8 Reasons I Do NOT Follow Like or Connect on Social Networking Sites

by Sherryl Perry on April 18, 2011

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Like everything else, our online profiles are a reflection on us. It’s part of our brand. Even our statistics tell a lot about us. How many followers do you have compared to the number of people you’re following? How many tweets do you have? Are people that I recognize and respect following you? Do you have a profile pic and use your real name?

If you’re anything like me, you’re inundated with email notifications that you have new followers and friend requests (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Amplify, Blokube, BizSugar and on and on it goes). Even if you’re managing your accounts with tools, you still are faced with decisions. Who is worthy of your connection? Do you have an online networking strategy or do you follow back everyone who wants to connect with you?

If the same rules that apply to networking face-to-face apply to social networking online, we need to be cognizant of whom we’re connecting with. After all, we don’t want to be associated with spammers and we don’t want spammers spamming us.

My 8 Reasons to NOT Connect with Someone Online

#1) No Name(Your name is not basketball shoes.)

#2) No Profile Pic(Please, go to Gravatar.com and grab one.)

#3) An overtly sexy profile pic(Sorry, this immediately makes me think you’re running an escort service.)

#4) Zero Tweets + Thousands of Followers(Does this make sense to anyone?)

#5) No Bio(A bio that talks about something I can’t relate to or don’t approve of scares me away.)

#6) No Link to a Website/Blog(If I have any concerns about following you, I need to know more.)

#7) Your Online Activity –  (Please, share something from someone else. Shameless self-promotion has it’s place but can get annoying.)

#8) Zero Connections(If I’m a total stranger, why ask me to be your 1st connection? At least write me a note and tell me why.)

What’s your take? Do you agree with my reasons? Do you have more to add? For more on this subject, I recommend reading Rick LaPoint’s article “Social Media: Phony Following Twits” where he reveals the “darker side of Twitter”.

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Nizam Khan
Twitter:
August 1, 2014 at 8:10 am

No! It not all makes sense to have thousands of followers and zero tweets. This is an useful piece of info for better understanding to whom to follow and to whom not. Thanks for sharing and tweeted 🙂
Nizam Khan recently posted..Video Nova WordPress Plugin Review – Convert Visitors Into Cash Paying CustomersMy Profile

Audrey November 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm

“An overtly sexy profile pic” – LOL I’ve seen lots of pics like this one! Actually, not only to social networking sites, but also in blogs, forums and videos as well. They set sexy profile pics to catch attention of their readers or viewers. I must say that this can really be an effective way to connect with others, but I guess there are more better ways to attract others anyway.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
December 2, 2011 at 10:52 am

Hi Audrey,
I agree that sexy profile pics do attract attention but it should come down to are they attracting the right attention? If my site was about dating, I see how that can work but if someone is blogging about SEO, I suspect they’d be missing opportunities to connect with those of us who want to learn from someone who projects a more professional image if they have a sexy glam shot for their pic.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Utilizing Social Media to Build Brand Awareness and AuthorityMy Profile

Marie June 25, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Great post, Sherryl. Sums up pretty much how I feel about being on the internet. I understand that some people have a need for privacy, but there are still ways to let potential followers know you are a real living, breathing person and not a bot or a cyberstalker.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
June 27, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Hi Marie,
I think it’s very important if you’re trying to build awareness of a website to connect with people on a human level. It’s often said that people like to do business with people they like. By using things like a globally recognized avatar from Gravatar.com, you help to build that awareness.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Social Networking and Casting a Bigger NetMy Profile

John Knights June 13, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Sherryl, This is also very true for me, at least now. I was able to realize and applied this just couple of months ago.. At first I didn’t care who I was adding in my social network accounts but I realized some of them were just fake accounts and I was afraid that someone might use fake accounts for stalking.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
June 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Fake accounts . . . like the profile picture of the egg? I’ve spoken with people who let their Twitter accounts get so out of control (by following anyone and everyone) that they ended up trashing the account and starting anew. Good for you for realizing that you needed to approach Twitter strategically before that happened to you too John.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Social Networking and Casting a Bigger NetMy Profile

John Knights June 14, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Yes. Like those egg accounts in twitter but not only in Twitter also in my FB account. I get a lot of invites with random people. I don’t have any idea who’s fake or not at that time. So I have to be more careful this time.

