Photo by Capture Queen (cc)
I heart Twitter. It took me a little while to get the hang of it, but now I'm addicted. I barely even remember that Facebook exists. I think Twitter is a far superior networking tool and makes it way easier to meet/chat with friends and promote whatever you need to promote. The power of the retweet is amazing. So, if you're not on there yet, get thee to Twitter.
However, as with anything else, there are ways to do it and ways NOT to do it. For instance, when people follow me, I like to follow them back. However, sometimes people make this exceptionally difficult to do. So please, if you are on Twitter or join up, don't do these things if you want to be followed.
Ways to Scare Away Twitter Followers
1. Protect Your Tweets
Yes, I'm sure some people have good reasons for making their Twitter stream secretive. However, if I can't see what you tweet about, I'm not following you. Sorry.
2. Promote Your Book/Program/Website/Whatever NONSTOP
OMG. So many people do this and I have no idea what they are thinking. Do not be an infomercial. It's fine to mention that you have a book releasing or pimp your blog post for the day. But when every tweet is Check out my book! Read an excerpt! Ten percent off my book! etc. you will drive people away.
3. Only Tweet Inspirational Quotes
I'm not following you to get Hallmark card vomit all day. Stop with your sunshine and rainbows!
4. Never Interact With Anyone (One-Way Tweeters)
This is equivalent to standing in the middle of a party and only announcing things about yourself and not paying attention to anyone else. Twitter is about conversation and interaction.
5. Don't Put Anything in the About You section
If I go to your site and you have NOTHING about yourself, I'm not following. I need to know what our commonality is. Are you a mom/writer/NKOTB fanatic? Who are you?
6. Don't Ever Respond to @ Messages
When people take the time to comment on something you said or retweet you, reach out and tweet that person back. You aren't Ashton Kutcher, you have time to do that.
7. DM (direct message) me right after I follow you to do #2 (no, not THAT number two, the one above)
Nothing will make me unfollow you quicker than if you send me a message right after I sign up to follow: "Hey, thanks for the follow. Check out my new book at lame website dot com."
8. Only Tweet When You Want To Promote Yourself, then Disappear
I see a lot of people do this. They've been told they "should" be on Twitter as an author. (And you should be.) But then they ONLY get on to do that promotion with a drive-by tweet. My book is releasing today! Woot! Then you don't see another tweet from them for a month.
9. Use the words "motivational", "entrepreneur", or "coach" (unless it's of a sport) in any way, shape or form to describe yourself.
All I hear with those words is "unemployed".
10. Be negative, hateful, or rude.
This one's obvious, but I see a lot of people go the negative route. They may not be rude, but they spend all their Twitter time bitching and bellyaching. It's okay sometimes, but if that's all you tweet about, it gets old fast.
11. Follow anyone and everyone just to get people to follow you back. Who can really follow the tweets of 35k people?
If someone is following super high numbers of people, it's a warning sign that they're not really engaging with anyone, probably just trying to promote.
12. Floods of lists of people to follow.
Writer Wednesday (#WW) and Follow Friday (#FF) are awesome, but it's a little much when all day you're pumping out constant lists of who to follow. We all stop paying attention after a while. And it seems like some people do this just to get followed back because oftentimes people who "mention" that you should follow me, don't even follow me themselves!
So those are the main pet peeves I could come up with. Thanks to those of you who contributed some of these when I posed the question on Twitter. What other Twitter behavior is annoying to you? What will make you not follow someone or unfollow them?