I was recently asked, “What makes me follow someone on Twitter?” That took me longer to think, as I wasn’t really expecting it. I don’t have a formula or anything, so I thought I’d just write down my thoughts and explain them the best I could:
Have a decent profile
If I do not know you, the first thing that will tell me who you are is your profile. If you have a profile like “I don’t do everything, but what I do is good” is a sure-fire reason for me to move on. That was less than useful and you just wasted 15 seconds for me. Have a decent profile. It can be both fun and useful, like “herding packets from here to there”. That will tell me you are a network person. Or “virtualizing the world one container at a time” tells me you are into virtualization, and possibly Docker-type systems.
Don’t be a “re-tweet’er”
If, at this point, your profile hasn’t explained who you are, but something still has me interested, I’ll check your last few tweets. If you don’t have any original statements or opinions, and all your tweets are just retweets from someone else, I’ll pass. If I follow you, it’s because you offer something individually that I’m interested in. Comedy, sports, professional geek’dom, technical data….. I look for things that are not just interesting, but defines who you are. I don’t want a news feed of someone else’s news feed.
If your profile picture is of an egg, and I do not know you (i.e. you are not a friend/colleage in real life), I won’t even look at your profile. If you don’t like your photo for whatever reason, put something else up. A cartoon, a bobble-head, something…. anything that will set you apart from others. Again, I look for individuality, not conformity. If you don’t want to put a little effort in defining who you are on Twitter, then chances are, you don’t put alot of effort in who you are in real-life.
Now, are these the rules you should follow, to be on Twitter? Certainly not. Make your own rules. Not everyone thinks like me. But, maybe this will help you build an identity for yourself on the largest social networking site (unfounded/uncited) in the world. Be someone you are proud of, be yourself, and above all, be an individual.
That’s not to say that I do not like you, or I won’t talk to you. If we have an intelligent or faithful conversation, you have my attention, and I’ll follow.