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.



    1. Thank you for stopping by Mark and for creating the fertile ground, along with Mitch, to make this dialogue happen. Your posts and the comments it has drawn validates how we are all truly participating in the collective evolving thought process vs. being dragged alongside a cookie cutter approach.

  1. Hi,

    Great article!

    I am now off to divide the people I follow into the above groups. As an avid reader I could spend all day on Twitter and need to get organised!

    BTW as a newbie to Twitter without anything to sell or an axe to grind I have found the whole debate re Twitter Snobs really interesting.

    When I first looked at Twitter I nearly fell off my perch as I wondered what on earth was going on! It’s taken time but I am pleased to say people do look at my fun blog as a result of Twitter, so I can imagine for a business it would really add value.

    I do need to structure my day as I can lose myself for hours on Twitter reading articles etc


    1. Hi Piglet :), Thanks for your comments.Twitter-more than one person has mentioned that they ‘don’t get it’ at first glance.I sort of agree that compared to facebook, Twitter is not as obvious a concept. I advice newbies to initially look at it as a real-time information network.Once comfortable, I know they will figure out its other strengths in time.
      I’m glad you are able to now drive traffic to your blog. It does seem like a fun blog and contains good information(especially your latest article on the book of complaints). Keep it up!

  2. I come down somewhere between Mitch and Mark, with a slight lean towards Mitch. I love and respect them both, and appreciate Mark’s comments about connecting with unique and talented individuals he otherwise never would have discovered. But too much of what appears in my daily feed could be characterized as Spam, the very thing I have a filter to prevent! Furthermore, let’s be honest, there’s no way one can follow thousands of people and do justice to their tweets. I would rather focus on a few individuals whose tweets actually are meaningful to me. Facebook is about reciprocity, but there is no such requirement on Twitter. No one need be offended when they follow someone and that someone doesn’t follow them back. In other words, don’t take it personally, because it isn’t. I may simply have reached the number of Twitterers that I think I can handle at the moment. I may follow a completely different set of Twitterers later.

    1. Hi Dan,
      That makes a lot of sense.
      I am currently trying to ‘listen’ to a different set type of tweets than what I originally signed up for. In my case, I will continue to follow those I currently do but maybe just filter many of them out just like many twitterati (as mentioned by Mitch). At the same time I am open to following all…just to create the potential for serendipity.
      Many thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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