Be Social and Follow Back on Twitter
By: Steven Hughes
on Thursday, September 20, 2012
If you’re a small or medium size business or anyone for that matter, do you follow back on Twitter? If not, why not? Well, you should. You should follow everyone on Twitter that follows you, with a few exceptions.
What is Twitter? Hopefully you have some grasp of what Twitter is today. Think of Twitter in these terms. Twitter is an open real-time social messaging system where you can send or receive 140 characters to any user. This is powerful, providing you a landscape for your business to generate new opportunities.
Following back is meeting an extended hand. Following back is akin to a handshake. When someone puts their hand out in-person, you don’t waive them off, you extend your hand. This could be the start of a great connection and relationship. You want to have the same mindset with Twitter. If you don’t follow back, the perception in many cases is “you don’t care about me” so I will unfollow you. That is not a positive way to kickoff a relationship.
As you progress and grow your Twitter account it will move rapidly. Instead of a few users following you per day, you could have hundreds of new followers per day. While it would be a mistake not to follow a bonafide prospect, it would be unforgiveable not to follow a customer. Do you want to make that mistake? If you follow everyone, this becomes a moot point.
You’re not a celebrity. Broadcasting is one-way communication. Just about every celebrity does not follow back. They don’t follow back because they see no need. Let’s take Justin Bieber who is approaching an incredible 28 million followers. Let’s assume 70% or 19.6 million of those users are actually real. While Justin follows 122,000 people, think of the impact on his target audience if he followed all 19.6 million users. There would be a high percentage of these teenage girls (prospects and customers) that would be sky high because of the follow. This would undoubtedly lead to a deeper loyalty and generated revenue for the Justin Bieber brand. Again, this needs to be your mindset. Provide solutions that answer the problems of your audience, and make sure you’re following them all.
As mentioned earlier, there are certain types of users that you don’t want to follow. Eggs (no profile photo), accounts with no bio, and users with zero tweets. If you’re going to administer your account manually, don’t follow these types of users. A more efficient way is to follow all users automatically through a feature in SocialOomph called “follow those who follow you.” This tool will follow all your new followers over the next 24 hours. With this method you will be following undesirable users. The second tool you want to use is Tweepi. Tweepi identifies eggs, no bio accounts, and zero tweeters. You can unfollow these users through Tweepi weekly, bi-weekly, or whatever schedule you deem fit. Incorporate this protocol, and you’ll be on your way to a tight and valuable Twitter account.