Follow Back? Yeah. Uh… No
If you’re one of those people who insist on being followed back OR ELSE don’t bother reading this. You’re not going to be pleased.
I woke up this morning and reviewed some of my clients’ Twitter streams to find a few posts like this one. “FOLLOW BACK please!!!”. Now naturally I went to look at the person’s profile to see why the follow back was so urgent. After all, sometimes it’s a colleague trying to DM something important or someone who really wants to converse. Yeah, not this time.
Instead I see a timeline full of tweets about Britney Spears, broadcasting about their morning coffee, favorite TV show and several “Hey! You gonna follow me back??” posts.
Now why in the name of all that’s right with the world should we follow you?
Oh right, it’s all about the numbers. The users makes it very clear in their profile.
“I FOLLOW BACK EVERYONE. Follow me; I’ll follow you. Un follow me; get un followed. :)”
People, please. Sure you want to feel like you’re popular and you’ve got lots of Twitter followers. Maybe you even want to have some legitimate conversations. But bullying new users into following you isn’t the path to real engagement. It’s silly.
If you want more followers on Twitter
Make your content rich and interesting. If you want a particular user to follow you then reach out to them on a one-on-one level, not with a demand, but with a question about what they do, a response to something they posted, a compliment about something they have achieved or a great blog post. Share good information that is valuable and people will follow you back.
This is hard medicine when you’re a new Twitter user and you feel like you talking to the air all the time. So if you just absolutely have to get some users right now, then go ahead and use some of the many apps that help you find relevant people to connect with on Twitter. Some of these sites allow you to pay a small amount to be featured on the site so people can find you and follow you on their own. (Note, this is NOT paying for follows, those tend to be random, are often loaded with dead accounts or spammers, avoid, avoid, avoid.)
If you do decide to get featured on a Twitter listing site, don’t feel like you have to follow back all your new followers. Instead pay special attention to your new followers and reach out to the ones that are really interesting. Strike up a conversation and follow back. Don’t worry about hurting feelings, if you are only a number to them it’s not worth adding their junk to your Twitter stream.
If they try to bully you into following them back, they are not your friends. Yes, just like high school.