There are millions of people on Twitter. Some of them are worth to connect to and others you rather do not want on your list of friends and followers. There are many reasons why you should keep your eyes open for rather spammy Twitter accounts and accounts you rather do not want to associate with.
Especially when you go for the follow-unfollow-algorithm to grow your Twitter account, you need to figure out which accounts are „good“ and which aren’t. Here are some indicators to filter out the undesirable accounts from the real ones. Most of these indicators are not „hard“ facts. They are more of a hint or sign – not proof of anything. You still need to make your own assumptions and conclusions about accounts.
But… you certainly do not want your own Twitter account to show any of these signs either.
1. No profile picture
While there may be a reason not to upload a Twitter avatar at the time when you sign up, there should not be any legitimate reason not to have an avatar picture on your Twitter account once you have been on Twitter for some time and are active.
Many accounts which tweet but have no profile picture are spammers.
The same goes for Twitter accounts with no bio.
2. Inactive accounts
This is rather obvious: There is no use to try to connect with people who are never actually on Twitter. You cannot expect accounts which are not tweeting, not favoriting and never retweet anything to connect or respond to you. Still, I have seen Twitter accounts which followed thousands of accounts which had not tweeted for over a year. Do not waste time on a dead Twitter account.
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3. A handful of tweets but hundreds of thousands of followers
Of course, there are celebrities who get millions of followers the minute they sign up. And some people have grown their fame outside of Twitter and their fans are following them by the thousands without them actually being very active on Twitter.
But the truth is: If you are not Justin Bieber or Ashton Kutcher, in order to gain the trust of people and make them follow your Twitter account, you have to tweet useful stuff. If a Twitter account does not tweet but has tons of followers that is often a sign that at least some of these followers are bought.
4. A ton of followers but not on any lists
If you are doing an excellent job on Twitter and are tweeting a lot of helpful information so that people are following you: people will also put you on lists. That is simply the way Twitter works and how Twitter lists work. If a Twitter account has tons of followers but is not on any list, then this account looks a little fishy, to say the least. Often this is an indicator that some of the followers are bought.
This is a little more difficult to figure out, as Twitter itself does not openly show on how many lists someone is listed. You can do this on Tweetdeck as Tweetdeck shows the number of times an account is listed right beside the information on how many tweets, friends and followers an account has.
5. No location given
Now, this is not a hard fact. But there is certainly a correlation between a considerately filled out profile and the earnestness with which a Twitter account is run. If I have the choice to follow an account with a given location or one without a location, I would always choose the one with the location.
A location also gives you the chance to choose who to follow with an additional criterion and only follow accounts with a location which is of interest to your business.
6. Tweeting only promotional
There are some Twitter accounts obviously created for the sole purpose to shout out promotions. While I have no idea how something like that can give any benefit, I strongly recommend not to follow them. They won’t listen to you. These accounts are simple shout-out channels. And they are not worth your attention.
There are multiple other factors, which you may want to consider when building your audience on Twitter. Here are some examples:
Many people who are starting out on Twitter are looking for the huge accounts. They try to get on the radar of influencers with the hope of one retweet or mention by them making all the difference. I get a ton of tweets mentioning me and begging for retweets or some other action.
Personally, I do not think that is your best option. And if you want to go for influencer marketing, you certainly have to do more than to follow influencers or retweet them. These people have hundreds of thousands of followers; they get mentioned on Twitter hundreds of times every day. It is hard to get noticed by them even if they are actively taking part in the conversation on Twitter.
I strongly recommend trying to connect to smaller accounts. As Mark Schaefer put it in an article a while back: The most fun on Twitter most people have when they reach “the sweet spot when I had […] on Twitter was when I had about 2,000 followers“. And those accounts are exactly the accounts I recommend to connect to: Accounts between a few hundred and a couple of thousand followers. People who still can connect to their followers and actually follow and respond to what is going on in their feed.
Also depending on your business, it may make sense to narrow down the accounts you connect with by location. A business, which is active in the US will probably not profit so much from followers in India or Africa.
And, while you are at it: Make sure your own Twitter account does not show any of these signs of not being worth following…
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