Every time someone follows you on Twitter you are faced with a dilemma – whether or not to follow back!
I know a lot of people worry about following too many people and having their twitter stream filled with stuff they don’t want to read which will just waste their time.
I understand these concerns but If you use twitter for business, or even if you just use it for fun but have your business name and website address on your bios, there is one sure-fire way to leave a bad impression – don’t bother to follow back!
It’s the equivalent of having a shop but only allowing close friends and family to buy from you. Or of turning your back on someone at a party when they say hello to you.
Therefore the quickest way to create a great impression on Twitter is to follow back when you are followed.
There are spammers out there so I am not saying that you should follow indiscriminately, personally I have three criteria and if the follower matches at least one of them then I’ll follow back.
They are: Am I likely to learn something from them? Are they likely to find me / my tweets helpful? Do they seem friendly?
I judge this based on their bio (so do make sure yours is up to date!) and on the things they have tweeted recently. I usually give people the benefit of the doubt so even if their timeline does look a little broadcasty I will follow, after all you can unfollow people if they fill up your stream with junk!
Let’s face it, unless you are a real superstar you shouldn’t be aiming to have 50,000 followers and only be following 50 back. And even if you are a star it might be worth taking a leaf out of Stephen Fry’s book – he has almost 2.5 million followers but he follows back over 50,000!