With Twitter exploding in popularity in every direction, there are a lot of newbies that will not quite know what’s going on or who to follow. So I decided to write down the 9 things I look at when I determine who to follow on Twitter and who not to follow.

First of all, do not follow everyone who follows you. Some are legit, some are automated, some are spam, and not all of them are worth connecting up with. You get the most out of Twitter if you choose to follow only those who you are really interested in.

Here is what I look at.

1. The profile picture. Most of the time the picture doesn’t matter, but if it’s the default picture, a picture of money, or I’ve even seen a naked man, then there is a chance that they are not worth following. We’re going to be looking at this picture all day long, so I hope it’s decent.

Default Twitter Profile Picture

Default Twitter Profile Picture

2. The Twitter page design. Again not huge, but if it has at least changed it from the default, or better yet have a custom background, it shows someone cares. Sometimes it’s the little things.

My Twitter Custom Background

My Twitter Custom Background

3. Profile name. Who are you? Money_Shack? GetRickQuik? Girlz4Fun? There are lots of spammy Twitter accounts out there and sometimes they are really easy to spot. You can’t judge every book by its name, but it’s something to think about.

Bad Twitter Username

Bad Twitter Username

4. The profile description. Do you have something in common with me? The description says a lot and is the probably one of the best places to get a feel for the person who you are determining to follow.

Twitter Profile Description

Twitter Profile Description

5. Location. Where are you? I tend to give additional credit to those in Minnesota as I am in Minnesota too and it may give us additional things to talk about. However this is the internet, location is not that important.

Twitter Location.

Twitter Location.

6. The profile URL. I love to look at peoples sites and see what they are like. You can really find out a lot about a person and their interests by their site. However, I’ve had some Twitter profiles send me to dating sites, strange websites and pre-sell pages before and that’s just not fun.

Twitter Profile URL

Twitter Profile URL

7. Recent tweets. Scrolling through the most recent tweets I should be able to get a little feel for what they talk about. If it’s nothing but links to their own site, overly promotional, or I can tell it’s automated, they fail. Twitter is about communicating and I want to talk to you. Their recent tweets should be of interest to you.

Recent Tweets

Recent Tweets

8. Number of people they follow. How many people can someone really keep up with at once? If their follower number is something like 21,701 then they are following everyone and I’m just some number. They will probably not be interested in anything I say.

High Following Number

High Following Number

9. Number of people who follow them. If they are following a ton of people and only a few are following them back, then there is a huge disconnect. Does that mean that they are not worth following? Maybe.

Following Disconnect

Following Disconnect

Granted, every profile is unique. You need to look at a few factors before making your decision. Sometimes following celebrities will have a ton of followers but not many that they are following. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow them though if you are a fan of them. Also brands on Twitter can very promotional, but that’s not bad in their case. Whatever you do, pick and choose who you follow and don’t be afraid to un-follow people too.

When starting Twitter, start slow. Create your profile, customize your Twitter page and then grow the number of people you follow slowly. Twitter is not a popularity contest, and you’ll enjoy it much more, and get more out of it, if you pick and choose who you follow.

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