We often read posts about how to increase our followers on Twitter. My friend Misty even wrote a fantastic post on this site called, How to Get Followed on Twitter. But in this post I’d like discuss what happens after you have followers. Once you have them, how do you keep them?
I would first like to say that in my opinion, this is not something to over analyze. The most important thing on Twitter is to be yourself. You will be unfollowed by some people and that’s just part of being on Twitter.
If you are genuine and sincere and you are unfollowed by someone, you really have to just let it go. I know there are Twitter accounts like @unfollowr that will send you a direct message when someone unfollows you, but quite honestly, for me, I don’t want to know. Ignorance is bliss.
There are; however, some simple rules of Twitter etiquette that you can follow so you keep the majority of your followers and have a really nice Twitter experience. Here are a few of them:
If you want to retain your followers, you really should tweet often. Everyone has a different opinion of how often that is, but if you go over a month without sending a tweet, you will most likely see a decrease in your Twitter following. There are apps that allow people to mass unfollow tweeps that “aren’t active” and you don’t want to be viewed as one of those accounts. I recommend tweeting every day if you can. For me, I prefer to tweet every hour.
Send Interesting Tweets
If you want to retain your followers, send interesting tweets. To me, this is the number one reason why people will follow you and keep following you. Interesting tweets provide strong content and are valuable. There are three ways to get this information to tweet: You can create this content (ie. on your blog), you can find it through your RSS feeds and sites you follow, or you can RT it from your Twitter network. I use all three methods. My friend, @bkmacdaddy, wrote a great post on this topic: How To Become A Link-Spewing Maniac and Still Have A Life
Once you start sending interesting tweets, people will view you as someone they can RT good content from. This is a great way to retain your followers. Just be sure to be RT’able by keeping your tweets to 120 characters or less.
We hear this all the time, but it is so important that I think it is worth saying again. One way to get unfollowed in a hurry on Twitter is to never engage anyone. Take the time to say hello to your followers and get to know them. Build relationships. That is when the true magic of Twitter happens.
Use Direct Messages for Long Conversations with One Person
If you want to retain your followers, it is important not to carry on a long conversation with one person in the public timeline. For me, the general rule of thumb is that if we’ve gone back and forth more than three or four times, we should jump onto DM. The fewer followers you have the more you can get away with this, but once you have thousands of followers, it’s definitely something to keep in mind.
Don’t Do Anything to Ruin Your Reputation
Twitter is like real life. If you ruin your reputation in real life, nobody wants to hang out with you. It’s the same thing on Twitter. There are exceptions to the rule, for example, if your whole persona is about shocking people, and that is why they follow you, then this rule doesn’t apply. For the rest of us though, it matters. You can get more information about this here: 10 Ways To Ruin Your Reputation On Twitter
If you want to retain your Twitter followers, be yourself and be genuine. Most people on Twitter know when someone is being fake. It’s just not worth it. Be sincere and have fun! Twitter is like one big cocktail party. Just mingle and talk to people, it is really that simple!
If you would like to learn more about things that you might do that will annoy your followers, you can read this post. According to this, sending auto-DMs seems to be the number one most annoying thing: What’s Most Annoying About Twitter? See Your Answers Here.
I’m sure I’ve probably left some things off this list and I’d love your feedback, please leave a comment below!
Thank you to http://www.flickr.com/photos/34520684@N03/3867266440/ for the great Twitter wallpaper image above!