Mitch Mitchell
Twitter:
June 8, 2011 at 1:11 am

The only one of these I don’t hold people to is #6, understanding that not everyone has a website or blog or might not want to link back to a company site. I actually wrote something like this earlier this year also, only I picked exclusively on Twitter. But I hit all the point you did; great job!
Mitch Mitchell recently posted..Why Do I Have So Many Problems With Commission Junction AffiliatesMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
June 8, 2011 at 8:41 pm

I follow people without blogs and websites too. I think when I was writing that, I meant if I already was uncomfortable following someone. Then, that would be the deciding factor for me. Thanks! I missed that post but I’m following you now!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Low Cost Resources Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs Can AccessMy Profile

John May 14, 2011 at 8:32 am

Hi Sherryl, thanks for taking the time to comment over at my spot I appreciate it.

I have to be honest with you when I say that I seem to find it harder and harder to find people that actually interact on Twitter. I’m already very limited as to who I follow, etc. there’s nothing worse then those people that preach and preach how to use Twitter meanwhile they don’t even come close to using it right. Great post, you have a new subscriber thanks for making the connection.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 14, 2011 at 11:57 am

You’re welcome John and thanks for subscribing. It seems like the bots are taking over Twitter lately.

Since Twitter started cracking down on #FF mentions, some of the bloggers that I follow have been featuring posts on Fridays that highlight other bloggers. That’s been a good source for me to find new people to follow. After I follow them, I tweet them and mention how I found them. (I include the twitter ID of the blogger who wrote the post.) Most of them follow back too. It usually turns into a win-win-win for all of us.

Bruce Serven May 14, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I’ve been doing the same thing Sherryl with the writing a blog post about people of interest rather than Tweeting it.

It serves multiple purposes: It distinguishes from the #FF noise, it allows a much wider facility to explain why the person is noteworthy, and it also serves as evergreen content for my blog.

And the people doing the same thing who I have been following the link to see who they have written about, I’ve been poking around their site more often also. Also, a few people who have mentioned me recently are syndicated on VERY LARGE audience websites, so my name and all my links was put in front of an audience I might not have been able to reach otherwise, so that was an awesome side-benefit also.

There’s a lot of great people out there and finding them is a challenge when there is so much noise out there also. But once we do find the good ones, it’s nice to share the love around and help promote them, which is what the Twitter is good for too (and letting them know how you found them is of value to them also as it lets them know who to attribute the referral to [since they don’t always show up in Google Analytics if not directly clicked]).

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Bruce, I’m not surprised at all that you follow the same strategy that I do. 🙂 It’s getting on the “radar screen” of those people who have the VERY LARGE audiences that’s key. What’s really great is to find yourself included in their Friday posts.

I hop over to your blog when I can but I honestly did not know you were writing a post of people of interest too. (Note to self to visit you more often.)
Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Ways to Build Awareness and Get Ideas for Your Website BlogMy Profile

Adam Toporek May 14, 2011 at 6:41 am

Hi Sherryl, this is a great list! I just did a purge of my Twitter account using a lot of these guidelines (still have more to go). I think the Twitter egg and Zero tweets are automatic red flags for me. Also, I try to avoid active accounts whose tweets are nothing but repetitive solicitations for a product I am not interested in. In other words, every tweet is about how to finance a moon landing with your credit card or something like that.

