This article is just a text image of my current thoughts around reasons to follow or not follow people on twitter or any other social network for that matter. I joined twitter almost two years ago and was one of the very early adopters of the service. It was really cool. Twitter offered a really good search and I was able to find others that I had a lot in common with. Twitter search has since been disabled and then enabled again. The service at that time just seemed to be a lot of people that were really excited about sharing their talents and passions. It had a real tight community feel and I followed 200-300 people at most.
Motivation + Ethics = My Philosophy
My motivations for belonging to the twitter network are many. However, my main motivation is to engage with like minded people for education, sharing my knowledge and to be helpful. By following this philosophy I have made many hundreds of contacts that I likely would have never made without these tools.
I also believe that there are some unwritten truths and ethics that I tend to follow. I have distilled this down to one quote. “When approaching people in any networking situation, approach without Agenda” You never know who someone is and how they might affect you in the future.
In having shared my philosophy, I have nearly told you my criteria for following or not following others. With my follower list approaching 3,000 I think it is essential to have some ‘filtering’ around a twitter network in order for it to stay valuable.
Reasons why I will follow you back
- Your tweets are interesting.
- You have a very intriguing Profile.
- We seem to have a lot in common.
- You are an expert in a field I would like to learn about
- You come highly recommended by a friend
Reasons I may not follow you
- You follow 1,000 plus people and you only have 20 updates.
- Why: I question your reason for being here. Numbers do not equal value.
- You respond to my follow with a Direct message Auto Responder including links to your “Stuff“
- Why: Again, your motive for being here is to “Convert” me not build relationships
- You claim to be a social media or twitter expert, but you’ve had an account for less than a month.
- Why: I don’t need an expert to tell me how to be human. I already have a philosophy I follow.
Your reasons why or why not to follow.
I asked you opinion why you follow or do not follow folks on twitter. Here is what you said:
JDEbberly @KeithBurtis I follow tweeps who have interesting and relevant things to say which pertain to soc. media, blogging, PR, marketing or tech.
dmcordell @KeithBurtis Not follow: no profile or sketchy one; constant obscenity; only self-promoting tweets – no interaction or conversation.
vicka @keithburtis I follow anyone whose page I decide I feel like reading when I come across it. If they end up boring or overwhelming me I stop. Also “feel like reading” is a little random — they seem witty, nice, interesting, unusual, or point to stuff I want to look at.
MicaR @KeithBurtis I follow or don’t based on bio and last 10 or so tweets. A bio with “social media guru” or similar is a auto NON-follow.
Ozzy @KeithBurtis I base most of my follow/not follow decisions on people’s bio’s. If I click over and their bio is empty, that’s a big red flag.
BirdmanDodd @KeithBurtis I’ll follow someone if they are entertaining or weird. However in professional followers, I look for useful tidbits of info
johntmeyer @KeithBurtis If I get a reach out from a true human I’ll follow. Automated DM I will unfollow!
maskoficarus @KeithBurtis I try to only follow people who have following/follower numbers which are approximately 25% of each other.
sizzlemaker @KeithBurtis Follow people that converse with me. Never talk to you, you better have awesome tweets to keep me as a follower.
Adrigonzo @KeithBurtis as a rule I generally auto-follow back. Unless their entire tweetstream looks like text messages from a 14 year old.
Thank you to all that gave their feedback. What are your thoughts?