I vividly remember my first few days on Twitter. They were scary. There I was, having to post my first tweet to the Twitterverse, blindly. It felt like going to a party where everybody knows each other and you are left alone, standing sipping your drink in embarrassing silence while everybody else is having a great time.
Thankfully, I was quickly followed by some lovely people and they gently eased me into the whole twittering thing. It was during those first days, or maybe weeks that I remember reading a blog post by Isabel Ashdown about Twitter etiquette and her reasons for unfollowing users. She made some very good points, inspiring me to write my own Twetiquette. So here goes:
Who I follow
I’m on Twitter to connect with other writers and people that I share an interest with. Readers and book lovers, gardeners, mums/dads, food bloggers and generally interesting folk. If I come across someone that ticks one of these boxes, I read their profile, have a look at a couple of tweets and follow them.
Do I always follow back?
If you tick one of the boxes above and you are a person, then yes. If you run a building company in Hawaii, for instance, then no. I have no interest in hiring a builder in Hawaii, because I live in the UK. I don’t believe in following you just for the sake of accumulating followers.
Do I unfollow?
Of course I do. Just not very often. On the few occasions I deliberately pressed the unfollow button it was because:
- You didn’t follow me back? My rule is, I tweet you three times. If I get no replies back, and you don’t follow me, then I unfollow. More on this later.
- You post the same tweet, over and over again and nothing else. “My debut novel, Sunny Night, can be bought from Amazon for 99p”.
- You have posted a sexist, racist or inappropriate tweet.
- We have absolutely nothing in common.
If you don’t follow me back
I’m pretty cool about it, if you are super famous. Twitter is a two way thing, isn’t it? My main reason for joining Twitter is to connect with like-minded people and learn from them. I won’t automatically unfollow you if you don’t follow back. I’ll try and learn from your tweets and connect with you. But if I try and connect with you (by replying to one of your tweets) and you ignore me three times, then I will unfollow. I think that’s fair.
When I follow, I really follow
I know it’s not possible to do it all the time, but if I follow you, I’ll try and read your blog, get to know you and generally interact with you. It’s obviously not possible to do it all the time, with everybody, but I try and do my fair share.
PS: I have unfollowed a few people, courtesy of Twitter. That means, Twitter decided to unfollow a few people on my behalf for no apparent reason. If this has happened with you, and I haven’t followed back then please let me know.