I agree with you though; I do try to follow anyone who engages on the blog.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 14, 2011 at 11:42 am

I do the same thing as you Adam when it comes to avoiding following accounts that are repetitive solicitations. When I’m deciding whether or not to follow someone, I like to see a nice mix of their links, RTs for other people and it doesn’t hurt if I see that they’ve thanked people and interacted with others. All this and I try to make my decision in a few seconds. 🙂
Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Ways to Build Awareness and Get Ideas for Your Website BlogMy Profile

Kimmie May 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm

hahah – I can totally identify with these reasons! We all have our limits. I have even had to sever ties with websites on promo when their topics became too racy .. It’s a matter of decency on that one about the escort service.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 11, 2011 at 8:47 pm

I hear you Kimmie. I finally stopped following a very popular blogger because her language made me feel uncomfortable. I learned a lot from her but once I found other bloggers with the same knowledge, I unsubscribed from her RSS feed and subscribed to theirs. (Not that she’d ever notice that I was gone. She is hugely popular.)

Vernessa Taylor
Twitter:
May 10, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Hi Sherry,

Echoing what @WesTowers said earlier about using different gravatars keeping business and personal accounts separate — that still makes sense for me.

When I first started using Twitter, I went the automatic route of following everyone. Boy was that a bad move! So I guess it has now become an almost unconscious activity to check the bio, the website, number of followers, and quality of tweets.
Vernessa Taylor recently posted..7 Secrets Revealed By Those Imperfect StatsMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 10, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Hi Veressa,
I know quite a few people who have more than one Twitter account. For now, I have my hands full with just one but I’ve been attempting to brand “keepupweb”/my blog and myself as one. I certainly have reserved a few twitter IDs including my name. I tried to reserve my name misspelled too but it was already taken.

Good to hear scanning Twitter followers has become almost an unconscious activity for you. It has for me to but I try to follow back anyone who has commented on my blog. I worry that I may inadvertently miss someone if they don’t follow my quick scan criteria.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Ways to Build Awareness and Get Ideas for Your Website BlogMy Profile

Vernessa Taylor
Twitter:
May 10, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Same here with following back people who have commented on my blog. I don’t have a lot of Twitter followers since I re-did the account some months ago. I do wonder how others who have many thousands of followers keep their account pruned.

Your “8 Reasons” are excellent guidelines to follow no matter which social media account you’re trying to keep up with. 🙂
Vernessa Taylor recently posted..No Hardhats Allowed – Online Project Management For The Rest of UsMy Profile

Allie
Twitter:
May 2, 2011 at 9:47 am

Sherry,

Every single one of these is true. I find some of them amusing only because they make sense to us but to others they don’t. For God sake, get a profile picture, what are you hiding?

I am really picky about who I follow on Twitter and Facebook. I believe they are a direct reflection of what I and my blog stand for. I do, at times, check out who people interact with online, if things look shady, I’m out of there.

Very informative post, it got me thinking.

~Allie
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 2, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Hi Allie,

I believe the same thing as you about who I follow. It is a reflection on us. I remember my parents warning me as a child not to associate with certain “shady characters” and that ” guilt by association” was a real threat. What’s changed just because we’re online now?

I will never understand not uploading a profile pic. It’s simple. It’s free and it makes sense if you want to start building any sort of online presence. Thanks for dropping by! 🙂
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Google Panda and Website Load TimesMy Profile

Vinay May 2, 2011 at 6:01 am

Great points Sherryl. I agree with all your points. Even I would like to add couple of points which may worth watching,

9. If you are a bot then please stay away.

10. Interacting with the one who you following is a best way of widening your network. If you just want to follow me or connect with just to increase your list then I’m not the one whom you things about 🙂

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Great points! I agree that I’m not looking to grow my connections by numbers either. I’m looking for real connections with real people. I believe that we all can help someone in some way and I’m always looking for ways to build my community. Thanks for joining us!

Karen E. Lund April 28, 2011 at 11:18 am

All good points. I look at a profile holistically. A good profile picture is nice, but some people are camera-shy, including me–it took a long time to find a photo I like enough to use as my virtual face. If the rest of the profile is good, I don’t mind that there’s no photo. Same with not having a URL on your Twitter bio, unless you are a self-described web developer or blogger. (Those who use a link to their Twitter account as the URL in their Twitter bio are clearly newbies and not terribly bright.) But when several key ingredients are missing, I get suspicious.

My (9) on the list would be dropping an F-bomb in a Twitter bio. Bad enough in a tweet, but that’s fleeting. Putting profanity in one’s bio says something–that this is a person I don’t want to know.

