Twitter has been great because it adds a value to my life I just can’t get from other services. Where else can you just poof have a conversation with a major CEO, or managing editor, or a long-revered photojournalist? Professionally it’s been great. Heck, I even landed my job at the Center for Sustainable Journalism on Twitter.
But, I’ll admit, with all the junk floating around I find it laborious to sign on, check someone’s feed and do a through evaluation of their personality traits every time I get a “new follower” update in my inbox.
Honestly, I’ve gotten to the point that I can tell pretty much everything I need to know about you from the graphic in my e-mail.
My primary use of Twitter is for professional development and staying connected with others in my field. I have a few friends, but I’m just not the ‘let’s live tweet the season premiere of XYZ’ kind of guy.
With that said, the little graphic that ends up in my e-mail is basically your cover letter. You are tasked with convincing me (and everyone/anyone else) that you’re actually worth following. Here’s how to do it:
- Make the link between your profile name and you obvious.
Sorry FernGuyz87, but after a while I WILL forget your name was George from that conversation we had 10 months ago. Make the connection between who you are and/or what you do with your name. If you get a good, widely-known name that may be worth keeping (I’m facebook.com/multimediajournalist, for example), but otherwise go with your real name or an easy to understand – and short – abbreviation. Not doing this can show a lack of attention to detail.
- Tell me what you do and offer some insight into your personality or life, quickly.
Bio box time. Give your title, or perspective title, who you are, and (indirectly) why you’d be interesting to follow. The point, I think, is to have fun with it a bit. Twitter is more informal to platforms like LinkedIn, allowing users to have normal, day-to-day type communications and get to know some interesting people that may not have otherwise met.
- Are you a follower or leader?
I hate to sound like a marketer, but your ratio of the number of people you follow compared to the number of people who follow you does matter a bit. Don’t go follow 800 people when only 60 people follow you. It says much more if you have 60 followers and only follow 20 people. Big numbers aren’t the most important things.
- You’ve only sent four tweets… ever?!
Seriously? You’ve only sent four tweets? Well, if you are a real person, you should use it more. Honestly, following you probably wouldn’t add any value to my day. The main thing is, though, that is a quick indicator that you’re looking at a junk, spam or bot account. If you’re new to the game play around and talk to some random people before you try and get a follow back from your idol. You may only get one shot. On that note, the best way to get followers is to, well, tweet a lot. Go figure.
- How many mutual friends do we have?
If you do everything else right then I don’t put much weight on our mutual friends. Twitter is great for meeting new people. But if I’m still a little weary I’ll check this box out. Obviously, the more friends we mutually follow (and that follow each of us) shows you’re a cool cat and we can be friends.
So, that’s my advice for optimizing you profile to get more follow-backs. What’s yours? Oh, if you want feel free to follow me on Twitter