12 reasons I won't follow you back on Twitter

If you know me, you know my favorite social media platform is Twitter. Through Twitter, I have made friends across the globe and connected with new people in my own back yard. It has made my world a bit smaller and whole lot better.

Now, I'm not one of those who's obsessed with numbers. I'm a firm believer in quality over quantity. My follower numbers could be much, much higher if I followed every single person back to retain their follow. However, I want to use Twitter to connect with people and form a really solid network. I want people in my stream who enrich me in some way, people who I can learn from or grow with, people who I can engage with and who are interested in engaging with me.

That said, here's my top 12 reasons I won't follow you back on Twitter:

1. Your stream has no @mentions (i.e. you're talking at people, not with people)
2. Your tweets indicate you and I have no common ground (e.g. your stream is made up of only one topic which doesn't interest me or has no relevance in my life)
3. You are following significantly more people than are following you (i.e. you're only following people to collect the followbacks and you have no interest in really connecting with me, per se)
4. You have spammy tweets (no, I do not want to win a free Costco gift card or buy a program to get more followers)
5. You've followed me in the past to boost your numbers and then unfollowed me after I followed back (Yes, Dave, I know your M.O.)
6. You do nothing but sell
7. You tweet so much it feels like an assault that has taken my Twitter stream prisoner (i.e. 10 tweets per minute is not acceptable)
8. Your tweets are excessively frivolous and of no value (e.g. I just ate an egg, there are three steps on my porch, etc)
9. You are an unknown singer who's trying to build your follower numbers, but I have no interest in that particular music genre
10. You have a low tweet count or no tweets at all (i.e. all your effort is going into building your follower count, but you have yet to show us who you are or provide any value)
11. You tweet primarily about religion, politics, or how wonderful your child is (there's a time and a place for this and that's not how I want to use Twitter)
12. Your tweets are full of profanity

Do you follow everyone back? If not, what is your criteria?

200 comments:

  1. Amber, these are great tips....can you bring this (as well as other great tips to the Career Networking Event on Nov. 6?). Looking forward to working with you...I'll be in touch soon with more details about the event.

    Take care,
    Derek

    P.S. I hope I don't fall into one of these 12 reasons not to follow me....I'm just glad you do now....

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  2. We had an interesting discussion about Twitter etiquette at Social Media Mastermind OC #SMMOC this past Saturday. I use my "Twitter Etiquette Graph" to demonstrate the far left and far right of Twitter users-from the sales broadcasters to the engagers. I curate my stream and look for information that will be useful to me, my followers or my collegues not using social media tools. So I follow a very diverse group-including some broadcasters. And of course, I talk to the animals!

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  3. These are GREAT reasons, Amber~!! The one that made me laugh out loud? "I have 3 steps on my porch" still laughing~!! LOL
    x0x
    Anita Nelson @ModelSupplies

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  4. Love this list! :) It's been a while since I've been on twitter, b/c I've been trying to make it meaningful and I am going to come w/ my own list like this for my criteria to make it meaningful! Thanks! :) -Ellie @gotflax

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  5. I follow pretty much the same rules as you. Plus one. If your tweets are private I won't follow you back until you interact with me. And if your only interaction is "how to get more followers" unfollow & block.

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  6. Great tips! I follow these rules for the most part. I also routinely go through the people I follow, because people change their interests, especially my peers who are graduating college, and they may no longer align with my interests.

    I think it's a waste of time to follow everyone back who follows you. How could you ever get anything out of Twitter for yourself other than numbers if you do this. The only exception to this rule is if you are a company or brand.

    Again, a great post! Thanks!

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  7. I follow the same rules--including anomymous' rule of not following private users. A lot of our NPO's objectives is to update our supporters and to share animal related information, so we mostly follow animal related causes or twitterers that share useful animal information.

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  8. I am forcing myself again to try twitter. With a list like this, I can reassure myself that there is a reason I had an initial aversion to it.

    I am trying to embrace twitter as having the potential for a 2-way street. I am grateful to all the people who are willing to share enriching ideas. I also appreciate the required discipline of being brief. I hope to share brief, enriching ideas more frequently. In the mean time, if you have to unfollow me, just because I am not 'the right amount and type of twitterer', I'm not taking it personally (anymore).

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  9. Great list! It's all about balance, isn't it?

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  10. Amber, I agree with you. I follow the same rules. I look through the streams of every follower I get to see what they're tweeting about and if we have any common ground; I'll even check out their website but after all that, if there's nothing of value I won't follow back.

    Most are simply out to get their follower count or sell me something and sadly, they just don't get Twitter which to me is a form of engagement that I value. I have met some wonderful people (including you!) on here and want to keep it that way.

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  11. Something to consider might be excessive foursquare checkins. I don't care about what kind of coffee you have at whatever starbucks you stop at on your way back from walmart. Checkins are annoying.

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  12. Really nice list Amber! I've been selective too and it has definitely affected my numbers. I've watched colleagues reach massive numbers by following back pretty much everybody. At least I've been on Twitter long enough (2007) to have hooked into a great circle of people that I love seeing in person as well. For us old-timers, truly the most shocking development is those who build numbers (by seeking out those who follow back anyone) and almost no tweets.

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  13. That's a great list, well done.

    One thing that stops me from following a person is if they are using the standard Twitter profile pic, rather than uploading an image of their own.

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  14. I just follow people I'm interested learning from, not chatting with. I never follow back, people can listen to my tweets if they wish

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  15. Yes! There's a WIIFM approach to following, as with most things in life. My time is limited so if you offer me no value, I offer you no follow. A well put post on all accounts. Thanks.

