Twitter Acid Test – Discovery Beyond the Shiney Objects and Creative Avatars

What are the critieria by which you choose to follow someone on Twitter?

I have several “shiney object” criteria that attract me to click the “follow” link.

  1. A unique or attactive image.
  2. A unique or creative title that expresses something I am interested in.
  3. A bio that contains humor, self-awareness and beauty.
  4. Names or Bios that include the following concepts: writer, poet, poetry, musician, songwriter, cat, dog, animal tweets, enterprise 2.0, rock n roll.
  5. An awesome post, great link, something that makes me laugh, something that awakens my senses, senseless beauty, epiphanies, spirit.
  6. A retweet by a contact that contains any of the above qualities.

And in the same way there are a number of tell tale signs that the potential tweeter is not my cup of tea.

  1. A salesly name, bio or tweet with topics such as: real estate, sales, increase your twitter followers, let me show you how, business propositions, deals, tips, company PR channels, b2b, b2c, “social media”, expert, guru.
  2. An AutoBot Tweeter (AutoFollow and AutoDM after I have connected to them.) Cause if you’re an Auto-Bot I don’t really want to hear from you. There may be exceptions, and I don’t unfollow simply by being refollowed, but you your gonna follow me back do it in person, not via an auto-responder-out-of-office-automaton message. I don’t care how personal or happy you try to make the message, it comes across as fake. However, one word, that shows you actually looked at my profile, “nice bio” or “songwriter, eh?” is enough to make me smile. And that’s what all this is about, the smile.
  3. Forgetting the smile. All business and no fun makes for unfollowed tweeps.

There was an article about happy people hanging around other happy people. And how happy folks actually attract more happy folks. And being with someone who is happy can actually make you feel better yourself. And happiness is a lot of what we are here to BE. I am all about happy. If something you tweet makes me smile, giggle, or just feel a warm fuzzy, then I’m IN.

So the discovery of new Twitter people is fun and addictive. Just as finding new friends on Facebook can keep you up late at night, Twitter “following” is no different. But when your “following” count goes above 1,000 tweeps, how do you manage?

I tell you, my criteria gets pretty honed when I am reviewing the people I follow for dead wood. I use several tools.

But the basic task is flipping back through pages (20 tweeps per screen) and unfollowing the uninspired. And for that quick list the criteria becomes much simpler. So the Occam’s Razor of Twitter unfollows is this.

Does the Tweeter Follow Me?

  • IF NO. Do I recognize the tweeter? If not, they have probably not made any tweets that stick in my memory.
    • IF YES: Skip to next Tweeter.
    • IF NO: Do I still recognize my initial interest in following the Tweeter?
      • IF NO: UNFOLLOW.
      • IF YES: Keep and skip to next Tweeter.
  • IF YES. Do I recognize the Tweeter?
    • IF YES: Have they made any memorable tweets?
      • IF YES: Keep and skip to next Tweeter.
    • IF NO. Do I still recognize my initial interest in following the Tweeter?
      • IF NO: UNFOLLOW.
      • IF YES: Keep and skip to next Tweeter.

And to review, here is the Twitter Formula:

TS = FUD (Twitter Satisfaction = Following good tweeps, Unfollowing shallow tweeps, Discovering new tweeps)



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