To Follow Or Not? What’s In It for Me?

Sorry, but this is another new Twitter follower rant. After my Mizspling rant a few months ago, I vowed not to go negative again. But I can’t help it. I’ll stop after this, I promise.

Let’s say that, by your own estimation, you’re a ‘competent web design company looking for new people to follow (or more likely, new followers) on Twitter. So you start following people in somewhat related fields. Good first step.

But the first step for those you just followed (at least for those of us who use Twitter as a way to curate content that we’re interested in) is for us to check you out. Do your Tweets at least sometimes contain information that would be of value to me? Is there a link to a website where I can get a better feel for who you are?

And that’s where this particular new follower really dropped the ball.

Notwithstanding the self-anointed ‘competent’ moniker, which already raised a red flag, they did several other things that made me choose to not follow them. Their website would get at best a D in usability. Their services include ‘manual submission to 300 directories that are Google Page ranked,’ ‘submit your site to Google’ AND ‘set up an invisible traffic counter on your website to evaluate your visitor level.’ (Really? An invisible traffic counter? Heard of Google Analytics?)

And, hey, it only costs $185. (Don’t even get me started on bogus search engine marketing companies.) Their portfolio’s latest updates are from 2004-2007.

Please Stop. Right Now.
I get it. I really do. My own business website is in desperate need of updating. (Working on it, I swear.)

But for me, the initial follow/friend is like a handshake. I see that you’ve reached out, and I’d like to know a little more before I decide how I feel about you. Specifically, I’d like to know how our ‘relationship’ is going to benefit me. If you can’t immediately prove your value to me, I’m just not going to follow/friend you. (Note that, for me, this applies as much to people who have NO information as to people who have bad information.)

I’m overwhelmed with potentially useful information and I have to find a way to whittle it down. Your job in that first step is to convince me that you can provide something of value for me.

(It’d also be helpful if you actually were ‘competent.’)

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