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Twitter followersHere’s a checklist for deciding whether to follow someone or not. I will ignore an account if they have:

  • No profile photo
  • No header image
  • No profile statement
  • No location
  • A profile that mentions increasing Twitter followers or buying Twitter followers

Content that retweets or posts content from one site only, e.g., azviral, onviral, or other click-bait site

  • No original content
  • Weird fonts, almost Cyrillic quality to the font. These always seem to get suspended by Twitter
  • Don’t engage (have conversations) with their followers
  • A hard sell message – no story telling ability
  • Sexual or explicit content

This screenshot of an account, (name and handle erased) made several mistakes: No picture, no profile, no location. Big tip off, they only tweet from azviral.info.  Many “bot” accounts now create profiles, pictures, etc., but only push out content to promote a website. Look at what the account is doing on Twitter before you follow them.They aren’t interested in engagement.

Screenshot of a suspect Twitter account

This account follows me. I didn’t follow back!

I don't follow accounts with content like this!

I don’t follow accounts with content like this!

Other things to consider:

  • Followers/Following ratio. Not a hard and fast rule. Examine their content. Celebrities and national brands & services rarely follow back. New accounts on Twitter will typically follow more people than they have following. It is a newbie mistake, but not a deal breaker. Everyone has to start someplace. Again, look at their content and if there is a mix of original, RT, shared content, etc., give them a shot.
  • Be wary of people who only follow you so you follow back. Once you do, they unfollow you. I use an app called “Find Unfollow” and it will let you know who has unfollowed you.

    Find Unfollow App

    Find Unfollow has a free and a $.99 version

  • Find followers on organized Twitter chats – on topics that mean something to you. You will find like-minded people who share a passion. There are Twitter chats on practically every topic. My favorites are #GardenChat (Monday nights) and #AgChat (Tuesday nights).

While I am not a big player on Twitter, I’ve been on the platform two and a half years and have slowly, steadily built an authentic following. I am fine with my progress. I don’t sell a product or service for profit or personal monetary gain. If I tweeted about one niche area or subject, my growth would have been faster. My profile provides a strong clue on what to expect (agriculture, art, social media), and while diverse, it is an honest account of why I use the platform. My Klout score, if that matters, hovers around a respectable 63-65, and that is, in part, a reflection of being authentic and having an influencing value. My following/followers ratio is pretty even.

As a real person, I look to follow living humans or businesses who employ humans to use Twitter in real time and know how to engage on social media. Collecting followers and tweeting empty content will not increase your influencer rate or Klout score. It will grow followers, but will not grow your personal or professional brand. Furthermore, following real people has lead to personal meetings, new networks, and friendships. There’s no Twitter stat for that!