I’m not a social media savant, but I enjoy my time on Twitter and other social media, and I like finding people to follow. That being said, there are certain situations in which I simply refuse to follow a Twitter account, even if they follow me first. Let me know your thoughts on my list. Do you agree? Disagree? Did I miss something? I’d love to hear from you!
And here we go. Why I don’t follow you on Twitter.
1) You’re selling Twitter followers
When I go to your Twitter page, and your banner is a great big advertisement on how I can get 10,000 Twitter followers for only (insert price here), guess what? I’m not going to follow you. I know I barely have over 2000 followers, but you know what? I’m fairly certain the vast majority of them are real people with real feelings and real opinions. That’s what I’m interested in. People. Not bots or fake accounts.
And, incidentally, if it’s so easy to get 10,000 followers, why do you have less than 200?
2) Buy my book! Buy my book! Buy my book!
I try to help out other authors (especially Indie author like me) whenever I can, but whenever I see an author whose entire Twitter feed is nothing but tweets about his or her book(s) being for sale, or snippets from the book(s), or links to reviews about the book(s), I just move on. Kudos for writing a book, definitely. A very large percentage of people say they want to write a book. A very small percentage of that group actually do. So, congratulations, you’re in an elite group. But a feed full of links to and about your book is like a Twitter version of QVC or HSN, and it isn’t actually connecting with your audience. Most of them already know you’ve written a book, or they wouldn’t be looking at your feed. If you really want to connect with your audience, show them who you are. Don’t just beg them to read your book(s). And if you’re one of those prolific authors who is constantly cranking out new content, then (first of all, I’m jealous) start a mailing list or a Patreon account to deliver new content to existing fans.
Use Twitter to reach out to those folks who want to meet the real you, as Shan Yu once said. <–Obscure reference for any Firefly fans in the house.
3) Biased (and vitriolic) political overload
No. No. No. No. Look, I fully support your right to believe whatever you want to believe, even if I vehemently disagree with it. It’s your life, and it’s your right to support whatever causes or politicians you want. But if you spend all your time on your Twitter feed spewing vitriol, anger, and hatred about a cause or politician you disagree with, count me out. If I want to see that, I’ll go to chat rooms and message boards. I don’t want to see it filling up my Twitter feed. Oh, and you can also probably count out anyone who might want to read your book(s) who believes just as adamantly in the other side of the debate. After all, not everyone believes the same way you do. If you want to rant about this cause or that person, start a blog or a YouTube channel. That way you can connect with like-minded folks. But don’t alienate potential readers (i.e. paying customers) who may choose whether or not to buy your book based on what you put on your social media streams.
Now, the obvious exception to that is if you’re a political commentator, activist, or have written non-fiction books regarding issues or politicians. In that case, your followers are probably all on the same page as you, so rant on.
4) Obvious auto content
If your feed is filled with random, unrelated links to articles from fifty different sources, but not a single retweet or original tweet, I’m not following. This goes back to following a person and not a bot. Show me you’re a real person with a real life, then we’ll talk…err…tweet.
5) Literally nothing but retweets
First, thank you for supporting your followers. It’s awesome that you’re taking the time to help out your fellow Tweeps. But again, this is a case of your own followers never actually getting to know you. Even if most of your feed is retweets (like mine), take the time to throw a few of your own thoughts out there every so often so we can see if we connect. When there’s nothing but retweets, while I might know you’re not a bot (well, probably not a bot), I also don’t see anything of you in your Twitter feed.
6) Fictional character account
I just don’t. Personal preference on this one. I want to follow real people, not fictional ones.
7) “Follow-follow back-stop following” game
My absolute biggest pet peeve of Twitter. You follow me. I check out your profile, decide you seem like an interesting (and real) person, and I decide to follow back. Then, within a day or two, you stop following. I HATE THIS GAME! I’ve been burned by this ploy before. These days when I get a new follower, I start looking at the ratio of followers to followees on their account. If someone who’s followed me has 20,000 followers, but is only following a couple thousand (or less) other accounts, I get suspicious (unless they’re some sort of celebrity). I’d love to have tens of thousands of followers, but I refuse to get them by tricking them into following me back. That’s just irritating. I might decide to follow an overbalanced account like this, but if they drop me within a few days? Likewise, buddy. I can unfollow just as easily as you can. I don’t play that game.
On a different note…
This is a suggestion for anyone who has created something (book, art, music, etc…) and put it out there in the cyber-sphere to share. Please do yourself a favor and put a pinned tweet at the top of your page so that I, and others, can retweet that. If I follow someone, or I want to repay a retweet, I’d like to have something of that person to retweet to my followers, instead of just retweeting something they’ve retweeted from someone else. I’ve scrolled down past scores of tweets just to find something from the actual Tweep I’m following. Sure, I’ll retweet retweets, if that’s what you want. But I really want to help you out if I can, so pin something to the top of your page and make it a little easier for your followers to do just that.
And there you have it. A list of the top reasons I won’t follow an account on Twitter. What do you think?