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There are no hard rules on Twitter. Just because someone follows you does not mean you have to follow them back.
I tend to be picky about who I follow on Twitter and Facebook. Here are 10 reasons for not following people on Twitter.
1. Your avatar, (photo), doesn’t exist, is a cartoon character, is half dressed, or is nude. If you haven’t yet bothered to put in an avatar, Twitter shows you as an egg. This tells me you’re either very new, or you don’t care. Using a logo or a cartoon character tells me that you don’t want people to know what you look like. And finally, the only avatars that should be semi-nude, are those people who sell lingerie. I find it very hard to trust people whose avatars are wearing undershirts, bikinis, or other nonprofessional attire. Avatars that are naked women tend to represent spammers, or robots (fake Twitter profiles).
2. You haven’t tweeted in 30 days or more. Are you still alive? There are a lot of people on Twitter who seem to abandon their Twitter accounts after a month. It is hard to tell this unless you go back and look at their last tweet.
3. All your tweets are quotes. While quotations are useful in certain situations, if all you’re doing is tweeting somebody else’s words, then you obviously aren’t very interested in talking to others on Twitter.
4. You have protected your Twitter updates. This shows that you completely miss the point of social media. Social media lets us engage with people and show two sides of the conversation (yours and others). Some people seem to think that protecting ones’ updates equals privacy. This is a fallacy because we can still see your profile.
5. You use foul language in your profile or tweets, (continuously). Unless you are a third grader, civilized conversations don’t require profanity.
6. All your tweets are advertisements, you selling something, or spam. This is one of the biggest mistakes made on Twitter. Think of Twitter or any social network as a cocktail party. You wouldn’t go up to the nice-looking girl by the punch bowl and say “You really need to buy my new book about weight loss.” That would probably get you a slap in the face. Instead, what you would actually do is engage the person in conversation, win their trust, and then lead the conversation to something about your new book. Twitter is the same. This includes automatic direct messages (DM). Talk, engage in conversations, and then lead into products.
7. All of your tweets are forwards (RTs) of other peoples’ tweets. This is the same problem as using all quotations. Where are your thoughts? Or is it that you don’t have anything important to say? This sort of behavior leads people to think that there is no real person behind the Twitter handle.
8. You tweet the same tweet over and over and over again. This is against Twitter’s guidelines, and again leads to my assumption that you are a bot (robot).
9. Your profile has nothing on it. You need to give me something to go on, your interests, where you’re located, or what you do. Be careful of the location section of the profile. Writing, “Planet Earth”, or “Everywhere”, is useless to most of us.
10. And the big one: if you are following more than 10,000 people, (and you’re not @GuyKawasaki, or a celebrity), my assumption is that you’re using one of the automatic Twitter follower programs. I doubt very much that you are following the conversations of all 20,000 people, or even engaging any of them.