Who Do You Follow on Twitter?

ID-100127092Are you on Twitter?  Do you ever wonder how to build your Twitter following? It starts with who you follow?

The trouble with Twitter is that many people have no clue who to follow and get the best results from a following.

Many people just ‘follow’ who follows them.   To me, that’s not the best way.  To gain good Twitter followers, we need to investigate and see if they are of substantial value.

Believe it or not, people look at who we are associated.  Why?

Because your business persona is extremely important when making impressions in business and Twitter is ‘the social media outlet’ for business.

Many people on Twitter give a generic ‘I follow back’ if you follow them, but maybe they are someone you might not want to be associated with.

What if you buy Twitter followers?  And none of the interact with you.  They are bought, phony and of no value to you to grow your business.  They may not even be real.

It’s really important to investigate each Twitter contact or person before you randomly follow them.

What To Look For

It’s simple.  You want to deal with people of integrity, who are professional, who have a good business sense, positive vibes, demeanor and manner.

I like to associate with people who will inspire and help others in whatever way they choose.

So Who Do You  Follow?

They are in your niche.   Like interest begets like interest and mindset.  These will be the people you associate with regularly.

They have similar interests outside of Twitter, although this is not necessary.  But if you have similar likes, dislikes, friends and associations, your communication and interaction is so much easier and it’s really about building relationships.

They visit you and regularly retweet you.

They communicate with you via Direct Messages.

They communicate with you outside of Twitter.

They build a relationship with you through your constant communication, if its just a ‘how are you today?’  At least then you know they are a real person.

They’ve introduced themselves outside an automated tweet.

They’ve spent time interacting with you (Tweets, Re-Tweets, #FF, Direct Messages, Facebook, Blog Commenting, Triberr, to name a few)

They retweet your tweets regularly.

They answer your direct messages.

They follow you. 🙂

Who Not To Follow

People who spam you with links, presentations, business propositions without introducing themselves and trying to develop some type of relationship.

People whose content and tweets are in a language you do not understand.    Many of us want ‘Followers’ but if you get a follower who’s tweets are all in Spanish or Chinese, most of my associates can’t read it and probably, not even you.

People’s whose tweets contain swears and curses, naked bodies, promiscuous poses.  As a business person you want to maintain your professional and business demeanor.

 How Do You know?

MyTweetCheck out their profile.  Does it have enough information to tell you who they are or what they do?

Does it give an idea of their niche?  Do they have a website and is there any personal info there?

Check their website.   Do they have a legitimate website?  Visit and check out what they are doing?  Is there website professional?  What’s their content look like?  Is it good?  Kinda so-so?  Evaluate.

Check out their Tweets.  Swearing, cursing and unprofessional language is not acceptable and leaves an impression on anyone checking out the business and the person.

People who spam you. Spamming and sending *only* links for advertisements or their products are not acceptable.

Do they have an Avatar or picture of themselves?  Again related to knowing the person and not the ‘egg’!  What are they hiding, uh?   One of the best ways to build trust is for someone to see your face.

What Do I Do Now

Now it’s time to evaluate.  You can use http://justunfollowme.com, a service that allows you to unfollow people that are not following you.  It will list the person, you can click on the link and go to Twitter and check them out.  If they are unacceptable, ‘unfollow’ them.

Yes, it may take a while to get rid of unwanted followers, but it’s worth the effort.  Having followers of value and who interact regularly with you are the ones you’re looking for.

If you look at the above, you can truly build a good Twitter following.  Now that you know what to look for, it should be easier  don’t you think?

What have you done to build your Twitter following?  Let us know.  I’d be interested in any other tips you have.







Photos by jscreationzs, http://freedigitalphotos.com


  1. says

    This is a great post Barbara and something I don’t think a lot of people follow.

    We’ve all been taught to get on Twitter and follow at least 50 people a day and work up to our following because a lot of those people will follow you back. I get that, it’s a numbers game but since we have no clue who those people are and once again, people will complain that this is time consuming, it will take awhile before you build up a good Twitter base.

