I don't have a hard and fast strategy for following people on Twitter, but I've never been a proponent of following everyone who follows you. Having seen others spell out rules behind their Twitter strategies though, it prompted me to see if I could explain my strategy for who I follow.  Here's what emerged from the exercise - with some rationale behind who I do and don't follow on Twitter.

Who to Follow on Twitter

  • I’m one of your most recent follows. Says to me you’re probably not following people wholesale.
  • You have very few people you follow and you’ve been nice enough to include me among them (I’m always surprised at the ones where they’re following 20 big names – Oprah, Obama, Kawasaki, etc. – and me. How does that happen?).
  • Your last few tweets are intriguing.
  • You tweet about innovation, creativity, and strategy.
  • You’re following other familiar faces, especially in the innovation and creativity communities.
  • Somebody in my conversations list says you’re really an interesting person to follow.
  • You aren’t a know-it-all superstar celebrity or a social media rock star, so I might have something to offer which you might notice and find beneficial.

Why Not to Follow on Twitter

  • You’ve been around for some time and have more people you’re following than tweets. That says you’re more interested in audience building than sharing ideas.
  • The number of lists you’re on is very small relative to the number of followers you have (i.e., 1% ). Chances are there’s not much of interest you’re contributing.
  • You have tens of thousands of followers and you’re following a few thousand more people with a comparatively low number of tweets. You’re just looking for more numbers, and I’m a crappy number.
  • You don’t have a bio or location listed, you’re Twitter name is intentionally obscure, there's no website listed, and you haven't tweeted enough to provide any sense of who you are.
  • "MLM," "affiliate marketing," "network marketing," "Trump," or anything that sounds like a "get rich quick" scheme is included in your bio.
  • I followed you first, and you DM'd me with something that seemed like a non-auto DM question, but when I tried to answer, learned you’re not following me.

That may not be every reason, but that covers the rationale I'm conscious of using.

How about you? Who do you or don't you follow on Twitter? - Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to see how we can help you define a strategy firmly tied to business yet recognizing the impact of social networking on your market opportunities.