This article originally appeared on 60 Second Social.

The decision to follow people on Twitter is generally made within seconds, you have little time to impress. So why do people look at your profile and then decide not to follow you on Twitter?

First thing that needs to be mentioned is your bio, before we talk about why people don’t follow you on Twitter you need to take a look at yourself. Make sure your bio says what it needs to say about you, we have seconds to make an impression so keep it short, sharp and to the point. Twitter is fast paced, there is no time to beat around the bush. Give people an idea of what content to expect just from reading your bio.

So now that we have mentioned the bio, why are people not following you when they look at your profile. Below are some reasons as to why I personally decide not to follow people on Twitter, it could be why you are not finding as much success with your follower numbers.

1. You are a social media guru/expert.

People who refer to themselves as “social media gurus/experts” almost certainly are not, so try not to use this awful expression. You may work in social media however it is ever-changing to the point where there is something new to learn every day.

Referring to yourself as a “guru/expert” is an off putting term. In my bio I am a “social media geek” which gets the point across that I love social media, but I am nowhere near being an expert.

2. You look like an egg.

Seen this icon on Twitter before?

We all have at some point and it is a definite no-no. In fact this should be one of the first things you need to change when you join Twitter. If I cant “see” the personality behind the account then I am straight away put off and have no interest in following that person.

For services like Twitter it is best to use a picture of yourself or a company logo if appropriate. Try not to use photos of celebrities, if I follow Emma Watson on Twitter then I don’t really want/need to see you using a photo of Emma Watson as your avatar too.

3. You want to sell something…and don’t use Twitter for anything else…

Twitter is great if you have things to sell. If you are selling a product or service then there is fantastic promotion to be found on Twitter, however if you are a ‘hard seller’ who constantly tweets trying to make a sale and who covers their bio in a sales pitch then there will be little interest in people wanting to follow you.

By all means, promote things and try to make a sale, however trying to sell in a crude manner which clogs up peoples Twitter streams and makes you look like nothing more than a spammer will have people clicking on the ‘unfollow’ button quicker than you can tweet your next sales pitch.

4. You are part of #TeamFollowBack.

This is one that really gets me, it is a pet hate of mine – #TeamFollowBack. This is essentially a large group of people who swarm Twitter with the mantra, ‘if you follow me then I will follow you back,’ and it is not an attractive premise.

Twitter is not about blindly following people without a good reason, it is about curating your stream of content so that it is interesting and tailored to you, so being part of this ridiculous #TeamFollowBack does in fact defeat the whole purpose of what Twitter should be used for.

It is perfectly acceptable to not follow people who choose to follow you, I am always looking for great new accounts to follow, however if someone follows me I always have a look at their profile and if its not for me then I am not going to follow you back.

Promising to follow back means you end up diluting your stream with content that may not be of interest to you. Please, don’t be one of those people. Additionally if you are someone who follows me and then moans about people not following back, well you know where the unfollow button is I’m sure.

5. Robots craft your tweets.

Have you seen one of these on Twitter?

I get them multiple times, in fact publishing content regularly means you get them a lot of the time. At first when I saw something like this I thought it was something cool and someone promoting my stuff, however I soon found out that it is junk.

People want to see genuine updates to their stream in real time. They don’t want to hear what your ‘top stories’ are via a third party curation service, it looks nothing more than spam and to be honest that is exactly what it is…spam.

Twitter is about engagement, if you don’t reply to people interact with the trending topics in your stream and rely on robots to do your work for you then you are doing it wrong.

6. You send DM spam.

We all hate spam email, so why do people think it is acceptable to send DM’s like this on Twitter then?

So I just made the decision to follow your content and the first thing you do is spam me with some promotional rubbish about sales or a service you are offering. Guess what, I just unfollowed you again. These DM’s make my blood boil and they are becoming more common to see too.

It has to be the laziest form of marketing going, put some care and attention into your marketing strategy and don’t send me your crap. Another great way to see your follower count drop.

So there you have it, some reasons why I decide not to follow people on Twitter and if you are finding it tough getting your follower numbers up then this could be it. Ultimately though it makes no difference, 50 followers, 200 followers, 1,000 followers, 150,000 followers. Whatever number is attached is not the important thing, the important thing is interacting with people, the followers will come over time.

About The Author

Mark is the founder of 60 Second Social media where he provides social media news and digital marketing analysis, he is also a proud father of his bearded dragon, Lola. You can follow him on Twitter here. You can also follow 60 Second Social on Twitter here.

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