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July 05, 2011



Thank you thank you thank you. Fantastic post. I've been frustrated lately with people who feel that they get to decide if I follow them (just because they followed me). I check out people who follow me and if I think we have something in common or I can learn from them, then I follow them. Simple as that.


Great post. Would you mind sharing some specific tips on how one can become more "follow worthy"? My own company (@NEXTforWomen) is focused on driving awareness of and sharing our career focused resources with a larger audience of young women as we get ready for our re-launch and would appreciate your insights.

It would also be valuable to hear your thoughts on personal streams as well - I have recently started Tweeting about entrepreneurship and issues facing women in business via my own account @WhitneyGrayW. I tweet what I find interesting but perhaps I need a re-calibration!

Susan RoAne

Superb post! I don't follow everyone back for many of the reasons you suggest in spite of being advised to do so. I've been told "it's a courtesy" to follow back. Now I will forward those who mis-advise your well-written, very logicsl,smart post! Thank you!


Great response post! Would love to re-post this on 12 Most some time if you're interested.

I agree with you - good posts provoke thought and discussion. I do NOT follow everyone back and I agree with you that everyone needs to develop a policy that works well for their goals and objectives - and that meshes with how they are using Twitter. My twitter usage has changed about 3 times so far. And I'm sure it will change again, eventually.... Glad I found this!


I'm with you, Aliza. I absolutely DON'T follow back everyone who follows me (equally, I don't expect everyone I follow to follow me back). Here's my blog post about that, "Convince Me With Your Twitter Bio. Please!" http://budurl.com/vvdr

Aliza Sherman

@WhitneyGrayW - You pointed out (privately) that I hadn't followed your personal account back and honestly, I didn't know you had one! I was following your company one and missed the fact you had followed me with your personal one, too.

That is one of the struggles with following back the people you would LIKE to follow - if you don't know they have an account, it isn't usually top of mind to then search for them on Twitter. What I think is really effective is if someone I know @'s me in a tweet - I notice they are there and can immediately follow them.

In terms of specific advice, I see a lot of similar posts on your personal and biz Twitter pages. Maybe think of the biz one as the valuable resource and on your personal one really showcase your personality and opinion. I do sometimes cross-post when appropriate, but each of my (8) Twitter accounts has a distinctive slant. Let one of your accounts introduce us to your business and all it offers young professionals and let your personal account introduce us to you. Make sense?

In terms

Aliza Sherman

@Metsyc I think it is wise to be clear and have a simple "policy" or method for follow backs. Takes the stress out of it all!

@SusanRoAne I hope send them this post helps! I always cringe when I see people making ill-informed assumptions based on bad advice. Yikes!

@SeanMcGinnis Sent you an @ message on Twitter. Would love to be reposted!

@Kayross Great tips about Twitter bios! Going back to re-examine mine now!


..excellent response and an excellent post Aliza. I do however like using the 'lists' for more effective listening based on my interests and sort through the noise. It's essentially what google+ circles concept is based on; which to me validates the usefulness of the lists. Though because they were introduced much later building them were a bit burdensome..


Totally agree, especially with #7. I love the idea of keeping it simple.

PS. Are you testing us or did you mistakenly only include 11? Where is #8?

thx for sharing!


Terrific post Aliza. However, I must admit that I follow everyone back. Still I enjoyed hearing how your point of view. I use Socialoomph for this and just have it set on autofollow back for everyone. Just seemed more efficient for me. I'm sharing this with my tribe. I know they will enjoy it.

Gina Carr


I agree and people need to set their own twitter rules. I don't follow everyone back either. I will follow back if they reply to me or if their stream is interesting enough. I will also follow people even if they don't follow me. If I find them interesting, that is what matters to me. The one thing I am against on twitter are those who use programs that are set up to follow people. Seems so ingenuous. You can always tell who they are because they follow about 1,500 more people than who follow them. I steer clear.


Great piece! I'm completely with you on using lists and search columns, it only makes Twitter complicated and the beauty of the service is in it's simplicity. Besides, I use list and hashtag columns for specific events and groups that I need to focus on at the moment, which already creates too many to effectively watch.
Honestly, I think it's FAR ruder to follow someone back yet not read their tweets. When someone follows me I assume they are actually seeing some of what I post (not all, after all, most of us have lives off-Twitter as well).
I don't read new follower emails, even, I tend to follow people I find through having conversations with them or seeing them have great ones with my current tweeps. As it is, following over 900 people who add great value to my stream, it's hard to keep up!
I'm also pretty harsh about unfollows, if someone consistently detracts from my stream (e.g.: constant negativity) or abuses the privilege of DMing I have no qualms about unfollowing regardless of whether they follow me. The other great beauty of Twitter is the lack of necessary mutuality.
Following someone is letting them into your head on a daily basis. Not everyone belongs there!

Erick Pettersen

Hey Aliza,

Great post. I agree with all of these. When I first started using Twitter, my policy was to use it to gather and disseminate information my audience would find useful. Over time, it has remained that, as well as it has become more of a conversational tool to me.

I find it interesting that while we both use columns and lists, we use them in slightly different ways. The reason I originally set up lists was to give my followers a place to find people within my stream they might find of interest to follow. That remains the primary reason; though, I use a couple of my lists to keep up with a handful of Twitter friends', who understand that Twitter (and social media, in general) is about conversation.

Anyhow, thank you for sharing your thoughts. It's always a joy to glean from your your insight.


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