Twitter can be overwhelming if you're not knee-deep in social media land, can't it? You're busy running your company and you're not really sure how it all works, who to follow, who is following you, what to post, retweet, or reply to...it's crazy!
So I've honed in on the Twittersphere and adjusted my gauges on who I'm following and why. Since one of our target markets is social media marketers, I tend to be on social media a bunch these days.
During my Twitter presence I've come across a bunch of really amazing people that I follow, that I would love to have follow me.
But I've also seen some real duds that I can now do a pretty good job at identifying: fakes, spammers and the like.
Image via business2community
So I've started a list of who I should be following with the reason why. Here goes:
Related Article: The Anatomy of an Engaging B2B Twitter Profile
Are They "Voyeurs"?
You want to follow people who actively Tweet messages on Twitter because maybe they'll RT one of yours or reach out to you directly. If they're not active you're probably going to get nothing out of following them. You also have to note that with Twitter you have to watch your Follower to Following ratio (2.5 to 1); you can have a ton that you're following and few that follow you. So weed out the inactives.
When Did They Join?
If they have a low number of followers but just recently joined Twitter I give them a break and might follow them. If they've been around for a while and have low numbers across the board, I move on. It probably means they don't really do much with the social network and you're not going to benefit greatly from them.
What's Their Content About?
Make sure they're active in your industry and the content they post is relevant to what you're interested in. If they're in your industry but all they do is post about religious or political beliefs you may want to steer clear of following them since you really want to know what they think and who they have access to that may benefit you.
Do They Have Followers?
Check to see if they have any followers. Ultimately, unless they have lots of, and quality, people following them it's probably not worth your time to follow people. You want to get to know your followers, and you want to get your Tweets in front of their followers.
Related Article: The Numbers Game: Social Media Marketing Playbook
Do They Have Another Twitter Account?
Many times you'll find that people you want to follow have more than one Twitter account. Why? They might use one for their "personal" Tweets and one for the business Tweets. If you find that the person you think you should follow doesn't have many followers and they're talking about the community BBQ they went to last weekend, they may have another account. Search Twitter for their name and see if they have a dual Twitter personality!
Follow Your Industry Influencers
You've got influential people in your industry and it could really help boost your business to have them follow you. They likely have a lot of followers as well so make sure you retweet their content. When you do, it not only shows your followers you're on the ball with industry updates but you want them to notice you and RT your content to their huge following when appropriate.
Image via Twitter
No Image? No Way!
If they have the big goose egg that comes with a Twitter account, they're either spammy or they're too lazy to add their image. Worse, if their image is them on vacation doing tequila shots on the beach or on an island in a bikini (depending on what business you're in) you might want to think twice about following them. Better to see the image of their logo or their professional image otherwise kick 'em to the curb!
Bios Are Important
Make sure you know that they're either in your industry OR that they could be a potential customer or partner. Bios are great for that and Twitter keeps them short and sweet!
Make sure that you take a monthly or every other month look at who you're following. Unfollow is a great free tool for this. You'll see who isn't active and who they recommend you don't follow which opens the door for more quality followers.
If you use a tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social all of this information is easily displayed so you can make your decisions fast.. Are you following the right people? It's time to take a look and perhaps change up the way you're following.