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  16. This is a fabulous list and one that I follow as well. And it's a huge pet peeve of mine when people follow you and then quickly unfollow. Also, if you don't have a valid url and a decent bio, it's not likely that I'll follow. My numbers are not that high either and I do try to follow those that I believe are genuinely sharing, but I look at each and every profile of every notification I get.

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  17. Very helpful list - thanks for posting it. I'm still struggling to find my place on Twitter. I have an abnormal fear of annoying the heck out of people so I'm perhaps overly cautious about what I tweet. I'm going to stay with it, though.

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  18. Thank you, thank you. Well said, to the point and I will definitely be waiting to hear what you say on Twitter.

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  19. Amber,I think you said it very well. This list is a helpful guideline for anyone who is trying to understand how Twitter can work for them. Thanks for taking the time to help those of us still trying to learn to be a part of the Twitter community. Have a great day!

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  20. I have like 400 and something people who follow me for what reason I have no idea, but what the hell. I only follow about 100 or so and mostly they're are other bloggers, writers or politicos I admire. Occasionally, I'll let fly with a sponsored tweet, but only if it's something I'd dig on myself. I think I follow you because I also have a cousin named Amber, or because we both have red hair, or because Elayne told me to, or... ;)

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  21. Amber, this is great stuff! I just attended the PR Digital Summit in NY and this could have been a great roundtable subject. I'll be following you on twitter...

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  22. You do not mention whether the person has a URL or city name. These are the first two criteria I require to confirm that a person is legitimate.

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  23. Thanks so much for inviting me to speak, Derek! Can't wait to be part of your great event!

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  24. Really? Sorry I missed the discussion. Is your graph tangible or something you make a note of in your head?

    Yeah, I do follow some "broadcasters", too, but they're not ordinary people. They're non profits or news organizations.

    And you do a great job of talking with the animals, my friend! MEOW ^..^

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  25. Thanks, Anita. Unfortunately the steps example isn't too far off from some tweets I've seen. Yikes!

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  26. Hi Ellie! Thanks for that.

    As long as you're true to yourself and do right by the community, it's all good. Now, get back tweetin'!

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  27. I agree! Those people who have private accounts need to be slapped. Why would I follow you if I can't find out anything about you????

    Thanks for chiming in and adding to the conversation!

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  28. Hi Allison,

    I think if people change or you see something you don't like, unfollowing is fair game. And, yes, too many people are consumed with follower numbers.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment, Allison!

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  29. I'm a sucker for animal causes, so I'll check you out on Twitter! I also have an animal blog, so I'm a softy for the furry and the feathered ^..^

    Thanks so much for commenting!

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  30. I hope you overcome your aversion. It may take awhile to get some momentum going, but it's such a wonderful platform. Just find people who you have something in common with and go from there. I'm confident you'll be a Twitterholic in no time!

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  31. Indeed. Balance in everything is so important. From your mouth to everyone's ears, eh?

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  32. I look at each followers profile, too. If that link goes to some spammy sales site, I'm out!

    So glad the Twitterverse brought us together, Sukhraj! :->

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  33. Yeah, I'm not a fan of check-in tweets either. They're annoying 99% of the time, but the other 1% I've actually learned about a cool, new place. Some people tweet nothing but check-ins, though. They synced Foursquare to Twitter and then never send an original tweet. Those people are the worst!

    Thanks for commenting!

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  34. Linda, I could not agree more. Hopefully, people can recognize who those folks are. I see way too many people doing that, but I think the proof is in the pudding when you see the garbage accounts they're connected with. Anyone who jumps from 6,000 followers to 36,000 followers in a few months is doing something fishy...and it's obvious.

    You've built a quality network who likes you and respects you, Linda. For that, you should be proud!

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  35. Thanks, Miles! I appreciate that!

    Yes, indeedy! If someone can't take the time to upload a real photo, I can't take the time to follow them. Deal breaker, for sure!

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  36. That is certainly an approach that many people have. It really all goes back to want your intent is. How you want to use Twitter and what you hope to gain.

    Thanks for chiming in!

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  37. Thanks, Shelley.

    When lists came out, I think it made people even less selective about followbacks. You could followback to keep the follow, but ignore the people you didn't want to see.

    I appreciate you adding to the conversation. Thanks for connecting!

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  38. Kudos! I do due diligence as well. If someone doesn't have a bio, it's an immediate turnoff. If you don't tell me something about you, how do I know if you're worth connecting with you, right?

    As for those people who follow and then unfollow, I know Twitter tries to crack down on that, but way too many of those people fall through the racks.

    One guy who did that to me recently purged 20,000 followers until he was just following 500. He thought he'd look more important that way, I guess. He just followed me again last week and I called him out on it. He didn't respond and then unfollowed me. People like that need to be banned from Twitter!

    Thanks for adding to the conversation, Susi!

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  39. I say tweet what feels natural. For better or for worse, if you annoy people, they'll probably tell you. And, as I mentioned below, it really depends on what your motivation for tweeting is.

    I say get over the fear and jump in with both feet! Once you make a few Twitter friends, you'll wonder why you waited so long.

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  40. Oh, gee, no pressure there! ;-> I try to keep my Twitter stream fairly clean and clear of completely useless stuff, but what one tweets is a personal decision. Be true to yourself and all is good.

    Thanks, JJ!

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  41. Dee, thanks so much for visiting again and taking the time to leave such a nice comment ;->

    Glad to have you in my Twitter stream!

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  42. Not everyone has something to link to, so I cut people slack on the URL. With all due respect, though, I do find it ironic that you say a URL determines someone's legitimacy and you yourself have posted an anonymous comment that does not have an embedded link to your site.

    Perhaps a good example that non everyone has a URL?

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  43. Amber - I LOVE your blog. I have a good read today and I also need to 'clean up' my followers some more.

