The Followback Conundrum
Pat Rhoads - Nonprofit Marketing & Social Media Professional
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Another 'Expert', only I'm not

The Followback Conundrum

To followback or not to followback? THAT is the question!
I saw the following tweet today from someone I follow:
"You may be a "guru" or a "sweetheart" but sorry I only f#ollow those that #followback others! #RockTheReTweet"
Essentially, they're telling people they'll only follow you if you follow them back.
Well, it's a free country, and there are no Twitter rules that state that people can't place their own criteria for who to follow. But I have a problem with people who do this.
Why, you ask?
I follow people (including the person above, who shall remain anonymous) based on the content of their tweets. I use Twitter to learn, to gain information, and to connect with people. If someone's Twitter feed contains information I want, I follow them. If it doesn't, I don't. Period.
When I get emails that notify of new followers, I always send them a direct message to thank them, and then I look at their tweet stream to see if I want to follow them back. Is the info something I want? Then I follow them. If not, I don't. Today I started being followed by a gardening expert. I have never tweeted about gardening or anything similar, so I don't know why chose me, but to me that's not important. I hope my content is of value to them. But since I have no interest in gardening, their content is not of value to me, and I chose not to follow them back. And if they un-follow me because of it, I couldn't care less.
You see, I don't measure my success on Twitter based on the number of followers I have (which is obvious if you've seen how FEW followers I have). I measure my success on Twitter based on the quality of the info I give and receive, and the interactions I have with people. Relationships, give and take, that's the sort of stuff I value in social media, as in anywhere else.
Anyone else with me, or am I completely out of line here?

9 Comments to The Followback Conundrum:

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Robert on Friday, January 28, 2011 2:24 PM
You're not out of line. But I put this up there with people who post or email things like "if you care about the country, you'll repost this as your status." As soon as you start to tell me what I need to do, I start to tune you out.
Reply to comment
Pat Rhoads on Friday, January 28, 2011 2:48 PM
Robert, you're absolutely right! I hate being told that if I don't do "X" then I am unpatriotic or don't support cancer survivors or whatever it is. Great comment.

Bubut Key on Friday, January 28, 2011 4:23 PM
Makes perfect sense to me. I already have to deal with an avalanche of information everyday What's the point of adding stuff I have no need to know? You are right on Pat.
Reply to comment
Pat Rhoads on Friday, January 28, 2011 4:32 PM
Thanks Bubut. I didn't even go into the 'avalanche of information', as you so succinctly put it. That's yet another reason to use common sense in choosing who I follow.

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