To Follow or Not to Follow…

To Follow or Not to Follow…

Tweet Deck

If Shakespeare were alive now and using Twitter, would he be deliberating on who to follow?

I know I’ve asked myself that question a number of times. And other questions arise when people consider a “follow strategy.”

I’ve seen many viewpoints on the subject of who (and who not) to follow. Here are a few:

  1. I only follow people who I am really interesting in hearing from.
  2. I follow everyone who follows me because I think that’s the cordial way to use Twitter.
  3. If I’m following someone and they won’t follow me, then I’ll give them a few days but then I’ve got to unfollow them.
  4. I want scads of followers because I’ll be in a better position to market my products/services to them.
  5. I want scads of followers because, well, it’s just downright cool to have tons of followers.
  6. The more followers I have, the more credible I am.
  7. I don’t want an enormous number of followers. There’s no way I can pay attention to that kind of Twitter stream.

Here is a strategy I’ve come up with that I believe is a nice blend of a few key principles.

I do follow everyone who follows me. I believe that is cordial. I don’t worry about the immense stream of tweets coming to me as I’m using Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck allows you to create groups of people or groups of search topics that you can then follow in a separate column.

I want to follow just my close friends? Great, I create that group and that column is immediately available to me.

I want to follow a particular subject? No problem. I do a search on that subject and then keep the column there for me to check out each time I open Tweetdeck.

Now, I also have the big stream of tweets going by. And I check that out from time to time. If I see some interesting stuff, I go and check it out. If I really like a new Twitter friend of mine, I can put him into another group!

I believe this gets me the best of all worlds. I’m not being disrespectful to those who have chosen to follow me. And I’m not overwhelmed by a sea of tweets.

Now, I’m not robotic on this. If I see someone has followed me for strictly spam purposes or is into some things that are way off-color for me, then the handy unfollow button is pressed.

I have three Twitter accounts with about 4,500 followers total. I’ve got my groups on Tweetdeck. I’ve got my Tweetdeck on my iPhone. If I find myself on a desert island and I’ve got iPhone access, I’m thinking I’m in pretty good shape Twitter-wise! (and some way to recharge the battery of course)

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14 Responses to “To Follow or Not to Follow…”

  • I use it in much the same way. I agree with following those you find interesting, and if they choose not to follow back, that’s ok. If someone follows me, and I choose not to follow back, that should be ok too.

    Oh, and you can always use the stationary bicycle the Professor built for Gilligan to generate power for your iPhone…. :)

  • avatar Al Ferretti says:

    Happy Friday Mike~

    You are so funny REF: Oh, and you can always use the stationary bicycle the Professor built for Gilligan to generate power for your iPhone…. :)

    Thanks for the comment~

    -Your Pal Al

  • avatar nasa says:

    is there a way a program like tweetdeck for the mac? i use twitterific but it doesnt have those handy options

  • avatar Al Ferretti says:

    Yes, there are a number of options for both iphone and web based mac
    Check these out–>


  • avatar Farshid Ketabchi says:

    I diasgree with 2 and 3. I don’t have to follow everyone who follows me. And I don’t expect everyone that I follow to follow me.

    That is why there is a 2-way relationship on Twitter unlike regular social (or business) networking sites such as FaceB\book and LinkedIn. You do not have to reciprocate. It is not a 1-to-1 relationship. And that is very important. Not everyone has the same to offer. I follow BBC, NYTimes, DiscoveryChannel, CNN, etc. and I don’t expect them to follow me. I also follow GStephanopoulos and Presidnt Obama. I don’t expect them to follow me either. I have friends and strangers who follow me but I do not follow them because they hardly tweet. They are only readers if anything, not contributors. And that is just fine.

  • avatar Al Ferretti says:

    You make very good points Frashid.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective with the
    twitter watchdog community.


  • avatar Paul J. G. says:

    I try to follow as many followers as I can but most of which are what I consider as spammers. Before I follow someone who has chosen to follow me, I read through their tweets. If I find them to talk about things of interests to me, then I will follow them. A lot of my followers are money scammers, who are only on Twitter to promote their products or services. I do not follow them and the first time they approach me with a spamming topic, I don’t only unfollow, but I also block them.

    I currently have more than 400 followers v/s just over 300 who I am following. I am not getting to many replies, RT’s or any acknowledgements. I recently gone through my list and those who are following me but have yet to reply or RT my tweets, I block and make sure I am not following them. I have learned that Twitter is a give and take 50/50 social network. If you don’t give back, you don’t remain a follower or are being followed by me.

  • Interesting blend of the different methods. I’ve basically been following back those who interest me. I’ve been thinking about auto-following but still not sure. I use tweetdeck also and the way you present it makes it seem doable because I already have certain groups set up. So then all I need to do is add from the tweet stream. Good food for thought. Thanks for tweeting this out this morning.

  • I look at everyone who follows me but if they aren’t writing anything that interests me (usually they are simply marketing and are posting the same link every hour) then I don’t follow them. It works out that I follow most people who follow me. There are a few people I follow who don’t follow me back but that’s fine because I like reading their tweets.

  • avatar Nicole French says:

    Thanks for sharing your perspective Al. I agree with you and use similar methods. I look at twitter as a way to connect with the world. Why would I not have the courtesy to follow back people and learn about what is going on in the world.

  • avatar Al Ferretti says:

    Can we clone you Nicole? :-)

    Speaking of following…. how about meeting? Would you be interested in a local Tweetup?


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