If you run an active profile on Twitter, this happens to you several times a day.  A new follower notification comes in and there is a decisive moment.  That 5-second review where you decide whether you are going to follow them back or not.  More times than not, this is a moment of fail. It doesn’t take long to figure out whether that person is getting a follow back or not.  So many people are getting this wrong it is just painful.

Most people are selective about who they follow and pay attention to.  If you don’t have an audience, what is the point of trying to market on Twitter?

We spend alot of time talking about how to get more Twitter followers and what Twitter tools get you there.  Lets talk about what’s preventing you from getting followers and keeping them.

1.  No profile pic or obvious fake profile pic

It amazes me when I see people sporting the default Twitter egg profile pic.  It also amazes me when people are using Myspace-esque fake profile pics. Is that really you Megan Fox? Nobody is buying the story on either.  Follow FAIL.  Use an original image or graphic, its that easy.  I don’t agree that your profile pic has to be your actual personal picture.  But it does need to be something original.  Creative and attractive images are a bonus.

2.  Blank or scammy bio

Your Twitter bio is your 5 second intro to the masses of people in the Twitterverse.  If its blank, its an immediate red flag to avoid you pretty much at all cost.  If I have no idea who you are or what you do, why would I follow you?  Equally as bad is a scammy or spammy bio. This includes:  Going right for the sales pitch in your bio, keyword stuffing and blatant sexual provocation.  Easy to spot from a mile away.  Follow FAIL.

3.  Peddling damaged goods

If you are pushing the type of offers I am talking about, I doubt it matters whether people follow you or not.  But here goes anyway.  Here are a list of sketchy and offers which I call “damaged goods”:  Work from home/easy profit systems (BizOp Rebills), acai berry/ colon cleanse (Diet Rebills), government grants/unclaimed money (Grants Rebills), and magic website/niche traffic systems.  Most people who are active on Twitter are active on the internet and are wise to these scammy offers and products.  Follow FAIL.

4.  Experts and gurus

The real experts and gurus don’t have to advise you of their status.   If you really are an expert, your tweets and following will speak for itself, not your bio tag.  I could go on for days on my utter contempt for these types, but I digress.  Self proclaimed titles like:  Social Media Expert, or Online Marketing Guru make it such an easy decision.  Follow FAIL.

5.  0 Updates

You are following 900 people, have 3 followers and 0 updates.  Gee, are you working that follower bot hard enough?  Don’t get me wrong, I love Tweet Adder.  But its an add on to your Twitter marketing campaign, not the only effort you put into it.  Tweet Adder compliments a well run Twitter profile, it doesn’t replace the basics (Tweeting).  Follow FAIL.

6.  Fail Twitter Stream

A quick look at a Twitter profile’s stream.timeline will tell you a lot.  Is every Tweet pushing a product?  Are they arguing with random people?  Are they promoting an event in all caps?  Are they Tweeting links with no description?  EPIC Follow FAIL.

Obviously my list isn’t perfect, but its definitely in the ballpark.  Running a successful Twitter profile isn’t hard.  It just takes some basic effort and common sense.  If you think you are going to load up a follower bot, follow a thousand people and start spamming links to make money; you are sorely mistaken.  By nature, Twitter is a massive collection of closely nit communities and networks.  If you want to break into one of those groups, you need to do your due diligence.

What does than mean in application?

  • Fill out your profile: Bio and picture with original, non-spammy content.

  • Provide value.  Link relevant content with descriptions, answer questions, be kind.

  • Interact and engage with your network.  Twitter isn’t a 1 way conversation.