“To follow by faith alone is to follow blindly.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Follow my leadphoto © 2008 Saxon | more info (via: Wylio)

Let me just say that I love Twitter. I really do. It’s a tool that has allowed me to connect with people I would never get the opportunity to meet in real life. I get so much information out of the people I follow on Twitter that sometimes it can be overwhelming. But in a good way – like the first time you visit Disney World.

That being said, it does have its drawbacks and pitfalls – especially for new users. I’ve got a few tips for those Twitter users that haven’t quite figured out the whole follow/follow back reciprocal relationship.

First of all, there is no requirement for reciprocity. Let me just get that out of the way. You don’t make any agreements by following someone, or their following you. So if someone doesn’t follow you back either deal with it or unfollow them and move on.

Now on to my criteria for those who want to be followed.

  • You must have a profile picture. I will not follow anyone whose picture is the default twitter bird or egg. Call me crazy. And just because you put a picture of a hot chick in there doesn’t mean I’ll automatically follow you. Besides the fact that I, myself, am a chick it really just insults me.
  • You must have tweeted something. And I do pay attention to the number of follows in relation to the number of tweets.  If you have 10,000 followers and 2 tweets, I’m not following you. Usually I look for at least 100 tweets before I’ll follow you – I want to make sure you are sharing something of interest to me. Which brings me to…
  • If your tweets are not of a topic of interest to me, I will not follow you.
  • I will especially not follow you if your tweets contain anything about increasing the number of twitter followers or how you increased your follower count to fifty-bazillion in just one week.
  • If your tweets are protected, I’m not going to send a follow request.
  • If all you do is tweet links, I will not follow you. I like to have some level of interaction with the people I follow. Call me crazy, but it is a social tool.
  • Same thing with quotes. If I want a quote I’ll go look them up in a book or a quote website. I don’t need my feed being filled up with a arbitrary quotes.
  • I can tell if you are a real person with real tweets or a spam-bot churning out generic crap.  Despite your ability to auto-generate random tweets that sounds sort of like a real sentence if you’re not reading very closely, I’m not stupid.
  • I prefer to see a website link. It can be to your business, blog, or even facebook page or LinkedIn profile.
  • If you have a typo in your profile summary, chances are I’m not going to follow you.
  • As well, if your profile summary includes the phrase “I follow back” then I’m not going to follow you.

On a related note, some very easy ways to get unfollowed:

  • Sending copious amounts of direct messages. We’re not that close that your comments to me can’t be posted as a reply.
  • Fill up my feed with random junk. I understand that some people use services to schedule their tweets and that’s fine.

And with that rant completed, please carry on with your business. Thanks for listening.

– Christy