Via SocialMediaToday.com, Paul Sutton lists 10 Reasons You’re Not Getting Followers on Twitter. Excerpt:
Twitter thrives on the relationship between you and your followers. And yet many small businesses struggle to gain a following and end up abandoning their profiles due to fundamental errors in the way they manage them.
This often boils down to a lack of understanding of Twitter as a social channel and an inability or unwillingness to invest the time to learn. But the secret to success is simple: put yourself in your followers’ shoes and consider what you’re adding to their lives.
There are some common mistakes that I see again and again on Twitter, and encountering one or more of these on a profile significantly decreases the chances of me following and/or increases the chances of me unfollowing or blocking.
Twitter tells me I've tweeted over 8,000 times, but I'm still pretty hazy about it; it's just part of posting a blog item, especially on my blog H5N1. That's a kind of clipping service about infectious diseases and the politics of public health. For the last three months, I've mostly been covering Haiti's cholera outbreak, and I've found several overlapping Twitter communities doing the same thing.
I assume (perhaps mistakenly) that my followers are also interested in infectious diseases and public-health politics, and are using me to get quick links to breaking news. So I don't feel obliged to follow most of my followers.
As for the "ideal Twitter profile" that Paul Sutton recommends in #6, I don't come anywhere near it. Sometimes I'll re-tweet, but I'd rather pick up a tweeted link, post a blog item about it, and then tweet to my own followers plus those following hashtags like #cholera and #haiti and #babydoc.
Following can have drawbacks. I follow a number of Canadian journalists who are a bit over-smitten with tweeting and re-tweeting. Some of them have thumbs of steel and post nonstop tweets to one another. (From this they make a living?) This obliges me to scroll past long giggle-parties to find something I can use. Yes, I can always unfollow, but then I might miss the occasional scrap of real political gossip.
I suspect that we're dealing with Twitter as we dealt with blogging circa 2002: A kind of neat tool for various forms of self-publishing, but with its best days yet to come. If you have thoughts on where Twitter might go from here, or how you're using it in your own webwriting, I'd love to hear about it.