Twitter is fun and it is certainly the 2009 hot thing on the Internet (see Twitter names & brands) but ever since I have been on Twitter I have struggled with a dilemma.
Should you follow the people who decide to follow you?
You don't know them and while they have decided that you talk about something they are interested in, it isn't necessarily the case that they talk about what you are interested in.
To give you an example, a chiropodist sees some of my marketing advice and wants to be kept up to date so decides to follow me. The chiropodist is going to tweet about feet and feet problems not marketing.
But the problem with not following seems rude.
Then I see people who start following me with 15,748 followers and it is clear that no one is reading what that many people are tweating about.
So it seems even more manipulative to say to some one
"I am interested in you and will follow you"
but then to have no intention of paying any attention because they have Tweetdeck of whatever other software they use to screen out the crowd and tune into the people they are most interested in.
I have decided to follow my policy of following people I know.
It is up to them to involve me if they want to be followed back. They can send me messages - provided it's not spam, they can retweet my tweets or they can comment on my blog.
If they become relevant to me then I will follow.
Don't Auto Follow on Twitter
You can get some software that let's you auto follow people who follow you on Twitter but that opens up lots of problems as this broadcast from Twitter expert Mark Shaw explains.
The blurb that explains who Mark is says
"Mark Shaw is a Twitter Expert who currently has around 16,500 followers. With a background in award-winning sales and marketing, he is well-placed to deliver practical advice that is focused on getting business results from Twitter. He has been ranked as high as # 3 in the UK &, #58 in the World for Twitter Elite and is having his Twitter shows syndicated to over 30,000 people in the Telegraph Business Club. He has been on radio and published in the media in his capacity as an expert on Twitter."
Mark has also been a guest blogger on the Business Coaching Blog with his "how to Twitter - beginners guide to Twitter"
Here is Mark again, this time answering the key question "How do you get more business on twitter?"