3 Areas of Your Twitter Profile That Could Be Preventing You From Growing Your Following

04Feb10

Are you trying to build your twitter following but can’t seem to get new followers?  You probably need to take a look at the following areas of your profile:

1. Your Bio

What you say about yourself is one of the first things I look at when deciding if I’m going to follow someone.  If you don’t have a bio, I’m probably not going to waste my time trying to figure out what you’re about and therefore will not follow you.  If you do have a bio, I want to see keywords that describe the value you will be providing me with through your posts as well as something personal that lets me know you’re a real person.  I do not want to be following a machine.

Example of a good bio:

This user makes it very clear what their interests are, both professionally and personally.  I know exactly what to expect if I follow this user.

Example of a bad bio:

This is an obvious sell.  It does not in anyway give me the impression that this is an actual person’s account.  I know that if I follow it back, I will get nothing of value…just spam.

2. Your Web URL

Always provide a website for users to visit to learn more about you.  Even if you don’t have a company website or blog, chances are that you at least have one other profile on a social networking site that you can show (i.e., LinkedIn or Facebook).  DO NOT, no matter what, use a shortened URL on your profile.  Most people will be hesitant to click on it if they do not know what they are going to open.  Shortened URLs are great to use in your posts, but not on your profile.  Also, only the first 17 characters of the URL are displayed on your profile…so, unless it won’t work for some reason, take the “www.” out of the URL.  Taking out the “www.” brings 4 more characters into view allowing users to see more of the URL and, therefore, having a better idea of what they will be opening if they click on your link.

Take a look at the difference:

VS.  

3. Your Posts

There are a few things about your posts that I check out when deciding if I’m going to follow you back or not.  The first is if you’ve ever even posted at all.  If you have never made a post to twitter, I’m not going see any value in following you.  Secondly, if you haven’t posted in a few months I’m going to assume that you are not active on twitter and, therefore again, will not provide me with any value.  If you have posted on twitter recently, I’m going to look at what conversations you are engaging in and what content you are sharing with your followers.  If I see that you are participating in conversations with other twitter users and/or posting content of value, I will follow you back.  On the other hand, if you are trying to sell yourself or a product in all of your posts, I am not going to follow you back.

Example of selling posts:

Each one of the links in these posts lead to a site that has either been flagged for spam or is trying to sell the same product.  This user is not providing any value to their followers.

Here is an example of how NOT to start conversations on twitter:

This is nothing but a shameless attempt to get attention on twitter.  If I see a lot of posts like this on a users’ feed, I will not follow them back because they clearly do not know how to use twitter.  You shouldn’t TELL people to follow you, you should demonstrate the value you will provide them with if they do.  (I inserted the red arrows to cover-up the “victims” names)

These are just a few factors that determine whether or not I will follow someone on twitter.  What things do you look at when deciding who you want to follow?  Have you decided not to follow someone for these reasons too?  Or perhaps you’ve been making these mistakes and now you know what to change in order to grow your following?  Let me know your thoughts!

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