Thursday, 10 January 2013

Seven reasons why I'm not following you back on #Twitter

Warning - this is a rant. Okay, maybe not quite a rant because I've mulled this over a few times to make sure these are the top seven things that annoy me most about Twitter. I may lose a few followers over this, but I know in general most of my friends get annoyed by these kind of things too. So, the reasons I won't auto-follow you back:

1.A profile without an image/information, or a profile that is just links and/or tells me nothing about YOU. As Dr.Evil would say "throw me a frickin' bone here!" Tell me something. I've seen profiles that have just left me thinking "huh?!" Some that are nothing but links or hashtags that I've never even seen, let alone know what they mean. A lot of team follow back ones, something I especially hate because the obsession seems to be about numbers and not interaction (and 90% of the time it will all be bots anyway). No info - just #follow #back #teamfollow etc. I don't mind comedy ones, but tell me something real that I can connect to. Mine might be a tad boring, but I've tried to tell you who I am in the space allowed. Just post a link to your log/website where all your books are listed if you're an author - if I like something in your profile or tweets, I'll check them out. But I won't click all the links in your profile.

2.An auto DM when I follow you, telling/asking me to check out your book/services/Facebook page/Blogsite. Don't do it! I don't autofollow, so if I DO follow you, then there's a good chance I've seen something about you that interests me. You should have your fb page/blog etc on your profile - at least one of them, but preferably not all otherwise there's no space for you to tell the world what you're about, and a load of links with no info makes me think you're only about selling something - so I can check that out if I want to. But I already follow over 900 people, and I don't check out all their sites. Usually I'll wait until they tweet something that interests me. But if you DM me pushing me to check you out, I will automatically unfollow.

3.RTing #mm, #ww and #ff mentions. Please don't! Thank the person who mentioned you, but don't RT the whole thing! That means if my name happened to be in that mention, I get a stream full of the same mentions over and over again. Why?! You're not mentioning me specificially! The person who did the original tweet did that! Just thank them and maybe #ff them back or whatever. I'll have seen your ID in the original tweet already, and all you do by RTing it is discourage me from following you so I get them all over again.

4.Don't specifically @ me to RT. I will RT things for some friends, things that interest me personally or are a warning about scams and dodgy deals, charities and good causes, and things like submission calls. If you're desperate for RTs then cultivate a following. Or add 'pls RT' to your tweet and hope a few generous souls will do so.

5.Don't tweet just links with no explanation. I see a lot of these, and frankly I won't click them because scammers do that all the time. At least tell me what the link is about, or why you've RT'd it if you have.

6.Don't tweet nothing but sales links and/or reviews, and especially don't @ them at people. I came onto Twitter because I read it was THE place for authors to promote. But I have to say I use it mostly to socialize. Okay, so I now have titles on sale and I have tweeted sales links and reviews, but 90% of my tweeting is chat. The rest is the odd bit of promotion, and more likely promotion for other authors and events that I like rather than myself. Talk to me. Chat. Interact. Don't just hit me with sales links, because I don't like it and I try hard as Hades not to do it myself. Never TELL me to buy your book. How would you like it if I told you to buy mine?

7.Don't repeatedly follow and unfollow me to try and get me to follow. I DO notice things like that. If it happens three or four times over a year, then maybe you've forgotten you unfollowed me before, or maybe I've started tweeting stuff you're interested in again, and then you get bored. And I am aware of the Twitter glitch that meant people were being unfollowed from others without knowing. But do it four or five times in a month or more, and it feels like you're just jumping up and down going 'look at me, LOOK AT ME!' If I didn't follow you back the first or second time, no way am I going to now.

So, what are your pet peeves on Twitter? Did I miss any out?


  1. I agree with most of the things you say, especially all the automated messages with, "Hey, download this." Super-annoying. I never check my Twitter messages, because they're too filled with junk, LOL.

    I don't agree with the re-tweeting one. I mean, the point of #FF and #WW is to recruit new followers for friends, and if people RT something with your address it spreads even more. From my point of view, I'm delighted when someone mentions me and it's RTd. =D

    1. I just find RTing a big bunch of names meaningless and I don't follow any of them. To me, I'd rather see individual names and a reason why someone believes they should be followed. For example #ff @person, editor, cover creator and writer of scifi. Or even #WW #specfic @tom, @dick and #harry. Does that make sense? Otherwise it's just 'follow Susan, Mike, Steve, Alice and Tracy because I do.' I'm not going to click through a whole bunch of names but give me one reason and I might.

  2. Well, I was saving this for an upcoming post of my own, but here's item number four of "13 Ways You (Yes, You) are Doing Twitter Wrong". It somewhat echoes/affirms what you've already said.

    4. Quid Pro Quon’t do Me any Favors

    I actually saw a tweet the other day that stated something similar to, “If you’re not following me, I’m going to unfollow you, soon. I don’t need tweeps who aren’t following. Pls RT.”

    Why it’s wrong: This is wrong on a fundamental level. First, there is no implied reciprocity on Twitter. If I follow you, you have no obligation to follow me back. I realize that, when you’re getting started, you need to follow some people in the hopes they’ll follow you back, but you don’t need to “punish” them if they don’t. In fact, unfollowing someone is not a punishment. If you’re not interested in what I have to say, we’re both better off if you don’t follow me. If you’re marketing something, tricks to gain followers are worthless; having followers who aren’t interested in what you have to say won’t help your sales.

    What to do instead: Follow people whose tweets you want to see. Let your own follower list grow as a result of your ability to attract people who want to hear from you.

    1. I agree Bryan - some people do feel that the fact they're following you automatically means you HAVE to follow them back, and if you don't, even call you out for it. There's even programs that will automatically tweet to the world who unfollowed you, or will autofollow people for you when they follow, and send out annoying spam DMs saying 'Hey, I autofollowed you using program letsannoypeople for free, and so can you!' Really? If someone feels they need to use an autofollow service, it makes me wonder if the person ever actually interacts on Twitter for real or just lets a bot run their account. As for calling someone out for not following back or unfollowing - doesn't that seem petty?

  3. Love the rant and so agree...

    You've won a Liebster Award.

    Check it out!

    Now go tell everyone about it! Yeah, team! LOL!

    Lynn Crain

  4. I agree with everything in your post!

    I hate the whole 'Hey, if you're not following me, I won't unfollow you', too. I see many tweets about how many people have unfollowed that particular person, etc. Who cares?? Heck, there's probably been LOADS of people who have unfollowed me. Do I worry about it? Hell, no. I've got far more important things to concern myself with than what stranger has decided they don't like what I tweet.

    The auto-DMs are a nuisance, but I mainly put it down to newbies not realising most people hate the auto-DMs.


I always love to hear your thoughts.