15 May 2009

You Want Me To Follow You On Twitter?

Posted by khk

OK, easy enough… Just looking at your profile… Oh, wait a minute… What the heck… No!

Do you want to spare me that experience again? Then please read the following:

Let me explain my “rules” to follow somebody back.


  1. You are following 2000 people, and have only 9 followers. Because you are following me, I can probably assume that you are not a celebrity but somebody who’s trying to get as many followers as possible by maxing out on how many people you can follow and then just waiting to see who follows back and un-follow the others. Wash, rinse, repeat… Sorry, but you don’t get Twitter, I’d rather follow somebody who actually understands what Twitter is about. When you provide good content, you will get your followers, but that takes time. There are no shortcuts.
  2. You are following 600 people, but you have 0 updates. Sorry, but I want to see first what you will provide to the Twitter community and to me before I decide to follow you back. Let me see what you are about, then follow me, and then I might just follow you back.
  3. You are trying to sell me snake oil – even though you call it SEO, it’s still snake oil. I don’t want snake oil, I don’t need snake oil, and I just don’t want to deal with snake ail salesmen… Oh, and if somebody is actually looking for an SEO expert, take a look at this Google document (PDF). It explains everything you need to know to optimize your search engine rating. Really. That’s it. No secrets. At least not unless you are trying to cheat the system.
  4. Your update stream only contains links to your own blog. Get a room! I mean, get an RSS feed! Twitter is not a replacement for a good RSS feed, and I’d rather explore your new blog posts via my RSS aggregator than via Twitter. I don’t have a problem with you posting a link to your latest blog post on Twitter, but give me some other stuff too, engage with other Twitter users, post links to things that are not on your own blog. And if you don’t know what RSS is, please google it.
  5. All your updates are ads for your products. You don’t get social media. There is no way I will follow you. Twitter is not radio or TV. You don’t blast your ads all over the place. If you want new business, help your existing customers. The new customers will then come automatically. They won’t come because of all your ads. Trust me.
  6. You don’t have a profile picture, no bio, no link and no home town. Who are you? Unless I get a better idea about who you are, don’t expect me to become one of your followers. I want to know who I’m dealing with, just like in real life.
  7. I may actually follow you, but then you send me a DM (I guess automatically) – trying to sell me something. That gets punished by an immediate un-follow.
  8. You’ve been on Twitter for seven days and already have 1500 updates posted. That’s too much. I don’t have time to read all that. Get off Twitter every now and then. Get a life!
  9. The last time you followed me, I did not follow you back. You un-followed me because of that. Now you are following me again. What makes you think that you got so much more attractive within the last two days? And, if you do that a third time, I will block you. View khkremer’s tweet
  10. Your updates are protected. I cant even find out who you are. Don’t expect to hear from me anytime soon.
  11. Your first @reply to me is spam. By now you should know that I have a problem with that.View khkremer’s tweet

Twitter is not a game to show that you can get the most followers in the least amount of time. If you don’t understand that, you don’t understand Twitter.

There may be other reasons why I won’t follow you back, but in general, the key to win me as a follower is pretty easy:

  • Provide good content
  • Interact with others
  • Provide something interesting about yourself in your profile

If you do that, I will follow you. I promise.

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5 Responses to “You Want Me To Follow You On Twitter?”

  1. Subconsciously, I’ve been following the same rules, in a manner of speaking. At times I get a lot of blasts and most of them turn out to be follows as you described above. Kind of gets annoying to have to individually block each of them. I think twitter should make it easier by putting “check” boxes next to your followers, so you can do mass blocks in one shot. I think this would be a good piece to follow regarding the “rules of following” for twitter. I’ve often thought of adding the privacy feature so that each “follow” request has to be approved, but then I hate how that counteracts the openness of twitter… good post!



  2. Thanks for your comments. I use Topify to handle new followers. By forwarding a Topify email to their “block” email address it’s pretty straight forward to block somebody who annoys me a bit too much. Oftentimes, it’s not obvious right away that somebody is not playing by the rules, and I need that first DM to make up my mind. Topify again helps.



  3. Very cool. I may have to look into Topify at a later date. I don’t have too much of a problem on an “every day” basis as of yet. But, Topify does sound like a useful twitter tool.



  4. Karl –

    I enjoyed your rules of Twitter following. Very well said, and with a sense of humor!

    I just discovered your blog, due to your Twitter post today on muffins. I look forward to future posts.

    My best,
    Finger Lakes Travel Maven


    Carol White Llewellyn

  5. I know, good food always draws more people than other stuff… That’s why I have to mix food pictures with the more serious stuff 🙂
    Thanks for visiting, and for your comment,
    Karl Heinz