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Twelve Ways To Scare Away Twitter Followers



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?

**Today's Theme Song**
"I Will Follow You Into the Dark" - Death Cab for Cutie
(player in sidebar, take a listen)



How to Win Followers and Influence People

Happy Crowd

Photo via Ben Stanfield

I love blogging. I love my followers. And I'm a total comment whore. Therefore, I feel very fortunate that I have you guys as part of my day. I never expected when I started this that I would discover so many great people and have such a great experience. I honestly was surprised when I hit my first ten followers. Like, really? Ten people want to read what I have to say? I would have never guessed that a few months later I would have eclipsed the 150 mark. So thanks!
I used to look at people who had over a hundred followers with amazement--like wow, how'd they do that? Well, now I realize it's no big mystery. So today I figured I would list some of the things you can do if you want to gain readership and comments. Some of these are obvious, but I wanted to cover all the bases:
1. If you want to be followed, follow.
--If you're just starting blogging, this is the best way to gain followers. Go find blogs you like and follow them. Many will return the favor.
--Once you start gaining momentum and those follower numbers increase, then the scale starts to tip and people begin following you first. So don't be a diva, go check their blog out and if you like it, follow them back.
2. Comment!
--I ♥ comments. The fact that someone took those few seconds to tell me what they thought makes me happy. So I try to provide the same for others. If all you do is lurk on blogs, you probably won't get many comments of your own (unless you're famous, already published, have already developed a base, or have some established platform.)
3. When people comment on your blog, try to respond to the comments.
--I try to do this most days--sometimes I run out of time. But in the comments section, I try to respond to each comment. That way it feels more like a conversation. And many people subscribe to comments via email or check back on blogs later--make sure you let them know you heard them.
--Some people also respond to comments individually via email instead of in the comments section. That is also effective, especially if you start getting loads of comments.
--Of course, we wouldn't have to do it in these tedious ways if BLOGGER WOULD GET FREAKING THREADED COMMENTS! Okay, I feel better. Maybe I'll start a petition.
4. Make sure that when people click on your name from a comment you leave that it leads to either your blogger profile or directly to your blog.
--I try to comment on every blog that left me a comment each day, so if I don't have that link in the comment email, I'm probably not going to hunt it down.
5. Ensure your google friend/follower button also links to your profile or website.
--Lately, I have been getting new followers, who, when I click on their little picture it just shows me who they follow, but doesn't list their website. So for those of you out there, if I'm not following you back, that may be why--I don't know how to find your website.
--To check this, go click on your follower picture on someone else's site. If it's not showing, change your settings.
6. Having multiple blogs can make it confusing.
--When I click on someone's profile and they have four blogs, I'm not sure which one is most related to writing or whatever our common ground is. I'm probably not going to check each one. And this will divide up your followers.
--So, if you have multiple blogs, I would suggest making the title clear enough that people can figure out the subject of the blog.
--Also, you can hide certain blogs from your profile if you want to funnel people to one instead of the other. For instance, I have a blog for my son, but it's for my family, so I don't list it in my profile.
7. Keep a regular blogging schedule.
--If you only post once a month, people will probably not remember to come back.
--It's okay not to post every day, just make sure you follow some pattern that people can expect. For instance, I blog M-F, occasionally I'll throw something in on the weekends, but that's rare. So you guys know that every day of the workweek, I'll have something new on here. (If not, someone send out a search party, I've been kidnapped.)
8. Write blogs that people care about.
--Remember, this is only if you want to gain followers/comments/etc. If the blog is just your outlet and you don't care if people are reading or not, then it's fine to do whatever you want.
--However, if you do want people reading, don't just have nonsense posts all the time. Figure out what commodity you are offering the reader--why would they want to come back?
--I've chosen a teaching/information sharing model. So if you come here (most days) I hope you are able to take away a little nugget of helpful information. For other blogs the takeaway may be humor or shared experiences or an ongoing story or book recommendations or contests.
9. Beware big blocks of text and posting large writing samples.
--I have to watch for this because my posts are long. So I try to break things into bullet points or lists or isolate different sections in a different color.
--Also, this is just my opinion, but huge passages of your fiction writing can also scare people away. Not because of the writing, but when someone follows 100 blogs and they hit a big story excerpt that
a)they have to read without knowing context and
b) have to comment on--which is precarious because it's like critting someone's work, they may just click by.
(However, if this is the purpose of your blog and what people expect, like public query slushpile, than that's okay. Your followers have signed up for that.)
10. Ask a question at the end of each post.
Involve your readers, make it easy for them to comment. A question gives them something to ponder and share.
11. Practice good karma
Link to other bloggers when you find something helpful on their blog. Honor others with those pat on the back awards.
12. Be sincere.
If you're only mission is to get as many comments as you can, so you go and comment "great post" on everyone's blog without reading them, people will realize what you're doing.
13. Technical stuff
Get rid of that little word verification box that people have to fill out to make a comment.
--Man I hate those. I can't tell you how many times I type of my comment, hit publish, then close the window, only to realize that a verification box had popped up and I just lost my comment.
--This is the standard setting on blogger, so if you want to change it, you need to do it in your settings under "comments", choose no for word verification.
I changed mine ages ago and have had no problems with spam.
Remove the comment approval/moderation feature unless you have a specific issue with ugly commenters.
--This makes it confusing sometimes because it looks like your commetn didn't post. Plus it often prevents commenters from seeing the previous comments so they can't respond to those.
Embed your comment form instead of having it have a pop up window, this makes commenting quicker.
--Go to Settings-->comments-->select the embed comment form feature
Alright, those are my tips. What are yours? Or what are your pet peeves that turn you away from a blog or commenting? What makes you return to a blog time and time again?
**Today's Theme Song**
"I Will Follow Him"-- Sister Act Soundtrack

(player in sidebar, take a listen)