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#The Rules of Social Media: Asking Me To Follow You On Twitter Guarantees I Won't

How do you get someone to follow you on Twitter? Cindy Gallop, the founder of two social media-driven startups, including the recently launched MakeLoveNotPorn, shares one of her biggest Twitter turnoffs.

People are always asking entrepreneur Cindy Gallop to follow them on Twitter, but that doesn't make her hit the "Follow" button. Gallop, whose new startup MakeLoveNotPorn is a social media-driven platform that aims to fuel conversation about (and share video of) "#realworldsex," finds Twitter begging decidedly unsexy.

In fact, it's not easy to convince Gallop that your Twitter account is worth her attention. "I curate the people I follow very carefully," she tells Fast Company, "to deliver a particular mix of up-to-the minute news, insight, particular industry perspectives, and entertainment value."

Gallop often trusts the people she already follows to help her find new people to follow on Twitter. "I'm very happy with my follow feed, so right now what makes me click the follow button is discovery—coming across someone randomly because someone I follow retweeted them, and thinking, they look like they tweet interesting stuff."

One of the Twitterati Gallop relies on for entertaining retweets is author William Gibson. "Not only is he one of my favorite authors of all time, his Twitter feed embodies everything I—and so many other people—love about his work; he comes across the quirkiest and most interesting stuff, and RTs the quirkiest and most interesting other people."

Indeed, Gallop follows an eclectic mix of people on Twitter. Want to get her to follow you without having to ask? Take a cue from the accounts she already follows. One of her favorite people on Twitter is pornstar Danny Wylde, "a good friend and a great source of porn news and thoughtful, insightful industry commentary," according to Gallop, who also names TextsFromLastNight, Jezebel, FAKEGRIMLOCK, and Twitter's Katie Jacobs Stanton among her favorite accounts.

When it comes to gaining Twitter followers, Gallop's philosophy is simple: "never waste your time banging your head against closed doors.

"Engineer yourself into a position where doors open automatically as you approach," Gallop advises. "In other words, be, communicate, and project yourself as someone worth following. Be interesting, insightful, entertaining, distinctive, innovative, and you will get retweeted and people will follow you."

"But above all," she adds, "have a point of view. Know what you stand for and believe in, project that, and the people who are drawn to that will follow you."

[Image: Flickr user Mike Baird]

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  • Spamunch

    The whole article is a plug for Cindy Gallop and her company. I don't believe in begging for followers, and I don't like marketing shoved down my throat. 

  • EbanC

    I am not one for begging, especially for likes. Still, rules in social media make less sense to me. Where the hell have all the pirates and punks gone? To where have to true unfiltered opinions disappeared? I don't mean harassment or bullying, but clear from the gut opinions and insight. Sometimes people should get offended, as well as amused, entertained, and enlightened. Most of what I see today is drones following a few in the spotlight, sharing, re-sharing, and then over sharing the same things over and over.  Then comes the police to say what is right to share, or not to share, and how the sharing should go. 

    Break the mold. Be bold. Say what is on your mind. Make people laugh, make people cry. Whatever you do just do it with passion, even if it is requesting a follow. Be a social media artist. Be a Carlin, a John Waters, or even a PeeWee Herman, but never be a socnet sheep.

    Want to share what you had for breakfast? Fine. Don't want to read what others had for breakfast? That is fine too. This is social media, something else will be posted in seconds. No one is that important to try to regulate the stream.

    As Mr. Universe said in Serenity, "You can't stop the signal, Mal. Everything goes somewhere, and I go everywhere."

  • Lori Jerome

    I've seen people on Twitter be very successful in a niche market by asking people to follow them. This women's subject is something the majority of people are interested in and sex sells - so it's a no-brainer. If someone in the AEC industry who is related to my product wants me to follow them, I don't think it's begging. If someone unrelated asks me to follow them and I don't want to well, I just don't no offense taken. This is a dumb article.

  • Steven Ratnik

    Great article.  Is like begging someone to buy your product as opposed to showing them why it's a great product.