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It's a decision you probably make every day: Should I like/follow this person/company on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or wherever. In our "Discussion of the Week," we want to know what you look for or look at when you're deciding to follow/like someone or not? What are the signs or signals that will instantly tell you NOT to follow someone ... or that you should follow them? The floor is open!
Comments11 Comments  


Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 3329 Days ago #
Votes: 2

There are a lot of things I look for when deciding whether to follow someone (or some company) on Twitter. I primarily look at recent tweets to find out:

* if the person is too self-promotional
* if the person is conversational
* if the person shares interesting content
* if the person is too political (this is a REAL turn-off for me)

I also look at the person's/company's balance of followers to following. Someone that has 25,000 followers and also follows 25,000 accounts makes me suspicious. Those are just a couple of the things I look for. Might think of more.

I don't like a lot of companies/pages on Facebook, so don't have very strong thoughts on that aspect.

Avatar Moderator
from hugoguzman 3329 Days ago #
Votes: 1

You've pretty much covered it, Matt. The only thing I would add is level of influence.

It might sound selfish, but the amount of followers a user has definitely influences my decision. If someone has six followers, it's somewhat unlikely that I'll follow them.

Along the same lines, frequency of updates is fairly important. I'm unlikely to follow someone that doesn't tweet at least once every couple of days (or 100 times every day).

Avatar Moderator
from toddmintz 3329 Days ago #
Votes: 1

That they're not a bot :.)

I pretty much auto-follow anyone and remove the obvious spammers / bad apples.

Avatar Moderator
from Realicity 3329 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I follow Twitter accounts of people:

  • I know and/or respect
  • Share good content
  • Are in a vertical that I am interested in like Local, PPC, CRO & Usability...

I DON'T follow Twitter accounts of people:

  • Tweet too much about personal issues and personal events. Unless I know them.

I do not "Like" very many things on Facebook because I keep that more personal in nature.  Al though, the things I do like tend to be less commercial in nature and not of the Search industry.  I try to keep that environment "clean" of work topics.

Avatar Moderator
from Jill 3329 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I rarely follow anyone back these days on Twitter if they simply follow me and don't interact with me. If they follow me and also interact with me, i.e., asking me SEO questions or mentioning an article they've read of mine, etc., I may check out their profile and follow back if what they typically tweet seems of interest to me.

I'll also often follow someone back if I've met them in real life, like at a conference. Or if I've participated in an online event with them.

For the rare ones I do follow back, it's usually because something they say has caught my eye, either because it's humorous, intelligent, thought provoking, controversial and/or relevant to me in some way or another.

For Facebook, I pretty much have to know them for real. And if I do friend someone on Facebook and I start to get messages about their scores on some quiz or they post those stupid "POST THIS ON YOUR STATUS IF YOU LOVE ME" things, then I'll unfriend them in a heartbeat. (I do keep a few of those who are family or somewhat closer real life friends, but they still annoy me!)

On G+ I'm mostly only circle people I know as well. Either from conferences, as clients, or from other social media.

Avatar Moderator
from nickfb76 3329 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Facebook is the only social network I keep seperated from my "work".  So I don't "LIKE"anything SEO related.  It's kind of my social media away from social media.

As for Twitter I have become a lot more pickier. I Think Jill covered most of it when she said "humorous, intelligent, thought provoking, controversial and/or relevant to me in some way or another.".  I also look for people who routinely share good search related sources and or participated in search related conversations.

Avatar Moderator
from ajkohn2001 3329 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Matt hit on many of the criteria I use. I should say up front that I generally don't use Twitter to banter back and forth. That probably influences my decision making process.

Like Matt I look at recent Tweets and note the following.

  • Too much self-promotion or boasting
  • Tweets the same thing more than twice
  • Tweet stream full of @responses
  • A high velocity of Tweets
  • Strange Follow to Follower Ratio (e.g. - 35,000/36,000)
  • Too many quotes
  • Too many syndicated ReTweets (e.g. - every Mashable or TechCrunch post)
  • Default avatar
  • 'Living the dream' in bio.
All of those are red flags for me. What I am looking for is a descriptive bio (that gives a bit of personality) and recent Tweets that are interesting and allow me to understand that person's interests.

from DrPete 3329 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Are they a 19-year-old Japanese girl in a bikini? Done. Unfortuantely, that's about 82% of Facebook, so it's not a very good rule.

I'm with Jill, for the most part - interaction has gotten very important to me. Do I know you in real life or through the industry? Have we talked? Do you engage with me, in any way? If yes, then I'll likely follow you back.

I have gotten a bit more selective, if only because following 500+ people on Twitter is just unmanageable, even with columns and groups. I think I'm back up to 600-or-so, but I like to keep Twitter below 500. I'm probably even a bit more selective on Facebook.

Avatar Moderator
from Jill 3329 Days ago #
Votes: 1

So wait, Doc...are you saying you only follow the 19 year old bikini wearers? :D

from sweetchild 3329 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I Think all of you covered most of it. Additionally, I pretty much want to "follow" and "like" anyone I know from my network (I know Personally/get aquinted with) that shares anything valuable or anything that interest me and I keep my filters/privacy set up for this peeps and I keep an update of the filter/privacy settings from time to time whenever I see anyone of them is messing up on my timelines/walls.

from Thos003 3328 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Follow: I follow people that are willing to converse with me. If you follow me and have a conversation with me on twitter then I’ll usually follow you. If you follow me and respond to a DM of mine, then I’ll follow you.

Unfollow/Don't Follow: I unfollow people that self promote too much. I unfollow people that just publish links. Sorry, but if you if I do follow you and you unfollow me, then I take that as a sign that you don’t want to openly converse anymore and I’ll unfollow you. And yes, I trim down my list on occasion, so if you’re not following me, or not conversing with me then you’re probably not making the cut. Sorry Bob.

Facebook has been a bit more private use for me so I only allow people I’ve meet in real life into my facebook circle. But don’t worry, you’re not missing much if you aren’t there. I don’t facebook much.

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