    Thanks!

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  44. Tanya: You hadn't tweeted in over a month and I thought you had abandoned your account. I do a clean up of my profile from time to time and unfollow people who are no longer active. I'm happy to refollow ;->

    As for serious, I don't think it's serious at all. And, I don't really think of these as rules or regulations, just how I have personally decided to manage my Twitter experience. It's a healthy balance of entertainment, networking, and learning. A pretty good mix in my book.

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  45. Nicely said. I noticed that during a huge influx and increase in followers on my account, the dropoff is high. The ones who follow unfollow quickly. They are hoping that they will be followed.

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  46. Yeah, those people are in it for themselves. They're not trying to be part of the community like the rest of us. Usually a lot of those people have very spammy tweets and, if so, I report them for spam (if appropriate). No sense letting people get away with bad behavior ;->

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  47. As you, yourself, said, I hadn't "Twittered" in over a month. Therefore,
    I'd fall into the "whenever mood strikes me", partaker. I don't feel a need to indulge daily.

    There's really no reason to ... but my little list, thankfully, is low maintenance.

    You have quite a following and are extremely active. Both on Twitter,
    & your Blog.

    Which is wonderful for ME. I can pop over to either and see how you are,
    what you've been doing ... how you're feeling. Very insightful.

    I'd like to request more photos ... when you have time
    XXXOOO
    T

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  48. Lots of people fall into the same category as you. And it all goes back to your motive for being on Twitter. What works for someone, may not work for someone else. Be yourself and that's all that matters. ;->

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  49. Great Tips Amber. I'm curious, however.. I have 90 followers and I follow 78 people (quality vs quantity, I hope), but the more time I spend on Twitter, the more interesting and valuable people I find to follow. Should I stop adding people until I gain more followers myself?

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  50. Nice list Amber. I would add. 13. I will unfollow you if you auto DM me an advertisement about your product or service after I follow you back. I will follow back even if their tweets do not interest me if they seem genuine and conversational. I follow thought leaders in my industry even if they don't follow me back which sometimes makes my following count higher than my followers. The numbers really don't mean much. It's all about using Twitter in a way that provides the most value to you personally.

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  51. Hi Lisa! Good question. I'll give you my opinion, but as with all things, there are many different ways to look at things. Personally, I don't like having my following count higher than my follower. It's frequently a red flag that you're manipulating the system--even if you aren't.

    Once Twitter introduced lists, it provided a great solution to your dilemma. You can group accounts you follow by listing them accordingly. For example, if you're following a bunch of real estate resources or PR industry news, you can group them. Once you list them, you could unfollow them.

    Lists are now currency that's just as valuable as follower count, so you're not disrespecting them by listing instead of following. Now, that said, I primarily do that with entities and not people. For example, I have a media resources list and a Twitter tools list. That allows me to follow the tweets those accounts send without following them directly.

    Just an idea which may, or may not, work for you. But there's no hard cores rules about any of this, so just do right by yourself and the community and you'll be fine.

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  52. Oh, don't even get me started on those auto DMs! Grrr. I hate those. I, too, will sometimes unfollow just because of that.

    And, yes, thought leaders kind of fall into the celebrity group. You don't necessarily expect a followback, but it's kind of fun if you get it. But, indeed, I agree about your take on numbers. As long as you're an active and contributing member of the Twitter community, it's all good ;->

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  53. Great article!

    When someone follows me, I go to their home page to see their last 20 tweets. If 19 of them are identical -- no follow. If all 20 are product plugs -- no follow.

    If their Twitter stream is bloated with rubber-stamp smiley faces ("Wow, you are so right!") I don't follow.

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  54. Thanks, Meredith! I'm with you! I always check out someone's tweets before I follow back. That's the only way to know what you're in for, isn't it?

    Thanks so much for adding to the discussion!

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  55. I'd been rather inactive on Twitter. My first account was my Chihuahua's.
    It's been dormant, hanging around like a tick, waiting for something of
    interest to waft by and lure it into consciousness.

    I believe that might have been you? You needed numbers or some such thing,
    at the time?

    I? I liked the idea of getting to know my Niece a little more :o)

    I haven't any rules for those that I follow, other than they feel free to
    express themselves as they please, and are at ease. But that goes
    without request.

    So I'm certain if you read their Tweets they might be a bit maddening.
    Pigeon's chirping, Pigeon's being chased by cats, Pigeon's hanging out
    at parks ... lots of Pigeon's, with some Politics thrown in as well.

    No one interacting, one on one ... none. It's just a little window where life
    goes on and sometimes I pop in and watch. Make a comment, and visit.

    That's what I use Twitter for. It's all I have time for anyway ... every now and
    then, pop in to see what you're doing and how you are. See what the Pigeon's
    are doing :o)

    OOOXXX you,
    T

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  56. Blinky Avatar. All caps tweets. All caps handle.

    These 1990's netiquette no-nos stop me from following you on Twitter.

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  57. Maniactive: I've never seen anyone tweet in all caps, but that would annoy me too! And, interestingly, now that you mention it, I don't ever have those blinky avatars in my stream. I mean, I've seen them, of course, but I guess I've never followed anyone who had one. I, however, don't think I'd blow someone off just for having an all-caps handle. It's amazing, though, how many people still don't get that the all caps thing is so offensive to most people, isn't it?

    Thanks for weighing in with your criteria. It's always interesting to hear how other people think and make decisions!

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  58. Thanks for adding to the discussion! I'm with ya. Any kind of bait and switch is immediate grounds for ignoring a Twitter account.

    I'm sorry to hear about your daughter. It's a scary world out there, especially for children. Thanks for advocating about internet safety!

