How to Lose Followers on Twitter
If you don't know what Twitter is, this article may not make a lot of sense to you; but if you do know what Twitter is, you'll know how important it is to have followers -- a tweep without them is simply tweeting to themselves, and that could lead to psychiatric problems. (Ha, ha.) Anyhoo, the point is that there are several standard bad practices I see a lot of newbies employ which result in their gaining but a few followers. If you're a spammer, you may not care. But if you'd like to interact with the twitter community, I'd recommend NOT doing the following things.
1. Don't tweet anything.
If you're someone who doesn't want to tweet and only intends to follow others who do, then fine, this won't matter much. But if you're someone who wants followers, you need to have something to follow first. If you simply go round and follow 400 random people in one day, but have no tweets in your profile, people will assume you're a spammer of some kind. Or worse. So have something worth reading before you start to follow people.
2. Pack your profile with your internet guru details.
I do check the profiles of people who follow me. If your profile says that you're an internet marketing guru or some similar type of expert, I am going to be vary wary of you because I will assume you are only trying to put together a tweeting mailer of sorts. And I'm sorry but I really don't want to read 50 tweets a day about the secrets to getting rich, etc.
3. Ignore people who talk to you.
If you've got 30,000 followers @replying to you every day, yes, I can understand how answering all of them might be a bit time consuming. But you should make a point of replying to at least some of the people who engage you each day -- they are your audience and without them, you're nothing. Not on Twitter, anyway.
4. Post stupid links to stupid sites all day.
There are some tweeps who post links to interesting things and I'm often glad I followed them. But then there are those people who do nothing but post link after link after link and say absolutely nothing of value otherwise. If I wanted to sign up for a random news feed, there are better sources than twitter available for this.
5. Confuse twitter with blogger.
Tweets are supposed to say something. They are not meant to be a 20 part paragraph in which you detail your latest date or post a review of War and Peace. 140 characters is the max and if you can't say what you have to say in one tweet, stick it on your blog and then tweet a link to it. Please do not fill my Seesmic groups up with 50 tweets that need to be read from one end to the other in order to understand.