Who You Follow on Twitter Really Matters: How to Choose for Success

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image: james bauer

Is it is a good marketing idea to Follow Back every new Twitter Follower who decides to Follow you?  Many people do. Or do you think carefully about who you will Follow and who you will not Follow?  You should think carefully about this, because it is important.

If we care about building a good reputation for providing High Value Content (Twitter Bait) to our own Social Media Followers – and thereby attracting new Followers to ourselves – we should not routinely Follow back, everyone who Follows us.

In this article, I will analyze the 4 main factors we need to consider every time we get a new Twitter Follower, and have to decide if we will Follow that person back, or not.

The reasons why it is important to choose wisely when deciding to Follow someone on Social Media, were covered in these 2 previous articles:

In the second article above, I outlined the 4 main Factors we need to consider before deciding who to Follow, and who we should just thank nicely for their decision to Follow us, but not routinely add to our own Following List.  This article is really Part 2 of that second Post above

Note: These same Factors can also apply when deciding how to respond to People who Add you to your Circles on Google Plus, and people who decide to ‘Like’ you on Facebook. The principles remain the same.

Getting New Followers Is Always Good.

Getting Lots of New Followers is Always Good, and it doesn’t matter, who they are – check out: What is Your Twitter Attractiveness Rating & How To Increase to find out why.

Of course snagging some Big Cheese Followers in our Niche would be a coup, but all New Followers are good, no matter who they are – because whoever they are, your Followers cannot damage your Twitter Reputation.  Whereas, who you choose to Follow, can.

Who WE Choose To Follow is a Whole Different Ball Game.

We need to be selective about who we decide to Follow, as discussed in the previous articles.  We can easily decide who to Follow (or not) by using the following 4 main factors – factors you should consider every time you decide to Follow anyone:

  1. Relevance
  2. Quality and Value
  3. Their Followers/Following Ratio – * the most important Factor of the four
  4. Frequency of their Tweets or Posts – the least important factor of the four

1. Relevance = In the Same Niche As You.

Only Follow, or Follow Back, people in the same Niche as you – for example, I am in the Niche: Blogging & Marketing for Beginners.  If you are using Twitter to promote yourself and your Blog, you have to build relationships that add to your own Reputation in your own Niche.

So don’t dilute your own Twitter Attractiveness Rating by Following people in completely different circles of Influence.  People outside your Niche cannot help you to find useful Content to Reply to, to Mention, or to Retweet, so Following them would have a negative impact on your own Twitter Value in the eyes of anyone considering Following you

 2. Quality & Value

To increase the Quality of your own Twitter Reputation, skew your ‘People You Follow’ List in favor of the high flyers in your Niche.  Other people will be coming to your Profile to check you out, to see if you are worth Following or not.  They will judge your ‘worth to them’ by seeing Who You Know and Respect as good sources of Information, Leads and Content – i.e. the people you Follow on Twitter.

If new people (to you) see that you choose to hang out with the High Flyers in your Niche, they are much more likely to Follow You.  And building your Followers List should be a major goal of your time spent at Twitter. You are judged more by WHO you know, than by WHAT you know – although that’s important too.

3. Their Followers to Following Ratio**

Their Followers/Following Ratio is the most important Twitter Stat to check when deciding if you should Follow someone on Social Media, or not.

There are 2 Ratio Patterns to watch out for: – we probably want to Follow people with Stats Ratio Patterns like in example (a) below.  And we want to avoid Following people with the Ratio Pattern like in example (b) below.

 a) A large Ratio of Followers to Following**

If someone who starts to Follows me, turns out to have several thousand Followers but only Follows a much smaller number of other people, I am immediately interested to find out who they are, what they do, and who they know – i.e. who they Follow.

These people understand the value of being selective! Therefore they are almost certainly interested in building up their Twitter Reputation as a provider of quality Content to their Followers – you, if you decide to Follow them. They know that by offering their Followers quality, they will increase their Twitter ‘New Follower Pulling Power’ (good reputation and therefore high Twitter Attractiveness) – just as we will if we are selective about who we Follow.

So, we know this person is Selective in who they Follow – so far, so good. We still need to check these people out a bit more!

First, after they’ve grabbed my attention because they have a high Ratio of Followers to Following, I check to see if they are in my Niche.  They always are, because Selective Tweeters who are interested in Value, would not Follow people who are not in their Niche.  These people understand the value of a good Twitter Reputation and a High Attractiveness Rating.

Second: If they have already attracted a large number of Followers, it indicates that lots of other people have already decided that these people are worth Following – however see example (b) below to find out why this is not always a reliable indication of someone’s ‘worth’.

Third: I check out who is in their list of people they Follow. Do they Follow some Big Cheeses in my Niche? Tick!  Remember that the people you decide to Follow will be passing on leads from the people they Follow, and as marketers, we don’t want to be served up unhelpful (to us)Twitter chatter in our own Twitter stream.

b) Equal Ratio of Followers to Following:

This is the Second Pattern of Followers/Following Ratio to watch out for.  Usually these Twitterers (is that a word?) have Thousands of Followers AND Thousands of people they themselves are Following – if you are looking to promote your Blog or website by building an online reputation for Quality Content, you do NOT want to Follow this sort of Twitter user. To see why, read on.

As a general Rule, these people are indiscriminate. These people will Follow anything that moves!  They do not value selective and ‘High Value Content’ being delivered into what they see in their daily Twitter Stream from the thousands of people they Follow.

They are likely to be getting huge numbers of low value Tweets flooding their own Twitter Stream every day.   And only a small percentage of these Tweets (if any) will be High Value and relevant Content that will be of some use to them in their quest for high quality leads to pass on to their own Followers – us if we choose to Follow them.

N.B. Passing on and promoting high value Content to their Followers may not be the reason why these people are using Twitter, but for us, as online marketers, it is.  And that would be one reason why we should decide that we will NOT Follow them on Twitter – we have different needs in regard to how we ‘use’ Twitter, and what Twitter will hopefully do for us, our Blogs, and our business.

Summary of Equal Ratio Followers to Following: Twitter people who are Following thousands of others, are not worth Following because they will offer no value to their Followers (that’s You if you had decided to Follow them back).

And in addition, they will flood and dilute the value of your own daily Twitter Stream with their unhelpful (for us) Tweets and leads.  We want our Twitter Stream to be a High Value Resource of potential high value leads that we can use to pass on to our own Followers.

4. The Frequency of Tweets

What if someone has not tweeted anything for months? This is a ‘dead’ account in terms of Value to you as someone you might want to Follow on Twitter. So don’t dilute the value of your own Following List by Following people who aren’t even interested in maintaining their own Twitter account.

The Marketing Advantages of Being Selective in Who We Follow

  • We increase our Twitter Attractiveness in the eyes of others – for the great Content and Leads we ReTweet from the leaders in our Niche
  • We only hang out with the high flyers in our Niche, so we must know what’s going on, right?
  • We get ‘noticed’ by the High Reputation people in our Niche when we promote their work via our ReTweets to our own Followers – we get Friends in High Places
  • We build our own Reputation as a High Value Resource for others
  • We increase our Twitter Attractiveness in the eyes of others – we become potentially useful to others in our Niche therefore
  • We get even more Followers for ourselves.

See? Easy as!

The Followers/Following Ratio is the most important Twitter Stat to check when deciding if you should Follow someone on Social Media, or not.

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