    I appreciate your comment and thanks so much for taking the time to reach out ;->

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  59. Hello Amber... Excellent list. I would add that if a follower uses a language that can't be translated, I won't follow back. I also find that on occasion, the "profile" page may be a deceptive front for giant advertisement on the attached website, which is annoying. Since I often attempt to bring a greater awareness to the imperative message of "Internet Safety" for children, I follow back the majority unless their profile has some of the issues that you listed. I enjoy connecting with writers and photographers, which would be my emphasis if my daughter was not the young victim of an online predator. I love a wonderful adjective too, and thankful that I have had the opportunity to meet you.

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  60. Does this explain why you've "unfollowed" me as well ? ...

    Twitter to some people isn't as serious. So many rules, regulations &
    requirements.

    Where's the fun?

    I suppose if one is Networking ... well fine. If it works for them.
    Is it working for them? Are they finding employment? Or all talking,
    tweeting & texting ....?

    T

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  61. Thank you for your kind words, Donna! I really appreciate that a bunch.

    I agree. I think it's good to look at your account and do clean up from time to time. Lots of people abandon accounts too, so no sense following inactive tweeps!

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  62. Thanks so much, Andy! Oh, I'm sure this could be a very spirited roundtable debate! Lots of different approaches out there.

    Look forward to connecting with you on Twitter and thanks for taking the time to comment!

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  63. Jane: I finally imported Disqus! Hee hee, look at me replying to you directly! Fun fun, right?

    I suspect people follow you because you are one funny lady with one humorous blog. And, yes, it was Elayne and the furbabies who made us internet pals. Oh, and of course, the red hair ;->

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  64. Number 5 torques me to no end - but then again, I never seem to find the time to do enough number 1. As for my Follow-back criteria, the only thing I would add is the cleavage detector - front or back, if I see more cleavage than content, I'm not interested. However @SexyEinstein was an exception....

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  65. Hi Pat. Thanks for chiming in with your thoughts!

    Oh, I'm with you on the cleavage criteria. If a slightly "naughty" looking avatar comes up in my follower list, I don't even click through to check the tweets or profile. The avatar says it all!

    Even if it wasn't spam or porn, anyone who thinks a bust or butt shot is appropriate is not the kind of person I'm interesting in knowing anyway!

    Thanks for weighing in, Pat. Oh, and feel free to Number 1 me anytime! ;->

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  66. Great post! I agree with all of your criteria. I will add that I also don't follow people who have a generic avatar and no profile. I want to know who you are before I follow you. And, oh, puhleeeeze, no meat market tweeters...

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  67. Hania: Thank you for your comment! Oh, yes, agreed! Not filling in the basics is the biggest red flag. Use a photo so I know who I'm speaking with and fill in the profile so I know a bit about you. If people can't do that little bitty thing to get started, well, I can't be bothered to follow them back.

    What exactly do you mean by meat market tweeters? Are you getting tweets from people hitting on you????

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  68. Two accounts can be smart in many cases! Sounds like you have all this stuff under control and are destined for success, my friend!

    Kudos! Oh, I'm pleased to give you your very first listing, Nick! Check it out ;-)

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  69. No, I don't automatically follow people that follow me. I'll always check their profile / Twitter stats before I make the decision about following them back, using pretty much identical reasons to those you've listed here.

    I actually have two accounts - a personal one and a business one. The business one contains messages and notices to promote my work and the personal one covers just about everything else!

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  70. Oh, well, that happens. Spam and porn accounts are out there. It's not like they're targeting you directly; we all see it (if that makes you feel any better!).

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  71. So far, only indirectly, but bad enough! One guy I followed had as part of his bio a suggestion to follow his cousin, too. So, since he seemed normal, I clicked on her link and got massive cleavage. Ugh! Blocked both of them...
    I've also had foreign women follow me. When I checked out their page, it was obvious they were advertising themselves. So, I blocked them.
    Fortunately, it hasn't happened too often!

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  72. Hi Rachel! Yep, a follow isn't a guarantee for life, is it? Sometimes someone seems like a worthwhile person to follow initially, but later you regret the decision. Unfollowing is fair game in my book, as long as it's not done to manipulate your numbers and dupe people into following.

    Thanks for commenting, Rachel!

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  73. I love this...and basically I share your same criteria. In fact there are some that I have followed and then eventually UNfollow when I do my periodic account maintenance. I will unfollow those that have not posted any tweets in a really long time. I do this because there are ratios that Twitter has set (Followers vs Following) and when your numbers fall within those thresholds they will block you from following anymore people until the balance is achieved...so I like to keep my numbers "clean" so I don't end up in Twitter Jail.

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  74. Very good reasons not to follow someone!

    I manually follow People and use Friend or Follow service once a Month!

    I even created a Spam/Junk Follower List!

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  75. I do manual follows, too! It takes time, but it's the best way to weed through people.

    Is your spam/junk list public or private? How do you use it? As a reminder to you or to call out bad behavior?

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  76. Its Public!

    No I don't call out bad behaviour!

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  77. Great post. My pet hate is people who use twitterfeed

    http://www.deargeek.co.uk/2011/03/follow-twitter-rule-1-twitterfeed/

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  78. I like a mix of serious and play. I've had several peeps follow me,then when I follow back they unfollow. So I dont retweet anything they tweet. But I dont unfollow. That's so bad of them. So, my criteria is based on my connections.
    I really believe in the peeps that I currently follow.

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  79. Im pretty much the same as the blog writer. I won't follow someone whose timeline shows spamming, or has no timeline at all. I worry about those who are afraid to show themselves.

