twitter-newbie

I think it's time again to write about one of my favorite social networks…Twitter. It's fun for those who understand how it works. It's even a great tool in many ways; just ask those who use it strategically as a customer service outlet.

Many use it to create community chats by employing hash tags, which makes the chat easier to keep track of. Some tweet to gain traffic to a specific landing page or push out relevant content and create a sense of authority.

There are plenty of strategies out there, and plenty of ways business people use this versatile social media platform. I don't want to get too heavy into strategies today, however. Today, I'd like to talk more to the light users, the newbies if you will.

If you're a novice Twitter user, you may have your own opinions about how to use this application. That's fine; everyone is welcome to their own opinion, of course. Before you take those opinions and use them for business, however, let me suggest you start by using Twitter for fun:

Gain some quick information with short questions (use an identifying hash tag)

Follow people you want to know better (Ashton Crutcher, perhaps?)

Follow people you want to learn from (Guy Kawasaki?)

It's not that difficult to navigate Twitter, but, as a new user, some basic know how to make your experience more enjoyable and productive.

The Anti-social Social Platform

The mystery usually revolves around the following:

- getting blocked

- being ignored

- getting unfollowed

Why Does This Even Happen?

Even though you try to engage and follow what others are doing, you still may get blocked, ignored or even *gasp* unfollowed. The worst of all three is getting blocked by other users as this can get your account suspended. Here are the top five mistakes commonly made by new Twitter users that often get them blocked, ignored or unfollowed.

You Have No Profile Picture

Check your profile. Do you have an "egg" as an image on your profile? If so, change it right away and use an actual picture of yourself instead. People want to see that you're a real person. You can use a simple headshot or your logo, but never leave it as an egg. Remember people like to connect with "real" people.

You Didn't Fill Out Your Bio

Another important element you need to give some attention to is writing your bio. Use keywords to describe who you are in 160 characters or less. This is your chance to tell other Twitter-ers who you are and about your experience and interests. I can guarantee most will look at your profile. Of course, I can't guarantee they'll follow and communicate, but you're a step closer to it.

You Have No Tweets Or Barely Tweet

Inactivity is another reason why you'll get unfollowed on Twitter. People seek engagement and sharing updates on a regular basis will allow your followers to get to know you better. You'll tend to make better personal connections too.

You Spam Your Followers With Ridiculous Tweets

Yes, you read it right, ridiculous tweets. This is spamming your followers with tweets like, "I have added you to my Mafia Family – follow back," or tweet "Get a Million Followers – follow me." Come on, now! Anyone who tweets that way will be ignored, unfollowed or blocked in a heartbeat. Nobody wants to be bombarded with spam, and Twitter users are no different.

You Use The Follow-unfollow Scheme To Get More Followers

It's annoying to have someone play the "follow-unfollow" game on Twitter. People do this to get attention. Sharing awesome content and engaging with people on your stream is the best way to get attention, not by being gimmicky.

The Good News Is Mistakes Can Be Remedied

Twitter has been around for quite some time now; it has really changed the way we communicate and share our thoughts, feelings and everyday experiences. I hope being more aware of the possible mistakes people make on Twitter will help you from being ignored, unfollowed or blocked.

It's your turn…

Did I miss anything? What tips can you give newbie Twitter users? What has caused you to block, ignore or unfollow someone?

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy 7 Easy Steps To Turn Your Twitter Account Into A SEO Magnet…

Gabriella Sannino

For the past twenty years Gabriella has held positions as a consultant, web developer and creative director until she decided it was time to open Level 343, an SEO and copywriting company. She fancies herself an Italian rocker, rebel and SEO geek. She loves singing in the shower and keeps a notepad next to her bed.

Level343 Blog

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8 Responses to “Twitter Newbie: 5 Mistakes That Can Get You Blocked, Ignored or Unfollowed”

  1. Henk Matthee says:

    Hi yes it is a very real threat, I am talking about Twitter suspending your account. It happened to me because I listened to so called experts and aggressively followed and un-followed with certain "free" software. I have since learned my lesson and the best way is to use Twitter properly with good tweets and the rest will be history.

    • Ouch Henke, sorry to hear that! I've never gone that route… not to say I wasn't tempted. But as someone who likes to have complete "control" of my social networks I stayed away from Twitter automation software. I do use some applications that make my use of Twitter easier, Hootsuite, Triberr, and lists that I've created through the years. I'll admit I'm happy with the results.

  2. Mike Dawson says:

    Here's another one (and this is an important one too!): Not engaging in conversations with others. Once you've started following people, reply and respond to people's tweets. RT their tweets. If someone posts an interesting tweet, send out a quick reply (no spam of course). Be part of trending topics and engage with people there as well.

    • Hello Mike, absolutely there's a huge list I could add to using Twitter. But in this post I was focusing more on "mistakes" and what not to do. But since you broached the topic I agree, there's nothing better than actually having a connection with your followers. Granted you only have 140 characters available to you, but if anything it makes you a better writer…well one that gets to the point. ;) lol

      Another suggestion is, every once in a while I will look at my new followers and randomly choose a few to send out a "welcome to my time line" Tweet. If they respond I add them and follow them… if they don't well then I just don't follow them. This has given me the opportunity to keep my follow list clean of bots and people that just don't communicate.

    • Lauren says:

      I've actually found that Trending Topics are so overcrowded that there's very little room to get involved! If you click on one of those, the tweets are so numerous and they fly by so quickly that the odds of someone seeing one of yours are rather small.

      • Hey Lauren, that's true… however have you considered adding names of people within the post? That will usually get some response, if not a RT especially if you've associated the two.

  3. Bobby Gill says:

    Here's another really annoying trait: when all people do is Tweet articles they read online with no commentary at all! I know sharing articles is all good and fun, but come on, how about at least 5 words as to why you think your followers should read the article?! Or maybe this is just a pet peeve of mine :)

    • Hey Bobby, sure that's a valid point… but (you knew I was going to do that right? LOL) there are many people including myself that use automation for articles and RT's. Not all the time but consider all the platforms and tools out there. For example a favorite of mine is Triberr. Triberr will automatically send out a tweet that you've approved. I've seen quite a few people use Buffer too. Point is sometimes we DON'T have time to read all the articles out there. I'll be honest with you, I don't read all the posts I tweet but,I know my readers/followers will find them interesting. Keep in mind this sort of Carte Blanche is only given to people I trust, therefore as much as I would love to plug in my opinion sometimes I can't since I have not read the post. Again, this is only one instance when people don't put in their own 2cents. There are many other reasons, and maybe I'll list them one day in another post…All valid from a marketing stand point. Thanks for pitching in Bobby!