Friends on Twitter

Why won’t you be my friend on Twitter?

Many people feel snubbed when they make a friend request on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and the person doesn’t follow them back or add them. Friends on Twitter So why don’t people want to be your friend? We examine the reasons why … and give some tips on how to find friendly tweeters instead…

Less likely: They don’t like your bio

If you still have an Egg head as your profile photo and have barely written a word on your bio – and if you hardly have any followers yet, then yes that will be a reason why someone doesn’t follow you back on Twitter. But if you do have a friendly photo, and have written an informative little bio, we don’t believe this is usually one of the main reasons.

Less Likely: They don’t like your tweets

We believe too much emphasis is placed on continually writing stunning tweets.  Of course if you constantly write what equates to spam or you simply repeat the same tweets over and over, then that will be the reason. But believe us, no-one writes tweets that are constantly fascinating to everyone.  And to prove our point, you only have to look at some Twitter accounts that have thousands of followers to see that some accounts that do tweet rubbish are successful. There are even accounts followed by tens of thousands of people with NO tweets. So if you are basically a friendly person on Twitter, perhaps linking to your blog or business (but not constantly hard-selling) then again this is not likely to be a main reason.

Likely: You hardly ever tweet

If your last tweet was days ago, we believe this can be off-putting – and if it was weeks ago, then your account will definitely look abandoned.

Likely: You have followed someone from a different country

Actually at Featureworld we have some great Twitter friends who live abroad, especially in the States. But some people prefer to follow people who live in the same country as them.

Likely: The person you followed hasn’t checked their email

Not everyone checks their emails constantly and some people might only go through Twitter friend or Facebook friend requests once a week or even once in a while. Some people are also not that into Twitter. Although they have their account, they might not really understand that when someone follows them, if they find that person interesting they should actually follow back!

Likely: They are a celebrity

If someone has tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of Twitter fans they might not bother to follow people back. If they are a celebrity people will follow them anyway (whatever nonsense they tweet!) Accept if you follow someone like this, then however much you like them on TV or whatever, you are just one of their many fans and they are unlikely to follow you back.

Likely: They find it difficult to follow too many people.

This is especially likely if they have a low ratio of following to followers. It might not be a personal snub. Some people want to keep the number of people they follow purposely low – they might find their Twitter feed too confusing to follow thousands of people. You might actually find the people they follow are actually just work colleagues, friends and family.

Likely: They think they’re more fascinating than you.

This sort of Twitter person is followed by many more people than they follow. They are the sort who tweets ‘thank you for following’ but doesn’t actually follow you (or many people) back. They might feel the fact many more people follow them than they follow makes them look more interesting. It might be they are very interesting and if their tweets truly are fascinating, then you will want to continue following them. Otherwise, should this person not be as interesting as they think, you might decide to unfollow. TIP: If you’re looking for a PR company, this is the first test to see how good they are. If you are a business, then clearly if you are going to pay them to do PR they should be interested in what you do …

Likely: They follow people, then quickly unfollow.

Once this person has got what they want from you (which is sometimes you following them or direct messaging you with a piece of spam) then they will quickly unfollow you. Of course they will hope you won’t notice – and many people do not, which is why their followers rise when the people they follow do not. This behaviour is actually against Twitter’s own best practice rules. Again, if this person tweets brilliant tweets all the time (and who does?) then you can continue to follow them anyway. However, as they are often too self-absorbed in their own little world of numbers, consider finding someone else to follow instead.

Finding good friends

No-one wants to tweet to a handful of people – but do bear in mind that it isn’t just about numbers and how many accounts follow you. The whole point of Twitter is to engage with others. There are accounts that say ‘teamfollowback’ or ‘I always follow back’ – if you are interested in what the account has to say anyway, then that’s great because they will follow you and you will have their interesting tweets to read. But if it is just to gain numbers, then you won’t get much interaction with the person or business behind that account. You might think that doesn’t matter but then you will simply be tweeting to hundreds of disinterested people.

And a word about ‘buying followers’ – they are not true accounts in that they are not real people interested in you and what you have to say.

Once you have identified an account you want to follow then a glance at their profile will tell you lots. Ideally the person is tweeting regularly, looks friendly and approachable, has a bio that tells you what they will be tweeting about. If their ratio of followers/following is pretty equal then it is a good bet they will also follow you back.

Finally do be aware that if you don’t follow people back, they might well unfollow you. It isn’t a question of following accounts for the sake of numbers – but that behind the majority of Twitter accounts there is a real person. That real person has feelings and emotions and might well feel snubbed if you ignore them. If you believe Twitter is about meeting other people you wouldn’t normally meet (by the way why does Twitter think we all want to follow people like ourselves?) listening to what others have to say and forging new friendships then you will naturally want to follow people.

What do you think about finding friends on Twitter and Facebook? Why do you follow people and if they don’t follow back, do you continue to follow them? Let us know below…

You might also like:
* Does a psycho follow you on Twitter?
* What does your Twitter profile say about you?
* Did your Twitter profile lose you your new job?

And if you have enjoying reading this article and want to be our friend on Twitter then click here!


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Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website Featureworld.co.uk, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

One thought on “Why won’t you be my friend on Twitter?

  1. Really interesting post. I currently have 5 Twitter accounts, two of which I run for clients. It’s fascinating to see how different communities behave on Twitter, and how the norms change depending on the people you’re engaging with.

    I do think that the culture has changed and that people are far less likely to automatically follow back than they might have been 2 or 3 years ago. Many people will now only follow back when you engage with them – either in conversation or via a RT or whatever. This is certainly my policy, which is why I have a lot more followers than people I’m following – it’s not that I assume that I’m more fascinating, honest!

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