Neil Nakahodo, Kansas City Star
Whom should you follow on social media?
- Article by: Scott Kleinberg
- Chicago Tribune
- April 3, 2013 - 4:26 PM
Does your Twitter feed move too quickly for you to keep up? It could be because you aren’t selective enough when choosing whom to follow.
Sorry to upset all the people who append the hashtag #TeamFollowBack to every tweet, but it’s never recommended to follow someone back just because they followed you.
To make your interactions more manageable, follow this general rule: Interact first, become friends second.
Some people worry that this might make them seem like a social media snob, but it’s actually a fairer method. If a fellow tweeter gives you a reason to follow, then — and only then — follow them back.
As far as the people you are already following, it’s up to you to trim the list. An app such as SocialBro, which has tools to manage followers, is a great place to start.
What else can you do?
Here are some things to consider for Twitter and any other social platform.
• Who is this person? What do you know about the person you are thinking of following? If your answer is nothing, then that’s a problem. The only exception to that rule is celebrities. When a famous person with a recognizable name reacts to your content, the polite thing to do is to follow back and tweet a thank-you.
• What information is the person providing? The people you follow should be useful to you, for example, if they regularly tweet quality links about a specific subject you’re interested in.
• Have you had a conversation with the person online? There is no rule that says you can’t have an online conversation with someone you don’t follow. This is a prime opportunity to learn more about the person.
• Have you taken the platform into account? On Facebook, if someone you don’t know is requesting to be your friend, you’d probably want them to be a subscriber instead. On Instagram, you don’t want to follow someone who only posts screenshots instead of taking photos.
• Don’t move too fast. The period where you are deciding whether to follow someone is a lot like dating. Slow down, get to know the person and create a long-lasting relationship that will be beneficial to the both of you. □
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