    About the follower/Following ratio, I don't usually pay much attention to that except if it is extreme. Mine is 50% of who I follow is my follower number. That is because people either aren't finding me because my followers aren't passing on what I tweet, or people I tweet don't care to make my tweets available. I did find a celeb today who follows 10 people but has thousands of followers, that indicates to me that he may only want people to listen to him. I won't follow someone like that.

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  80. This was a very useful post. I don't usually follow someone just because they followed me. I usually look at there profile to see if we have a common interest and I also look at their tweet stream to see what types of things they tweet about. I'm not so concerned with their stats. You can have someone who doesn't have that many followers but has valuable insights. Maybe they are new to Twitter. I know I am.

    Thanks for your perspective. I do follow you on Twitter and find your tweets informative

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  81. Thanks for the comment, Jonathan!

    Twitterfeed is definitely getting more widely used, isn't it?

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  82. Wow, you don't unfollow them after they secure your follow and then unfollow you? You're very kind! Most people aren't that forgiving. :-)

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  83. Thank you for stopping by, Tim. I agree. Show yourself, baby!

    I have to say, I do cut celebs some slack on the follows, though. Once they start doing that they can pretty much forget ever having their DMs be of any use to them since everyone will be able to contact them that way. To me, the answering back is more important than the follow in those cases.

    @Alyssa_Milano is a great example. She totally engages with people who contact her and that's why she's awesome. @elayneboosler also responds to her fans and her critics (because I trained her to do that!). If a celeb understands the engagement factor of Twitter, that's what matters most in my book.

    Thanks so much for adding your thoughts to the discussion, Tim!

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  84. Hi Lori, thanks for your very nice comment!

    I agree with you! I don't discriminate against newbies. We were all new once, so I always try to remember that. Some of my favorite people on Twitter have fewer that 200 followers ;-)

    Thanks so much for connecting, Lori! A pleasure to meet 'cha!

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  85. Well I'm following quite a few that don't follow back but they are government agencies so my follow to follower ratio is a little skewed.

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  86. Hey Jim, thanks for your comment!

    Yeah, I think we all have at least a couple that we follow who don't follow back. Most of those I've moved to lists, but I do have a few. :-)

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  87. Excellent! Happy to be of service. My work here is done... :-)

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  88. Whoa, your list just spoke my mind! There is a 13th reason for me though - "Your tweets are in a language I do not understand". Thanks for the great post! :)

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  89. Oh, yeah. A sad, but true one.

    Although I have to admit someone who tweets in another language kept asking me to follow him. When I explained that I hadn't because his stream was in another language, he said he'd always tweet me in English (which he has). I could hardly say no after that ;-)

    Thanks for chiming in, Jan!

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  90. Still learning Twitter and enjoying it mades ome mistakes but that is life and a way to learn. I aggree with your list and would add to it.
    Twitters who are obviously escort agencies or escorts! Twitters who are covertly offering dare I say it but sex!
    I have discovered how to block these latter two and do so!

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  91. Hi....great post! Im newish to twitter and am sorry to say that I have started off this way but after reading this...I definitely dont wanna be seen as an annoying spammer ><...

    Thanks again...and if you see me follow you, say 'hi' :)

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  92. I must say I particularly like tweets about eggs.

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  93. Absolutely! Trial and error is the best teacher sometimes.

    When I first started, I'd get those kind of sex tweets, but I rarely do anymore. Just be vigilant in your block and report clicks (don't just block them; always report for spam). That's your best defense.

    Hang in there!

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  94. We all made mistakes when we started, so don't be hard on yourself. We all live and learn.

    Good luck with the changes, Grace ;-)

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  95. Whatever tickles your fancy, Kate ;-)

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  96. Thank you for your post, I find it address the majority of reasons why most do not follow back. Many people including yourself have mentioned that you follow people that do not generally have a low following in comparison to their follows.

    My personal twitter handle I follow more people than follow me. I am constantly find people that I find interesting and want to follow them. In addition, I have so many different interests and it would be hard for me to narrow it down to a few specific topics. My tweets range from a wide array of topics and perhaps it is because I am only 6 months into it twittering my following versus followers is not equal. Building a following takes time, energy and a great deal of personal investment. Therefore, as you mentioned, this cannot be the only criteria for which you decide to follow a person back. Is your list already order by preference or does the following vs. followers rank higher?

    Thank you again.

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  97. Hey Lara. No, no. My list is not in priority order.

    You might want to consider using lists to cut back on some of the accounts that you follow (but that don't follow you back). That can help with your ratio. Check out my post on lists: http://bit.ly/gFoPlM. Maybe you'll find it useful.

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  98. Thank you very much, I will look at it. I really appreciate your quick response.

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  99. I UNfollow ppl who don't follow back. That is my standard criteria. I give them a week or ten days, and follow from the back of the list, unfollowing the oldest first. It makes no sense to unfollow those I just followed today. Recent followers are given some time, as they may be at their follow limit for the day, or they primarily tweet from work, so they can't follow back till Saturday, or maybe they follow back every other day. I want to give them a chance. I can honestly say I hardly ever get accused of being a chronic unfolllower, and I don't get too many cranks.

    Aside from all that, I have noticed that as Twitter matures, there is a vast divide from "active" and "innactive" users. The number of followers who just followed last month that don't tweet anymore continues to grow. When they followed, they were active; that would seem self explanatory. Yet, I got to look at my account from just February or January ( it is now Late March ) and 80 percent of them haven't tweeted in a week. When I go to say your account, or Charlie Sheens or Lady Gaga's or Chris Voss' ? Same thing. If we dump them or "flush" them, sure we are getting rid of dead weight, but they don't appear to be hurting anyone by simply existing.

    It doesn't seem fair to dump them simply for being innactive either. They don't tweet, but they are probably newbies, or don't understand twitter and gave up. If a person is under 2000 and trying to overcome Twitter follow limit, they should target these folks for the old dumpety dump, unload the innactives, and go back and follow them all back once overcoming the barrier.

