Sunday, November 15, 2009


Twitter Pain:

5 Good Reasons to Be ‘UnFollowed”

Nobody likes to feel rejected. Unwanted. We all want to feel that we’re important and that what we have to say is important. Unfortunately, Twitter – the SMS that started SMS - has demonstrated just how painful it is to be “unfollowed.”

If you’re a Twitter junkie and you check your Twitter stats each day, you just might have an addiction. And you just might be carrying around a misconception that you aren’t worthy of a following. Especially when you log on to Twitterholic and discover that the number of people following you has dropped. You’ve been “unfollowed.”

Hurts, huh? Well, don’t let it get to you. Being “unfollowed” may actually set you on the right Twitter track and get your mind back to real work. There are a lot of reasons a one-time follower might “unfollow” you. And, in many cases, that’s a good thing.

1. Don’t just collect followers. Target who follows you.

You probably receive any number of requests to follow this Tweeter or that each day in your inbox. “So-and-so is now following you on Twitter” is a nice message to find in your email box.

However, not all of these followers are interested in you or what you have to say. These Tweet addicts collect followers like some people collect snow globes or baseball cards. They don’t care what you post. They don’t even read it.

Check out the characters who follow 11K other Tweeters and have a following of 13K Tweeters. Do you think that collector actually reads your Tweets? Most likely not. In fact, your Tweet posts may just clog up the guy’s Tweetdeck columns.

Pick your followers carefully. Check out their web sites or blogs. Is their business related to your own? Do they really want to learn more about web marketing or are they in the shoe business?

If you get dropped by someone who’s totally unrelated to you, your business, your interests or utile connectivity, what’s the problem? You haven’t lost anything – except somebody who wasn’t interested in your Twitter posts any way. Pick your followers with care and don’t follow a Tweeter simply because s/he is following you. Even on little Twitter, the quality of your following is more important than the number of folks actually following you.

Even in Tweetville, hang out with people who can do you some good. Follow those in your industry. And if you are unfollowed by someone who’s got nothing to do with you or your business, no harm done.

Go for a targeted, topic-specific following and leave the Tweeter collectors to their own business. You haven’t lost a thing.

2. Is Twitter THAT important to you?

Twitter is like the old school playground. If you have a lot of followers, you feel popular. If no one is following you, you feel left out. An outcast.

Twitter doesn’t drive traffic effectively and search engines rarely pick up your Tweets. If you’re trying to win a popularity contest, losing a follower might make you feel sad. But, you’re an adult and losing a follower that you don’t know, someone who has nothing in common with you or what you do, isn’t much of a loss, is it?

Twitter isn’t a popularity contest so if you get “unfollowed” so what? You’re still you. You still deliver quality services or sell quality products. Why would you even care if you’re unfollowed by someone you’ve never met and who shares nothing in common with you? Good riddance. Move on, and be more selective in who you follow.

3. On Twitter, sometimes fewer followers is actually better.

If you’ve collected 50,000 followers, big WHOOP! 99.9% of those followers don’t read your posts. Think about the people or businesses YOU follow on Twitter. Chances are, it’s only a handful. And the people you follow have something worthwhile to say.

For some Twitter addicts, more followers means they must be posting valuable information. Frankly, these people have way too much time on their hands. Collecting followers doesn’t make you a better person or a more accomplished professional. You’re better off with a small group of dedicated followers who are actually interested in what you post than 10,000 followers who check their Tweet stats hourly.

Twitter isn’t a game so if you’re unfollowed by a few people now and then, you don’t lose. Twitter is a source of good information if you’re selective in (1) what you post and (2) what you read from other posters. Again, if you lose a follower or two, who cares?

Just keep posting quality links and tidbits of information that actually help others in your business, or others who share your personal interests. That’s the real value of Twitter – connecting up with like-minded people, not just any people.

4. You’re bound to get dumped by somebody, sometime, and not know why.

The first time you discover the number of your followers is shrinking, you might feel as though you’re doing something wrong. Chances are, the person who stopped following you lost interest, or even more likely, was NEVER interested in your Tweets.

Check out who that person IS still following and ask yourself, “Do they post better Tweets than I do?” Chances are they don’t.

Who cares what Marcy 081278 had for breakfast? But Mary081278 is still being followed by the clown who “unfollowed” you. Feel better?

You’ll never know why you were unfollowed so don’t take it personally. If you keep providing useful links on topics of interest to you and your Twitter demographic, your follower list will grow organically. The way it should grow.

Post quality Tweets and forget about those who “unfollow” you. You’ll never figure out what you did or why you’re being dropped. And besides, don’t you have some real work to do?

5. Finally, follower count becomes an obsession for some Tweeters.

You have to feel sorry for someone who spends a couple of hours a day cultivating a Twitter following. First, why do they spend that much time on such a mundane activity? Twitter ranking doesn’t drive traffic to your web site. And the more followers you have is no indication of authority.

If you let your obsession to collect followers on Twitter take over your work day, you’ve got too much time on your hands. Instead, build your business or your social circle in the real world. Followers aren’t your friends. They don’t care if you’re sad or happy or smart or stupid. They don’t even know who you are.

So, when you see your Twit-base sliding, don’t start working double time to rebuild. Twitter doesn’t provide strong, quality links to your site and, in fact, you might actually see your site’s bounce rate skyrocket as more disinterested people visit your site only to discover that the two of you have virtually nothing in common.

Keep your Tweets on topic and targeted to those in your industry or those in your “social sphere.”

And don’t take it too hard when you find you’ve been unfollowed. You haven’t lost anything, and in the land of Tweets, as with all things web-based, quality is much more important than quantity.

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