When I first started with Twitter I followed anyone who followed me. I figured I would just be cordial and automatically return the favor and follow back. Then I learned - huge mistake!
To try and prevent the spread of twitter-bots and SPAMers, Twitter established a limit where an account may not Follow more than 2,000 people until that account has 2,000 Followers. Thus, I could not follow more people back until I reached that 2,000-followers mark myself. I realized I had to get picky about who I followed.
I thought my tips on whom I choose to follow might be useful for others and be helpful in weeding out those annoying bots and spammers. Trust me, they don’t “know who they are” because many aren’t real tweeple.)
Anyway, here’s a list of my standard filters on whom I will NOT follow back (and, if I do accidentally I’ll fix it):
- There’s no profile pic. It’s like they’re giving us egg in our face. In the previous Twitter version it was like they were giving us the “bird.”
- There IS a profile pic and they are giving us the “bird.” (Really? And they want followers?)
- There IS a profile pic and they’re flashing armpit hair while, quite brazenly, thinking we are checking out their abs. (I assure you I am not.)
- The profile pic is of someone who, quite obviously, isn’t of themself. (Twitter isn’t a costume party and they’re not that hot in real life.)
- The profile pic is eerily similar to (or an exact duplicate of) dozens of other bots I’ve seen. (How about some originality dufus-bot?)
- There’s no Bio about who they are or their interests. (Are they Secret Spies for MI6 or something? Details please.)
- There’s a non-descriptive Twitter handle like @bootyspleen (WTH?)
- There’s a too-descriptive Twitter handle like @bootyspleen_xxx (just say no!)
- There’s a Company Twitter account with zero personalty behind the corporate tweets. I want to engage, not be a recipient of constant PR, ads, MLM, +1 This or Like That, Vote for Me, Check out our videos! or pushy sales blather.
- They are from Nigeria and they need our help to move millions of $$$. (Go bark up someone else’s Twitter stream please.)
- They have an endless stream of tweets that obnoxiously twitter about:
Join the greatest MLM money-making, get-rich-quick, questionable business, work from home pyramid scheme.
YOUR CAPS LOCK KEY IS STUCK (IT MAKES YOUR TWEETS REALLY LOUD)
Anything mentioning the Donald Trump network (or his orchestra.)
Affiliate Marketing is making you xxxxx$’s per day on Twitter. (If this is so then stop tweeting and go yachting…)
They have hot pics or we should see them on their new web cam (zzzzzzzzzzzzz)
- They endlessly tweet inspirational quotes or horiscopes. (Here’s an idea – try conversing)
- They blast their message but don’t interact with others
- They have a secret system for 1,000’s of followers a day and have like . . . 6
- They have no tweets or haven’t tweeted in a month. (Why are they here?)
- They SPAM us with a DM telling us we can learn more about them or that we should connect with them on Facebook (Twitter is like a first date. Just cause I follow you there doesn’t mean I’m ready for a Facebook relationship…)
- They ask us to Like them on Facebook. (Lesson #1 – Facebook Likes are EARNED and aren’t given just for the mere asking. Write that down.)
I’ve shared some of my successes and amazing experiences from using Twitter, both personally and professionally, in this blog post.
Here’s why I usually will follow back:
- My quick evaluation of your profile tells me you’re a real person.
- You don’t endlessly tweet inspirational quotes. (Your tweets are real, authentic and, generally, in English)
- You engage in conversation with me directly, such as mentioning me in a tweet (what a concept!) @mikewhitmore
- You share (RT) my tweets.
- You make me laugh or you tell me that I made you laugh.
- You give me a sign (a tweet, a pulse, a pic, a video) that you’re a real person.
- Or, you’re a company and I tweet about your great product or customer service and you respond back!
I’m on Twitter to engage with and meet real people. I’ve met hundreds of tweeps in person, on the phone, opened new friendships, relationships, business opportunities, more learning and enriched conversations with many. I’ve recruited using Twitter several times and I’ve also asked people I’ve met on Twitter to be speakers and panelists at conferences produced by my company.
Yes, Twitter is powerful and I like connecting with people who use it to engage. Let’s keep it real and I look forward to connecting with you real peeps out there!