Mar
21

To follow or not to follow?

Posted by Louis De Nolf
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twitter bird

There are several types of Twitter users. To clarify: I'm talking about regular Twitter users made of flesh and blood, not celebrities or pop culture icons. Regular people like the silent follower that just comes to read, the marketer who tries to shout out about a new product, or the creative bard who enjoys sharing a daily slice of life... I'm deliberately leaving out click farmers.

It's the potential reach of Twitter that is tempting to a lot of people. A tweet that goes viral thanks to the network structure of Twitter can potentially reach millions. That’s why increasing the number of followers is not just about reaching one person, it's about reaching that person's entire network.

Counting your Twitter followers can be very gratifying. Essentially this means that people are interested in the information you share and want to stay up to date. BUT, there are also people that are running a sort of Twitter rat-race. They don't seem to be interested in the information shared at all. All they seem to care about is to be followed back and increase their reach.

I admit, I myself was guilty of automatically following back the people that followed me. Thinking "if they find my content interesting, they are probably interesting people themselves". But I came to notice annoying fluctuations in the number of followers on my profile. Similar to an ebb and flow of followers. A bit of investigation on google led me to the following fact:

“There are online tools available to manage the Twitter mechanics of following and unfollowing people. “

I was surprised when I encountered it, but simply put, it enables people to follow a wide variety of profiles in one go, and later unfollow that entire group again. I am uneasy about this because good communication is the last thing on their mind and, that's why I want to make the following statement:

“I solemnly swear that I will only add Twitter followers whose content I truly find interesting”

I have sinned myself and followed several accounts about whom I knew nothing, simply because they followed me first. Upon closer investigation, a lot of them turned out not to be in the slightest bit interesting to me, and in the end this ruined my very own Twitter experience. They were often way too "markety" and I started feeling like I was panning for content gold through a lot of mud.

I'd like to petition for this: let's make Twitter clean again!

 

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