Are You a Twitter Snob? Why I am not following you.


The popular and much talked about micro-blogging site Twitter has received a lot of main stream publicity recently. Whether you have been on Twitter for years or just joined you may wonder why someone follows you on Twitter or why someone doesn’t reciprocate your following them. Well, I certainly have no clue, but below I have listed some criteria I look at to determine if I will follow someone.

Don’t have the default profile image.
Twitter Default Profile/Avatar

There is no faster turn off then to have your first impression be this lovely avatar. Don’t tell me you can’t find ONE decent picture of you. At least put something up, a logo or SOMETHING. Seth Godin (marketing guru) agrees on the importance of the profile picture in his article “The power of a tiny picture”.

Have a description of yourself or business.
You get a chance to tell me a little about yourself or your business, so use it. Why should I follow you? What are your interests? What are you going to tweet about?

Have a link to something more about you.
Twitter provides the opportunity to link out to more information about you or your business. If you don’t have a blog, website use your Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr or YouTube space. Be sure to link to something that tells me more about you.

Be relevant, informative, funny or controversial in your tweets.
Finally, I look at your stream. What do you tweet about? Is it relevant to me? Can I learn from you?

Follow people back.
If I come to a profile of someone that has thousands of followers and only 5-10 that they are following, unless their content is REALLY relevant, I won’t follow them. More on why in the next point.

Join the conversation.
If I look at your stream and none of your tweets is an @reply (meaning you are replying to someone else’s tweet), chances are greater that I won’t follow you. In my humble opinion Twitter is about the conversation. If you try to make it all about you, you’re missing out on many opportunities, opinions and information.

Don’t rush it.
So many now are reading about Twitter and a rushing to get involved. I see it all the time, they are following the initial maximum 2000 people and have just a few followers. Their only tweet is, “Figuring out this Twitter thing”. Talk your time and follow people that you are going to want to listen to and converse with. Don’t follow everyone because you think they’ll follow you back. Twitter is not a popularity contest.

To sum up, the worst scenario: No profile picture, no description, no link, following 500+ with 12 followers (probably auto-follows) or 500+ and only following 12 and you have two tweets. This is just what I think, what do you look for?

Feel free to comment or elaborate on this blog or via my Twitter account @webaggression, if I don’t follow you back at least you’ll know why.

17 thoughts on “Are You a Twitter Snob? Why I am not following you.

  1. All your reasons are right on target. I’ll add two more: continuous tweeting of inane ramblings. If people tweet about every single thing they’re doing, I generally will “un-follow”. And high-pressure sales pitches when you click on the url to see what someone does (before following)/ Lately, there seem to be more and more MLM pitches.
    I don’t go there. Ever!

  2. I actually have two web sites: and Not sure how I can put Twitter to good use here. I would like to use it far more effectively. I also am creating/writing resumes for people nationwide. I also run an Orlando based networking group I need some help here on how to run all these enterprises. I was laid off from my full-time job in February so I need to really get cracking. Your advice would be appreciated.

  3. I’m fairly new to Twitter and find this extremely helpful. I generally check to see if I have anything remotely in common with the person before following someone back. Unless they’re a celebrity, there’s no reason why a person shouldn’t have a fairly balanced number of follows and followers. I totally agree.

  4. Yah Twitter is about social interaction, if I see a Twitter user with no @replies, no Retweets, no twitpics – just stuff about themselves and no interaction I won’t be following them.

    I don’t auto follow back anyway, partially because of the some of the reasons above, sometimes people Tweet too much and flood you with inane crap (that’s a big turn-off too).

  5. Lack of @replies is a huge one for me, as is stuff like…took out the garbage, trying the new restaurant in town or my personal favorite (not) — Just found the greatest X, you HAVE to check it out. Blah.

    Relevance figures high in my book, so even tho I am interested in a lot of different topics, I will follow those that have interesting things to say or share in a variety of *topics*. They may or may not follow me back. Either way is okay with me. I don’t follow to *get* a follow back. I follow if they interest me, period.

    Yes, I am a marketer, but not so much on Twitter. To me, Twitter is about networking, finding like minded folks I wouldn’t meet otherwise and forming conversations. Conversations might lead somewhere, but why rush it?

    Oh yeah, Twitter has gone *main-stream* with folks like P. DIddy and Ellen and Ashton talking about it, but hopefully that little spike will die down and the millions that rushed to see what it was about will either a) Finally figure it out and quit telling me what they had for dinner or b) Jump on the next fad.

    Just my two cents worth.

  6. Agree with all your points. A few other things that either stop me from following back or cause me to unfollow are:

    1) A soft-porn or ‘funny’ avatar, even if (especially if) meant to be ‘ironic’. This is not Facebook.

    2) Repeat tweets (ie identical, promotional tweets scheduled at various times to catch all the different time zones).

    3) Too many @ conversations with the same 2 or 3 cronies (often their own work colleagues, discussing other work colleagues and sharing in-jokes). Why not DM? Then we wouldn’t all have to watch.

    4) Receiving an auto DM when you follow, promoting his/her newsletter, ebook or course.

  7. Fine post

    I use some of the same principles when I use Twitter. Must say I only follow people with a decent profile, and people who actually use Twitter to Tweet. If you follow 3000 people and never made a tweed, then something is wrong.

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