    I've noticed Klout's standard is about 40% of one's account is considered as motivated, but I suspect on some larger, older accounts with say 100k followers, that number is even lower, maybe 20% .... simply because they are carrying a larger number of old accounts.

    So it's a revolving pile. As I see accounts with 100k followers or more, it is important to realize that on any given day, they may get retweeted two or three times by their readers. And yet, I've seen accounts with only 2000 followers get retweeted 100 times because it's a new account, and all the followers are newbies who have no other content retweet worthy.

    Certainly one thing is for certain. With so many people joining Twitter daily, who will eventually go "innactive" there's no sense in thinking there is any stopping at following at any point. We must constantly be following new poeple, or our accounts will stagnate, and eventually be all but useless regardless of follower count.

    Editor/Author @Samuel_Clemons on Twitter

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  100. Liz Fulcher, The Fragrant MuseMarch 24, 2011 at 6:35 AM

    Thank you for articulating my thoughts! I am so retweeting this. Amber, I have a #13. People who have a large number of followers but follow no one or very very few. Apparently, they're only interested in their own voice.

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  101. I completely agree with you. This is not a popularity contest. Its a genuine way to connect and share valuable information. Thanks for your post.

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  102. If someone follows me I will go look at their recent tweets and decide whether or not I want to follow. I stopped following people that do nothing but tweet motivation quotes every hour. I follow enough of those people already.

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  103. Brilliant. You definitely captured my approach. I also use lists to track topics without having to follow individual accounts.

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  104. I'm fairly new to twitter, but I look at each person who follows me and see if their profile and recent tweets would be of interest to me. If I'm unsure, I'll follow for a few days as a trial period.

    Personally, I plan to handle similar to my fb page. I can't possibly manage 1000's of tweets so I will focus on quality rather than quantity. Thanks for your insight!

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  105. I'm with you, Melissa. I'm all about quality over quantity. I can have a box full of rotten apples or one, big, bright red delicious apple. Which should I choose? Hmmm.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and adding to the dialogue, Melissa! ;-)

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  106. Hey Lloyd! Yay! Thanks for chiming in. I wrote another piece on how people are underutilizing Twitter lists and included just that thought! Hee hee. Great minds think alike, eh?

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  107. After awhile some of those quotes start to sound a little corny, don't they? I've actually heard several of the self-appointed Twitter experts give their disciples the motivational quote advice as a tactic to succeed on Twitter.

    I RT one every once in awhile if I really like it. But, just tweeting those kinds of quotes doesn't make for a very diverse and rich stream, does it?

    Thanks for the comment, Robert!

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  108. Hear hear! I like the way you think, Curt!

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  109. Liz, thanks for adding your thoughts! I suspect, some of your #13s are really #5s.

    Ordinary folks don't secure 10,000 followers by only following 20 people. That just not how it works. I think chances are excellent that your #13s followed a bunch of people at one time, then dumped them to make themselves seem "important". "Look at me! I'm so fascinating! All these people have just decided to follow me because I'm so incredible!"

    Puuuhlezzz. I wish Twitter would ban more people for doing that.

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  110. Hey Sam. Honestly, I have to say I've never had to use the words "Twitter follower limit" because I don't use the system that way. I know lots of folks do, but it's not how I've chosen to use Twitter.

    Yes, though, lots of accounts are abandoned. I heard a stat once that something like 90% of the tweets on Twitter come from only 10% of the accounts. That stat isn't exact, so don't quote me on it. But it was a huge disparity like that.

    Thanks for chiming in!

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  111. I only follow back "thinkers", not sales pitch handles. I take a quick look at the bio, & have chosen a "no response" approach to those who sell.

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  112. I only follow back "thinkers", not sales pitch handles. I take a quick look at the bio, & have chosen a "no response" approach to those who sell.

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  113. Go Susan! Whoever thinks we're just sitting there waiting to be bombarded with their ads is crazy!

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  114. Do @Alyssa_Milano and @elayneboosler really do that? I have asked questions of Alyssa a number of times and never once gotten a reply. Mostly it had to do with how to do things and make things easier on Twitter, and never a reply. I look at it as she is popular and just can't reply to all. But for you to say that she replies back, I have yet to see that. I do #FF her because she is great at posting links that are helpful to new members.

    Now for Elayne, I have only been following her for about a week and there too she probably gets a whole lotta replies, so maybe someday I will hear something from her corner. LOL

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  115. Hey Tim! No, Alyssa doesn't answer every single person every single time. She gets an insane number of tweets. However, she has tweeted me back once. Here it is:
    https://twitter.com/#!/Alyssa_Milano/status/24525056862

    Also, Elayne answers darn near everyone back. She gets a lot of tweets, too. But when she's not touring, she'll spend hours answering people. This is one of my favorite Elayne tweets: https://twitter.com/#!/ElayneBoosler/status/9306889882

    My point in using those two as examples as that they do make an effort to engage. Unlike many celebs who never respond to anyone but their friends. :-)

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  116. Great blog Susan!
    Like your article...

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  117. enjoyed reading it, I however follow a lot of people you dont follow here (No. 11) and somehow with all necessary precaution we all have one (No.7) in our tl

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  118. Thanks for stopping by, Ingrid. Susan is the commenter below, I, the lovely Amber, am your blogger ;-)

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  119. Ha ha. Yeah, lots of number 11s out there.

    As for number 7, ever though you might answer a bunch of tweets at once, I'm sure it's not as fast and furious as it feels. Especially, since not everyone who follows you will see all those @ replies.

    Thanks for the comment, Weera!