My (10) was a woman who invited me to connect on LinkedIn, having clearly forgotten that a couple of years earlier she had pointedly refused an in-person introduction (and handshake) with me by a mutual colleague.
Karen E. Lund recently posted..I Am Not for Sale But I Used to BeMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 28, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Karen, I totally agree with your #9 about the F-bomb. Interestingly enough, there is an enormously popular blogger who consistently uses this language on her blog and in her tweets. I followed her for months and subscribed to her RSS feed until I reached a point where it just wasn’t worth it to me to feel uncomfortable. By then, I had found other brilliant bloggers with the same information and I follow them instead.

Your #10 is a great example of “everything you do is either a relationship builder or a relationship destroyer’. Thanks for 2 great additions.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Google Panda and Website Load TimesMy Profile

Johanna April 28, 2011 at 3:28 am

Hi Sherryl,
I agree with most of the things you said on why you won’t like, follow or connect to someone on social networking sites. It kind of makes me feel that I’m talking to a robot if I encounter a comment or email having no name or just the name of their site.
Actually, I welcome those who have something relevant to say to my posts but do not have their own site – but of course, that rarely happens.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 28, 2011 at 2:42 pm

That’s true Johanna. I welcome readers who don’t have their own site too. Actually, this should be a good place for people to come who are learning how to get started. Even if they don’t have a site of their own, everyone can share interesting tidbits of info and links to great information.

Aybi April 28, 2011 at 1:05 am

I agree with your points Sherryl! I’ve been holding on the same principles as yours. I don’t know if others realize these facts. Well, maybe they already knew about these circumstances but still continue to connect out of curiosity. Of course, we can’t blame them but I think they just have to be more responsible to whatever they do.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 28, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Hi Aybi,
I think at some point a lot of those bots and spammers must have a lot of bots and spammers following them. 🙂

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 26, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Hi Janine, It does make life easier when you know who you don’t want to follow that’s for sure. It saves me a lot of time to just scan their profile in my in-box and hit delete.

Allison D. Duncan April 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm

What? You don’t like porn bots following you and requesting ‘friend’ status? Say it ain’t so. 😛

Truly though, this is a real problem that seems to have skyrocketed in the last year or so. And as soon as you figure out how to make it go away, let the rest of us know. hehe.

Great post!

Allison Duncan

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 26, 2011 at 8:37 pm

LOL – Thanks for letting us know you feel the same way Allison. The real shame is that these spammers are invading LinkedIn now too!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Google Panda and Website Load TimesMy Profile

Bruce Serven April 22, 2011 at 8:45 am

I agree with your list here Sherryl and I can’t think of anything to add to it.

What about offline though? How would this list translate offline? Many times people don’t realize that their online behavior is unsavory simply because they don’t have the physical cues to relate to. One example I like to use is that I won’t connect (network) with you if you are the guy wearing a suit made of business cards walking around with a bullhorn in your hand telling everyone what the deal of the day is. They don’t do it in person, but they’ll do it online cuz they can hide behind a screen or “it’s just online, not like it’s the real world.” so yeah, it’d be interesting to see what this list would resemble if it were translated into the equivalent of how it would appear offline.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 22, 2011 at 12:51 pm

That’s a great idea for a post Bruce! I know exactly the guy you’re talking about at networking events. That image definitely brought back memories. 🙂 When I used to go to networking events a lot, I learned to not offer my business card and wait until I was asked for it. I figured if the person I was talking to was interested enough in what I did, they’d ask for it. Otherwise, chances were they would throw it away anyways.

Davina K. Brewer April 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm

SO in my wheelhouse, I’ve blogged or commented on the LinkedIn nonsense, the bad FB pages w/ pics that make you look like a porn store, shared Joey Strawn’s post on crappy Twitter profiles. Adding this one to my list, sure to share it again someday.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Thanks Davina. I appreciate that. I’m off to check out your Twitter/Devil post. 🙂

Steven Papas April 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Hi SHERRYL PERRY,
Very funny,innovative and informative article. I agree that our personal information is really not such waste to disclose it everywhere and if we are lying then whats the point of social networking.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Exactly. Who wants to connect with Mr. or Ms. Basketball Sneakers anyways?

