Now that you’ve hopefully read my post Twitter 101 and are starting to follow some fun people (please send comments and tell me who you found!), you are probably getting some followers back. This freaks a lot of people out. So, before we move on to Twitter 201, I thought I’d throw out a few notes on how “following” works:
1. First, do not let the word “follow” freak you out. Twitter should have named this something else because “Joe is now following you on Twitter …” has a terribly predatory sound. Especially to women. (Especially when accompanied by an avatar with a guy with barbells who looks like he could snap your neck in two.) But do not let the term “follow” intimidate you. Think of it as “Joe wants to network with you.” Because that’s what it is. People “follow” you because they perceive you to be someone they can network with.
2. Many people have “auto-follow” set up. This is why you get immediate follows. Don’t freak out. Auto-follow means the person doesn’t even look at who they’re following, they just follow anyone who follows them. This is fine. Relax.
3. It’s considered “polite” to follow anyone who is following you. You don’t have to, of course. If you think their tweets are going to be weird or annoying, then don’t follow. But the truth is, you never know who is going to send the tweet that could be of vast interest to you. For this reason, I follow tons of people. I’m always surprised by the interesting things various people say. You can always “unfollow” someone down the line if they muck up your Twitter stream in some way (with profanity, or negative attitude, or unoriginal tweets, or whatever annoys you), but give people a chance.
4. Many people will follow you because you’re following someone they like. This is why you will get a continuous stream of followers. Here’s how it works: A Twitterer follows Real Simple magazine. She figures that anyone else who likes Real Simple is sort of like her, so she’ll just follow the last 100 of the 800+ people who follow Real Simple. If you’re on that list, you get followed, too. She isn’t necessarily following you because of your tweets, she’s following you because of your interests. This is fine. Relax.
5. If you followed 50 people from the advice in my last post, you will probably have about 25 follows by the end of the week. This 50% ratio works for a long time.
6. If you do not follow someone who is following you, he/she will likely drop you after one week. Many people give the “1-week chance” to return the follow. If you don’t, they drop you. Others use programs to automatically unfollow anyone who doesn’t follow them. The reason for this is that most people feel the relationship should go both ways on Twitter, unless you’re Shaq or Ashton Kutcher.
7. Fridays are “Follow Friday” on Twitter. Friday is a fun day to tune in to Twitter! Everyone is encouraged to send the names of their favorite people, so you can find fun new people to follow. Often they will say “Follow these top chefs: @ChefA, @ChefB, @ChefC for fun cookin’” or something along those lines so you know why they’re being recommended. They will end with a hashtag like this: #FollowFriday. The hashtag gives you a chance to search for that term. (More on hashtags in Twitter 201.) You can type in #followfriday in www.search.twitter.com (or type it in the search bar of TweetDeck) and you will get a long list of Follow Friday recommendations. Have fun!
Please leave a comment and tell me who you found to follow that you didn’t expect. …
Love the social media posts! Keep them coming…
I forgot to mention who I am following… I love that I can follow people across all my interests and hobbies so I follow Food Network personalities like Tyler Florence, Giada DiLaurentis, Emeril Lagasse, Jamie Oliver and Cat Cora.
I also follow business stars like Richard Branson, Biz Stone (co-founder of twitter), and Zappos.com CEO Tony. I also follow media outlets like NPR, PBS, Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News (my hometown newspaper), ESPN, Fox News and KERA (my local PBS and NPR station).
What I love about twitter is the ability to follow my favorite brands, in addition to people, like Starbucks, Whole Foods, Central Market and so many others.
The more I use twitter the more engaged I become. It’s addictive.
I’ll admit I’m still lost in Twitter, but I appreciate the tips!
Such good lessons. bravo.
Thanks for all the great tips~! I have been trying to find a good way to use Twitter or even good ways to play with it~! I have pretty much decimated my Facebook account. I took out everything personal and almost all pictures. I tried to take out my birthday but they will not let you do that. I even tried to fake a date by putting January 1, 1900 and it would not let me. Maybe it has been taking lessons from Hal.
The WeFollow site is incredible. Thanks again.
Dave and Kwana — Thanks mucho.
Bill — Hang in there. You just have to play around for awhile. But if I can try to answer any questions, just shoot them at me.
Kat — Glad you liked WeFollow! Isn’t that a great site?
Work on your follows this weekend — find some interesting folks — and do at least one of each communication (tweet, retweet, at-reply, direct message) each day. I’ll post next steps soon. …
Thanks for all the coaching with this, but I have to admit that I am like Bill. I am afraid I am “twitter challenged”. I have gone on “WeFollow” and looked up other people and their comments, but have not figured out the communication or any of the lingo yet…ugh. I feel bad for all the people who sent emails saying they wanted to follow me – I’m lost 🙂
Debi — Well, it DOES take some getting used to, so don’t give up too quickly. But, that being said, it’s also not for everyone! Some people just don’t like it and don’t find use for it. Others don’t have use for it now, but at least know how it works, so if they find a use for it in the future (for business, for their blog, for real estate, for meeting friends in a new interest), at least they know it’s there for them. I’ll be doing Twitter 201 (as soon as my vacation is over) with a few more details. Just file the info away for now, and if you decide it can be of use for you in the future, it’ll be there for you. : )
Thanks for the encouragement! I’m glad you made it back safe from your vacation!
Pingback: TWITTER 201 « Mizwrite’s Blog
Hey there, Mizwrite! I am so happy to finally begin to understand this stuff. Many thanks. I might have to rename you MizGuru!