Twitter Follows: Yea or Nay? How to Decide
We’re all pressed for time so when someone follows you on Twitter or you see a Twitter account you think looks interesting, how do you quickly decide if you should follow that account?
While there is no sure-fire way to make sure you only follow the right accounts, any combination of the following is likely to increase the chances you’ll be happy with your choices.
5 Quick Ways to Decide on a Twitter Follow
1. Is the account real? Is it a person who really exists or a business that is real? Some tell-tale signs: Recent tweets that mention other Twitter users, retweeting of some posts with links and a URL in the bio that goes to another web site (preferably a personal page about the account owner).
2. Does the account have a reasonable Follower-to-Tweets ratio? If an account, for example, has 1,000 Followers and 47,000 tweets, that says the account is a "broadcaster" who tweets merrily away and does not get a lot of new followers based on what they share. And "0 Tweets" is a big warning…
3. Does the account have a reasonable Follower-to-Follows ratio? I know, I know, not all things can be reduced to numbers. But if an account has a few hundred Followers and is at the Twitter-allowable-maximum of 2,000 Follows then it is likely the account owner is trying to too hard to just get Followers.
4. Does the account show some personality? Admittedly this is a personal taste issue, but it becomes something that’s easy to see once you look for it. Does the account sometimes engage in an actual conversation with others on Twitter? Does it add value and/or comments when retweeting interesting material?
5. Is the account relevant to you for other reasons? Is it a person who lives near you? Or is it a business that provides a service or works in an industry that you care about? These things can be checked in the Twitter bio, following the URL in the bio (see No. 1 above) or a quick look at the recent tweets.
What do you think? Are there other things you take into account before deciding to follow or not follow? I'd love to hear them.
Mike is a strategist and teacher who helps businesses and students understand and get the most from social media. He currently is a Lecturer in the Department of Communication at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he teaches advertising, public relations and journalism (all with a social media twist).
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