My View on SEO Industry

Want me to follow you on twitter?…10 Reasons I Won’t !

Posted by INRA on September 3, 2009


2755v2-max-150x150[1] Hello Friends, Today I will let you all know why you are getting failed in twitter…You are too active, yet you are not getting followers…Why? Just go on and revise your twitter tactics…and bang on…


Let me begin with an example…You have been to too many parties….hosted by that one close friend, and populated with the best of your mutual circle of friends. The atmosphere is almost carbonated with excitement; the guests’ personalities flawlessly compliment each other; and the conversations that around are infused with intelligence, caustic wit, and a wide variety of knowledge that ensures the complete absence of any pregnant, awkward pauses. Then, it happens: someone appears who just doesn’t…fit. Am I right? No! then your visit seems to be over..You can check more great articles by our fellow bloggers…If Yes, Go On…

Yes! that’s exactly what is happening with twitter…

You’re having conversations with your established Twitter friends, you’re broadcasting useful information, news, or links to your followers, and you’re “engaging your Tribe,” etc., when suddenly, someone begins following you who, much like that previously referenced party guest, just doesn’t fit. This is the person whose follow on Twitter you simply cannot bring yourself to return.

This is the known as follow fail attempt on twitter.

Run any number of searches on Google and you will arrive at a veritable host of articles offering endless lists of tips on “how to get more followers on Twitter.” What you will not find are lists compiled by Twitter users regarding the major reasons why they will or will not return a Twitter follower’s follow when it happens, so here’s my gift to you: “Want me to follow you on twitter?…10 Reasons *I* Won’t !.”

1. Gosh!, you are not using user avatar


…or your user avatar is neither a personalized photograph nor reflective of a brand.

More important than whether or not your Twitter profile background is “designed” is how you choose to present yourself in that seemingly insignificant 48×48 pixel square. If that square is empty, impersonal, or otherwise lacking any qualities that will immediately allow me to visually associate it with you, my immediate response would be “Who the F**k is that”. If I am going to build a Twitter relationship with you, I want to see you, or your brand.

2. You list no location, no website, or no bio

Clearly, Twitter is all about brevity. So how difficult is it to provide a few additional characters of information that may offer potential followers more impetus to follow you in return?

These fields take two seconds to populate; it would behoove you to take those two seconds to populate them.

3. Your “website” listed is a MySpace profile

…or, far worse, an AngelFire “page.”

I’ll admit it: I had a MySpace profile…until I deleted it when it became obvious that only teenagers and musicians were still using it. If the Twitter user in question happens to be an actual teenager, or musician whose MySpace presence truly works for them, then fine. But I tend to pass over those users whose proffered web presence is, well, clearly doing it wrong.

It doesn’t take much these days to establish a web presence that seems genuine and thoughtful, and appears to intend to attract and build an online community based on the content it provides. so go on have your online presence, rather then just a profile.

4. You’re following over 1,000 users, have 20 followers, and no updates


…or, worse, one update that includes a shamefully ill-constructed mention of Jason Calacanis.

Who, aside from those running Twitter apps that automatically follow and unfollow followers, would add these Twitter users? While I may every so often and uncharacteristically give these users a chance, simply to see what sort of content, if any, they may eventually provide, the gratuitous mention of any higher-profile Twitterer or web-famous personality means little more to me than that you were properly able to spell “Calacanis” or “Kawasaki.”

5. Your profile features any variation of “Internet expert”

…or “social media expert” and you have very few and/or insubstantial updates.

While I generally loathe any mention of the word “expert” in a Twitter bio, it is particularly egregious when paired with a Twitter stream of only five updates, or one with a plethora of updates that make me question your “expert” status. You’re an “expert” who is only now tweeting about a Twitter app that everyone else was tweeting about two months ago? How awesome for you! #and you want me to follow you on that? Huh! Jerk…

6. Your updates clearly indicate that your Twitter activity is always, only, about pushing your own service/product

So, you have decided to use Twitter as an online marketing tool in order to sell your amazing service and/or product, and you make this glaringly obvious. I find this fabulous, because not only must this tactic be working for you, but it also allows me to immediately decide whether or not I want to follow you in return.

Since I do not use Twitter in this manner, I rarely follow any of these users in return, unless said product or service genuinely piques my interest/desire to support it.

7. Your following and my return follow result in a poorly-constructed auto-DM reading, “Thx for the follow! How can I help you get to a 4-Hour Work Week?”

I’ve several Twitter friends who employ the automatic direct message tool upon any new follows, but their messages are carefully crafted and, well, thoughtful, and go far beyond the garden variety “click my junk” automatic direct message. As I am an intelligent, savvy, thinking Twitter user, I am more than capable of reading all about how you can help me get to a 4-hour work week by consulting your Twitter stream, Twitter background, or website. An impersonal automatic direct message from you along these lines does not impress me, it insults my intelligence.

8. Your most recent updates make references to any need to achieve “more Twitter followers”

…or “enough new followers to reach 10,000 followers by midnight!”

For me, Twitter is not a shallow popularity contest, it is about forging interesting connections and conversations with other people. My Twitter followers are far more to me than a simple follower count: they are friends, they are colleagues, they are collaborators, they are peers, and they are sources. To follow someone in return whose only intent is clearly to acquire more followers would be to devalue the esteem with which I hold my other followers.

9. Your Twitter stream indicates a propensity for consistent arguing

…with your followers/random Twitter users/really anyone.

