The following article about followers on Twitter was excerpted from Twitter In 30 Minutes, by author Ian Lamont. Download or purchase the book here.
What happens when someone follows you on Twitter? This is the message that you will see in your email inbox:
You can also see a list of all of your Twitter followers. Go to your profile page on Twitter.com and click the Followers link. All of the accounts following you will be presented in reverse-chronological order.
It may seem strange that these people are following your tweets. Who are they? How did they find out about you? What are their intentions?
For most accounts, it is easy to figure out who they are: Just click on the link to see their profile page and the recent tweets they’ve made.
As for how they found out about you, and why they are following you, those are harder questions to answer. In many cases, they may have stumbled upon you by using Twitter’s search engine or looking at someone else’s list of followers (for instance, if you follow @Oprah or the local newspaper, you will show up on those two accounts’ lists of followers). They may think your tweets are funny or insightful, or you share some common interest.
Most of the time, it’s harmless attention. These strangers will see your tweets, and may even start a dialogue at some point.
But “following” is not synonymous with “stalking.” Twitter creates value by sharing information and letting people and organizations expand their networks, even with strangers who they may never meet in person.
Remember also that anyone can see your tweets. All they need to do is load your profile into their Web browsers. Even if they aren’t following you, they will still see your tweets.
In other words, your tweets are public. If you don’t want anyone to see them, then you should protect your tweets…or not use Twitter at all.
Information on how to block specific users from following you and how to protect your tweets is described below.
To learn more about Twitter followers and how to protect your tweets, download or purchase Twitter In 30 Minutes.
The following article about Twitter accounts to avoid was excerpted from Twitter In 30 Minutes, by author Ian Lamont.
Before I follow Twitter accounts, I check their tweets. If a certain account rarely tweets, or the tweets are boring (for instance, just links to news stories) I won’t follow the Twitter account. Here are some other red flags:
Egg accounts are often new or abandoned accounts, created by people who haven’t uploaded a profile picture to Twitter. For people who have just started tweeting, an egg account is normal (maybe you’re an egg, too!) However, egg accounts that haven’t been updated in months or years are not worth following. The people who own them have given up on Twitter, and most likely won’t ever share something of interest.
Some people on Twitter use Twitter to belittle others, spread bizarre observations, or share intimate details of their warped lives. The tweets are littered with swears and stupidity. Sometimes the accounts belong to teens who don’t know any better. Sometimes they belong to adults who haven’t matured. Rarely do they offer insights or information of value. Don’t bother following them.
Not long after you start using Twitter, you will receive a notification that someone is following you. Most of the time, the followers are legitimate — maybe they are people you know, or people who are following you because of some shared interest.
But others may look a little…off. The tweets seem vapid or unauthentic. They follow hundreds or thousands of people, but have very few people following them back. Links appear in their feeds that don’t come from well-known domains. In addition, the profile pictures tend to show unusually attractive people. Here’s an example:
Don’t get your hopes up if someone like this follows you. Random attractive people probably don’t want to follow you (or me, for that matter). In fact, such accounts do not belong to attractive strangers tweeting about football, travel, and hooking up. These accounts actually belong to spammers, and my guess is most of them are unattractive, basement-dwelling losers who tweet links to low-grade dating sites, advertisements, or online shopping portals that might generate a few pennies every time someone clicks. Don’t click the links, and don’t follow them back!
This article about Twitter accounts to avoid was excerpted from Twitter In 30 Minutes.