3 reasons I’m not following you on Twitter

twitter-bird-blue-on-whiteYes, there are 3 reasons I’m not following you on Twitter.

Are you presenting yourself in the best light? Are you attracting the right people?

If you are using Twitter for your business there are 3 things you should consider:


1. Your Twitter Name (Handle)

Well, what’s in a name? A lot actually. Your twitter handle should be easy to find, identify and relevant to what you do.

Cutesy handles are cool if you are using Twitter for recreational use. However, if you are using Twitter for business make it relevant to what you are doing.

Not sure what you are doing then keep it simple and use your real name.

Remember that handles like “CuteKitten123” is ambiguous, hard to remember and will probably get you spammed, a lot.

When I started out on Twitter my handle was @ExpatinProvence – I was an Expat, living in Provence. Then I changed it to @MummyinProvence, because, well, I was starting out as a mummy blogger. Then Google+ launched and no one could find me. I changed it again to my real name. I now have both Twitter accounts; @MummyinProvence and @AmeenaFalchetto because I couldn’t consolidate my tweet content to be relevant on both audiences.

Keep your name simple; use your real name or your business name, or your blog URL or a mix of the 3.

Whatever you do, make sure you add your real name to your profile.

2. Your Twitter Bio

No bio is an automatic fail. Multiple hash-tags is annoying. Keep it clear and concise. Think carefully about the words you use to describe yourself.

Yes, social media can be informal but as Jim Connolly says exercise caution when using self proclamations like: Maven, Maverick, Guru or Ninja. WHY? Well, think about what some of those words mean:

Ninja: “Japanese mercenary who specialises in unorthodox acts of war“. Do I really want to follow someone who dresses in black spandex and kills people?

Guru: “Someone who is regarded to have great knowledge and a teacher“. Ok that’s cool but when I think of a guru I think of the old man dressed in a loin cloth who read my palm in India a few years ago.

Maverick: “Unorthodox or independent minded person: a rebel. I can’t help but think of the Mel Gibson movie when I see Maverick in a bio.

Word associations are within our control. Avoid using self proclamations and you will carefully dodge looking like a joker, a fool, or worse.

3. Your Twitter Avatar (Picture)

No picture is an automatic fail. I don’t follow eggs. Ever. Cartoons are ok but I won’t take you seriously if you are a business. Logos annoy me. Why? Because there is a person (I hope) behind the account talking to me. I want to see your face. Mark Harai wrote a great post “Does your avatar show us your best side.”

Marcus Sheridan from The Sales Lion used to have a lion as his avatar. It worked. Here is his defense in keeping his lion avatar but he has since changed to a picture of himself.

avatarMy first avatar was me wearing huge sunglasses, a silly pout, and a newspaper hat. I changed it a few times until I came up with the one I use today and is the same as my header. Why? I want you to recognise me.

Even if you have a face for radio, I want to see your face. Mood lighting, careful camera angles and a bit of photoshop can always help! But don’t overdo it. I’m not looking to date you, I just want to know who I am talking to.

So there you have it. What are your thoughts?

Are you missing out on followers and potential business leads because of your twitter profile?

image source: Twitter.com

34 Responses to 3 reasons I’m not following you on Twitter

  1. The entire article was mediocre, until i read “Even if you have a face for radio, I want to see your face.”
    Very well said! And thank you for taking the time to write. Keep it up, I’m definitely a fan.

  2. Here’s one I shy away from; if people are following and being followed by 10’s of thousands…only have only tweeted a couple of hundred times. Unless they are famous, it screams spam.

    Also multiple quotes; nothing more cheesy then someone ALWAYS tweeting what someone else said.. I want to know what YOU said!

    Love the newspaper hat pic!

    • Oh Jacob yes! I feel the same. I was once following someone (who appeared normal at first) but would RT EVERY. SINGLE. TWEET in her stream for 1 hr every morning. It was STUPID.

      Yeah quotes get me too – I love the odd quote but it has to be on brand.

      Thanks for stopping by! BTW I LOVE your twitter avatar 🙂

  3. Great post Ameena with some good straight forward advice. I also steer clear from people who follow loads of people – how can hey possibly keep up with what people are saying?? Quality not quantity count!

    • Thanks Siobhan! Have you hacked into my post schedule? Number of followers is next up! 🙂

      I am all for quality not quantity. It’s interesting how it takes a while to get there. A year ago I was all about getting as many followers as possible. Now I actually block bots and spammers who follow me and I do not follow everyone back.

  4. Very sound advice Ameena. Although everyone knows me as ‘The Sales Lion’/Marcus Sheridan, it was a dumb move making the Lion my handle for as long as I did. There is a powerful psychology behind a face–out in the open– especially when it comes to twitter. Why is it that way? Can’t completely say, but it’s the truth.

    Notwithstanding, having my handle as @thesaleslion will hopefully pay off in the long run for the branding and marketability of the business, versus just marketing my name. (That’s a tough debate in my opinion).

    Anyway, good stuff, as always dear lady.

    Have a wonderful week,


  5. For small businesses especially having an actual person rather than a logo can make them much more approachable.

    I’m the kind of guy that follows many people, but I’m odd like that and I like a lot of data in front of me at once. Also you never know who will reach out and say hello. I’ve met some cool people that way.

  6. One of the reasons I have the Twitter name I have is because my name is so common. It was already taken when I first signed up. My name is my first name, last initial and year of my birth.

