I want to start by saying that I’m not a Twitter expert and I don’t in any way claim to be (kind of like saying you’re not a doctor but you play one on TV).
Now I understand that part of being on Twitter is connecting, is having people share your information with others or finding out information from other people. That’s perfect. I think that’s exactly what Twitter should be about.
Me? I’m about the conversation. If I can get a great conversation going with even one or two people in my twitter stream it’s a good day. Often times these conversations will spark blog posts and article ideas (like now).
Someone who is not in my Twitter stream but who does follow me asked about following back. Is there an etiquette or a science to it?
That answer is going to be different I believe for everyone. I can’t speak for the entire Twitterverse, (hence why I am NOT a Twitter expert) but I can say this, I follow those people who I feel like I can have a good conversation with. I look at my followers every day. I click to their streams and see what’s in it. I look at their bios and even their website link if they have one. I will follow people who have thousands of followers and I will follow people who have a dozen followers, but when it all comes down to it; I love the conversation.
I chose not to follow this person back because I don’t think we’d have a great connection, at this time. I don’t follow a lot of people back for the same reason. Usually it has something to do with what’s in their stream. A few turn offs for me would be:
- Constant Retweets
- Constant Replys
- Nothing but links
- A stream full of famous or inspirational quotations
This is just a few but in talking with other tweeple, some of these are also their reasons for not reciprocating the follow.
The one thing that especially turns me off is repeated asking for the follow. It’s akin to begging in my book. I don’t like begging (I’m a mom and I hear a lot of begging in a day). I don’t like it when it’s done rudely or in a way that feels like a threat or that you’re doing me a favor by following me so I should follow you.
Along those same lines, I follow a lot of people who don’t follow me back; who will likely never follow me back.
I get that I may not be someone they are interested in, but I’m interested in them nonetheless. I will still reply back to them when I think I have something of value (or comment) to add to the conversation. I usually leave it at that. Unless I need to tweet with them privately, I don’t ask for the follow back. If I do need to, then I offer up a request to DM them and then ask for the follow. Otherwise, I leave it up to them to decide if they’d like to follow me.
It’s rare that I unfollow someone simply because they aren’t following me back. You never know when the potential for a connection will come so why kill it by unfollowing? It may take them months to follow you (especially if they have thousands and thousands of followers).
Twitter is a funny space. It’s takes time to get a message conveyed in 140 characters. Building trust and making a solid connection takes more than repeated asking for the follow (or threatening to unfollow if they don’t).It make take months for that trust and connection to form. Don’t rule it out because it doesn’t happen for you immediately.
My rules to getting followed back?
Toot someone else’s horn from time to time (but not ALL the time).
Trust in the potential and let it happen.
Have your own thoughts.