Twitter is an interesting place to meet amazing people. Sometimes the connection is obvious and strategic–you both share an interest in augmented reality and attend a tweetchat about the topic and connect. Sometimes it is more happenstance–you search for hotels in Zimbabwe and find a helpful Twitter citizen who has shared many tweets about a great spot, and you connect!
Like any place where you might meet new and wonderful people, you will also have strange and scary people in the mix. There are Twitter accounts that are called BOTS (spam accounts that follow people based on keywords used and they start sending spam messages daily). So like any situation, you have to do a bit of work to see if you have met someone worth engaging further or if you keep walking.
Now lazy people do not want to do the work. They want to sit back and make other people follow them and start the conversation or they use an automated service like TrueTwit Validation that make the person enter in a CAPTCHA (strange computer-generated characters that most cannot make out) to prove they are a real person with a real brain that can decipher computerized codes. The irony is these ridiculous services are auto bots that are making people prove they are not auto bots! I will immediately UNFOLLOW anyone who uses TrueTwit Validation service because it tells me the person was simply too lazy to look at my profile.
Here are 3 things that will tell you if you have a REAL person worth connecting with on Twitter:
- They have a photo of themselves.
This is a good sign as to whether they are are just passing through Twitter Town or if they are here for awhile. When I see someone has 500 tweets or 1,200 followers but still has the egghead picture Twitter assigns, I know they have issues. It is most likely a Twitter BOT.
- They have a bio posted.
Again, if someone is here to connect with people and they have nothing to hide, there should be an interesting bio written about them. Most people put very boring facts about themselves or worse, they leave it blank or fill this area with #Hashtags of everything they are ever going to be tweeting about and you feel as if you are in a 7-11 store where they sell toilet tissue, lighters, and beef jerky–what are you there for?
Don’t be afraid to share a little glimpse of your personality. You can share some business facts letting people know what you will mainly focus on–are you a mom blogger? A car enthusiast? A cheese lover? What can we expect by connecting with you? But when you add a pinch of personality, you make it easy for people to start conversations with you and it can make you more memorable! There are a lot of beaks flappin’ in Twitter Town, find small ways to stand out.
- They have few interesting and helpful tweets posted already.
No one should start inviting people to follow them without first sharing a few nuggets of goodness to let the world know that they will be providing value to the community. Even if you are brand new to Twitter Town, post 4 or 5 bits about something you are interested in or that you have expertise in. Tell the world what you are hoping to accomplish on Twitter (ie-I am looking forward to connecting with all of the Gouda Cheese lovers out there and sharing cheesy recipes) or what you have to share (I have a list of the best places to find odd zippers in Littleton, Colorado on my website ZipItUp.com). Now when I look at your profile I know I will immediately LOVE following your every tweet and will probably even add you to my list of ZIPPER KEEPERS! A Twitter BOT usually has the same one or two messages they post every day and they are obvious spam messages. Get your SPAM-GUARD aimed and ready!
It does not take hours to check these items out. I do it once a day or every other day by going to Twitter.com and clicking on my profile and then FOLLOWERS. The newest connections are at the top. You can see items #1 & #2 from this one page. This may be enough to know whether you want to follow them back or not. If you are uncertain, click on their profile to see if they have #3 covered! Also, if you are using Twitter for your business–you should be following many people back (except the whack-nut spam-bots). You never know who might want to get a hold of you via direct message and do business with you, and if you are not following them back they may not be able to send a direct message to you (DM). (This has to do with a setting you have in your account.)
What else do you do to find fabulous people to connect with or what methods do you use to filter the good peeps from the bots? Inquiring minds want to know! Leave your tips, questions and rants in the comments below. If you are a TWIRGIN (new to Twitter) I have a few more tips for you in my Letter to a Twirgin post. If you need help with managing Twitter Town activities let me know–We LOVE it here!
Find me on Twitter (I’m REAL…I promise!) and if you’re not a SPAM-bot whack-nut, I will follow you back!