Q&A: Do I Have to Follow Back Everyone Who Follows Me on Social Media?

Social Media followers for social proof

Someone asked, “Should I follow back everyone that follows me on social media?” It depends. Let me explain.

Each Social Media Network is Different…

They each have their own culture. What’s cool to do in one may be a no-no in another. Here’s a rundown of following


Getting Facebook Likes

Someone asked, “Should I follow back everyone that follows me on social media?” On Facebook, a business can’t follow a person. Nor can you use a personal account to primarily promote a business. A page can thank a person for liking their page — especially if they’re trying to get the first 100 likes. You get added features at that benchmark.



On LinkedIn, you connect with people who would be potential clients and/or referral sources and you don’t have to accept every invitation to connect. If by chance you connect with someone and they become a pest — by messaging or emailing you too much — you can very easily disconnect them. They won’t get a notification. I usually connect with people who can become a referral source, potential client or colleague. If they are not in the U.S., I ignore the invitation. Also look to see who you have as a mutual connection. If it’s a close friend or colleague, then go ahead and connect with them.


Twitter following

Twitter is the only network with a culture where people expect to be thanked for following you, retweeting – that is sharing a tweet with their followers — or mentioning – aka a “shout out”. You don’t have to follow everyone back. Here’s how you can judge who to follow or who to ignore on Twitter.

Are they in your industry or a related industry? Look to see how many tweets they’ve made and how many followers they have. Are they sharing content that is of value to you or your target market? You also want to follow influencers and news makers — the folks with a lot of followers and are actively tweeting.

Look at when they joined Twitter and when they last tweeted. They could be a newbie. If you like what they’re posting, by all means, follow them back. Basically, everyone starts off as a newbie — following a lot of people to get noticed; then as you share good, quality content, you become a relationship builder with more or less an even follower to following ratio. And that’s the idea — you want build relationships.

Related: 5 Types of Twitter Users – Which one are you?

You eventually become a news-maker. OK, you might not get to the millions of followers like Forbes has, but you’ll have more followers than you are following. At this point, you can be choosier as to who you follow back.

Beware of the fake accounts. They usually are an blank head icon — they haven’t uploaded a picture or logo; they may have many followers, but a couple of tweets. You can just ignore these folks. There are also the ones that want to sell you something. You don’t need to thank these either or follow them back, unless you may be interested in what they’re selling.

You may encounter information gatherers. These folks follow a lot of people, but they don’t tweet much and they don’t have nearly as many followers as the number of people they are following.

Basically, if they’re not tweeting — and tweeting recently and a least something daily — they’re not worth following. Which brings me to the point that, if you’re not tweeting regularly, you’re not worth following, either!



What about Instagram? Well, same thing applies. Do you like what they’re posting? If so, then follow them back. On Instagram, you can only like or comment on a picture or a story that someone shared. On both Twitter and Instagram, you an always easily unfollow someone if you don’t like what they’re posting.

Hey, and if you have a burning social media, SEO or content marketing question, please schedule a free 15-minute Zoom Consult.

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