The Donts of Twitter

You have signed up for Twitter and are starting to work with the interface, gaining more followers. This will help you to get more out of Twitter. However, there are some unwritten rules about Twitter that you should follow, both to be a good member of Twitter and also to get the most benefit out of Twitter for your reputation and the reputation of your business.

One of the main rules of Twitter is to not mass follow and unfollow people continuously. What I mean by this is that you should not repeatedly follow and unfollow numerous people. You do not want to falsely inflate and deflate the number of followers you have in your Twitter account. If you do this, Twitter will likely take notice, and certainly, the followers you have will take notice of these fluctuating numbers and realize that something is up, something that is likely fishy and unnatural.

It is natural to have a gradual increase and decline in your followers numbers. After all, it takes time for people to learn about who you are, what you are about, what your expertise, and whether it is worth following you, both in terms of trust and in terms of what information you provide. Similarly, you are bound to lose some subscribers over time as well – they may figure out that the information you are providing isn’t what they are looking for, they’re just trying to manage their Twitter account in a more efficient manner, etc. Again, gradual increases and declines are natural.

Hopefully, if your follower count is increasing or decreasing by a few hundred or thousand
every day, people are going to start taking notice, and chances are, they’re going to be suspicious. While it’s possible to have a genuine mass influx of followers if you are providing consistently good information and it’s going viral across the Web, having that happen every day is going to likely cause people to question your reputation because it’s just not natural to expect that much of an influx each day. Most people will think that you’re paying for Twitter followers or using various systems to try to inflate your follower count.

Therefore, you should always try to build your follower base the natural way – using those automated systems or paying for mass numbers of followers may sound like a good idea at first, but you don’t really know if they will be worthwhile followers or not (chances are, they probably won’t be), and the key to having success on Twitter is having worthwhile followers, not the most number of followers. This is similar to building your opt-in lists – it’s not the number of subscribers, but how responsive they are to you. It’s the same with your Twitter followers, focus on quality, not quantity.

Another action that is frowned upon Twitter is sending rapid repeat messages one right after another. I see some Twitter users sending out 10 successive quotes in a row, within 5 seconds or so of each other. This action is annoying for two reasons:

1.    You want time to digest the information you are receiving; receiving rapid tweets from one person is going to prevent you from digesting the information, thereby making it harder to perceive the value in those tweets and causing your view of that person’s reputation to drop.
2.    Each tweet will move down other tweets in your tweet feed (the space where tweets from those you are following appear). This can prevent you from reading other tweets that you may find more interesting and valuable. This will both annoy you and cause you to want to unfollow the other person who is sending out continuous tweets within a short time period.

Therefore, you definitely do not want to tweet repeatedly over a short time period. You want to at least space them out by a minimum of 30-60 seconds, and preferably, you only want to do that on a limited basis, not all of the time. Otherwise, your reputation and your follower count will likely drop, thereby damaging a primary reason you’re on Twitter in the first place – to gain valuable followers and build valuable relationships with them.

By knowing these Twitter pitfalls, you can avoid committing them. Once you lose a follower, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get him/her back. Just as with an opt-in subscriber or with a website visitor, you work so hard to gain a Twitter follower – why would you want to risk losing that person potentially forever?  Therefore, make sure to avoid committing the actions mentioned above, and you’ll greatly reduce the likelihood that you lose Twitter followers due to your own poor actions.

To learn more about Twitter, social media and internet marketing strategies, ‘follow me’ here Follow Cliff Teo. To garner more social media strategies, sign-up for a 6-part free “Socialize to Online Riches” here:

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