Want to know the quickest way to get somebody to not follow you on Twitter?
By asking them in a tweet.
Sounds backward, doesn’t it? If it’s somebody you know, then sure, go ahead, but most of the time openly asking a stranger to follow you on Twitter is the worst thing you can do. I mean, why would they? It’s like going up to somebody random in the street and insisting you both exchange phone numbers.
Sure, some people will reciprocate. But – and if I can be frank here for a moment – virtually nobody worth following will pay you any attention whatsoever, let alone hit the green button and asking you to marry their daughter. And the more you beg, the more harm you’ll do. As well as chipping away at whatever self-esteem you have left, the best and most likely outcome is that you will be blocked.
Want to know how to get followed?
Be useful (and be yourself). Don’t bug others. Read their tweets. Retweet appropriately (but sparingly). Be consistent. Don’t be a yes man. Have an opinion (but don’t be an ass about it). Ask questions (but check with Google first). Be polite. Raise your game. Become an authority or expert in your field – have a reason to be noticed. Be positive (not giddy). Fill out your bio. Have a proper avatar that shows your face (not your eye, cat or baby). Don’t tweet about your last bowel movement. Keep an eye on your follower ratio. Be interesting (but keep tabs on the crazy).
Tick most of these boxes and while a follow isn’t guaranteed, you’ll definitely have increased your chances. You will get replies, you will get attention, and you’ll have dramatically raised the odds of having a meaningful connection. But, please, and no matter how good an idea it seems at the time, don’t send a tweet asking them to make it official.