Why Following Everyone is a Terrible Idea

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When you start getting followers on Twitter, and especially when they’re high-profile folks, it’s such a thrill. “They like me, they really like me,” you might exclaim, in your best Sally Field voice. And while getting all these followers is exciting, you shouldn’t get carried away, following all the great folks who now love you.

Why?

  • Not everyone is worth following. The folks you follow wind up in your Twitter feed (aka “Home”). If you follow folks who tweet about things that aren’t interesting, your feed will be a mess of junk, with the useful information impossible to find.
  • Some people who follow you won’t share your values. We are judged by who we associate with, and if you follow unsavory characters, others might think badly of you. Remember, anyone can see your following list.
  • Following everyone is bad for your rep. I know, this sounds odd. Following everyone should be good for your rep, because it shows you are a genuinely nice person. But that’s not how Twitter works. Twitter rewards those who have more “followers” than “following.” It makes you look like a popular person, someone worth getting to know. When I started on Twitter, I said yes to almost every follower, and now I’m working hard to rework my profile so I am following less (deleting dead accounts and so forth) and being followed more.
  • Following back takes time, especially if you don’t do it on a daily basis. Don’t spend that time unless the other party is worth it.

That being said, you don’t want zero in your following list. That just makes you look like a snob.

In conclusion, think long and hard before following, and you may well become a leader, at least on Twitter.

 

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