My Twitter Follow-Back Policy

Real+angry+bird_251f1c_3606014I’m seeing a lot more people publishing their formal follow-back policies for Twitter these days…most of them in marketing.

I guess there’s a sense that if you’re a marketer and you follow another marketer, that marketer is through some sort of blood oath dutifully bound to follow you back. I’ve been in marketing for many years and I never signed such a contract or cut my palm, and I’m guessing the other folks with written follow-back policies haven’t, either.

Every day people follow me, and unfollow me within 24-48 hours if I don’t follow back (THANKS ROBOTASTIC TWITTER TOOLS). Here’s what I have to say about that.

I’m okay with that.

If you aren’t following me just to follow me (and really why would you – my account is all over the place, though I do periodically post some good marketing communications stuff and retweet entertaining crap) but instead are expecting a follow in return (and won’t even wait more than 48 hours to see it happen), then we’re probably not a good fit for each other.

Just so you know, here are the reasons I follow someone back on Twitter, aka My Twitter Follow-Back Policy:

1) We look like we have a lot in common career-wise or interest-wise, and your bio/URL and tweets prove it.

2) Your tweets are interesting, funny, compelling or otherwise just get my attention.

3) You’ve given me more than 48 hours to make the freakin’ decision. Twitter isn’t speed dating. It takes a while to see if somebody tweets the kind of content you’re into on a regular basis.

Here are the reasons that I follow someone on Twitter regardless of whether or not I ever get a follow back:

1) I like him or her.

2) He or she is a musician who makes music that makes my heart go pitter patter (or is that twitter twatter? kinda like that better).

3) He or she is a marketer with good advice to share, or an agency or topical news site with same.

4) He or she is a celebrity I have an interest in following.

5) I have a mad, passionate crush on him or her.

6) I’m friends with him or her, or we’re acquainted in some way. Mutual acquaintances also count.

7) He or she is someone I know “in real life”. (oh my God, right?)

8) He or she makes me laugh.

9) He or she has a strong connection to the ocean, professionally or otherwise.

10) I want to see his or her content in my timeline. Really, that’s the biggie.

So you’re curious, here are the reasons I unfollow someone:

1) He or she has not been active on Twitter in ages. I usually count that as about 8-10 weeks or more.

2) SO. MANY. RETWEETS. If you are retweeting every single thing someone tweets at you, I am either going to mute your RTs or just unfollow you (the former if you’re someone I still care about seeing original tweets from, the latter if I’m not committed to you). Doesn’t matter that I retweet a lot, myself – I try to exercise restraint…

3) He or she is a celeb who only ever talks to other celebs. I may never send said celeb a tweet and if I do I never expect an interaction, but there are some people on Twitter who are notorious for using the site like a Hollywood daisy chain. I don’t actually follow any of those people to begin with, but…

4) I’m tired of you. Sorry. The good news is you’ll never get an explanation why I unfollowed you (unless you specifically ask, in which case I might just re-follow you for caring), so you’ll never have to know!

I don’t automate any of my following/unfollowing/account maintenance, FYI.

If you have followed me and you really, really want me to follow you back, and I have not yet done so, send me a DM. (@SheAndTheSea) I’m friendly! Chances are I may not have noticed you sneak in and I’d be willing to entertain keeping up with you.

And that’s it. Policy out!