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  120. kaarinadillaboughApril 22, 2011 at 6:39 AM

    Amber, this really hits home, and underscores how I've approached "doing Twitter". I've taken a one-person-at-a-time approach to following, and I don't automatically follow back.

    Although it takes lots of time to do, I always check the person's twitter, FB and web page before following, and ditto for those who choose to follow me.

    In a very short period of time I've had the good fortune of building a rich, vibrant, informative, fun "community of twitter", and I'm sooooo with you on every point you make. Excellent post: delighted to have found you and follow you. Kaarina

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  121. Thank you for adding to the discussion, Kaarina! Always glad to find a kindred spirit!

    Yeah, manual followbacks take time, but it's worth it. I see it as an investment in my network. Numbers are worthless if they're only comprised of spam accounts.

    Thanks so much for the nice comment and for reaching out! I'm following you back, so I look forward to connecting again ;-)

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  122. I like the "kindred spirit" comment Amber, and I look forward to continued connection and sharing. Glad to have found you:) Kaarina

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  123. Hi....great post! Im newish to twitter and am sorry to say that I have started off this way but after reading this...I definitely dont wanna be seen as an annoying spammer ><...

    Thanks again...and if you see me follow you, say 'hi' :)

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  124. Your first criteria "no @mentions" is interesting. Don't you feel that sometimes a person is better to follow because they are talking into twitter directly than sideways to other people?

    I find an @mention often makes little sense and can make a stream look cluttered.

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  125. Your first criteria "no @mentions" is interesting. Don't you feel that sometimes a person is better to follow because they are talking into twitter directly than sideways to other people?

    I find an @mention often makes little sense and can make a stream look cluttered.

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  126. Great list and agree on most, my criteria:
    I usually skim down the stream and see if there is anything that interests me. If I have to keep scrolling down... then I will pass on the follow back. I hope that I'm not missing something by doing that, but it seems to work for me.

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  127. Hi Ana, I thought exactly that way when I first got started. Exactly.

    However, now that I understand Twitter, I know that people who only talk AT others and not WITH others are not maximizing the opportunities that Twitter offers. People with virtual megaphones never make for the best connects, IMHO.

    Thanks so much for weighing in and so sorry for the delayed response. I just now saw this comment. No email notification was sent to me, so I apologize. :-)

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  128. I look at the stream, too. That's always insightful. If you can look at the person's last several tweets, that's usually a good insight into how they use Twitter.

    Thanks for commenting, Alison!

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  129. Hi, I Saw Your Link in Bing.com I Love Your Blogs Kindly See my Link
    Here a New Alternative to Twitter with webtwitt pics and Video Option  twitter here

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  130. Thanks for stopping by to read, Janice!

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  131. I agree with you !! 

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  132. Why thank you! I agree with you, too ;-)

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  133. Why thank you! I agree with you, too ;-)

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  134. Haha. Love it. In total agreement.

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  135. You hit the nail on the head. I'm still new to Twitter but getting a better understanding and have learned not everyone who follows me, I have an interest in following back for the many reasons you;ve stated above. If they un-follow me, I guess they never really wanted to follow me in the first place. Thanks for this. :-)

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  136. Hi Mazy! Thanks for stopping by and chiming in ;-) Glad to hear we share Twitter philosophies!

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  137. Hey Amie,

    Yeah, unfortunately, Twitter has it fair share of people who try to manipulate the system and use people to further themselves. Those follow and unfollow people should be banned as they clearly violate Twitter's terms of service.

    Glad to hear you're new to Twitter, but sticking with it. It's a great tool if you can get passed the learning curve. Thanks for stopping by!

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  138. The 12 Commandments of Twitter! ;)

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  139. Hi Amber! This is a great list. If someone follows me I will check their feed, blog or site to see if what they are writing about is of interest. If it's a site that is solely used to sell something I usually won't follow back unless their tweets are less on selling their products and more about sharing their knowledge or expertise. I noticed on my own feed that I have some @@mentions, but I do like to tweet out my poetic thoughts or links to my blog probably more than I have actual conversations with people. Sometimes it takes a while to build up to a level of going back and forth. I tend to use Facebook more for that kind of thing. But I will take note of that in further usage. Thanks for this! 

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  140. Ha ha! I never thought of that ;-)

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  141. Thanks for sharing how you use Twitter, Tameka. I also check out people's feed, blog, or site when I decide on following back. Being too salesy is a turnoff for me, too.

    As for mentions, I started off hardly doing any. However, once I did it more, I had much better results. And, I also was able to start making some real and valuable connections. After all, Twitter is full of people. And, by nature, people like to be talked WITH and not AT.

    Thanks for adding your thoughts to the dialogue, Tameka!

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  142. Thanks for your reply! Do you have any tips on how best to engage with followers you don't know that well? I don't want to come off as being too familiar when I really want to make a creative or business connection. Thanks again! 

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  143. If you haven't done so already, check out my 7 Ways to Provide Value to Your Twitter Followers post. Perhaps there's something there that you can start doing to connect with people ;-) http://wordsdonewrite.blogspot.com/2011/05/7-ways-to-provide-value-to-your-twitter.html

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  144. I present my comment (and hearty agreement) in the form of a link to my post along these lines.  :)
    http://goo.gl/OzQo3

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  145. So-called influence measures like Klout have given some twitterati the impression that the world cares what their "influence" is. As a result, these folks have gotten themselves obsessed with building HUGE numbers of followers who bring no value to the Twitterati's tweet stream.

    Influence isn't how many people follow you. It's how much weight they give your words when they make a decision. And having a zombie army of auto-follow bots don't add any weight at all, because we can all see that they're fake followers.

