Twitter: To Follow or Not To Follow
Here’s a Question for Ya
This is the question our friend Teri Conrad posted the other day on Twitter: “Here’s a question for ya: When you see someone has thousands of followers are you more or less compelled to follow?” As is the nature of Twitter I thought about it for a few seconds and responded with “Less – unless I see a RT or @ in last 10 (Tweets)”. That and Teri’s original post seemed to spark a fast a furious series of comments from a number of people equally weighing in on Twitter.
What I Learned
Like us, everyone who chimmed in on the conversation admitted that they screened potential followers for engagement before following back (a broad paraphrase of the summary of comments). There were some helpful Tweets posted that we had not considered, such as engaging (i.e. thanking a new follower for following or sending some form of engagement message). We thought this was a good suggestion and not something we regularly do. Another great message, which we all likely know but it helps to be reminded, was “promote engagement and interaction” from Debra Trappen. To me this all means that Twitter is just a platform (like the telephone) and the real objective is a conversation.
In The End
What I was surprised about was (other than Teri) all the people we engaged with did not follow each other yet at the end I only had one person send a follower request. I have followed them and sent the others a follow request (thinking we have something in common) and will wait to see if they follow back (my standard practice is to wait a week then, un-follow (there is no point in having one way conversations). I have roughly 2,175 followers and “only” follow roughly 1,600 people (due to the screening process mentioned below). I have a hard time keeping track of meaningful conversations at that level. I wonder…if you follow 5,000 people how many great opportunities you are missing? Is the less is more theory relevant?
Okay, so here it is… this is our screening process for Twitter (and other social platforms)! If you do not have a completed bio, personal photo and website link listed we will not follow you back! We want to learn something about you. If you pass that criteria, but do not have a Re-Tweet or @ mention in your last 15 Tweets we will not follow you, period! If I want to be broadcast to I’ll check my email. Finally if we see that you have over 5,000+ followers and almost equal number of people you follow back (auto following app), we are less likely to give you a follow! But that’s just us