I am all for intelligent debate on any topic, and I’ve been lucky so far in meeting Twitter followers who are still able to politely debate about a variety of passionate topics without constant and vitriolic argumentation. If your Twitter stream is filled with nothing but mean-spirited opinions and argumentation that only advance your own beliefs and allow no consideration of others’ views, then my Twitter stream is definitely not for you. Got That…

10. You do not engage your Twitter followers

Probably the most important reason why I will not return your follow, though, is if it is glaringly obvious that you do not engage your Twitter followers. Here I suppose I need to make a distinction between those Twitter users who use Twitter to broadcast their content, as opposed to everyone else; these broadcasters, in my experience, are generally the ones who are followed, not those who are following.

Obviously, engaging their followers is not a priority. Twitter is a major platform in social networking and social media, and they aren’t called “social” networking and “social” media for nothing. There are other people out there, and if you are not engaging or interacting with those users who take the time to follow you for whatever reason, that is a huge follow fail in my book.

Ok Let’s summarize….

but before that, let me tell you that my reasons are definitely personal and therefore biased, but it is a start toward exploring the differences between a successful Twitter follow attempt and an outright follow fail attempt . In the end, I think there are really only three tenets that should be followed should you desire to build a successful and quality Twitter network:

1. Present a cohesive personal brand, or, if presenting a brand is too much for you, simply present a cohesive sense of yourself.

2. Always be consistent in your use of Twitter, i.e., become known for the unique ways in which you use Twitter, and stick with what works for you.

3. Engage with your network. Genuine engagement with your network of followers will ultimately ensure that your contact detail is retained, and not “lost,” at the end of that fabulous party, and it will ensure that you don’t (too often) commit any serious follow fail attempts.

Want me to check your twitter account…just let me know your twitter profile and if you are lucky enough, you’ll get my follow…

Time for me to pen down now…happy Tweeting…..Oops…Happy reading…see you soon…


27 Responses to “Want me to follow you on twitter?…10 Reasons I Won’t !”

  1. @miridunn said

    I can’t stand the shout outs that everyone repeats to each other, all day, with no conversation! These people should be using an instanrt messenger. Every so often I post a little reminder to folks, also, to CLEAN UP YOUR PROFILE! If it is full of shout outs and one way conversations — or mindless RT;s — I’m out! I won’t follow someone with any of, or combinations of, the following in a BIO: Guru, expert, sales, Jesus, assist, inspirational, teeth, marketing, Social Media, or Glenn Beck!

  2. David said

    Great article! Thought I saw this article before somewhere else but whatever. I think it’s pretty right on. Most of those (not all) are MY reasons for not following someone too but others I really don’t care.

  3. Sandy said

    An excellent article! I completely agree with the auto DM message. Usually if I receive an auto DM, I instantly go to their profile, and if they can not capture me within their last 5 tweets, they are unfollowed.

    Another thing I think deserves mentioning in this list is people who have nothing but @ replies. I look at some people’s feed and can’t find a single message they actually posted, all they do is reply to others. This isn’t worth me following as I am rarely, if ever, in the know as to what their convos are about.

    A second thing worth mentioning is people who repeat the same 5-10 messages 5-10x a day, I assume through some auto poster. If every time I see your name it is the same link I saw the last 2 times, I am not usually interested. Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly times when a report of a tweet of link is warranted. Different users are on at different times a day, so you may want to report something important, noteworthy, etc for later viewers. But I doubt there is a legitimate time when you would have to repost 5-10 different messages over and over.

    Thanks for the article!

  4. xnera said

    Great post! This is what I do, too, though I go even a step further and block accounts that fit this criteria.

    When I joined Twitter, there wasn’t such a big marketing presence on there. It was me, my friends, some news sources, and a few big names. Now it feels like it’s all about marketing and celebrities. Bleh. I still find a lot of value in the site, otherwise I still wouldn’t be using it. But it’s very, very annoying when I get new “followers” every day. Even when I’ve taken month-long breaks from tweeting, I still get new “followers”. Drives me CRAZY!

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  6. […] This post was Twitted by RoyHP […]

  7. […] This post was Twitted by AnneDanmark […]

  8. […] Want me to follow you on twitter?…10 Reasons I Won’t ! « SEO-INRA&am… a few seconds ago from Posterous […]

  9. SeoNext said

    great post….if users keep these things in mind, they will never get follow fail..

  10. mgciis said

    hi buddy…..ur study regarding twitter followers was really very amzing …these facts were really unknown to me..Visit

  11. Great Article! :~)
    I’m adding this link
    to my article titled
    Understanding Twitter.

    I’m also retweeting
    this from my Twitter
    friend Anthony Stevens.

  12. Pooja said


    This article has updated my knowledge about twitter usage a lot…I was pretty upset about the unwanted tweets of few of my followers but now I know what to do…
    Thanks for sharing such info…
    Keep posting..Gud luck for your future posts…

  13. Hi nice info before.. can you tell me more about it?


  14. […] This post was Twitted by JorgeCollazo […]

  15. I love this list. I too quit following folks who do not bother to put up a profile picture. I tweeted this post. thanks

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  22. Karl said

    This is a good post and certainly covers some valid points.

    Thanks for sharing,


  23. Hey, this is a great post, very well thought out a and well written.

  24. That’s the exact same views and thoughts I have (and do) when somebody new is following me.

    If I decide to follow somebody back and they auto-DM me, I very often unfollow pretty much instantly. Only if they don’t include a link in their DM, I might keep them. Otherwise, they can go spam somebody else.

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    A definite great read..Jim Bean

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