Keyuri Joshi
Twitter:
April 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I was guilty… in my earlier online days of connecting with too many people as I thought my tipping point would lie somewhere in the “numbers”. I learned quickly that quality matters.
I’ve seen alll 8 of your points… particularly on twitter, and like you, I do not connect. It is worse however to see those individuals on LinkedIN where professionalism is supposed to reign.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I’m totally with you about LinkedIn. I’ve grown to expect Twitter to be overrun by people who are just looking for numbers but like you, I felt LinkedIn was mainly professionals who were interested in making deeper connections. I think all we can do on LinkedIn is to continue to manage our connections the best we can. It is difficult sometimes to decide whether or not to connect with someone. In a way, I appreciate a connection with someone who is a power networker but I also don’t want to start getting spammed.

Wes Towers
Twitter:
April 20, 2011 at 4:23 am

Hi, Sherryl. I couldn’t resist, I had to join in your conversation with Susan above. And then, I went and called her another name (blush). I wonder what she thinks of me now? (blush)

As to your article and the list that you provided along with it, I think it’s great. 🙂 Although I admit, I did use a software that helped me follow a great number of people everyday in the beginning. Then, I realised the error of my ways. Because as it was a software, it indiscriminately followed people and to my horror, I began seeing unsavoury characters appearing on my Twitter feed. Although I can explain that to the wife, I could not definitely have it on my reputation.

Now, I am in the process of cleaning out the people whom I follow and who might be following me in Twitter. And, then I will adopt everything you have written here. 😉

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Hi Wes, Don’t blush too much. We all make mistakes like that from time to time. Just don’t call Susan Sheila. 🙂

I agree with Susan about people using their logo as their profile pic but I believe we were referring to the pic that you upload to your Gravatar profile. When you comment here, we see your smiling face not the logo for your business (which is good). Sometimes, you’ll see a comment here with a logo looking back at us. It’s difficult to relate to objects. We’re looking for that human connection.

I think the fact that you have both a personal and business twitter account is fine as long as you have the time and energy to maintain them both. I’m always talking about John Paul Aguiar as someone who I’ve learned a lot from. John Paul has a personal Twitter account as well as a business account. People who know him well have learned that he represents both. Whenever JP is on his Facebook or Twitter, you can pick up on this fact. For one thing, you’ll see on his personal Facebook account that he has the brand from his business blog as his pictures.

Software that automates social networking can get you into trouble. There are some tools that are promising but as you found out they can also get you into trouble. I’m glad you like my simple 8 rules.

Sherry Zander April 19, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Finally. Somebody put this in a list in writing — thank you. I couldn’t agree more!

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 20, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Great! Glad you liked it Sherry. I was having one of those days where my inbox was overflowing with new Twitter followers. One quick look at the info in the emails and I didn’t have to go any further than hitting the delete button.

Julie Weishaar
Twitter:
April 19, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Thanks for this list Sherryl. I don’t like to follow someone without a profile pic (as Jeannette pointed out on her blog too), and I do take a look at their tweets, there are some really sleazy people out there that I do not follow. There is one person or more than likely a group of people who must have multiple Twitter accounts – I keep getting spammed from them. I block them – they come back with another iteration of their name. Not sure how they can get away with this – but it is obvious to me that they are the same person(s) and I would like them to go away and leave me alone.
Julie Weishaar recently posted..Has the Internet Taken Away Personal ResponsibilityMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 19, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Good luck with getting them to go away and leave you alone Julie. I read Jeannette’s post today. I find it funny that we were both on the same wavelength this week. We must have both been dealing with a lot of spammers lately.

