I've just been working my way through a few Twitter emails from over the weekend, and deciding whether to follow people back or not.
Having initially followed the advice of Guy Kawasaki and automatically followed everyone who followed me, I have become more circumspect lately, to keep the content more relevant.
I also tend to make snap decisions, based on the bio, and the last few posts. Here are ten reasons not to follow people back...
Too many Tweets
Some Twitter users just post too much, often when they are using automated feeds to post. I normally use Tweetdeck, and if I'm seeing too many Tweets from one user, then I may be missing other more relevant posts.
Your links contain frames
Rather than using services like bit.ly or tinyurl, some Twitter users post links which are framed, companies like Hootsuite and Adjix offer this type of URL shortener, which is used to serve ads.
Framing content is unpopular and bad for the user experience, as was proven by the recent backlash against the DiggBar. It's also unnecessary when they are perfectly good URL shorteners around that don't use frames.
No profile picture
It's not essential that I see a picture of someone before I follow them, but having no profile picture or background does indicate a lack of effort and won't help you attract many followers.
If there's no biographical information, I can't decide whether to follow people or not and, as with the point above, it suggests you aren't that interested in Twitter.
I'm not sure why people do this on Twitter, but how are people supposed to decide whether or not to follow if they can't see what kind of Tweets they can expect from you?
Not posting often enough
If you see a user's profile and they have only posted six times, and the last was two months ago, why would you bother following them? Like blogging you need to Tweet often enough to keep people interested.
You want to help me get rich quick
Twitter seems to attract a lot of these sorts of users, and they often have terrible websites like this:
If you offer a way to make money online, or link to sites like this, there's no way I'll be following.
You describe yourself as a guru or expert
There are a lot of self proclaimed experts on Twitter, especially on the subject of social media. As this post explains, it's probably not a very good idea to describe yourself this way.
They can increase your followers
Anyone who claims to be able to increase your Twitter followers by thousands in a matter of days just sounds like a Twitter spammer, or has been using awful services like TwitterGetter. Either way, I won't be following them.
Following too many people
It's just a numbers game for some people, and many just follow as many as they can just to build up their followers. Following many more people than follow you indicates that you are trying to sell something, or are just desperate.