Should you follow all who follow you? Should you have more followers than followees?

Yet another thought provoking post ‘Being a Twitter Snob is a Good Thing‘ from Mitch Joel, was what initially inspired me to start writing about this. Soon, Mark Schaefer put out an equally thoughtful rejoinder, ‘Bringing Down the Twitter Snobs‘.

The above, along with the lively debates and opinions on their respective ‘comment’ sections, are a must read. This collective information, helped validate my own personal Twitter ‘follow’ strategy which includes groups of:

  1. Pundits: The thought-leader, influencer or trade pundit. Snobs or not, if what they tweet can help me grow, reach my goals…I follow them. These tweeple provoke intellectual discussions, generate original content, drive conversations, connect me to other pundits etc. They are part of what I consider as my almost irreplaceable mastermind group on Twitter. My current inclusions – @copyblogger, @chrisbrogan, @mitchjoel etc.
  2. Curators: These are the tweeple that curate and tweet/retweet information I am interested in. Some of these are pundits themselves.  If not, they could be replaceable since good curators are aplenty. I include online news media in this category e.g: @mashable, @techcrunch @cnn etc.
  3. Conversationalists: If someone’s Twitter feed shows that they are being ‘social’ on social media, I consider that a big plus. I believe, building bi-directional relationships is what social media is about and I consider this group my active network on Twitter. This is another ‘irreplaceable’ group that enriches my online social experience, probably more than any other. Conversations are important to my Twitter strategy.
  4. Entertainers and Politicians: People who fit into none of the above (for the most part) but post interesting/original content, making me laugh or empathize. Celebs and popular figures like @ceostevejobs and @barackobama also fall into this category.
  5. Offline-cum-online Friends: Those who I know personally and/or have worked with.

As you infer, these categories aren’t mutually exclusive. Obviously, I follow almost everyone that follows me, until I decide which category they belong to. Over time, those that do not fall into any of these categories are weeded out. This allows for tweeple to graduate from one category to another or be added to expanding categories. As my goals and outlook evolve, some may even fall out of favor from all categories (except maybe #4 and #5…for enduring bi-directional relationships are mostly irreplaceable).

Maybe you want to be a Twitter snob, maybe not. Maybe my goals will evolve to accommodate other inclusions/exclusions. What each one of us wants from the experience, decides the correct ‘follow’ strategy of the time.

To help you along : How do you find people to follow on twitter?

Just as with anything else, the best strategy is one that adapts to your evolving needs. Your personal Twitter ‘follow’ strategy.

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