I am not a Twitter snob – really – but there are some people who have been using Twitter and think that it’s just a matter of tweeting random musings and links to their own website – or feeding from their Facebook status updates! That’s definitely not the idea.
Those people haven’t gotten the point of Twitter yet. Really there is no point following someone if they don’t know how to use Twitter properly – unless you know them in real life and are planning to gently help them along the way. That’s why I never follow “eggs” (see point 7 below)
Here are the 7 things to look out for
- Have they filled out their bio? You get 160 characters to do so – and it’s often the first impression. If someone doesn’t fill this out then they aren’t giving you much information about themselves as a framework.
- Look for @replies on their page. If they haven’t got any all the way down their Twitter stream – eg. they haven’t talked to anyone on Twitter for days – perhaps they don’t know how to use this all important feature of Twitter – to talk to other people!
- How long has it been since their last Tweet? And how often are they Tweeting? If they only tweet once every few days – well – we all know Twitter isn’t an “occasional habit”!
- Look for how they tweet links – do they shorten their urls? Twitter does cut off the links on long URLs but using a shortener is neater. My favourite is Bit.ly – which has the added bonus of useful stats so you can see which of your shared links got more or fewer clicks, at different times of the say.
- Are they RTing? Do they use both types of RT – the old fashioned way (best for sharing other peoples link shares) and the new “Twitter Retweet” button way (best for sharing the nice things people say about you on Twitter)? RTing shows that they are watching other people’s tweets and sharing them!
- Do they use hashtags? Does it seem like they know what they are for? Hashtags shouldn’t be overused on every word, but to add meaning or a topic to a tweet.
- What Twitter “avatar” or profile picture do they have? A close up of their face is best – but you may find they have a full length shot – this isn’t great as it only shows up as a thumbnail. So if they have a full length shot then they need to redo their Twitter avatar. And if they are an EGG (ie. the default picture) – well – don’t bother! Or if you know them and they are nice you can do them a favour and say “don’t be an egg!”
You can of course point them to this blog if you want to – as a way of giving them a little bit of guidance! If there is anything else which makes you decide NOT to follow someone – or if there are any points above that strike a chord – please comment below!