Dennis Salvatier
Twitter:
April 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I definitely don’t follow back when there’s no bio. People still haven’t learned that one yet. I don’t follow blindly for fear of spammers so I stick to people with the same interests or similar knowledge. It’s worked out great, but I can tell when spammers are following me because lots of them join up and then I see 8 people missing all of a sudden. When will spammers ever learn. Great post!
Dennis Salvatier recently posted..Designing a Logo- Step 3 The ConclusionMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Thanks Dennis. I’m glad you like this post. Something I didn’t really stress in my article is how important it is that people that I follow and trust are also following the new person who just followed me. For example, I am now following quite a few artists and designers who started following me because you were retweeting my posts and thereby introduced them to me. It was an easy decision to follow them back as soon as I recognized our connection was you. Since I know you’re careful about who you connect with, they inherited “trust”. 🙂

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 19, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Thanks for your humorous and somewhat uplifting take on Social Media in general Rick. 🙂

Rick LaPoint April 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Hi Sherryl,

Thanks for linking to my Twitter article.

To be honest, I’m actually getting looser with my criteria for who I follow back. I’m getting lazy, I think 😉

I don’t followback cute bikini girls, especially when they have guys names I never heard of, and faces I recognize from Entertainment Tonight. I doubt that Joe Blowdaski really really looks like Paris Hilton. Although I could be wrong…

I have more Tweets than Followers, so I tend to avoid those with a lot more Followers than Tweets. I’m probably just jealous.

I recognize that Social Media, like Google, and pretty much everything else—is just another System to be Gamed.

If you don’t play the Game, the Unwashed Masses don’t think you aren’t worth Reading, while Experts at the Game think you’re stupid for not doing what’s necessary.

So I figure, what the heck. The water is poisoned, the air is poisoned, the food is poisoned, and pretty soon we’re all going to glow in the dark.

I’m just going to enjoy the ride, and I really don’t care anymore what anyone thinks 🙂

Rick

Randy Pickard
Twitter:
May 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Rick – Previously, I had not been reviewing the ratio of tweets to followers. It’s probably a metric I should pay more attention to in reviewing who to follow back. Thanks for passing on the concept
Randy Pickard recently posted..A Manufactured Link That Benefits the CommunityMy Profile

Bill Reidy April 19, 2011 at 8:44 am

Great post, Sherryl! I love the way your headline makes us think that you don’t endorse the use of social media at all, which made me even more interested in finding out why. I am new to social media and found all of your “what-not-to-do” tips very useful.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Hi Bill,
Thanks for letting me know that you found my tips useful and that my title enticed you to read my post. I’ve been trying to get more creative with my post titles and I think I hit payday with this one. 🙂

Nancy Wurtzel April 19, 2011 at 12:17 am

Well said! I totally agree, but it brings it all home in one overview. Thanks for the great post!

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Thanks Nancy. It’s my simple take on my online strategy. It is interesting to read how others feel about it. I think we all have had enough with spammers and bots.

Greg Satell April 18, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Great list! I’d like to add a few:

– I usually un-follow people who send me cheesy or solicitous direct messages after I follow them. I hate those!

If you really feel you must (and I have no idea why people do), just send me “thx for the follow.” I don’t want to hear some quasi-marriage vow about how we’re going to fulfill each other or a business offer. It’s just sleazy.

– Don’t try to connect to me on Facebook unless we actually know each other. I have pictures of my family on there! I have a blog, a twitter account, a Facebook fan page and accept almost anyone on LinkedIn . There is really no reason why anyone I don’t know personally needs to have access to me on Facebook.

I had a guy push me on this point and I deleted him from all my networks:-)

– Greg
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Hi Greg,
I don’t usually un-follow the people who send me direct messages that are cheesy if it’s a one-time only message. Although, it does make me question their motives for sure.

I do connect with a lot of fellow bloggers on my Facebook personal account and there are times when I wonder if I lost my mind by doing it but I do have a list set up for my friends and family. That’s a huge help for me.

I had to “de-friend” someone who was constantly inviting me to real estate seminars in FL. He simply invited everyone he was connected to regardless of where they live. That’s just plain lazy.

