Why You’re Not Taken Seriously on Twitter

I was going through my Twitter followers a few days ago, deciding who to follow back. I’m woefully behind on this task, I admit. It’s not first on my list of things to do, and I often fall behind.

But as I was going through the list of people following me, a few things stood out to me. And I thought it might be valuable to you as you set up your own social networking profiles.

  • Always, always, ALWAYS include an appropriate photo. I am shocked at the number of logos and questionable photos people use on their social networks. But I’ll tell you one thing…no photo (or gross photo)? No follow! If I don’t see a photo, it’s almost guaranteed that you’re a fake account that’s up to no good. If you want someone to follow you back, make sure your photo represents you and your business well.
  • Put some effort into your bio. It amazes me when people completely skip the info section of the bio on social networks. It says, “I want to get to know you, but I’m not offering you the same courtesy.” Again, spammers and the like set up dozens of fake accounts that are photo and bio-less. Most people who see these things missing automatically assume you are a spammer, and will not follow you back.
  • Protected tweets. If you don’t want people to see what you’re putting out there, use Facebook. Twitter is about the free flow of information. When you protect your tweets, you’re putting out an artificial disconnect that doesn’t work in this environment. It also makes you look a bit stuck up, as if you think your information is more important than what others are sharing. Most people I know won’t follow back anyone with protected Tweets.
  • Using a business name instead of your name. Now this does not apply to your company. But for you, the independent consultant, you should be using your name on your account, not some pseudonym. Otherwise, you look like you’re just another yahoo that wants to sell me something. Who wants to be stalked by marketers? There are way too many people like that on Twitter. Don’t be one of them. Your real name says you’re interested in building a relationship with me first. I’m a lot more likely to follow you if you lead with your name.
  • Avoid acronyms. I just love it (this is sarcastic) when I get a follower whose bio is full of an alphabet soup of acronyms. If the only people you’re interested in connecting with are people who understand what those acronyms mean, then maybe that will work for you. (But then why the heck are you following me???) It just comes off as a little arrogant. Your bio should welcome people in, not alienate people because they don’t understand what you’re talking about.

If you’re going to go to all the effort to set up a Twitter account and follow people, at least take the extra five minutes to set up your profile properly. Otherwise it’s not going to do you a whole lot of good.

Your thoughts?

13 Responses to Why You’re Not Taken Seriously on Twitter
  1. Darrell Evans
    March 21, 2011 | 2:31 am

    It’s funny…as I read this I found some of the same annoyances from people who follow me. I’m still trying to adjust to the sheer number of people who find me seemingly just to promote.
    Darrell Evans recently posted..The Online Branding Formula That Could Change Your Life

  2. ThirtyOneKahne
    March 16, 2011 | 2:52 pm

    Love the article! As I read your listings of frequent offenses…I made sure I was none of those. LOL Great article to pass onto my team so they can keep this in mind when utilizing Twitter and FB Pages for their business. 🙂

    • Jennifer Fong
      March 17, 2011 | 10:49 am

      Awesome! Thanks for spreading the word!

  3. Barbara Ellis
    March 15, 2011 | 10:32 am

    Good post Jennifer! I’m still amazed at how many “followers” I have who just don’t get it. The only thing I have done differently than you suggest is I’ve used my company name instead of my own (which is generic and already gone 10 times over when I signed up for Twitter 2 years ago)! I have listed my real name and use my own photo…and engage other people so anyone can see I’m a real person!

    Come say hi…I’m @TheStylishChick :o)

    • Jennifer Fong
      March 15, 2011 | 1:18 pm

      Thanks for the comment Barbara! To clarify, I meant to use your own name in association with your account. If it can be the username great, but that’s not often realistic anymore. Cheers!

  4. Deb The Sales Trainer
    March 15, 2011 | 8:27 am

    Good points, Jennifer! I think of Twitter as being “noisy”. In order to achieve quality followers you need to be above the noise. Consistent, Quality, Value and Connections of real people work on Twitter but you have to rise above the noise! Sometimes not easy!

    • Jennifer Fong
      March 15, 2011 | 1:19 pm

      It definitely is the folks who engage and provide value who stand out among all the hype. Thanks for commenting Deb!

  5. Christie Jarvis
    March 14, 2011 | 9:11 am

    Yes! Thank you Jen and also Paul…I too hate those auto responders.
    Christie Jarvis recently posted..Relay for Life

  6. Paul Young
    March 14, 2011 | 8:54 am

    Great article, Jen! You inspired me to change my picture to something a little more businesslike.

    I’d also suggest that people refrain from those awful, auto-follow direct messages. Nothing irritates me more than a canned, imitation sincere, message from someone.
    Paul Young recently posted..Pepsi’s Chrysler Moment

    • Jennifer Fong
      March 15, 2011 | 1:22 pm

      SO agree Paul. Those auto-DMs drive me nuts too!

  7. Melanie Hall
    March 14, 2011 | 8:39 am

    AMEN, Sister! Thank you. (Sharing this.)

    • Jennifer Fong
      March 15, 2011 | 1:22 pm

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

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