Often Twitter users make the decisions to follow or not follow someone in seconds. This means you have very little time to make an impression.
Mashable looked into why people chose not to hit the “Follow”. A summary of their findings are noted below in the 10 important things you may need to change in order to gain more relevant followers.
1. You’re a “guru”
The people who call themselves a "guru" are almost always not, so please don't use this terrible expression. The same goes for "maven," "expert" “jedi” and "ninja."
No matter what field you’re in there is always more to learn. If someone else wants to call you an expert that holds a lot more credibility than calling yourself one.
2. You look like an egg
Sticking with the egg usually means one of two things. First, you’re too lazy/don’t care about your brand or image. Second, you’re a spammer. You only have a few seconds to engage people visually on Twitter so don't waste them.
Users are seriously dissuaded to follow an account if they can't "see" the personality behind it. Don't leave your avatar as the default egg, use an image of a celebrity or someone who isn't you. We'd also advise steering clear of GIFs as profile images as they don't always display correctly across platforms.
The best Twitter avatar is a clear, genuine picture of yourself or your company logo. Don’t worry about being overly creative, that’s what the header and background are for.
3. You’re on #TeamFollowBack
Begging people to follow you in your bio and tweets with the promise that you always follow back is never attractive.
Twitter is about creating your own stream of content that you find interesting not blindly following others. Blindly following others that offer no value only results in cluttering up your Twitter stream making it more difficult to read the content that is of relevance to you.
It is perfectly acceptable not to follow people that choose to follow you. If they unfollow you because of it, they were never interested in what you had to say in the first place.
4. Your following ratio is disproportionate to your followers
It is understandable – and expected for the average user – to be following more accounts than are following you. Especially when you’re just starting out. But when you have a significantly higher number of profiles you’re following versus the number of followers makes your profile look suspicious and is a red flag that an account is spam.
Take your time in building a meaningful list of those you follow, create content that provides value and the followers will not only come but engage as well.
5. Bio is written in the third person
There is some really bad advice out there that states writing a bio in the third person, as if it's been written by someone else, will make it sound more professional and objective.
Even if you're using it for professional reasons, Twitter is a personal, social platform and your bio should reflect that. A simple, modest bio — or even a lighthearted, funny version — will attract more followers than a grandiose one. A third person bio makes you look pompous.
6. You tweet too much
Twitter went live mid-2006. If you joined the microblogging site at launch and tweeted three times a day every day since then you would have penned around 8,000 tweets.
This helps put the number of tweets shown on your account in perspective. If you have tweeted over that 8,000 benchmark, then you're obviously an above-average tweeter. If you've tweeted significantly over that number, it may make people wonder what you’re tweeting so much about and think twice about following you.
7. You humblebrag
In addition to your bio basics and account stats, most people will see your last two tweets when they click on your Twitter handle in order to check out your profile.
One of the things that came up in Mashable’s research was hatred of the "humblebrag," and self-aggrandizement in general.
If one of your two most recent tweets contains even a hint of a humblebrag, that potential follower is going to think twice. If you retweet an entire compliment or flattering @ mention, that's even worse.
8. Robots craft your tweets
Do you schedule tweets or are you signed up to services that auto tweet on your behalf? If your recent tweets look like they were automatically generated people aren't going to follow you.
What people want on Twitter is to hear your genuine voice, in real time. They don't want lofty quotes that you've scheduled to go live at strategic periods, stats from your latest workout or what your "top stories" are via a third-party service.
Twitter is about engagement, not just broadcasting meaningless words. If you don't reply to other Twitter users, or otherwise react to tweets and trending topics you see in your stream, you're doing it wrong.
9. You’re selling something
If you work in a sales or marketing role, then by all means mention it in your bio but do not turn your bio into a sales pitch.
It's bad enough if you use your bio to push a product or service but if your recent tweets show that you're all about the hard sell too, no one is going to be interested in your profile.
Put simply, if you're using Twitter to sell something in a crude manner, people will not follow you. We all see enough unwelcome advertising on a daily basis without it invading our Twitter streams.
10. You send DM spam
If someone has made the decision to follow you and you automatically DM (direct message) them a self-promotional or sales message, chances are you lose that follower faster than it took you to get them.
Messages that thank the person for following and urge them to check out a link, such as a page on Facebook or a blog for "more amazing content," are crass and impersonal.