Be A Leader, Not A Follower: 5 Don’ts of Twitter Following


Social Media Week

Everyone wants more Twitter followers, but not everyone knows the unwritten rules and etiquette associated with Twitter following.

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Realistically, we all know that we probably aren’t going to make the list of most followed users on Twitter, but that doesn’t mean we don’t desire the gratification of seeing our Twitter followers increase.

While the first rule of Twitter is to post interesting and engaging content, these rules will prevent you from looking clueless or desperate.

1. Don’t Follow Irrelevant Accounts

To do this, make sure to follow the best in your industry. The keywords there are in your industry.

This means that if you run an entertainment blog, go ahead and follow Adele, Beyonce, and all five former members of One Direction. However, if you are in the business world and use a business account to follow celebrities, you will look a little silly.

By following the best in your industry, your company will gain legitimacy on Twitter. Just like following every celebrity in creation can make your business look silly, if your business account’s followers consist solely of random nobodies, no one is going to take your business seriously.

2. Don’t Follow More People Than Are Following You

Unless you are an international celebrity or company, it’s impossible for a brand new account to pull this off. Let’s be honest. Your first few followers will be your personal account, your best friend, and your dog. Instead of getting hung up on numbers, it’s important to make the people and companies you are following count.

But for established accounts, it’s important to have more followers than accounts you are following. Otherwise, Twitter users won’t take you seriously and think there must be a reason you appear to be a follower and not a leader.

3. Don’t Count On The Follow Back

It’s possible that person will get their wish for a new follower, but you probably won’t.

Twitter is not a transactional service. Treating it as such will only result in disappointment, especially since you are not the only one hoping to receive those precious followers. It’s mathematically impossible for everyone to have more followers than people they are following, so someone is going to get left behind. The accounts that get ahead fill a niche and engage their followers with meaningful content.

To avoid being left behind, many accounts turn to services that keep track of who unfollows them, which enables them to return the favor. These services also keep track of who doesn’t bother to follow an account in return, which results in an unfollow. Participating in this game is a ridiculous unproductive waste of time that could be better spent producing content and interacting with your loyal followers.

4. Don’t Buy Followers

Buying followers is a trap. There are plenty of websites that promise hundreds or thousands of followers. You can’t buy real people’s engagement. A core of dedicated followers means more than a horde of uninterested people. Trying to boost your numbers with fake followers doesn’t fool anyone.

5. Don’t Follow An Egg

Whatever you do, for the love of Twitter, don’t follow an egg. Make sure it’s hatched first. You will not have meaningful engagement with that account, which is either abandoned, a bot, or the person who created it really doesn’t care about it and has decided to broadcast that fact to the world.

These tips won’t help you become the next Katy Perry, who has 105 million followers, or Justin Bieber, who has 102 million followers, but they will help you understand the world of Twitter following and unfollowing, look legitimate, and cultivate an engaged following.

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Allison Lips

Contributor, Social Media Week

Allison is a Digital Marketing Coordinator at Larchwood Marketing in Toms River, New Jersey.



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