    At my old job, my bosses wanted a Twitter account with a logo, I tweeted for them with my picture which worked much better.

    I go through my new followers every few days just to get rid of spam accounts. I have been doing that since I first joined Twitter.

    • Hi Nancy! Nice to see you here!

      Your Twitter handle makes sense – also you aren’t using it for business (are you?) so it’s fine. PLUS it’s actually relevant. I see some weird ones that throw in random numbers in just to make it work.

      Thanks for the example of your old company. You were totally right to use your picture since it was YOU who replying!

  7. Unlike Ryan, I think your post is awesome all the way from the top to the bottom. And I love your old avatar, but your new one is awesome too. Actually, all the pics I’ve seen of you have been awesome 🙂

    After I read your post I’m a little surprised that you’re following me though 🙂

    – Jens

    • Thanks Jens! 🙂

      Umm – your handle is your name!! You don’t have a random handle, your avatar is great and your bio sells you short but then that’s because you are a modest guy. 🙂

      • I have been thinking a lot about my handle, and that people don’t know that it’s actually my name. I should probably have used my first name, or all of my names etc.. and the pic, well, I should probably have smiled a little more, but that’s just details 🙂

  8. I have a tough time with Twitter. I have very few who follow just because they are interested in me. It’s all about promoting themselves. A select few are even interested in my tweets, very few retweets, or private message. It all just seems so impersonal! I just can’t grab onto the concept that people would pick a marketing person, coach, or whatever from a small blurb in their bio! I don’t know, maybe I was just on Facebook for too long, and I can’t grasp Twitter. Like you, I too wanted a ton of followers, and now I really don’t care. There is no way people who have thousands would ever see my wee little post, so why bother… I think I’d be happy with 7 followers with purpose, than 700 without…

    • Hi Beth,

      I feel that the quality is far more important than the quantity.

      I don’t think anyone would hire someone based on their Twitter bio but it certainly makes a difference when you think about starting a conversation with them

  9. Well said, Ameena. But what about people who don’t really care about gaining followers? I mean, if you provide real value and have meaningful conversations with others, I’d argue none of these rules apply.

    Coincidentally, within the last hour, I decided to change the avatar on my private, personal, Twitter profile back to a logo. Why? I dunno. I guess I just got tired of seeing my own mug all over the web.

    I could care less how many people follow me on Twitter. What I do care about is why and how people interact with me while I’m there. Maybe we build something together. Maybe we just kill time.

    Either way, I am no more my Twitter avatar and bio than I am my resume or credit score. I am who I am.

    Just a passing thought. 🙂

  10. Thanks Brian, I do believe in quality over quantity for sure.

    Personally, I feel that consistency over the social media platforms can be very beneficial in building your online brand.

    So many people on twitter change their avatars and it throws me off for ages. I am a visual person so when I’m talking to you I don’t see your handle or name, I recognise your avatar.

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  11. What do you think of my Twitter? I know my name has nothing to do with my business, but I sure want to be known as a superdaddy.

    PS – Would love your opinion on my current debate on Personal Development for schools. Check it out and spread the love would you?

    • Hi Jimmy,

      In ALL honesty, I would like to see you use either your real name OR your business name as a twitter handle. You don’t have to kill superdaddy2007. You can use tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to manage the 2 profiles.

      The reason? Well, for me your current handle makes me think you should concentrate on tweeting about parenting not business.

      Your real name/biz name can add more credibility.

  12. Ameena,

    I have been torn over this whole concept for some time. My goal with Twitter is to help it to develop my brand. So, I don’t think I could be as successful doing that with my face. I have multiple Twitter accounts that I use for a variety of different blogs that represent totally different interests of mine. I use more logo like avatars for them too. Am I doing this all wrong? Should I try to stick my face on there and also a small logo in the corner maybe?

    • Hi Ted – interesting question – I think there is a future post in that question for me!

      Ok – I have 2 twitter accounts and 2 distinct brands online. They are BOTH me. Both have my face on them. EXCEPT! My handle for this site is my full face smiling (same as my header) and my parenting site has my profile looking at my baby.

      You can see it’s me but the images have a different feel – does that make sense? If it’s YOU behind all of the accounts I feel it should be your face.

      I guess I’d have to dig deeper. Are they in similar territories? If yes and there is no overlap then there is little reason why you can’t use the same avatar. If there is some overlap a different photo could be beneficial.

      A few people know me as ME and as MummyinProvence – I think they find the different avatars useful – I dunno – I’ll have to ask!

      Thanks for the great question. So in short, I WANT TO SEE YOUR FACE 🙂 Your Gravatar too!

  13. You touched on some stuff that irritates the hell out of me too. For me it’s the pic and bio. No pic, fail and no bio, I might block you as spam. But here’s is one that I look for right off the bat: website. No website, I won’t even look at you. I have to know why I am suppose to follow you back.

    I tend to follow like-minded bloggers mostly, but if I find value in another type of website, I am all over it.

    I love finding new material to check out and get to know other bloggers out there. If people tweet to just tell me where they are going: FAIL!

  14. I love that pic of yours 🙂 I just wanted to say I am really insulted you would not follow me if I was dressed in black spandex… meanie…

    I can’t believe people still make these mistakes but the fact is – they are. Hope more of them read the post and finally stop calling themselves “guru”.

    • Thanks Brankica! No, if you were dressed in black spandex I’d not follow you on your LiveUrLove account but I guess it depends what you are trying to communicate! 🙂

      It’s amazing just how many people make these mistakes!

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