10. Your updates are protected.
The instant I see someone whose updates are protected, I just close the browser. If you’re looking for privacy, you came to the wrong place.
Sooner or later you’re going to say something interesting (I hope) and I’m going to want to retweet it. Then I have to stop and worry – was this protected? Did they mean for this to be public? Should I ask permission before I retweet it? Screw it – it’s not worth the hassle.
9. I looked at your tweets, and you’re not interacting with anybody.
None of your links are replies – they’re all just loudmouthed shouts out into the unknown. “I had a great day! I’m in a really long line at the bank. I love my job. I sure like those Mets.”
Just because Twitter asks “What are you doing?” doesn’t mean every one of your tweets has to start with the letter I. Here’s how to break out of your rut: start by retweeting some of your friends’ more interesting posts, and then – take a deep breath – actually reply to people.
Even though they’re not directly talking to you, you can still talk to them. If someone asks for help, you should – brace yourself – actually help them. No, not try to sell them something, but help them solve a problem. NO, not solve a problem by using your product, just solve the problem!
8. Your tweets are all links.
I’m not even going to click on ‘em to find out if they’re to your own site or not. I have a hunch that you’re advertising something, and all you do is yell about your product all day long. Every now and then you throw in links to funny videos or news stories thinking that makes up for the spam. It doesn’t. Just because @BarackObama gets away with it doesn’t mean you can. (And no, I don’t follow him either.)
You know That Person who constantly forwards funny jokes and videos to all their friends? The one who instantly makes you groan when you see their name in your in-box because you know it’s a waste of time? You’re like That Person 2.0.
7. You have “social media expert” or “marketing” on your bio.
I even WORKED in a corporate marketing department and I can’t stand most marketing people on Twitter because so many of ‘em are doing it wrong. Their profile is chock full of meaningless keywords, claiming that they’re famous for being…famous, and not really doing anything other than pumping up follower counts.
In fact, if you’re a marketing person and you’re wondering why I’m not following you, this one book will sum up the answers for you: The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business by Tara Hunt (@MissRogue).
I reviewed The Whuffie Factor here on the blog, and gave it two strong thumbs up.
6. You’re offering me a chance to win if I follow you.
Giving stuff away costs money. So why are you so willing to pay money to get followers?
Imagine if you were walking down the street and you saw somebody yelling, “I’ll enter you in a sweepstakes to win $50 if you come talk to me! C’mon over! Two entries if you tell your friends too!” You’d cross the street just to avoid talking to them, because you know they’re a creep. But somehow, people think it’s okay because it’s new on Twitter.
You might be new to Twitter and think it’s fun and games, but I’ve been here since 2007, and it’s a thin layer of bacon disguising a pile of spam.
5. You haven’t tweeted in weeks, or you haven’t tweeted yet.
I totally understand that some people are here to listen, not to talk. I salute you. I take that exact same approach with a lot of the web sites I read – I never make a comment. They’re just fun for me to read. Twitter might be that same thing for you, and that’s cool. Just don’t take it personally if people don’t follow you back. It’s not that you’re not a great person, but Twitter doesn’t have good tools yet to manage a whole lot of friends & followers. To keep things easy, some people (like me) take the approach of keeping the numbers small and manageable.
Rest assured that if you do start tweeting and you mention my name in a tweet, I’ll get it, and I’ll respond. Twitter does have some good search tools that help power users with that kind of thing. It just gets overwhelming if I get notified of every single thing you say.
4. Your profile doesn’t have the Holy Trinity: a bio, a location and a link.
If I can’t tell who you are, I’m not following you. You’re hiding something.
Locations like “Right Behind You” show me that you have a sense of humor, and that’s a good thing. Locations like “The United States” tell me that you have no sense of humor and no sense of geography, and that’s a bad thing.
If you don’t have a blog, that’s okay, but at least link to something that will tell me more about you – a profile on a site somewhere, your company’s site, your Flickr account, your favorite bar, something that will show me you’re a real human being.
3. Your profile has a company name & photo, but no personality.
I will follow company accounts when they’ve got awesome personalities, like @ThinkGeek, but you’d better show that awesome personality in the very first page of tweets when I click on your name.
For an example of bland, boring press release tweets, see @GlobalKnowledge. (And they serve as a bad example for several of these rules, come to think of it.)
2. You’re following over 1,000 people.
Come on, be for real. You’re not having meaningful conversations with 1,000 people at once. You’re just eavesdropping in a room full of strangers. I’m following almost 500 people, and I’m already getting nervous because it’s about time to start pruning.
If you’re doing absolutely everything else perfectly, I’ll let you slide on this one. (I’m talkin’ to you, @ThinkGeek.)
Notice that I didn’t say there’s over 1,000 people following YOU – there’s nothing wrong with that. Some people are just really interesting.
And Reason #1 Why I’m Not Following You On Twitter:
The teenage girl in your profile photo doesn’t have enough clothes on.
Want more Twitter tips?
- My Simple Twitter Book – free download for a limited time!
- Top 10 Reasons I *AM* Following You on Twitter
- How to Add More Info to Your Twitter Profile
- Twitter RT, OH, Hash Tags & More – My FAQ
- And of course, follow me – I’m @BrentO on Twitter.
More of My Twitter Articles
- Top 10 Reasons I’m Not Following You On Twitter – wondering why nobody’s following you back?
- Top 10 Reasons I *AM* Following You – how I pick who gets past my virtual bouncer.
- Twitter T-Shirts and Coffee Cups – you can get Twitter shirts with the fail whale, or get your own Twitter profile on a shirt.
- Twitter RT, OH, HT: The Slang Explained – I talk about what these cryptic terms mean and how to use them correctly.
- Twitter Client Demo Video – I show you TweetDeck, Seesmic Desktop and Orsiso, three different Twitter clients.
- How to Make a Bigger Twitter Profile – when people glance at your Twitter profile, they make a snap decision about whether to follow you. Give them the information they need to make a good decision.
- Browse All Posts Tagged “Twitter”
- How To Start a Blog – decide why you’re blogging, because that’ll affect the type of blog you start and how you build it.
- Browse All Posts Tagged “Blogging”
Want More Blogging & Twitter Tips? Follow me on Twitter. I tweet whenever I post a new blog entry, so you’ll always know when I’ve got new stuff. See you online!