Just like Mary (Cameron Diaz) in There’s Something About Mary, there’s something about your Tweeps that makes you keep logging in for more. I have 3,398 of them, but I’m still excited whenever more want to follow me! Truth be told, I have a full-on Sally Fields “They really like me!” moment.
In Part 1, I want to discuss how to go about getting, welcoming, and following back (or not following back) the newest additions of your Twitterverse!
Call_Me_Nostalgic: When I first joined Twitter, I really didn’t have any following criteria. If I liked your feed, I followed you and prayed that you would follow my fledgling feed back. (God, my first week’s tweets were awful!) Long story short, it didn’t take long for me to get addicted to the rush that comes with being followed back. When someone actually initiated the following, I was beyond stoked (even if it was an SEO person or a gigantic business). It didn’t matter; they liked me! Eventually, I took my own advice and was just my bookish, slightly corny self. It’s amazing how fast things fell into place and how quickly people started to follow me. Ever since my following passed the 1,000 point, I haven’t actively followed multiple people; I typically just follow back and no, I do not autofollow. Recently my Twitter-world turned upside down when several of my newest Tweeps admitted that they almost didn’t follow me because my numbers were too intimidating. Me? Intimidating? When did that happen? Never be intimidated to follow anyone, we all started at the 0 follower mark!
Ways to find Tweeps:
- Best: Creep your Tweeps’ Tweeps. Whether you look at their lists, browse who they’re following, read the conversations on their feeds, or just take their #FF (#FollowFriday) suggestions to heart. Your Tweeps are awesome so chances are that their friends will be too.
- Ok: Use hashtags to meet like-minded people. Think of the things that define you; for example, I would find Tweeps by using hashtags like #GermanShepherd, #AmWriting, #RiverInTheSea (book I’m currently reading), etc. When you search for these hashtags, you’ll be able to see a lot of other tweets where they’ve been used.
- Worst: Twitter does its best to tell you who to follow, but it fails miserably. If you go to your Home tab and look at the right-hand panel, Twitter provides you with “Who to follow” suggestions. You would think that it would be a good option because it bases the suggestions on who your friends follow, but the suggestions typically lack quality. (It gives you celebrities, businesses local to a specific area, etc.)
Being Followed Back:
There is no way to ensure that people will follow you back. This is a complicated subject, but I’ve broken it down into some simple Dos & Don’ts.
- Do be yourself. Like I said, be yourself and the rest will follow. You shouldn’t go looking for “interesting” things to tweet. (Inspirational quotes are signs of a Twitter newbie.) You’re already an interesting person who reads and does interesting things. Tweet about those things naturally, as you do them.
- Do talk to other people. I never follow pages that don’t have any @mention conversations with other people. It means that they’re into themselves and will inevitably never talk to you. #ForgetThem.
- Do build rapport immediately before or after you have followed them. If you RT the tweet that made you follow them in the first place or say something nice about their rockin’ blog, they are 100% more likely to follow you.
- Do have a reasonable follower to following ratio. People are less likely to follow you if you are following a lot more people than are following you (you look like a spammer, or appear to be uninteresting). Also, unless you’re a celebrity or authority of some kind, there’s no reason why you should be following only a small portion of those who are following you. There’s a misconception that it makes you look cool when, in reality, it only makes you look pompous and out of touch.
- Don’t come on too strong. Again, Twitter is just like real-life! In real-life, if someone is trying crazy hard to be your friend, you get suspicious, right? You can’t help but think that they have an ulterior motive and must want something from you. Basically, don’t go crazy with Do #3.
- Don’t be rude — and please don’t be self-deprecating! I hate when people tweet me things like, “I know I’m not that interesting, but will you follow back?” Yeah, that really makes me want to follow you. Also, never TELL someone to follow you back! Who the hell are you to tell me what to do? Seriously, it has the opposite effect. Make it a question and use “please.”
- Don’t put #FollowBack, #TeamFollowBack, etc. anywhere in your tweets or in your bio. Twitter is all about being genuine and honestly, the latter makes you look like a spammer. People will realize that you’re #TeamFolllowBack when you actually follow them back.
- Don’t just @mention and RT people, mix it up! People want to follow original content, they want to follow you! Make sure that at least 1/3 of your tweets are your personal thoughts and observations.
Welcoming Your Tweeps:
The Twitter community is split over welcome and thank you messages. I have Tweeps who HATE them, and I have Tweeps who think they’re sweet. What do I think? I think that, like thank you cards, they are a nice, albeit time-consuming, thing to give out.
Here’s what I do:
If you initiate the following and I decide to follow you back, I DM you this welcome message:
“Thank you for following me! In addition to reviews, my tweets are primarily about books and words. Enjoy the chaos that is my Twitter feed!”
It thanks you, lets you know what I’m interested in, warns you that some of my tweets are of a more random nature, and signals that I’m kind of fun! It’s very me and I like it. I don’t autofollow so I individually copy and paste that message. I would use everyone’s name to make it more personal, as I have in the past, but my current message has maxed out the character limits.
If I initiate following someone and they follow me back, I DM them something like:
“Thanks for following me back, Karen! I loved your blog post, “Writing When You Don’t Have Time,” suggestion #3 was great!”
They followed you back, so you should make a good first impression by writing something a little more personal.
*If you don’t plan on following someone back, do not send them a welcome DM or tweet of any kind! It’s just rude! It’s like saying something like, “While I don’t care what you have to say, thanks for caring about what I have to say!” This is another reason why I think that automated welcome messages are bad!*
Get your Tweep situation down, and get Twitter down. You’re officially on your way!