Twitter etiquette is very important and there are numerous social rules which are often presented to users. Some of these rules are very clear. For instance, you should thank anyone who mentions you or retweets an update. Another good example is to ensure you give credit to the original posters of content.
However, there is one rule which always seems to upset some users: the follow back rule.
What Is The Twitter Etiquette Regarding Follow Back
Depending on who you speak to, there are a variety of responses to whether you should follow back those who follow you. Some believe Twitter etiquette demands you do so to keep within the spirit of social media. Others believe following people just because they have followed you is unnecessary.
Personally, TwoFeetMarketing doesn’t automatically follow back everyone who follows on Twitter. There are several reasons for this. Some of these reasons are based on how the practice will look on TwoFeetMarketing’s profile. For instance:
- Blindly following people back looks like the account is controlled by a robot.
- Following too many people will ensure the home stream becomes congested and the task to identify and share useful content to TwoFeetMarketing’s audience becomes harder.
Why Should You Follow Back?
That isn’t to say keep the number of people you follow small but you do need to have controls to ensure you are following for the right reasons.
In order for TwoFeetMarketing to follow back one of several criteria need to be met.
- 1. Your account needs to post content of interest.
- 2. Your updates are something which can be shared with the TwoFeetMarketing audience.
- 3. You interact with TwoFeetMarketing.
Every time TwoFeetMarketing receives a new follower the account is briefly looked at. There is a quick check to see some details and to make a decision on whether or not to follow the user back.
If none of those activities are seen, the next step is to thank the new follower. This is common courtesy which should be done for all new followers, regardless of whether they are of interest or not. It is also part of established Twitter etiquette. At the end of this tweet there is a message to wish the follower a good day or comment on their profile.
If the new follower responds to that message, it is a sign they wish to engage and so should be followed back.
What Happens If You Don’t Follow Back?
Experience has shown those who do not respond will un-follow within 2-3 days. This could be because of a variety of reasons. Firstly the user may have aimed to do the Twitter’s version of a one night stand – where they follow to encourage a follow back and then unfollow. This tactic is heavily frowned upon in the community and is only used by those who want a significant following to sell to. What these users’ don’t understand is it doesn’t matter how many followers you have, it is how involved with the brand the followers are and the value of the content you publish.
Secondly it may demonstrate the follower is actually a robot who is automatically following people who post content containing certain keywords or hashtags and then unfollowing those who don’t respond.
Thirdly, the follower might have been a spammer, like those who promise to add 15000 followers for $5. Never use one of these services. As mentioned before the number of followers means nothing and these spammers never mentioned how active these accounts are or how long they will follow you for.
The biggest red flag should be that their own following is lower than the number of followers they promise to provide you. This often implies the user is a scammer. Another red flag is that they are often following significantly less than are following them but are not a well known celebrity or brand.
Sometimes the truth is your content is not what they want. This is a fair reason but is usually not the case as most followers have taken the step to connect to you because of the content you have posted.
What Is The Final Word On This Twitter Etiquette?
Follow back is not necessary nor is it part of Twitter etiquette. You should only expect a follow back or to follow back when there is a real cause to do so. Otherwise you could damage your online reputation or find it difficult to read the copious amounts of content which is posted on your home feed.
Consider carefully why you should follow someone and stick to those reasons when someone follows you. If you want to ensure people continue to follow you, remember to comply with proper Twitter etiquette and post valuable content.
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