    I actually wiped my account clean probably twice since I came on back in 2008. I did everything wrong and figured that out rather quickly. I did it twice because I started building up my following in an area I was no longer interested in the second time around so I thought I’m starting clean.

    It’s taken me awhile and I still only have a little over 7,000 followers but my follow ratio isn’t as high. I like to connect with bloggers and people who are interested in getting to know me. It is time consuming but you’ll benefit greatly from going in this direction. Oh and it’s also a lot of fun.

    With things leaning so far in the social direction I think it’s in everyone’s best interest to start paying closer attention to who they are following and start making those connections. It really will benefit them greatly.

    Thanks for this topic and have a wonderful week.

    Adrienne recently posted…5 Bloggers That I AdmireMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Adrienne,

      I’ve never heard that about following 50 people a day. Interesting. Yes, gaining Twitter followers is definitely a numbers game. It’s a numbers game in gathering followers and it’s a numbers game when you see people with thousands but most are fake followers (another common problem).

      I have thought about wiping my account clean and starting over in a new niches, but it is so much hard work I decided to pass on that idea. Maybe at a later date! Building slowly but steadily is recommended as far as I’m concerned. Slowly allows us to build followers of value and make friends and business associates as well. I agree that it’s fun too! 🙂

      I also agree that people don’t seem to take it seriously. But that’s because they still don’t take Twitter seriously. So many people have bought Twitter followers and then expect miracles in that these people would actually interact with them, and in many cases, they’re not even people. Just accounts.

      People should look very closely at Twitter because it is the number one business social media platform. Maybe because it appears too hard that people don’t take it seriously. Who knows. We’ll see if anyone pays attention. 🙂

      You have a good week too.

    • says

      Thanks Adrienne for tweeting about this. Barbara, great blog. I am pretty new to Twitter but am starting to understand that Twitter is powerful but that you also need to start “Pausing” before you follow people. I have already seen people who do not have interaction with me or others but just send links to a product they are selling. Hmm. I am glad I found Adrienne and now glad I found you: bloggers who believe in relationships. I like your comment “Spamming and sending *only* links for advertisements or their products are not acceptable.”
      Barb Brady recently posted…#7.07 Blog Fun Ideas: You’ve gotta try this one!My Profile

      • says

        Hi Barb,

        So glad you came by my blog! Thank you! 🙂 Nice to meet you.

        Yes, Twitter can be very powerful. I know many people who get most of their traffic and sources from Twitter. I do like how you put it though – better than I could have which was ‘we need to ‘pause’ before we randomly follow people. Love that! 🙂 And yes very true.

        I hate to make it seem like Big Brother is watching, but other entrepreneurs are watching and it does make a difference and we do want to build our following wisely! 🙂

        Again, thanks for stopping by. See you again soon! 🙂

  2. says

    Bravo Barbara!

    Twitter got me overwhelmed. I love following people and do check their blogs or websites out BEFORE..I connect. It was getting to be a Twitter overload for me. This is why I had to take a break from triberr. I was doing so many other things, I just couldn’t keep up with all the friends on my Twitter feed.

    However, those who I did meet replied and some came to my blog. Sometimes we had a little conversation on Twitter also. These are the “keepers” I did “unfollow” some people because of the spamming. It took a while, but I think I have it all cleared up now.

    My Twitter peeps are engaging and I like that. Just a thank you or “Hey I enjoyed this post” is all it takes to start a relationship there right? The rest that are spamming or self-serving have to go!

    Donna Merrill recently posted…10 Ways To Get Out Of Your Box On Social MediaMy Profile

    • says

      Hey Donna,

      Yes Twitter can be a bit overwhelming but when we narrow down the people we talk to (cut out the junk like spammers and other silly stuff), we can develop some pretty good relationships. It can also become overwhelming for sure. I used to get over 500 tweets in seconds. Of course, you can’t read all that, but we can contact the ones we are communicating with on a regular basis. Makes it so much more manageable. 🙂

      I also only have *little* conversations on Twitter. 140 characters! 🙂 That’s all you need LOL! And I only glance at the spammers. I don’t know why they don’t get it!

