Tell me who you are on Twitter

Twitter is great for a number of reasons, but it's best feature is that you can follow and connect with virtually anyone—and nobody will call you a "stalker".

But how do you know who to follow? You can start with family, friends, coworkers, and perhaps some products you like. Maybe throw in a few parody accounts for laughs. Of course, the real fun starts when you follow random people with similar interests. Twitter makes this easy by recommending various accounts from time to time.

Among other things, I'm a web developer, so I tend to follow other web developers. When Twitter recommends an account, I usually glance at each user's profile to learn more about them. When I see profiles like this, I never follow them:

Twitter profile (no info)

Even though this user follows me, I'm not inclined to follow them back because I have no idea who they are. Here's what's missing.

Tell me your name

Knowing your real name is important. Don't hide behind a company account. Twitter works best when things are personal, so telling the world who you are is a good first step. For the record, this user actually did have their name intact (it's been blurred for privacy), but many accounts do not.

Tell me your location

I don't know why, but I'm 90% more likely to follow someone nearby, or even in locations that I've been to before. There's some kind of connection that happens when I see a place I'm familiar with on the screen.

Tell me about you

Always fill out your bio. You can say a lot in 140 characters. If I see that you're a creative director or web developer, I'll be much more apt to follow you. Not knowing who you are is okay on Twitter, but not knowing what you do or anything else about you makes you much less desirable to follow.

And sure, you might be a great husband, a proud mother, or a crazy cat person, but Twitter isn't really the place for that. It doesn't tell us anything unique about you. People want to follow you because of your interests, personality, and tweets.

So if you want people to follow you, give 'em what they want!

Tell the world about you. Sell us on you. If you saw your own profile, would you click follow?

Photo courtesy of meshugas.

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About the author

Creator of Surreal CMS and other web things. Follow me for tweets about JavaScript, CSS, and web programming.