Ryan Biddulph
Twitter:
April 18, 2011 at 7:04 pm

You’ve nailed it Sherryl. Many supposed people are actually profiles. They aren’t human, they aren’t real, and they treat others the same exact way….seeing others as profiles, or numbers, instead of people. It’s kinda tough to connect with a bot, or a person who doesn’t care about me, or a shadowy figure. Thanks for sharing!

RB

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Thanks for joining the conversation Ryan! It’s getting harder and harder to recognize some bots for what they are but it’s definitely worth the time it takes to at least try to identify them and weed them out.

Thomas
Twitter:
October 5, 2011 at 3:22 am

And it’s only going to get harder. Watson was impressive and is a household name now when it comes to AI, but in the coming years it is going to get harder and harder to identify who we’re talking to.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
October 5, 2011 at 8:43 pm

That is so true Thomas. Even now, I sometimes wonder if I’m approving a comment left by a bot.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How To Manage Your Online Reputation Across Different LanguagesMy Profile

Kristi Hines
Twitter:
April 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm

I’ve gotten pickier about who I follow online. The things I would suggest are making sure your profile pic is consistent across networks (ie. if you are commenting on my blog, I hope I can recognize you on Facebook), and make sure to brand yourself with your real name, that way I don’t miss out that my favorite user on Twitter Cuddlykins (not real, just made up) is really Jane Smith.
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Hi Kristi,
You are such a great resource and such an active blogger that you must get inundated with requests to follow people. I’m trying to get a little pickier too. Your suggestion to use the same profile pic consistently is so important. That’s why I always recommend to people to go to Gravatar.com to manage their profile. I will never understand why people don’t use their real name.

Susan Oakes
Twitter:
April 18, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Hi Sherryl,

Last week I had a number of new followers the same as Rick, except the bios said they were in business. It is the simple things that are overlooked that can make a big difference. I still can’t understand why people use logos instead of their pictures especially of they are a small business.
Susan Oakes recently posted..Show Me The Marketing ResultsMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 19, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Hi Susan,
I don’t understand using a logo for your profile picture either. I think people sometimes don’t realize that people like to do business with people that they know and like.

Wes Towers
Twitter:
April 20, 2011 at 4:07 am

Hi, Sharon and Sherryl.

Now, you ladies had me feeling guilty. I don’t use my picture on my Omnific Design Twitter account because I have a personal account under Wes Towers. And, I want Omnific Design to be known, not just me. Did I make an error in judgment? Should I incorporate my personal into my business account in Twitter? Will it be so bad if I prefer to keep both separate?

Wes Towers
Twitter:
April 20, 2011 at 4:14 am

Ooops, I meant Susan, not Sharon…(blush)

Susan Oakes
Twitter:
April 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Hi Wes,

Ha there are a lot worse names to be called than Sharon, Wes for example Shelia! I know you use the graphic for your company. I want my brand M4B Marketing to be known and that is why I use it, however I do think using my picture helps instead of the logo, although I have no stats to back that up.

One question for you is what is the reason for the two accounts and do you really need both? I know some do to build their personal profile.
Susan Oakes recently posted..Dangers Of Being In Love When Marketing Your BrandMy Profile

Wes Towers
Twitter:
April 21, 2011 at 12:13 am

Hi, Susan. I keep two separate accounts in Twitter because at first, I liked Omnific Design to be known as a business and I want a personal profile for myself. Now, I am still keeping both accounts separate because in the future, I would like to build up my name as a brand in web and graphic design. So, I will be like Wes Towers, the web and graphic designer and Omnific Design will be the business that offers web and graphic design, marketing and branding services. 🙂

Tarrum April 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm

At first I thought you were going to talk about why Social Media is bad and why you don’t like it. Felt weird, heh. That has to be one of the best posts about why you’re not getting enough followers!

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 19, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Thanks Tarrum. I’m glad you enjoyed my post and I’m also glad that my title grabbed your attention!

Slim April 18, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Catarina,

I like this. I am following your site.

Regards,

Slim

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 19, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Thanks for commenting Slim. I left a comment for you on your blog.