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  146. I enjoyed your article very much. Often I use another person's work to convey my own points. I hoped yours would save me the trouble of writing one myself. It has. Thank you. The only thing I will add to you list is: Bullies. It's a real turnoff to witness fighting about the existence or non existence of God, for example. Seems pointless and not at all entertaining. Angry atheists are just as annoying as any other religious fanatics. Same goes for angry politics. Bullying people online is the lowest form of the act because you don't even need courage to face someone in order to hurt them. That's just wrong.

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  147. I hoped your article would save me the trouble of writing
    one myself. It has. Thank you. Bullies are also not welcome. Bullying people online is the
    lowest b/c no courage is needed to be hurtful. That's wrong. Fighting about the existence
    or non existence of God, for example, seems pointless and not at all
    entertaining. Angry atheists are just as annoying as any other religious
    fanatics. Same goes for angry politics.

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  148. Hi Sara Joy! Thanks for your comment.

    Luckily, I have experienced bullying. My client Elayne Boosler has to some degree since your comedy includes lots of politics and people feel compelled to follow her just so they can disagree. Seems silly. If you don't like someone, don't follow.

    But, yes, I agree with you. Online bullying stinks. As does real life bullying. Mean people suck.

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  149. Yep, too true Duncan! I'm all about quality over quantity. Some good is always better than a lot of something sub par.

    Thanks for adding your thoughts to the discussion ;-)

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  150. Got another to add to the list. TYPING ALL IN CAPS. If someone types all in CAPS I don't even bother. I've tried to deal with it but it's too distracting. Once people learn that it's like virtual YELLING they'll likely correct their behavior.

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  151. Although I've seen lots of people type in all caps over the years, luckily I've never seen anyone tweet in all caps. I don't get how people don't get that's a no no. #SayNoToAllCAPS

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  152. Very nice post! Completely agree. yes..I am on Twitter to build a 'solid network' like you and follow those with whom I share common interest and those from whom I feel I can learn and grow. 

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  153. Hi Moon! Thanks for chiming in. Yes, I think quality is so much better than quantity. I'm sure your strategy will serve you well ;-)

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  154. *delete this comment please*

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  155. Your first criteria "no @mentions" is interesting. Don't you feel that sometimes a person is better to follow because they are talking into twitter directly than sideways to other people?

    I find an @mention often makes little sense and can make a stream look cluttered.

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  156. *delete this comment please*

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  157. I definitely agree with all 12 points. Great article.
    This makes me think of all those people who keep using a hashtag #teamfollowback and when I checked all their tweets were in fact to get followers...nothing else, I don´t think I understant it.

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  158. Thanks for stopping by, Trip Fab. Yeah, I hear you on the Team Followback stuff. I actually wrote about that here: http://wordsdonewrite.blogspot.com/2011/03/5-phrases-that-ruin-your-twitter-bio.html. Team Followback is never good in my opinion.

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  159. Totally agree with you on this! I also got to make a list now! :)

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  160. I haven't made a list, but it would be strikingly similar to this. I am on twitter to connect with people I share something in common with ... I don't invite every person I meet into my house. Ditto on Twitter. 

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  161. Good comparison, Shannon!

    Thanks for reading and commenting ;-)

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  162. Couldn't agree more... Sparing you a retardedly long comment here, I'll link to my "Why'd you unfollow me, bro??" post, for any interested.  I enjoyed your post!  http://amyactually.com/2011/09/16/whyd-you-unfollow-me-bro/

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  163. It is interesting how few people these days seem to bother following others back.. This is a change from the early days of twitter when following was more about connecting to and building community --the Twit-etiquette seemed to be more mutual then... These days is seems to be about bannering or showing off how many followers you've got which is supposed make you some sort of authority or petit celebrity... Silly...

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  164. So now I am wondering... Should I bother following you? :-)

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  165. I've written about this several times, Sean. Couldn't agree more.

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  166. If you see value, follow. If you don't, don't. :-)

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  167. I don't follow back eggs. If someone's picture is an egg, and has no time for adding a picture, then he shouldn't try to start contacts.

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  168. Oh, yes! The dreaded eggs. I'm with you completely, Abel!

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  169. Excellent post!  Agree with the 

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  170. Amen. Quality over quantity is best. 

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  171. No need to apologize. If that's the worst thing that happens today, it's an EXCELLENT day ;-)

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  172. I pretty much subscribe to all 12 of these! great post :)

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  173. Love it. Thanks for making me laugh.

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  174. Excellent post and a cracking list. There are too many robots, polluting twitter!

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  175. Buy your book repeatedly; follow your religion; hire you for something I didn't ask for; buy something I didn't ask for; all caps; sexist, misogynist, racist, etc.; ALL CAPS!

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  176. Oh man, the all caps thing is a killer, isn't it????

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  177. Great reasons and all true :) I know it's sometimes necessary to shorten a tweet, but I hate 'text speak' in Twitter message where it isn't required i.e. doesn't actually shorten the word/s.

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  178. Yeah, I try to avoid that whever possible. Saying gr8 instead of great kinda makes me twitchy!

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  179. You RT the same person a million times in a row. If I wanted that person's feed on mine, I'd follow them. Come up with your own content sometimes!

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  180. I haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about. I don't share anyone with any great regularity. You must have me mixed up with someone else, because this couldn't be further from the truth.

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  181. P.S. I just looked at your Twitter feed and you have a mere 63 tweets, are following 231 people, and only have 55 people following you. It appears you've only been on Twitter for a week. A week. That said, you'll have much better success with Twitter (and networking in general) if you learn to play nice and make friends than if you throw out unfounded and completely inaccurate accusations.

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  182. Great post. Quality over quantity in followers is a great piece of advice. Kind of interested in what the rest of your blog is about. Keep it up!

    -Miguel

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