Twitter has this concept of ‘following’ someone, which means that we ‘follow’ their thinking, ideas through their tweets.
According to this great article by @AskAaronLee there are about 277,559,946 users on twitter and growing by thousands every single day. The question arises, out of SO many people, who do we follow? Here are some factors I consider before I hit the button.
1. Tweets: Tweets are the first thing I read. If someone’s tweets are funny, informative, inspirational, or even random, I follow them.
Reading the tweets is essential, because it gives you a window to their personality.
Also, fully automated tweets, irrelevant and indecent tweets, too many promotions etc can be a turn off. Of course, not everyone is human on twitter.
There are tons –I mean, TONS- of spammers, bots on twitter.
We can easily report them for spam just after reading their tweets. Here’s a wonderful article by @adamsconsulting on How to spot a spammer on twitter.
2. Profile picture and background: If you have an indecent picture, or no picture at all, I ain’t following you.
But some tweeps like @bkmacdaddy and @cheth have created awesome backgrounds which will make you sit up and take notice!
3. Favorites: Believe it or not, I check the favorites of tweeps before I follow them.
It gives you an inkling of the user’s area of interests and it will help you get to know them better.
4. Active accounts: This, is very important.
I don’t see the point of following accounts whose last tweet was 2 months ago, since the chances of interacting with them would be slim.
I would gladly follow someone who tweets quite a few times everyday, since it means that the user is interested in networking daily.
5. Listings: Checking out the lists will help you find tweeps with similar minds.
Twitter lists have categories like ‘social media’, ‘writers and bloggers’, ’conversationalist’ etc, and if you do find someone with whom you have a
common thread, just follow them! 🙂
6. Mutual friends: The ‘You both follow’ and ‘Also followed by’ features comes in handy here.
I check whether I have any common friends with this person I’m about to follow. It definitely helps in building your network in social circles.
7. Followers: Normal people on twitter, ( that is- us non-celebrities) *usually* have almost same number of following and followers.
I don’t follow accounts which have a large number of followers and very few tweets, as also tweeps who only tweet links to their own site ALL day.
8. Website/link: If a tweeter has a blog, website, tumblr blog, I read it. And if I like it, I’m so following them!
One thing that this post won’t completely apply to is : private accounts.
It isn’t possible to read the tweets, in order to decide whether to follow them or not.
We can only access their tweets when we send a follow request and they approve it.
But, Twitter isn’t *just* about following and getting followed back.
It’s about being able to find all the great people on here. Finally, it’s the relationships built which will matter the most. 🙂