I’ve blogged previously on Twitter follower strategy, how to keep focused on who you are tweeting with and why you are doing so, and more recently I have blogged about likeability and trust, and how these two attributes support your online activity.
As it can be such a timewaster and major dilution of your focus, it’s essential in getting the best out of Twitter to use it with purpose, to support your specific goals and objectives – whether that be to conduct market research on your audience, offer your products and services, check out what your competitors are doing on there – any of which are very valid and productive reasons for spending time on Twitter.
And if you are at all active on Twitter, new people will be finding and following you, which gives you more opportunities to expand your network. But how do you decide who to follow back on Twitter?
No matter what your Twitter follower strategy might be, the following criteria can be applied to see if your new followers are ‘worth’ following back, in that following them will support your own Twitter goals.
- Do they have a profile picture? It takes such little effort to set up your profile picture, and the egg image looks so grubby, I would not be interested to follow someone who can’t even grasp this basic action on Twitter. An image of a real person is so much better.
- What does their biography say about them? Does it let me know enough about who they are to make them interesting and relevant to my conversations?
- How many followers do they have compared to the number they are following? If they follow huge numbers but only have a handful of their own followers, that doesn’t look right, whereas closer to an even ratio looks more plausible that this is a real person.
- What’s in the stream? Are there lots of retweets, replies, conversations going on? I’m much more likely to follow people who are very interactive than those who are only pushing their own products and services, and much more likely to follow those who actually tweet regularly.
- Are they talking to my friends? If they are linked in already with my network they may already have things in common and I am more likely to follow a ‘friend of a friend’ on that basis.
- Where are they? This may be important to you based on what you are trying to achieve by using Twitter. I don’t find as many people in the UK as in the US on Twitter, so if they are all of the above and based in the UK that is a real bonus to me.
If you can be clear in why you follow who you do, it also makes it simpler to become the sort of person you would follow – and so attract more followers yourself to support your own goals.
How do you decide who to follow back on Twitter? I would be interested to hear from you in the comments below.