There are all sorts of Xian Anons out there. I follow hundreds of them. Each one has his or her (or it?) own slant on how to do things. And while each one approaches Twitter differently, there are some things that you should understand if you’re in the Xian Anon game (or thinking about getting into it).
1. There are no rules: This is the most important to understand. What?!? How can you write about the rules for running an Anon account and then say that there are no rules? It really comes down to this: These rules are things I wish people had told me from my first day of tweeting. I have been fortunate to have some very intelligent and savvy people come alongside me and offer me some pointers, but there’s no manual to consult from the beginning.
So remember this: these are good ideas, but not written in stone. I’ve seen Anons that do not do these but have THOUSANDS of followers. I’ve seen Anons do these and never get more than 100-200 followers. There’s no magic formula. So take these for what you will. Some things that I believe about running my Anon account.
2. People with catchy names & sexy pics will get more followers and retweets than all of your incredibly witty & deep tweets. It doesn’t really matter how clever you are – you’re going to be limited by your avi and handle. I’ve seen people with a funny name and sexy avi get followers without having any substantial content. It sucks, but that’s life. Sometimes a theme or character will really help (like Snooty Seminarian or Back Row Baptist) – it gives people something to get behind rather than a vague generality (like The Xian Satirist) 😉
3. An avi, a bio, and some original tweets are more likely to motivate me to follow you back. If you don’t have these things the odds are that people won’t follow you. You’re an unknown quantity. Fill out these things and give people something to latch onto. People will identify you by your avi. It’s one reason we get so confused when some of our favorite accounts change their images (Church Judge, FairICBaptist, I’m lookin’ at you two)!
4. You have a greater chance of Tweets resonating with others if you Tweet things that resonate with you. I know everyone does it, but I really don’t want to read about your dinner. When you tweet something that really strikes home with you (either a joke or a serious tweet) you have a greater chance that it will resonate with the rest of us. Practically speaking that will give you more favorites and retweets.
5. Unless you’re a celebrity with a bajillion followers you should be interacting with people. I understand that some people are on Twitter only to promote their message, but I prefer to see people interact. I’m always impressed by those who have 10,000-100,000 followers still interacting with their followers. That’s pretty cool. It’s social media – why come you being anti-social?
Warning – I do know that some people will unfollow you if you’re filling up their timeline with conversations. They only want to see the 140 character zingers, not an ongoing conversation. You really have to determine what kind of account you want to run and find a balance between your original material, retweets, and conversation.
6. If everything on your TimeLine is a retweet I may unfollow. Show me some original thought besides what you find from others. Plain and simple. I like retweets, but I want people I follow to give me good original thought. If you put out good material I’ll retweet you myself. 🙂
7. A great concept, handle, and avi are wasted if you don’t tweet regularly and consistently. When I first started my account I was told by one of the popular kids, “I really like your account. I hope you stick around and don’t fade away like many Anons do.” If you put out good content people will want to stick around. Having a great account is a terrible waste if you’re not consistent and regular in tweeting. I’m not even advocating daily tweets, but find a balance that works for your life to be a regular part of Twitter and I’ll hang around to see what you’ve got.
8. You don’t HAVE to follow back everyone who follows you. It’s your account – handle it how you want. Seriously. I’ve seen a lot of people get upset about how a twitterer handles follows, follow-backs, and unfollows. BUT IT’S YOUR ACCOUNT! Do what you like. Follow, unfollow, and block people at your own discretion. You’re not a bad person because of it – you’re taking care of your own account. You may upset some people and they might unfollow you, but it’s.just.Twitter.
9. Don’t rejoice over every follow. Don’t fret over every unfollow. Too much anxiety on Twitter over numbers. I know. I’ve done it. I stopped sweating it only about a month ago and realized that I’m just gonna have people unfollow me every day. Twitter is like a small-town parade. As it goes by you’re gonna have people jump in and walk with you. You’re gonna have people jump out and leave. You can’t control any of that, so don’t sweat it.
10. There’s a fine line between trying and trying too hard. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Just be as authentically you (or your character) as you can be. It’s obvious when we try too hard (my wife always calls me out on it) and is less attractive. Just try to be you and you’ll do fine.
Well, that’s it. What would you add?