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Why #Followback Isn’t a Smart Twitter Strategy

If you search the #followback hashtag in Twitter, you’ll undoubtedly see countless accounts promising to follow back anyone who follows them. While, yes, this is an effective strategy to boost your follower numbers, it’s not a smart strategy overall. For one, do you have any idea what your news feed would look like if you were to follow 1,000s of accounts? Try extremely cluttered, overwhelming, and constantly updating – and not in a good way.

When it comes to Twitter, quality is key and should always be your focus – whether it’s sending out a tweet, choosing what to retweet, and selecting who to follow (or follow back). Social media gurus always recommend following only accounts that are of true interest to you, and filling your news feed with quality information. Just because someone on the other side of the world has decided to follow you, doesn’t mean you need to necessarily follow them back.

Furthermore, if they’re in a totally different industry and only live tweet through their favorite TV shows (and they’re not yours…) what’s the point? They’ve likely followed you for one reason or another, and probably because they enjoy your tweets, but that doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy theirs.

If you’re worried about hurting someone’s feelings, don’t be. If someone is only following you to get a follow back, they clearly aren’t looking to make a connection for the right reason. Social media isn’t just about numbers at the end of the day, it’s about giving and getting something more – quality content, networking opportunities, and a good laugh every once in a while. You should be entertained and intrigued by the people and businesses you choose to follow on Twitter, and not feel obligated to follow them in the slightest.

Something else to consider would be how your “Following” list appears to a person aside from yourself. One of the quickest and easiest ways to get to know someone via Twitter isn’t by reading their tweets. Rather, it’s by scrolling through their Favorited tweets and who they’re following. If you’re following everyone who follows you, it might look like you’re a nice person – but it could also look like you don’t know what you’re doing, or only care about boosting your own followers number. Plus, if you’re following any accounts that would cause someone to raise an eyebrow, it may reflect poorly on you.

So, what do you think? Let me know in a comment below!