      Thanks for stopping by. Have a good week Donna.

  3. says

    That’s a great detailed explanation, Barbara, and it makes total sense.

    The only problem for me is that I DO NOT have the time to even SEE what people do or don’t do on Twitter 🙂 So what I’ve been doing is for one thing, anything that doesn’t have a human face I’m not following and anyone that seems decent I follow back 🙂 When I say decent I meant what they’re into.

    Once in a while I am shocked at who is still not even following me or just unfollowed me, so I give them all the same. I guess in life you end up getting what you give, right?

    Thanks for the great info.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted…Thankful Monday!My Profile

    • says

      Hi Sylviane,

      I understand the issue of time. It is so hard with our many things to keep up to try to grow our Twitter accounts because it is a slow process but as Adrienne mentioned, well worth it.

      I think we all have our own set of rules like not following anyone with an ‘egg’ face. Of course, that’s smart because anyone hiding behind an ‘egg’ I wouldn’t follow either. 🙂

      I noticed that you promote your posts and blog in many other venues so you may not need a large following on Twitter, but at some point in time, you may want to take a look at it down the road because it is the biggest social media for business.

      Thanks for sharing,

  4. says

    Hi Barbara, I’m much more selective now than ever before on who I follow on Twitter, I tend to put them in lists first and then maybe follow later if they engage with me. I do check out profiles and last tweets. I love JustUnfollow and use it bi-weekly to flush some old or inactive ones out. I also use Comnun.it. Twitter is by far my favorite place to connect with everyone.
    Thank you for sharing some useful tips and reminders with Twitter. Have a great week Barbara!
    Lisa recently posted…Why Are So Many Blogging Today?My Profile

    • says

      Hey Lisa,

      It definitely pays to be more selective. 🙂 I too love Just Unfollow and I use it regularly as well. Never did use Comnun.it. Don’t know what that is and will have to check it out. Thanks for the tip back. 🙂

      And you’re welcome. It’s all about sharing, right! Have a great week.


  5. says

    Hi Barbara,

    Thank you for writing this post. It’s stirred up a lot of things I guess have been somewhere in my back burner. I agree with your advice on who not to follow. I keep it as close to real life as possible, to deal with reputable people and with those who add value. It is time consuming, but, as you say, people want to know who you follow as well, so it’s definitely worth it.

    It took me quite a while on my two Twitter accounts @wiarbu and @BeLoveToOthers to get established.
    I use manageflitter.com which weeds out phony accounts/fake followers, inactives, etc. and highly recommend it.

    I’ve never fallen for the “Buy Twitter followers” idea because they have nothing of value to contribute.

    A little red flag also goes up when I receive a message from a person who I know is reputable and the message comes with a bizarre message and a link to click on. To me, that spells VIRUS. I usually DM the person to suggest they change to a stronger password.

    Have a wonderful week!
    William Butler recently posted…15 Great Stress Busting TipsMy Profile

    • says

      Hey Bill,

      Thanks for the additional pointers. They are excellent and very important. Buying Twitter followers definitely adds no value other than to give a false impression which makes me question a person’s integrity and business decorum. That may be a hard assessment but it is true.

      An absolutely, I hope people can tell the difference between a legitimate tweet and something that seems strange. I click on no weird links either. Thanks for mentioning this very important warning.

      Thanks again for stopping by.

  6. says

    Hi Ms. Barbara

    My problem with twitter is that I have no clue how to use. I know how to follow someone/blog, but I have no clue how to share.

    I am enjoying it, and I do check out those that want me to follow them. (You showed me how check that out)

    Thank you
    Gladys recently posted…How To Build Your Self WorthMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Gladys,

      Many people have that same problem. Twitter is a little harder to understand than something like Facebook or some of the other social media sites. It has it’s own language and flow and takes a bit of a time to get used to it. But if you stay with it, you will gradually understand the flow and how to work it.

      Let me know if you need help. Thanks for stopping by.


