A-Twitter over followers

Nearly a year ago, I logged onto Twitter for the first time.  It was a life changing experience that helped me become more social media-minded and opened my world into becoming a better public relations practitioner.  I am thankful to have over 350 followers, a good portion of which I chat with on a regular basis.

Over the last few weeks though, I have blocked or unfollowed nearly 20 “people” that were following me because they either were:

  • Tweeting out garbage, like “Best weight loss drug EVER.”
  • Had over 15,000 followers and it was clear they were just trying up their numbers.
  • Just followed me because I was following someone that was in their region.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m very pleased to get an e-mail that says so-and-so is following me.  It means that I’ve said something worthwhile in a Tweet or they’ve read my blog and wanted to see what other Tweets I’ve got up my sleeve.  However, what has bugged me for some time is those that add you just to up their follower/following count.

My argument is that if you aren’t going to really contribute something to the conversation, why bother?I’m a big proponent of using social media to be SOCIAL. I like to talk.  It’s part of my job.  But to just add me to make your numbers higher is a waste of time, mine AND yours.  I respect those that have high follower/following numbers and are really adding value to the Twitterverse.  But, if you are just retweeting everything and anything, all the while not adding value, what does that prove?

I see the other side as well.  There are paid Tweeters out there who are trying to make some coin.  Good for you, I’m all for doing what you can to earn a dollar.  However, I’m not going to be following.

Let me know your thoughts!

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About JasMollica

"It's never too late to have a life and it's never too late to change one." That's something I tell students, friends, and family all the time. After living and working in New York City, I took my own advice in 2004, switched my career from the television/radio industry and got into public relations. Now, I spend my days as a PR/social media marketing consultant and get inspired daily. It's been a good ride, so far. But the car has plenty of gas left. I hope you'll join along in this guy's journey!

Posted on February 15, 2010, in Hot Topic, Public Relations, Social Media, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Jason,

    I COMPLETELY agree with you! I actually wrote a blog a couple months ago called, “Consider Yourself Blocked,” in which I talked about deal breakers in Twitter relationships. Twitter isn’t a numbers game. Or at least it shouldn’t be. To this day, I individually check out every new follower to make sure I want to follow back or even allow him/her to follow me. The way I see it, the more people I’m following, the less likely I’ll see tweets by my true Twitter friends. So it’s important to me to only follow people I can really connect with. Great post today!

    Lauren

    • Lauren,

      I follow the same practice you do. Whenever I get a follow, I check the person or organization out to see if I want to follow. I then follow up with a personal direct message.
      I should have added that I don’t believe in automated DM’s as well. That’s another blog for another time though.

      Thanks again for stopping by!
      Jason

  2. Yeah there’s a lot of that.

    My policy is I’ll give every follower one chance. If they flood my feed with mindless garbage or DM me saying they can get my a million followers then I’ll unfollow them.

    • Ben,

      I’m so glad your stopped by today! It’s a shame there is a lot of the garbage. I guess it was inevitable, since it started with e-mail and has made it’s way to Twitter.

      Cheers from this side of the Atlantic!
      Jason

  3. Jason I totally agree with you. For my both of my accounts some hs students start following me randomly don’t get me wrong I love interacting with new people but it seems like they’re the kind of people still doing the whole MySpace thing. I do also get the whole teeth whitening people as well following me. Twitter should come up with some way to monitor the spammers in my opinion BEFORE they follow us. It’s such an annoying task to have to weed out those not contributing. About a month ago I actually unfollowed someone that only retweeted. There was no originality coming from their tweets. Great post though. You definitely expressed what we’re all feeling about the whole follower situation.

    • Thanks Britt!
      I don’t mind people trying to sell something, but I pay attention to my Twitter feed and the people I follow. So I block the sellers.
      Like I said, it’s social media…be part of the conversation.

      I appreciate you stopping by! Come again! 🙂
      Jason

  4. Jason, I enjoyed this post. I try very hard to NOT be a “social media snob” and be open to new invitations; however I prefer quality over quantity. I try to retweet only things I find incredibly helpful or thoughtful, and try to post articles/posts that I think others in the PR/media/marcomm world will also find interesting. Glad to know I’m not alone!

    • Tressa,

      I’m glad to see I AM not alone as well. It was tough to write this because I didn’t want to come off as a “social media snob.” I think our PR/media/marcoom world demands that we are a little picky/strategic in who we follow.

      I’m so happy you stopped by and hope you will again!
      Jason

  5. Hi Jason-

    So glad you brought this up. I think I am going to do a blog post on this very subject soon. As a current job hunter, I get many opportunities to do free webinars which basically are a sales gimmick to buy into someone’s social media “system”. I can live with that; they present 40 minutes of content then give you their “pitch”. If I came away with one new idea/skill for social media, I am still ahead. I just turn off the webinar when the hard sales pitch comes.

    Recently however, I received an invitation to a live in-person presentation of “How to get a job using social media”. It was free, and I was psyched at the thought of learning something new & also being able to network with some new people. The guy who presented the event was a complete “tool”. I don’t normally use that phrase, but it just seemed to apply to his style and philosophy.

    He bragged he has over 5000 Facebook friends (which he simply adds, doesn’t review as far as I can tell) and also he has over 20,000 twitter followers. There were people in this seminar who were not yet on twitter – they were dazed & confused as to what it was and how to use it, let alone address it with 20,000+ followers. I asked Mr. Presenter how often he communicates with his twitter feed? His response: he posts “content” often (all to eventually bring people to his website & sell them something) but he “doesn’t have time” to respond to people, after all, HE has over 20K in followers. I looked at him with disbelief and disdain. This was the social media he was preaching: Everyone is just a potential lead. It is a numbers game (see, “tool”, right??).

    I tried to speak with some of the woman who walked away more confused than when they arrived, and offered to spend some time with them to teach them tweetdeck and some twitter basics, just as people had spent selfless time with me. I think the best part of social media (and especially twitter) is that there is a lot of “paying it forward”. It is part of the twitter culture, and I hope it stays that way.

    I’m glad we’ve connected Jason, and I’ll let you know when my blog post on this subject goes up!

    Have a great weekend!

    Kasey Crabtree
    @KaseyCrabtree
    http://www.KaseyCrabtree.com

    • Casey,

      I have had a chance to meet some wonderful people through Twitter, etc. I believe it isn’t about quantity, but quality. I like what you said about “paying it forward” because I think that is what makes social media great. It’s a conversation.

      I’m glad you stopped by and brought your perspective. I look foward to your comments in the future. Have a great weekend!

      Jason

  1. Pingback: Putting a cap on it.. your Twitter followers, that is. « One Guy's Journey

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