Let’s face it. The majority of Twitter users are not 18-24 year olds anymore. We’re older, we’re professionals. The age group that holds the majority according to Hitwise last year is between 35 and 44 years old. I am happy to say I still fall within that category, barely. Hitwise goes on to surmise that 12.3% of us may even drive a Prius. If we’re no longer teenagers and we’re smart enough to buy smart cars (well some of us), why is it still so darn hard for us to have a simple conversation? My theory is that some people just flat out don’t understand social dynamics. It’s the same person you get stuck talking to (or not talking to) at a cocktail party until you can find an excuse to slip away.
1. The Conversation Hog : Don’t clog up your followers stream of updates with 10 back to back updates of your own. Always remember the little guy. You know, the guy with a handful of people he’s following. You’re taking up his whole timeline. That’s a sure way to lose a new follower who may grow to become one of your biggest fans. It ticks off the rest of the Twitter universe too. If you are having a back and forth discussion with a fellow tweet then get a room. I mean DM them. If you’ve just got a lot of things you want to tweet about, use a tool like Tweet later or Hootsuite to schedule your tweets for different times during the day.
2. The Compulsive Quoter: If ALL your tweets are quotes from famous and not so famous people, you obviously have no original thoughts of your own. I don’t need inspirational anecdotes from Maya Angelou and Abraham Lincoln. What are YOU thinking, doing, reading, changing, questioning, today? “ How will future generations learn of the great thinkers and orators of today when we are compelled to rely on the words of others?” Deborah Smith. And, you can quote me if you feel the need.
3. The Suck up: Yes, it’s great to recommend people to follow from time to time. But, if ALL you do or most of what you do is promote other people in your tweets, how will I ever get to know you? And, recommends get pretty watered down and meaningless when all you do is arbitrarily spit them out. Eventually, your tweets go completely ignored or the follower will unfollow out of irritation.
4. The Self Talker: If all you do is post links and never engage with your followers, you are on a one way street to lonely ville. It may work for Guy Kawasaki and his ghost writers, but it is not going to work for the average joe. Even if you are offering up some really great links and information, you lack personality. There is no one behind the avatar. Followers like to feel they matter and that they can interject with the chance of a response. Pushing your tweets down the one way pipeline gets old fast.
5. The Anal Tweeter: They’re the one’s who take the question “What are you doing?” way too seriously. “just took dog for a walk” “doing laundry” “going out to dinner.” Ahhhh, who cares? If you are going to tweet about mundane everyday chores, make them interesting and entertaining. “About to climb Mount Laundry, if I’m not back by dusk alert the authorities.” This type of tw
eet puts a new spin on a very mundane topic and gets replies.
6. The Perpetual Salesman: If every tweet is a buy my product, read my blog, take a look at this affiliate’s product, you are committing the cardinal sin of social media and you will be unfollowed. Social Media is all about giving before getting. Offer advice, ask questions, participate in the conversations of others. Establish yourself as an expert and your product will sell itself.
7. The Insincere “Thank You for Following” Dude. Don’t you just love those automated thank you emails, especially the ones that contain links like “check out my blog” “please look at my website” or “I found you with this product, click here?” Haven’t you read any of the feedback on the automated emails, Dude? People hate them. Where have you been? I don’t expect a message from every person I follow and I’m sure my followers don’t expect one from me. On occasion, if I have something sincere to say, I will send a personal “Thank You for following” message.
And lastly, my bonus tip to guarantee that you won’t get followed in the first place. Leave your bio blank and don’t include any links to your blog or website. Keep potential followers completely in the dark about who you are and what you do. It’s proven very successful in keeping followers at bay.