Full disclosure: I'm not the best at Twitter.
Currently, when I put personal and professional time and effort into my online efforts, I prefer the focus to be on this Blog and the Podcast of the same name. It fits more appropriately into the over-arching marketing strategy of Twist Image and - on a personal level - I love to write and speak, so these platforms and channels just "feel better." I use Twitter as a place to share smaller ideas, links and mind stuff that doesn't require more in-depth analysis. I use Twitter as a place to see what is being said about Twist Image, Six Pixels of Separation (Blog, Podcast and book), our clients and team members. I use Twitter as a place to meet new and like-minded people. I use Twitter as a place to keep tabs on friends, acquaintances and potential opportunities. You may be using Twitter for others things (and that's just fine). Personally, I'm in awe (daily) of how people like Chris Brogan, Scott Stratten and Amber Naslund leverage Twitter. It's omnipresent in their lives, and seems to be adding tremendous value to their personal and professional development.
Just because you use it a certain way, it doesn't mean that you don't see the bigger picture.
Everyone makes choices about how they use Twitter. I've been fairly transparent about how I use it (more on that here: Being A Twitter Snob Is A Good Thing, The Trouble With Twitter - Confessions Of A Twitter Snob and The Dirty Little Secret Of The Twitter Elite). I also put a lot of time and energy into seeing who I am interested in following. While some may argue that I am losing out and missing the point of Twitter, it sure doesn't feel that way to me. Each day I meet more and more interesting and diverse people... I'm simply comfortable knowing that there isn't enough time in the day to meet everybody (as much as I would like to). That being said, there are certain things on Twitter that are almost instant "no follow" for me.
The type of people I will never follow on Twitter...
- No bio. If you can't even bother to write 140 characters about who you are and why anyone should connect with you, then ask yourself, "why would anyone follow me?"
- No picture. This is baseline stuff. It's an online social network. I'd like to know that I'm connecting to a fellow human being and I'd like to know what you look like.
- Not in the same language(s) I speak. While I can appreciate that you are competent in English and interested in following me, I simply don't have the skills to follow someone who tweets in a language I don't speak.
- Playahz. Anyone who changes their "s" to a "z" doesn't get followed. I've seen bios like: "followz me for the goodz." And all I can think is, "ummm... no." I get that it's friendly and fun... it's just not my style.
- MLM. I'm sure there are many happy Multi-Level Marketers who see the Internet and Twitter as an amazing business opportunity. More power to you, but it's simply not an area of interest to me and the majority of tweets are self-serving.
- Get rich quick. From helping someone get more followers to making millions online, I'm simply not interested in these types of tweets.
- Life coach. Tweets filled with inspirational quotes and peppered with "buy my system" messages are real turn-offs. While I value those who work in professional development, the majority of life coaches I come across on Twitter are pretty snake-oil salespeople-like.
- Motivating women to be their best. I'm all about equality. Period. From race and gender to sexual preference, but I'm not interested in tweets to empower women... though I am sure that there are many women who will be. I just don't happen to be one of them.
- I'm a nice person. If you have to say - right off the bat - in your bio that you're a nice person, that's a personal red flag. I'm sure you are very nice, but use the limited space to tell me what you're about and what you're up to. It's like a business saying they have "integrity." If you have to say it, you usually don't have it.
- If you follow me, I will follow you back. I see this more and more in bios on Twitter. That's a turn-off. I want to follow people of quality not quantity. I'm not looking for more followers or to follow more people. I'm looking for quality people to connect to. Not number jumpers.
- Social Media Guru. So much has been written about the "Social Media Guru." I'm fine following people who have self-anointed themselves like this. That being said, I won't follow any guru, expert or specialist who only has 40 followers. If you're an expert (in whatever industry you serve), you should have more people interested in what you have to say... especially if what you have to say is about how to engage people using Social Media.
- Realtors. No offense to the realtors of this world, but the majority of them are just leveraging Twitter to post their listings or scour for more opportunities. If that's working for you, then great. I'm not looking to buy a home or a commercial property. There are also a slew of realtors who are interesting and use Twitter to connect in a more human way to the mass populous (those folks are great and should be followed!).
- If you don't follow anyone back. If you don't follow anyone back (we see this with a lot of celebrities and television personalities), it's hard for me to be interested in following you. The message I'm hearing is, "this is a one-way broadcast" and I'm not interested in any interaction. As with everything, there are exceptions to this, but if you're on Twitter, it would be wise to look at it as something more than another blow horn.
What are your "no follow" rules?