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Twitter

As of May 2009, Twitter received more than 20 million unique monthly visitors, surpassing many big media sites such as NYTimes.com. Although the exact number is not known, Twitter is now reported to have an estimated 9 million users.

Abandoning ship

There is speculation that a lot of those Twitter accounts have been opened and then abandoned by people who never quite got the point of it.  It’s understandable because for something that appears so simple on the surface, it can actually be quite complex.

Personally, I hear lots of different objections on a regular basis.  Just the other day someone bemoaned that they were done with Twitter because  “No one is following me except spammers.”

The offenders

It’s actually not difficult to build up a good-sized following (of non-spammers) on Twitter.  But here are some reasons why you may be popular with spammy types—and not many others:

1. You protect your updates
2. Your twitter stream doesn’t show any RTs or @ replies
3. You follow a lot more people than follow you
4. Conversely, a lot more people follow you than you follow (This is common with celebrities…yes, obviously a lot of people are still choosing to follow, but the imbalance does discourage some folks.)
5. You have no or very few updates
6. You promote too much
7. Every tweet contains a link but you’re not showing any of your personality

For myself, when I am checking out someone’s Twitter page and deciding whether to follow, these are some of the things that I notice.

What to do?

So, if you are still wondering how to get more people to follow you, concentrate on a few things:

First, post interesting links and information that is likely to get re-tweeted—this exposes you to the people that follow your followers whom you aren’t connected to yet. Re-tweet others, put your Twitter username in your email signature, list your Twitter account as a website on your Facebook profile, list yourself on sites like Twellow and WeFollow, and use keywords that best describe your business and interests because lots of people search by keyword when they are looking for new people to follow.

Oh, and don’t let your fear that you have nothing interesting to say stop you from tweeting. Just let us know what has your attention, as Chris Brogan put it.  People want transparency and authenticity. They want to connect with real people.

You probably have a lot more interesting things to say than you give yourself credit for. 🙂

So what else would you add to this list?

Photo credit: 7son75