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

Social Media followers

Someone asked, “Should I follow back everyone that follows me on social media?” It depends. I explain in this short video:

Below is the full transcript of “Should I follow back everyone that follows me on social media?”:

Facebook

Someone asked, “Should I follow back everyone that follows me on social media?” It depends. Let me explain. On Facebook, a business can’t follow a person. They can thank a person for liking their page — especially if they’re trying to get the first 30 or 100 likes. You get added features at those benchmarks.

LinkedIn

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

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!

Instagram

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 either comment below or shoot me an email! Thanks for watching & my goal is to help you get social savvy!

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By Giselle Aguiar

Giselle Aguiar is a social media, inbound and content marketing specialist and trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields.

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