Should you follow everyone on Twitter or follow-back just to jack up your numbers? If you have a Twitter account, did the thought of not getting any followers terrify you?
Thinking back, I can remember setting up my first Twitter account for my art lesson website and all I thought was: “How bad it would be if nobody followed me. How would that look? I mean, Jane Doe has over 2,000 followers so she must be good.”
Slowly, I started to follow people I connected with because they offered content that I was interested in. Most of the time, those people followed me back and after a couple of months, I built a following number of 1,500.
During that time, quite a few people followed me that either had:
- questionable ethics
- used profanity
- were in an industry that I was not the least bit interested in
So the choices I had for those followers were:
- follow them just to get a follow back (hopefully)
- do not follow back
- block them
This is how I handle a new Twitter follower (in this order):
- At first glance, is there an actual profile picture of the person, a logo or a random photo/image that means nothing?
- How does their bio read (the text below their photo)? Is it full of only hashtags? does it read as someone I might find interesting? is their bio line blank?
- Then I would scan quite a few tweets they’ve made to see what they are writing about.
- Do the majority of the Tweets read as if they were written by a human being? or are they auto-generated by an app?
- Do the Tweets contain profanity?
- Do the Tweets contain information that I find interesting?
- Are the Tweets only comprised of hashtags?
- Are the Tweets completely unrelated to the bio of the “Tweeter”?
- Based on these findings, I can determine which Tweeters I would like to follow on a professional and personal level.
- For the rest, I handle this way:
- Tweeters who advertise buying followers – I block
- Tweeters who try to offer a shock effect by using profanity or inappropriate images – I block
- Tweeters who I don’t connect with. They may have good content for their audience, but I’m definitely not one of them. They may like what I’m saying, but I don’t really find what they are saying too interesting or relevant. For those I don’t follow back. If they are following me because they like what I’m saying, they will stay with me. But if they are following me strictly for the sake of getting me to follow them back to increase their numbers, they will eventually un-follow me and I’m totally ok with that.
In a nutshell
- would you prefer a following of thousands of people, with the majority not engaging with you or buying from you? or
- would you prefer a following of a few hundred people that you’ve “chosen” to associate with and who will engage in conversation and may buy from you?
It’s pretty easy to see which option I’d go with. But if I’m ever in doubt, I ask myself “what would my customers, friends and family think if they saw me following these people?”
If you are an authentic person, truly wanting to build a loyal group of followers, you’ll take the extra time to screen who you click the “follow” button on. Twitter is an awesome platform for this.
Yeah, and by this point you’re probably thinking “I don’t have time to screen, every single follower”. If you’re worried about the time it takes to manage your Twitter followers, in a series of upcoming posts, I’ll share my own experiences on tools I’ve used to manage my social media accounts. The good and the bad.
This is what is working for me, but I’d love to hear from you and let me know how you manage your Twitter followers, what works and what doesn’t.
Until next time…