The other day I was chatting to my colleague Graeme Codrington @workforcetrends about how you can build a stronger community with the people who follow us on Twitter. We both agreed that an auto-DM saying “thanks for following” was way too impersonal and therefore out. We also agreed that if someone follows you, immediately return the favour by checking out their tweets – Get a sense for who they are, what they are saying, follow them and RT one of their tweets that you like would be a good way of starting the connection. So these are the three basic rules that I use on Twitter: 90% of the time if someone show me the courtesy of following me, I follow them (I tend not to follow porn stars and spammers). I always look at their twitter page, I find a tweet of theirs that is of value to my community and I RT it and if there is a url link to a website I check that out too. It’s not rocket science, I’m just doing what I hope people would do when they come across my tweets, and like my Grandma always said “do unto others as you want them to do unto you” – the best advice I ever received.

Today these basic rules paid dividends back big time. I came across @jasonyormark a community Manager, Social Media Consultant, Volleyball Coach, Amateur Baseball Player and Senior MVP Lead for Microsoft Office. Jason has a great blog and I’d like to share his “rules” for building a stronger connection with your followers. It’s called 9 Ways To Get Yourself Unfollowed On Twitter

You can read his post below but I’d highly recommend that you also follow the link here to his blog as there are a load of other great posts and while you’re there why don’t you connect with him on twitter
9 Ways To Get Yourself Unfollowed On Twitter

Oh the wonders and gloriousness of being followed on Twitter! It’s a tiny gift from the digital worldthat keeps on giving. An invitation from those that you’ve never met, to share your deepest, darkest secrets and happenings (I know, sentence fragment, but it’s my blog!). But careful Twitter lovers, because violate any of these 9 Twitter laws and you’ll find yourself on an unfollow smackdown!

1. Under Tweet – If you don’t provide any value, what good are you? You’re just Twitter waste and taking up space. Don’t expect much of a following if you aren’t posting at least 1-2 times a day. It’s 140 characters people! It doesn’t get much easier!

2. Over Tweet – Just like under tweeting, too much and you’ll find yourself alone in the Twitterverse. Nobody cares about your Foursquare checkins and what you ate at The Olive Garden last night. Simmer down Captain Tweet McTweeterson.

3. Don’t Value Tweet – Striking the right balance on frequency is only part of the game. Like I said before, most people aren’t interested in knowing that burrito you ate gave you a belly ache. Provide value by sharing interesting articles and media you find online. Share a laugh or two. Save people time by sharing what you find.

4. Don’t Follow Back – If someone deems you follow worthy, shouldn’t they be granted the same courtesy? This one has proponents on both sides, but with new tools like Tweetdeck, Seesmic and Hootsuite, it’s easier then ever to organize who you follow so no need to be elitist here. Return the favor.

5. Conversation Tweets – Look, if you really want to have a back and forth conversation, use DM, email or IM. Don’t clog the streams with things like @name Thanks! or @name That was so funny!. Nobody else knows what you mean. It’s OK every once in awhile, but keep it up and you’ll only have each other!

6. Only Tweet Your Stuff – Self promotion is great and expected, but we can only take so much before you become a Me Monster. Pepper in some useful stuff that doesn’t involve you and people are much more likely to check your stuff out.

7. Auto DM – Now, this one I don’t personally care that much about, but lots of people do. Nobody wants to get some spammy auto DM from you with an affiliate link to some crappy “how to make a zillion dollars on the web” link. Be genuine, keep it clean, and save us from your ineffective marketing techniques.

8. Mafia Wars, Farmville, “Enter Crappy Web Game Here” – I don’t want to join your Mafia, I don’t want to build an online farm. Seriously people, one time is all you get. After that it’s banishment to unfollow land.

9. Re-tweet Your Tweets – Hey, if no one else did the first time around, chances are they won’t the second time. We all swing and miss once in awhile, just step back up to the plate and take another cut with something new.

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