I've been helping a few clients with their Twitter profiles, lately, and they have received a lot of "follows' on Twitter from Twitter newbies making rookie mistakes. Most of these accounts are clearly spam accounts, or at least I assume they are, and block them. If you're setting up a Twitter account for yourself or your business, you'll want to avoid the obvious "noob" mistakes, that will make others assume you're a spammer, as well.
Here are a few of those mistakes to avoid.
Include random-looking numbers or letters in your profile name. If you use number or an acronym, make sure they reference something your target market will quickly recongize. For example, "patriotic1976" or "AskWWJD2Day" would make sense as a user names, but "aba5322459" probably would not, and alerts existing Twitter users that the account may have been generated by a bot.
Use the Twitter "Egg" as your profile. This tells the existing Twitter community that you either a) don't have the social media skills to know that you need a profile image on every single social network you join, or b) can't be bothered to take the time to cusomize your profile, because you know it's going to be deleted for spam soon, anyway.
Sign up, log in, and immediate start following 2,000 people. Twitter will not let you follow more than 2,000 people until you have 2,000 followers following you back, which is why you'll see a lot of these spam accounts following 1999 people, only about three of which (other spam accounts) are following them back. Generally, you want to keep your followers/following ratio to about 75% or so. If you're following a lot more people than are following you back, your account will look like a spam account. If a lot more people are following you than you're following, then you're either famous enough to pull that off (like Dennis Miller, for example who has a 14/51,163 following/followers ratio), or you have been lucky enough to do something that got enough attention to attract a lot of followers have decided to follow you for about a week to see if you're going to follow them back. If you don't they'll drop you. Most Twitter users will need to start slowly, by following people they know, waiting for them to follow them back, then build a network a few followers at a time.
Sign up, log in, and post about 30 consecuitve tweets about whatever you're selling. The Twitter community hates this, and it will get you flagged and banned for spam quicker than anything.
Remember, "social" networking is about relationship building.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.