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:
- You can’t follow (genuinely) thousands of people so don’t even try.
- It’s insincere to even claim you do.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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?
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.