seconds deciding whether I will follow someone or not. This is what runs through my mind:
- Has the person posted a photo of themselves? If it’s blank I automatically assume they’re a spammer. I also prefer photos of people, not logos, or cats, because I prefer to see a friendly face. Speaking of which, I have unfollowed people with gross and/or animated photos because I can’t stand seeing them in my feed. So pick a good photo of yourself and run with it.
- What’s the twitter handle? If it’s something like SunnyDay23765 I assume it’s a spammer and don’t read on.
- Has the person filled out a bio? Some people don’t bother, so I don’t bother.
- How did they use their allotted 160 characters for their bio? The bio is make it or break it for me. And this is where I confess that I don’t often follow people in insurance/car/real estate/pyramid-type sales. I don’t want to open myself up to the hard sell. Sorry, but it’s true. If you list yourself as a salesperson first above all other things I assume it’s your priority and that you’re just out to find clients. Be creative. Be yourself. Scratch that… be the Best Creative Version of yourself. And use good keywords too. If you love cupcakes and want to connect with other cupcake lovers, say so in your bio and they will find you.
- Has the person told me where they live? I am more likely to follow someone who lives in my home town. Filling in a location can also create some work/networking/interpersonal opportunities too, so if you are the kind of person who is looking to boost your Twitter followers, it might be a good idea to reveal where you are tweeting from.
- What has the person been tweeting lately? If it’s funny, relevant, insightful, or interesting, I am more likely to follow. I am also more likely to follow if there is a good balance of “look at me” tweets and tweets about other people. I have unfollowed people who talk about themselves ad nauseum. Twitter is a conversation, and I don’t want to follow people who just talk about themselves all the time. And don’t be a jerk. Because if I see you being a jerk (to me, or to anyone one Twitter) I will never give you my business. In fact, I’ll tell people to stay away from you because you’re such a jerk. Here’s a good exercise: open your twitter feed and look at your last 5-10 tweets. Do those tweets reflect the kind of person you are?
- I am lukewarm in regards to inspirational quotes from Gandhi, Einstein, Maya Angelou, etc. but I think opinions are mixed on this one.
- Has the person interacted with me? I may not follow the account at first, but if I sense that they’re listening and interacting with me I am more likely to follow.
If you’re on Twitter I’d love to hear how you decide who to follow.
p.s. I should probably mention that I’m @missfish on Twitter eh? :)