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Follow you, Follow me…

I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the trend of ‘if you follow me, I’ll follow you’ on Twitter.  To my mind Twitter is supposed to be about engagement, news, content and sharing but I am increasingly experiencing automation and self-promotion.

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with either of those in small measure, but the ability to grow your Twitter following organically and with integrity is diminishing.  Increasingly with @sufumarketing I am experiencing Twitter users that have expectations on your loyalty and this seems to be being underpinned by the increasing use of ‘Twitter Management Tools’ and ‘Twitter Practices’ employed by many to build up an, yes I dare say it, ‘artificial’ following.

In many respects Twitter Management Tools can be very helpful – my recent discovery and use of @BufferApp has made tweeting a much more manageable experience.  I can buffer a number of tweets whilst carrying on with the day-to-day, but that doesn’t stop us topping up with more immediate views, opinions and updates where relevant.  I can also use @BufferApp to see the reach of my tweets and evaluate whats working and whats not.  This is what I think a Twitter management tool should be used for.

There are though a number of other tools which allow Twitter users to manage their Twittersphere in a more automated manner – ‘if this, then that’ scenarios.  Surely this isn’t what being ‘part of a global conversation’ is all about?

My 5 biggest Twitter frustrations and how these can be avoided:

1. If I follow you, I won’t be offended if you don’t follow me back (nor will I stop following you just because you don’t).
Find and follow Twitter users that you find interesting, fun or informative.  You can use Twitter recommendations, the wefollow directory, check out your competitors and peer’s followers or who they follow and really see who is generating the most interesting and industry relevant content that you’d like to follow.  It is important to recognise there can be a difference between who you follow and who you want following you.

2. If you follow me, I won’t automatically follow you back – sorry!
Again it is important to recognise there can be a difference between who you follow and who you want following you.  I want to follow a lot of industry experts and I’d like a lot of potential clients to follow me! Now, thats not always possible and probably an unrealistic scenario but always keep an eye on who is following you, its good etiquette to thank them and offer them a heartfelt and relevant response.  Take a look at their tweets if they’re relevant, interesting, funny or insightful why not follow them back?

3. If you tweet in a language other than English, I’m sorry I won’t follow you.
If I can’t understand your tweet because of the language I am always going to skim over it and never re-tweet or share it as I don’t believe the majority of my followers will understand it either.  And of course that is the whole point of Twitter.

4. Frequency!  Regular updates is one thing, 12 updates an hour – really?

If you want to tweet about every article you’ve put in your paper.li daily thats fine, or if you want to tweet each of your Top 5 tips on whatever that makes perfect tweet sense.  But remember you don’t have to bombard everyone’s twitter feed by sending them only seconds apart.  Try using a Twitter tool like @BufferApp to spread out the effect a little.

5. If I follow you, you don’t have to send me an automated thank you message.

I don’t expect a thank you, but I suppose it is nice.  Somehow that pleasant feeling diminishes somewhat when you realise its an automatically generated message and even more so when tagged onto it is the request to check out my other <insert name of other social media network> site.  If you’re going to send thank you messages they should, like all your marketing communication, be relevant otherwise don’t bother to send them at all.

We have one rule of thumb when it comes to finding and following people/businesses on twitter:-
“I’ll follow you and continue to follow you for as long as I find your tweets relevant, interesting, funny or insightful”

Is it just me that wants to build a following of relevant, engaged and interested parties?  If not, and you share my frustration, why don’t you contact us now to understand more about social media engagement and how you can conquer Twitter, the right way.

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