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New Year, New Rules 1: The Fellowship of the Tweet
I’ve been trying for a while to put into words my Twitter philosophy. It’s hard to explain when, where, why, or how I decided to follow someone. But I came across this article by Mitch Joel of Twist Image which lists most of the reasons I wouldn’t follow someone. Here’s a part of the story as quoted from Mitch’s article:
The type of people I will never follow on Twitter…
- No bio. If you can’t even bother to write 140 characters about who you are and why anyone should connect with you, then ask yourself, “why would anyone follow me?”
- No picture. This is baseline stuff. It’s an online social network. I’d like to know that I’m connecting to a fellow human being and I’d like to know what you look like.
- Not in the same language(s) I speak. While I can appreciate that you are competent in English and interested in following me, I simply don’t have the skills to follow someone who tweets in a language I don’t speak.
- Playahz. Anyone who changes their “s” to a “z” doesn’t get followed. I’ve seen bios like: “followz me for the goodz.” And all I can think is, “ummm… no.” I get that it’s friendly and fun… it’s just not my style.
- MLM. I’m sure there are many happy Multi-Level Marketers who see the Internet and Twitter as an amazing business opportunity. More power to you, but it’s simply not an area of interest to me and the majority of tweets are self-serving.
- Get rich quick. From helping someone get more followers to making millions online, I’m simply not interested in these types of tweets.
- Life coach. Tweets filled with inspirational quotes and peppered with “buy my system” messages are real turn-offs. While I value those who work in professional development, the majority of life coaches I come across on Twitter are pretty snake-oil salespeople-like.
- Motivating women to be their best. I’m all about equality. Period. From race and gender to sexual preference, but I’m not interested in tweets to empower women… though I am sure that there are many women who will be. I just don’t happen to be one of them.
- I’m a nice person. If you have to say – right off the bat – in your bio that you’re a nice person, that’s a personal red flag. I’m sure you are very nice, but use the limited space to tell me what you’re about and what you’re up to. It’s like a business saying they have “integrity.” If you have to say it, you usually don’t have it.
- If you follow me, I will follow you back. I see this more and more in bios on Twitter. That’s a turn-off. I want to follow people of quality not quantity. I’m not looking for more followers or to follow more people. I’m looking for quality people to connect to. Not number jumpers.
- Social Media Guru. So much has been written about the “Social Media Guru.” I’m fine following people who have self-anointed themselves like this. That being said, I won’t follow any guru, expert or specialist who only has 40 followers. If you’re an expert (in whatever industry you serve), you should have more people interested in what you have to say… especially if what you have to say is about how to engage people using Social Media.
- Realtors. No offense to the realtors of this world, but the majority of them are just leveraging Twitter to post their listings or scour for more opportunities. If that’s working for you, then great. I’m not looking to buy a home or a commercial property. There are also a slew of realtors who are interesting and use Twitter to connect in a more human way to the mass populous (those folks are great and should be followed!).
- If you don’t follow anyone back. If you don’t follow anyone back (we see this with a lot of celebrities and television personalities), it’s hard for me to be interested in following you. The message I’m hearing is, “this is a one-way broadcast” and I’m not interested in any interaction. As with everything, there are exceptions to this, but if you’re on Twitter, it would be wise to look at it as something more than another blow horn.
While this explains how I feel for the most part, there’s more to it for me. I’m a consummate researcher. I want to know if the person whom I’m following is going to tweet junk all day and clog my Twitter stream or if it’s someone worth connecting with. I, like many of you, want to make new friends and share the trials of parenthood or entrepreneurialship or driving behind the really slow person. So I’m adding to the rules!
I will not follow you if:
- You only tweet links of stories. Whether you’ve written or read them, I am not going to follow someone who won’t be bothered to interact with me. Which brings me to the next rule:
- You don’t interact with anyone else. As I said, I like to do my research. Twitter has a great feature where if you are looking at your followers and you click on a name, it will show the last 3 tweets for that person. If you haven’t interacted with anyone (replied to a tweet or retweeted) in the last 3 tweets, I probably won’t follow you. But I like to research, so I most likely will click on the “more tweets from” link to make sure I’m not missing anything. I want to give you a chance.
- You have a low follower to following ratio. If you are following the maximum 2,001 tweople and you have 36 followers, it ain’t happnin!
- You are following and being followed by an insane amount of people. Obviously, if you are following 20k+ tweople and are being followed back by just as many, you won’t be interested in anything I have to say and vice versa. You can’t have any meaningful conversation like that.
- You retweet horrible things. I don’t watch the news for a reason. I am not interested in hearing about horrific things that should have never happened but they are only talking about to get viewers. That means if you tweet a lot of that crap, I’m not following.
- You unfollowed me. I mean…c’mon! If you follow me and then unfollow me the second I follow you back, I will know. I’ve got resources. I get alerted when these things happen. Plus, every once in a while I do a good Twitter housecleaning.
- You never tweet. That’s just…well…dumb.
Well, that’s my take on it. Follow or don’t.
PS. I follow Ellen and she follows me back!!! HA!!!
PS.PS. I forgot to mention Kids Belts!