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I ran a webinar for the lovely Bullhorn Reach team  (thanks Vinda!) – topic: Social Recruiting; Debunking 7 Myths and  Misconceptions (you can watch it here…  but not yet, read this first!)

I promised to follow up with some blogs.  Here are the previous in the series Everyone Is a Candidate, Social Recruiting is Free and Easy and  A Great LinkedIn Network is 500+.

The next myth  (4): If People Follow You on Twitter, You Should Follow Back

I see a lot of blogs about this,  specifically about the supposed “merits” of following people who follow you  back.  For what it’s worth here is my  opinion, in bullets:

  1. You can’t follow (genuinely)  thousands of people so don’t even try.
  2. It’s insincere to even claim  you do.
  3. Yes, you can use Lists (see the  lovely Undercover  Recruiter blog on Twitter lists on this for some tips), this could help you  hear through the noise of a massive Twitter network, but that still means  you’re ignoring the vast majority of the people you claim to be following (see  point 2).
  4. When someone follows me I feel  good, but when I check them out (and I do every time) and see the massive lists  of people that they follow (and then that they don’t engage with them) I get antsy.  I check their feed and see what they are  talking about and to whom, and I often find that those who follow the most  people just simply can’t keep up (or worse, and I am really snobby about this,  seem to have someone else managing their feed).
  5. If someone doesn’t tweet in 30  days, I assume that they’ve moved on (won the lottery and are too busy sipping  cocktails) and stop following them (thanks SocialBro for helping with this one).
  6. If someone doesn’t follow me  back, I really don’t mind.  I only want  people following me that are interested in what I have to say – I hope the  people who follow me feel the same way (karma).
  7. I sometimes find that  dog-groomers from San Diego follow me one day (and because I don’t follow back)  unfollow me the next – fine by me.
  8. By being strategic about who I  follow it means I have time for the people and content I care about.  I always say thanks when someone retweets/mentions  me (it’s a manners thing), and try to engage as often as I can across all  networks.
  9. I get that some businesses may  want to follow their followers (to help engage and improve communications,  but…)

TechCrunch recently wrote a good  article about this too, and pointed to Twitter’s recent move to “ban”  auto-follow systems.  Yes, of course I know people who follows  LOTS of people on Twitter and seem to be able to do a good job (#respect), but  the majority of tweeters out there who follow everyone who follows them back  just don’t do Twitter justice in my opinion.

I sound like a Twitter snob – but these are  my reasons for being on Twitter:

  • Networking
  • Marketing my approach
  • Having a little fun
  • Expanding my brain

With the above objectives, it’s clear to me  who I should follow and why.   What are your reasons for being on  Twitter?  And do you have a “following”  strategy which supports this?  How do you  keep up with the people you follow?

(Read the rest of the social recruiting myths series here.)

We are running Twitter for Recruiters courses for time-starved recruiters, who either think they have a handle on Twitter, or they just don't get where it fits into their recruitment or business process. Read more about the courses here

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