There are so many ways people use Twitter. Some with good social media practices and others who exploit the systems just to get followers. Chris Brogan recently wrote Get More Twitter Followers TODAY, a kind of tongue-in-cheek, but had insightful suggestions for people to use Twitter more effectively rather than crap on the system. By the way, I mentioned it because you should read it. 🙂
While I agree on most of his points, it is rather a tricky situation. Depending on what kind of information you are tweeting, you may need more than 20 tweets a day. And unfortunately, for those who answer questions that could be valuable to those needing certain information (like support questions for a script or as I often hang around the #wordpress, #wp, and WordPress trending topics), you will have to reply publicly rather than direct message others (DM.) Quite a few successful bloggers have become what they are because of Twitter, like Richard Darrell of Minervity. In less than 6 months, his resourceful web design site has become quite popular. There are many more only that have also done the same in their own niche.
However, it is important as you, the Twitter user, must adopt some type of personal guidelines to influence, and retain meaningful followerships while at the same time, not focus on how many followers. Basically, focus on quality, not quantity. The auto-tweeting rubbish going around promising a multitude of followers do NOT live up to their name. How do I know this? Because I painstakingly experimented and although it was not harmful, and did pull in some followers, I was not impressed. Most were not meaningful connections and I only got a few, less than a dozen. On the same note, my Twitter stream ( @blondishnet ) was auto-tweeting annoyingly spammish (yes, that is not a real word, but I like it), more than once a day. It gets even more annoying to see more than 10 people in a row through the public stream who have subscribed to such a service and that is pretty much what their streams are all about. For me, I unfollow them as they have nothing of interest I want to read. Besides that, the sites are ridiculous. How are you going to reach the people who are truly interested in your information, whether you give out resources or advice for free, or have a product for sale.
It is your responsibility to use Twitter in a way that does not cause spam or people to unfollow you because of what you say. In fact, causing enough people to follow or to spam are part of Twitter’s terms of service and you can be suspended. The great thing is that Twitter is free, so whether you are on their for business or leisure, you will meet people, but remember, use common sense.
What is your personal Twitter user policy?