My Twitter Follow-Back Policy

festalize122GIt took me quite some time to figure out a strategy about whom to follow back on my 2 Twitter accounts: @lizebizz (in english) and @lizebcn (in spanish). Finally, I sorted it out: I now simply follow back everyone that follows me!

Following & Unfollowing: the rules of the game

Everyone? Yes, everyone – even accounts from organizations, although it took me a while to decide on this one. But then I thought: if I would be running an organization’s account, I’d also like individuals to follow me. So I decided to do what I also would others to do: following back.

Some rules apply though:

  • I don’t follow back followers that tweet in languages that I can’t read (are welcome: all tweets in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Portuguese and Catalan)
  • I don’t follow back/unfollow bots
  • I don’t follow back/unfollow accounts with protected tweets
  • I don’t follow back/unfollow accounts with an empty bio or with a bio that doesn’t make sense
  • I don’t follow back/unfollow accounts that look or behave like spammers (spammy bio or sending over 50 tweets a day)
  • I don’t follow back/unfollow accounts that are commercial and aren’t related to my interest fields
  • I don’t follow back/unfollow accounts that are inactive (less than 1 tweet a week or more than 1 month without activity)
  • I unfollow any account that sends me a DM (Direct Message) without first following me back
  • If I follow an account, I wait 4 days for a  followback. If no followback is happening, I will unfollow the account
  • Accounts that first follow me and then unfollow after my followback will be unfollowed and unlisted
  • Tweetdeck_lizebizz-lizebcnGWhen some Spanish speaking account follows me on my english account @lizebizz, I follow them on my spanish account @lizebcn (or vice versa). This, because I want to keep these 2 languages on my timelines as separated as possible. It also makes it easier to retweet and respond.

The tools I use

How do I manage all this on a daily basis? As I already explained in mey former blogpost “17 Tools to effectively manage your Social Media accounts“, I am using Socialbro to see who’s not following back, who has recently unfollowed me and to spot inactive tweeters.
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I use Tweetdeck for the interactive part: I love the “interactions” column where you can see in 1 single stream the followers, mentions, retweets & favorites coming in.

I use Hootsuite to actually follow the stream of the different timelines & lists of both my twitter accounts, and to program the publishing of my tweets and retweets on different moments during the coming days.

How I respond to following, retweeting, faving, mentioning & listing

Every morning and every afternoon I check Tweetdeck’s “interactions” columns to see who followed, retweeted, faved, listed or mentioned.

  • Followers receive a follow back and a tweet that thanks & welcomes them by mentioning them publicly. I don’t send them a private Direct Message – although I mistakenly did this when I started off with Twitter. I believe followers are happier with a public mention than with a private direct message – which often is even considered as spam.
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    Upon a follower’s bio I also decide (or not) to list them in one of my interest lists
  • When someone retweets one of my tweets, I thank them with a tweet that mentions them and copies the tweet they retweeted (Tip: this also gives more exposure to a certain tweet and often gets retweeted again!). I sometimes also follow the retweeter (I don’t do that systematically – maybe I should!)
  • When someone faves one of my tweet they get the same treatment as somebody who retweets my tweets.
  • When somebody lists me, I will thank them with a tweet that mentions them.
  • Of course when somebody mentions me, I will reply. This often results in a little conversation that often ends up in networking through LinkedIn!
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