Before I begin, let me just say that I do not like reading articles written in a negative tone, especially when they are essentially telling you how to do something. However, I could not name the article 5 Ways To Guarantee you WILL Get Followed Back, because that is just not true. I am going to share my decision process wen deciding whether to follow someone back, but even if you follow my advice, it does not guarantee anything. On the other hand, if you do NOT do these steps, in most probability, people will not follow you back.
As you know, in life, it is all about first impressions. Same rule applies on Twitter. Whether you receive email notifications from Twitter or Topify letting you know that you were just followed by someone, generally speaking, you will make a decision in 30 seconds max, whether to follow back or hit Delete. So what do most people look at when making this decision. The following points are based on my personal opinion as well as many answers I got on Twitter from my followers when I asked “How do you decide whether to follow someone back?
Even though the title is 5 ways to guarantee you will NOT get followed back, I am going to list the ways to raise your chances of getting followed back. One last clarification: most of the following points are mentioned in Top 5 Steps After Joining Twitter and some of my other Twitter articles, but this is focused more on the decision process of whether to follow someone back, so here goes:
- Profile Picture: Like I said, first impressions are important in real life and on Twitter, and your profile picture is the first thing people see. It does not have to be a picture of your face, although people tend to prefer to see with whom they are communicating. If you run a corporate Twitter account, a company logo might be your best option. One thing to avoid doing is posting a picture of an attractive female with the hopes that more people will be drawn in. This is of course, unless you are an attractive female, then it is OK. I am pretty sure most of my readers would know this on their own, but just in case, posting a fake picture of some model annoys people, and equally annoys Twitter, which might eventually award you a Spammer classification. Bottom line is, I very rarely follow someone who does not have a profile picture, I guess I just do not like the default Twitter avatar. Who chose that ugly brown picture anyway?
- Tell People Who You Are: I have encountered many Twitter users and even some “experts” in the field who do not fill in a bio on their profile. Now, I am not going to say I never follow such people, because I do, after reading some of their tweets. However, this is pretty basic. You want someone to follow you? Tell them who you are. Are you a blogger? A stay at home mom? Are you a CEO of a company or a high school student? If you expect someone to click that Follow button, the least you can do is save them the time and effort needed in finding out who you are. Side point; I would highly recommend juicing up your bio a little. Find an amusing way of getting the info across. This is not a must, I just personally think it will raise the chances of someone following you if you can make them smile.
- Watch Your Tweets: This is of course a constant rule when tweeting. Everything you say is for public consumption and can be used against you (in a court of law?). However, when it comes to our topic, people like to see what the topic of your tweets are before following you. No one is saying you can not tweet the occasional random tweet, but like I have said many times, decide who you are and what you are representing on Twitter, then tweet accordingly. I know I sometimes get followed by individuals who tweet solely about real estate, and as much as I like the show Cribs, I am not a real estate kinda guy, so I generally do not follow back.
- Twitter Background: If you are using Twitter as part of your business or are trying to achieve certain goals by tweeting, I would suggest designing a custom Twitter background. If you are like me and have the artistic ability of a dead mouse, I would highly recommend using Twitter-images. They made my background and are generally very helpful and professional. Why a background? I have read many studies that prove that human beings are visual creatures. By nature, people are drawn in by attractive visuals. If you want to make sure that people are drawn in by your profile and motivated to click Follow, make your profile page as appealing as possible. To be honest, this is not something I personally look at, but then again, as my boss often tells me, I am not the standard Web user. The fact is, most people do pay attention to such things.
- Make your Top Tweet Count: This is something I have encountered many times. If you know you will not be tweeting for the next few days, and you know people will be coming across your profile during that time period, logic dictates that the last thing you say should not be “On the toilet”. To just go off topic for a second, in my opinion, contrary to what others apparently believe, the bathroom should be completely left out of the Twitterverse. There are just some things better left unsaid. In fact, rarely do I unfollow someone, unless they have really managed to annoy me somehow, but I did unfollow someone yesterday for tweeting about his bathroom endeavors. Back to our topic. When someone happens to check out your timeline, generally speaking, they want to see what you like to tweet about, so as a rule of thumb, when I go to sleep at night, I try to make sure my last tweet is on topic. This is also not a MUST, just a personal recommendation.
Just to clarify, I am not implying that followers are the most important thing on Twitter, they are not. Having said that, I do feel that the more people you communicate with on Twitter, the more you get out of it and more importantly, the more you enjoy it. There are of course many other “rules” or suggestions regarding good Twitter practices, these are just some basics. To read more about how to get a hang of this Twitter thing, check out the following articles:
- 7 Valuable Lessons Twitter Has Taught me About Life
- Top 5 Ways To Optimize Your Twitter Network
- 9 Advanced Twitter Tips
- Top 6 Ways To Benefit From Twitter
- 11 Things to Avoid When Using Twitter
- Ten Things You Must Know Before Using Twitter
- Top 5 Reasons To Tweet
As always, would love to hear your thoughts about these points so either share em in the comments below or follow me at @hilzfuld, and say hi!