I’ve been asked today why I didn’t follow a person back. Everybody on Twitter has their own way of doing things, and while I wouldn’t consider the way I do it “policy” for the site, I definitely have some habits. I’m just posting this to give you an idea what those are.
On Twitter, my biggest concern is engagement: I want to build an audience of people who comment back, RT, ask questions, whatever. Its the thing about Twitter that I’ve never gotten out of blogging and its important to me. My second concern in terms of following is spam accounts, and it is because of both of these two things that I follow or don’t follow people. So in an attempt to avoid the bots and get the most-likely active users, I generally only follow people who:
- Identify where they’re from. In particular, I follow people from Rochester and Monroe County as a first choice because Rochester is my chosen audience. That’s not to say I won’t follow someone from somewhere else. But really: why would someone from Dubai care what I’m posting about #roc ?
- Have an avatar. I don’t care if its your company logo or a picture of you. Just something that says this isn’t just an afterthought account. Duck face avatars, however, may be denied on grounds of taste….
- Have a bio. Strange but true, lots of people don’t bother with bios. And others use them to load ’em up with spammy hash tags. Again: if you’re selling bath salts and want to put that in the bio, awesome! Welcome aboard. But blank bios or spammy bios will not get you followed.
- Have posted something in the last three months. Lots of people are lurkers, and lurkers are cool. But if you don’t post, there’s not much point in my following you.
Between not wanting to encourage spammers, not wanting to hit my limit of follows and wanting to engage active users, I realize that I’m probably not following back everyone who deserves it. But we all have our motivations for being on Twitter, and the responsiveness I’ve gotten out of my audience is absolutely second to none. Any website would drool over the clicks-over-impressions ratio that I get on a daily basis from you all. So, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. And if you want a follow-back, fix up that account info and get in the game!