Since Twitter launched in July 2006, everyone on and off the platform has pretty much been obsessed with a single number – the follower count.
Despite the fact that Twitter follower counts are a false metric – easily gamed or bought, and not indicative of a user’s actual influence – it would take a major paradigm shift to change the fact that the number of followers someone has on Twitter is the main gauge of Twitter influence right now.
Want insight on how to get more followers for yourself? Read on for 10 things to NOT do.
1. #Use #A #Million #Hashtags. There is nothing more annoying than hashtag stuffers. Nothing.
2. Tweet once a minute, 24/7. Twitter is about the facilitation of conversations and dialogues – i.e., discourse between at least two people. Stop spamming your followers if you want to get more.
3. Self-promote constantly. It’s ok to use Twitter to share news about your brand or business, but not if that’s exclusively what you’re tweeting about.
4. Regularly unfollow people who don’t follow you back. You should be following people on Twitter who are interesting or relevant to you, so if you’re one of those people who constantly weeds out what they perceive as dead weight in their follower count, you’re wasting your time. I follow @ConanOBrien because I think he’s hilarious, but I’m not going to unfollow him just because he doesn’t follow me back. (Shout out to Conan! Over here!)
5. Protect your tweets. If you’ve password-protected your Twitter account, we kind of have to ask – why are you on Twitter, then? Perhaps an email listserv among your friends would suit your purposes better.
6. Ask for retweets. SO. ANNOYING. Stop doing it.
7. Consistently break the 140-character rule. Twitter has the 140-character restriction in place for a reason. If you ignore that norm, you’ll no doubt alienate a number of followers.
8. Hijack trending topic after trending topic. A great way to join a conversation on Twitter is jump into an existing discussion using a hashtag. A horrible way to join a conversation on Twitter is to use that tactic constantly, especially with unrelated content, bombarding your followers (and staving off any potential new followers) with commentary on a random assortment of topics.
9. Make spelling errors and grammatical goofs. Grammatically incorrect writing is painful to read – grammatically incorrect tweets are even more painful to read. Twitterers will judge you on how you write, and how you spell, which can have a direct impact on whether your links are clicked and your tweets retweeted.
10. TWEET IN ALL CAPS. There is a time and place for all-capital-letter tweets, and that is when pigs fly, in Antarctica.
No matter how much of this advice you decide to heed, bear this in mind: the quality of followers is much more important than quantity. Wouldn’t you rather have 10 customers in your store who each buy something, than 50 who take a lap and walk out?
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