Who should you follow back, and why?
When someone follows your business profile on Twitter, are you supposed to follow back? Is it rude if you don’t?
This is a bit of a sticking point for brands and businesses on Twitter and one that also raises many questions.
Not following everyone that follows you on Twitter is not rude, it is strategic. Especially when you haven’t reached a high number of followers and you have limitations on how many people to follow.
Don’t fall into the trap of something we call a ‘courtesy’ follow: following someone that has followed you out of a desire to appear grateful. You want to follow people that are your targeted audience and not to fill your stream with noise.
Whilst it is important to welcome and thank new followers (whatever the reason they’re following you), following them is a different story.
First of all, you need to clearly understand who your target audience is on Twitter and decide if a new follower falls into that category.
It can be a current or potential customer, an influencer, a journalist in your industry, etc.
Then you need to check if they deliver valuable content in their tweets. If it is someone that will bring value to your stream and it is your audience, then you should absolutely follow and engage with them.
If they don’t fall into your target audience, you call always welcome them but you don’t need to follow them back. You can always create a specific private list of who is following you but you’re not following back if you want to keep a track to review in the future.
If a new follower is your target audience and you decide to follow back it is important to welcome them, send them a tweet to say thank you, or you can even send a PM with a link to a blog post or some free stuff on your website.
This is a great way to start a conversation and a relationship with someone that can turn out to be a returning or potential customer.
Don’t use an automated “thanks for following” mention. Your followers will be able to tell whether they’re talking to a robot or a person, and it’s difficult to create a trusting relationship with a robot.
Another great way of engaging your new followers and people you’re following back is to retweet their content or even comment their tweets. This is extremely flattering and gets the relationship going.
Are you already doing any of the above, or would like to add your own tip? Please share with us on the comments section below, or tweet us @SocialBuk
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