  7. says

    Hi Barbara,
    I love these tips. This article is perfect timing. Someone connected with me and responded to one of my tweets yesterday. We had the conversation going for a bit. Then I noticed they included another name – YIKES I hadn’t looked at the profile and no idea why they would be following me. I instantly disconnected them. I don’t want to be associated in a nasty way at all. I spent a good part of this morning looking through who was following me and making sure it was appropriate. Thanks for sharing this. Have a great day, Lisa
    Lisa Magoulas recently posted…Broccoli PattiesMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Lisa,

      Yes some of the people are a bit scary. 🙂 Checking their profile is the first thing I do, even if I see a tweet in my stream and looks suspect. To many crazy people out there. Yesterday I saw a curse word (one we won’t mention here) and I immediately checked his wall, determined that he was not someone I even wanted in my stream even though I wasn’t following him, and blocked him immediately. That happens all the time.

      My professional business image is very critical to me. I check about once a week.

      I’m glad you found it helpful. 🙂


  8. says

    Hi Barbara,
    You have some great reasons for being diligent about following people on Twitter. However, I am more along the lines of Sylviane who follows anybody who looks like a human and seems actively engaging with Twitter. Although I wasn’t like this a couple of years ago and I used to follow anyone who followed me. But things changed and I became a bit more cautious.

    And every now and then I go to check how many people I follow who don’t follow me and if I find them, I remove them (except really influential public figures). That way, it keeps my followers/following in check.

    Kumar Gauraw recently posted…10 Proven Strategies To Build Credibility And Trust OnlineMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Kumar,

      Just following ‘anyone’ who follows you could bring some detriment to your professional online appearance. No offense, in actuality, the number of Followers you have is disproportionate to the number of followers you are following and your number of Tweets. That tells a whole nothing story in most cases, and not always positive (not that you or anything 🙂 But legitimate followers may shy away when they look at the numbers. Why?

      Typically, a person with a with a large Twitter following, but haven’t tweeted all that much. Example: 998,980 followers, but only 300 or so tweets, may be looked upon as having ‘fake’ followers. Many people cannot get that many legitimate followers with so few tweets… which means they probably have ‘unreal’ followers.

      In addition, following the very influential doesn’t do much for us. They typically will not follow back and there is no interaction and it’s all about interaction and developing relationships.

      I see too many people who I do not want to be associated with so I gather and build my Twitter account with care and concern. It’s always a good idea to give a little attention to our followers and build relationships with them.

      Maybe you keep your followers in check and that’s good, but my point is an impression is made when people look at our profiles. Our profiles, our following, who we follow all tell a story and we need to make sure as business people that we are leaving the right impression.

      Thanks for your opinion though. Very interesting.

    • says

      Hi Okto,

      Yes that’s a perfectly acceptable way, especially if you know them well or are beginning to know them. Sharing our Twitter account with people we want to associate with is a great way to get to know people.

      Thanks for your input.


  9. says

    Hey Barbara,

    Sorry for being so late on coming to your blog. My schedule has changed and have been trying to readjust! I definitely agree that you should pay attention on who you’re following and who you are associating yourself with.

    I’m not a big twitter user, but this is definitely important across the board! This is all a part of branding yourself well. You want to associate people who are going to be of value to you within your niche. Like you mentioned, others are going to view you through who your friends are as well. So it’s important to leave a great impression on others who are serious about their businesses.

    Once you have this straight, the only way you’re going to look is upward! Thanks for sharing!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…How Do People See YOU?My Profile

    • says

      Hey Sherman,

      Thanks for taking the time to come by. I know how it is with busy schedules. Life changes and we have to adjust. Mine is also getting ready to change so I understand, believe me. 🙂

      Although you may not be a big Twitter user now, you understand the importance of Twitter and that’s important. You may at some point decided that it’s time to get into it and that means you are already ahead of the game. Understanding is half the battle.

      If, when you get ready to take on Twitter, keep me in mind. I can show you how to get use it to your best advantage.

      Thanks again for taking the time. I appreciate it.
      Best regards,

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