As I was going through my new Twitter followers this morning, viewing each profile and timeline, I started thinking about why many did not have a lot of followers. I think these types of mistakes are made by many first-time Twitter users, especially when they try to use Twitter for the same marketing and advertising they do in other channels. Here are some reasons people may not be following you on Twitter (or why it seems like you’re talking to yourself):
- Default Profile Picture – If you still have the default Twitter profile picture, change it immediately. It’s a sign that you’re a newbie and that you don’t want anyone to know who you are.
- Inappropriate Profile Picture – On the other side of the coin is having an unprofessional profile picture. If you want to be taken seriously, use a photo that your grandmother would approve.
- Fake or Misleading Name – Using a pseudonym may be ok, but it’s much more trustworthy to at least have a real first name in your profile. People want to know who you are if they’re going to follow or converse with you.
- No Bio or Description – If you don’t have a bio or description of what you do, people can’t get an idea of what you’re going to tweet about — or why they should follow you.
- No link to your website – Just about everyone has a website or a blog. If you don’t, maybe you can link to your LinkedIn profile or some other site which gives more information about you.
- Off-topic Bio or Description – Most of us have many different types of interests, but what types of things are you going to actually tweet about? Do some of the topics in your bio conflict? Try to make it targeted.
- Link to Website is Shortened – Almost everyone who puts a shortened link on their profile is trying to sell you something (or is part of a multi-level marketing scheme). Since people can’t see where the link is going, having a shortened link isn’t very trustworthy.
- No Tweets – No one is going to follow you if you haven’t said anything yet. If you’re just starting up, just say hi, so at least there’s something. It may take a few tweets for people to get a feel for what types of topics you’re going to cover.
- Selfish Posts – If everything you post is about your business, no one is going to listen to you (or follow you). Think about what your target audience wants to know about.
- No Conversation – If you are sharing good information, but never take time to have any conversations, don’t expect anyone to approach you either. Just like in person, conversations are two-way. And it’s easier to reach out to start conversations than to wait for someone to talk to you.
- No Retweets – How about sharing what other people have to say? It’s like kindergarten. If you want people to share your stuff, you have to share theirs. Retweeting what others post is a great way to “meet” people online too.
- Following More than Followers – When you’re just trying to rack up your follower numbers by following tons of people, it’s really obvious. If your following number is much higher than your followers number, it looks like you’re just playing a numbers game.
- Posting Too Often – If you post too often, that can be a turn off. How much is too often really depends on your audience. Unfortunately, there’s no magic number and what’s spammy for some of your audience may be ok for others. Do some experimentation to see what works best for your connections. Ask what people think.
- Tweets in a Foreign Language – Twitter is a global communication platform. However, if people can’t understand what you’re saying, they’re unlikely to follow you. They don’t know if what you’re saying is good or bad, and they certainly can’t talk with you. If you’re looking for an international audience, you may have to setup separate profiles for different languages (and have someone that speaks those languages).
- Sends Auto-DMs – Sending an automatic direct message every time someone follows you seems really insincere. If you’d like to welcome people, try sending a personal message. Many people have DMs go to an email or phone, so sending a message mentioning them may be better than a DM.
- Sends Mass DMs – Using Twitter to send out marketing and promotional messages to all your followers is super annoying. People are on Twitter to have conversations. Sending out some tweets promoting yourself is one thing, sending personal messages to everyone following you is just begging for them to leave as fast as they can.
- Never Responds to Mentions – If your Twitter is on auto-pilot and you never respond to anyone, people will just go elsewhere. If people are retweeting your content or trying to have conversations with you, it’s just good courtesy to respond. You may not be able to catch all of them, but try to thank people as often as you can. Appreciation goes a long way.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? What else should be on the list?
(photo by Maria Moreno)