You Just Lost My Interest To Connect on Twitter with the Word ‘Pending’

A Protected Twitter Account Is Not Conducive for doing Business

Twitter lists are a very functional and integrate part of my Twitter strategy. I use these lists for several reasons. The main reason I create Twitter lists as I follow new accounts is to be able to segment or ‘sort’ out my Twitter followers so I can ‘listen’ to specific people (a select, small group of infulencers or experts) on Twitter. Another great way I use Twitter lists (by others) is to find new people and businesses to follow.

One a recent quest to follow, with one of my clients’ accounts, I found a Twitter list on a colleague’s account that looked very promising. It was titled ‘Business people in the #XYZ area’ and included over 350 accounts. For me, that’s like hitting Bingo and the Lottery at the same time. It saves me a LOT of time if I can follow 350 business people in a very targeted location. (which, by the way, I do on my iPhone Twitter app. I find it easier to ‘touch’ than to ‘click’) Needless to say, I was extremely excited. That is, until I started to follow the people on that list. I found many businesses and business leaders with a protected Twitter account.

This is what I saw for about every 10-15th account I followed.

Pending Notification on Twitter

And this is what I then immediately did.

Pending Notification on Twitter - cancel request

There is no way I am going to wait for you to approve me for following you. What I am going to do instead is to cancel the follow request and I am going to assume several things about you, your brand and your business practices. Whether these assumptions are true or not is really not going to matter to me. That first impression of you and your business? That was a bad one and that will most likely be the end of our oh so short social media interaction, ever.

Here are at least seven thoughts that went through my head each time I saw ‘pending’ to my request to connect on Twitter, and none of these reasons were at all flattering or made a great first impression! I was thinking…

  1. ‘That person doesn’t get Twitter’
  2. ‘That person doesn’t understand the ‘social’ in social media’
  3. ‘Why is that person making me wait for approval?’
  4. ‘What are they hiding?’
  5. ‘What age are they?’
  6. ‘Who is in charge of that brand’s social media?’
  7. ‘How active is this person on Twitter?’

See, by protecting your account, you are really not doing anything but driving people i.e. potential customers and clients away from you! That type of behavior is not social behavior!

What Should You Do Instead?

Instead, allow people to connect with you and follow you. Allow them to read your thoughts, ideas and learn more about you and your interests (as in tweets) and be open to connect with new potential customers, clients, industry leaders, local charities, local businesses, suppliers, business opportunities and more!

May I ask you a question?

What Are You Afraid of Anyway?

Is being ‘followed’ by people you don’t know scary to you? Is what you are tweeting out so (take your pick) secret, obnoxious, controversial, bad, political in nature, self-serving, or in any other way, shape or form not suitable to the general public?

Twitter is a social platform. (And while we are on the subject of protected accounts… this goes for Instagram, too!) Tweeting is a way to connect with people you know and people you don’t know (yet). It’s a place where you can exchange ideas, share content, meet people and learn.

See, by protecting your account, it’s like going to a networking meeting with head phones on. You can see the other participants, but you’ve put up a barrier so they can’t talk to you!

Is There Ever a Good Reason To Protect Your Twitter Account?

I recently read this article called ‘Protected Twitter: Futile and Dumb?‘ The most beautiful quote from this article:

Even though I’m a very strong advocate of online privacy, I firmly believe that for most users, protecting a Twitter account is futile, damaging, and ultimately pointless.

That’s getting straight to the point, right? So are there any reasons to ever protect your account?

Here are a few reasons people have given, as to why they protect their Twitter account.

I can’t say I agree with them and I still stand by my opinion that protecting your account is defeating the purpose of Twitter. I will go as far as saying as the majority of people who protect their tweets do so because they do not understand Twitter and how the platform works. I believe they are misinformed about Twitter and what it was designed to do.

Here are the reasons, in their own words!

  • It’s good for conducting experiments, running ‘hidden’ accounts for the purpose of reading Twitter anonymously – Bob Leggitt
  • Problems with somebody on Twitter, or people in other social networks or bulletin boards. Maybe there’s somebody offline who you don’t want to be able to access your Twitter stream, like a boss, ex-partner or good old-fashioned weirdo. All of these are legitimate reasons to make your account private. – Shea Bennett
  • By protecting my tweets, I would be able to fend off spammers and bots on Twitter. One (last) reason I protect my tweets is by looking at the kinds of other people on Twitter who protect their tweets. This is currently a very small percentage, smaller than one percent of all Twitter users. Yet if you examine the kinds of people who protect their tweets, a large majority of these people are what I would characterize as deeply thoughtful people. If deeply thoughtful people tend to protect their tweets, then maybe my decision to protect my tweets was a sound one. – Phil Shapiro
  • I asked (my students) why, and of those who answered, they all said basically the same thing: that they were protective of their privacy, they wanted to separate personal from professional, they wanted to control the “spam” that showed up in their streams. – Shonali Burke

Your Turn!

I am SURE you have an opinion on this! Let me have it. Comment below and let’s connect on Twitter…;)