Roberta Budvietas
Twitter:
April 18, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Hi all. I look at LinkedIn as a separate case from Facebook and agree about groups. At least when we share a group we know we have some interests in common. On Facebook however, some people are playing popularity games and for others I know Facebook is their web page. I sometimes friend just to allow info and unfriend when they become obnoxious but then I like junk mail – great market research

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Roberta, You look at junk mail as market research? That remark made me smile. I do look at marketing materials that are mailed to my house as market research and I pay close attention to marketing emails and newsletters that I’ve signed up for but junk email – I have a zero tolerance for. You have a great attitude!

Jeannette Paladino
Twitter:
April 18, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I agree with this post and the comments to a point. I, too, receive invitations from members of groups I belong to but I don’t accept them all, especially if their information is incomplete or they seem a little suspect.. My reasoning is that if people I know who may not be my 1st connections ask a referral to one of my connections (this has happened) and if I either don’t know the person and/or it turns out the person’s profile is skimpy or suspect then I’m in an awkward spot. I don’t like to refuse but I don’t want to refer someone I know (we will probably become 1st connections now that we’ve been in touch) with someone who I can’t vouch for.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Jeanette,
This is great advice about referring people you don’t know well. It is totally a reflection on us when we recommend someone. As LinkedIn gets more popular, it seems that I’m getting more requests to follow and promote people than usual. I’m especially leery of connecting with people thousands of connections. Personally, I’d rather have fewer connections than sheer numbers. No one can possibly know that many people.

Sorry I didn’t reply sooner but I thought I replied to you days ago.

Catarina Alexon
Twitter:
April 18, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Agree with you in principle Sherryl. However, if it’s someone on Linkedin that states they belong to the same group as me I accept since most of them are reading my articles.

What I dislike most are strangers sending me invites in Linkedin stating we are friends, work together or have done business together. Why would I want to have anything to do with someone who is that dishonest? Have even written at the bottom of my Linkedin profile that I don’t accept such invitations. But I get several every week.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 18, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I agree with your logic Catarina. If someone sends me a connection request on LinkedIn and they’re in the same group as me, I’ll connect without even looking to see if they have their profile setup correctly. It’s mainly the people who want to join our LinkedIn blogging group and have few connections plus no blog listed in their profiles that concern me. There are so many spammers on LinkedIn lately. As you well know.

Catarina Alexon
Twitter:
April 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Agree with you completely when it comes to Linkedin groups. In fact if they hide their identities they should be turned down. Even if they have a photo of a flower or something instead of themselves.

Karen E. Lund April 28, 2011 at 11:06 am

Catarina, it’s not just whether an invitation “states” the member belongs to the same group–it’s whether they actually do. I’ve had people claim to be in groups I don’t belong to, never have, wouldn’t join.

The first memorable incident came when I was pretty new on LI. Having worked in non-profit organizations most of my career, I immediately joined 10 or 12 groups related to non-profits, either general or specifics. Then I got an invite from a total stranger who claimed we both belonged to “Super Marketing Sales–Make BIG $$$$” or something like that. Uhhh… could you at least respect me enough to offer a plausible connection?

Any invitation (on any platform) that contains a blatant lie is a non-starter.
Karen E. Lund recently posted..I Am Not for Sale But I Used to BeMy Profile

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm

That’s true Tia. I think the ones that really concern me are the people who join LinkedIn and set up a profile without any link and then ask to join the Bloggers Helping Bloggers group. Well, if you want help with your blog, letting me know where to find it is a good first step.

I’m well. Hope you are too. You are so busy! How did you find time to be the first to comment and tweet?

Tia Peterson April 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Hey Sherryl – Well, I get your posts by email when they are first published. I always come by and check it out. 🙂 They are always great so perhaps it is that I just *make* time to do it!!

Tia Peterson April 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Hey Sherryl – Funny, I too have reservations about following someone with no link to a website. I wonder if that’s being ridiculous or not. What I will usually do is check their tweets to see if it looks scammy. They could be just like a person like my mom, and she doesn’t have a website so there’s nothing to put there. That’s fine. But it definitely causes me to pause a bit and look a little harder before following back.

Hope you’re well!

Cheers,
Tia

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