Should you follow everyone who follows you or should you only follow likely prospects for your business? The choice is yours.
The pluses of following everyone who follows you
1. You can automate this process with a paid version of software like SocialOomph
2. You can get more followers by advertising the fact that you follow back
3. It’s nice to reciprocate when someone follows you
4. You end up with a large pool of people who might see your tweets and your business promotions
The minuses of following everyone who follows you
1. You’re guaranteed to encounter spammers, bots, and people whose opinions and material you’d rather not see
2. Studies show you can only be engaged and interact effectively with about 150 people at a time
The pluses of following selectively for business
1. You are guaranteed to find more tweets of interest to you if you follow people who possess expertise you need or seem to be likely prospects for your business
2. You can more effectively build relationships with a small, select group of people instead of the list of thousands
The minuses of following selectively for business
1. It takes time to preview your followers’ information and follow back manually
2. You may lose followers if you don’t follow them back
3. You will hurt some people’s feelings if you don’t reciprocate their follow
4. You will have a smaller list of followers, quite possibly missing people of interest or prospective clients in the process
There is a compromise. Follow people who share interesting information. Look for creative people who entertain and inform rather than constantly sell. Keep an eye out for business people in fields that are complementary to yours.
Instead of listing your Web site in your Twitter profile, create and list a Twitter landing page that describes you and your business, your interests, why you tweet, what kind of information you share, and whether or not you automatically follow back. This gives prospective followers an idea of whether or not you are a good match. If you say you like to be entertained, you’re more likely to attract followers who are funny. If you say you like to spend time outdoors, you’ll meet other nature lovers. If you say you hate being bombarded with sales pitches, you may still get people who think it’s acceptable to pitch their product 24/7 but you won’t leaving them wondering why you don’t follow back.