A couple of weeks ago there was a tornado that hit one of the online communities I visit for my Marketing Business. Mike Dillard (Creator of the famous brand Magnetic Sponsoring ) sent a message to his entire list, stating that he was no longer going to follow every follower on Twitter. He took the radical decision of unfollowing 10,000 people. This caused the community to break into two fronts: those who agreed and those who disagreed.
Mike's main argument was: why following people automatically if they are only following you because they want more followers, and they know you'll follow them in return out of “courtesy”?
Perry Belcher, a social media Marketer, has always preached that you should follow back every follower you get out of “politeness”. And Mike agreed for a while. But in Mike's eyes, following people for the sake of it doesn't denote any authenticity. He wants his followers to follow him for the value he adds to them, and not just because he will follow them back.
Now, I find myself in a dilemma here. I disagree with Mike, but I also disagree with Perry. The way I see it: there's nothing wrong in following your followers back, but don't do it just to be polite! Show some interest and give those people a chance to add value to your Twitter experience as well. Now, I don't mind if Mike Dillard doesn't follow me, I'm not going to unfollow him just because of that. I like his posts and I follow his teachings. But ignoring thousands of people who follow you because they care about what you have to say doesn't seem right to me.
I follow back most of my followers if I see any potential in what they can offer, which is why it's important to get your Twitter Bio and photo up there as soon as you create your profile, so people know who you are from the get go.
I also consider myself a relationship builder. I try to personally DM all followers I get to exchange some personal information about each other. I know many of them followed me just because we may have common interests or goals, or just because they hoped I'd follow them back to help them expand their audience. But it's cool to go beyond that. It's hard to keep up with all of them, that's for sure.
I think it's absolutely valuable to give people a chance too, instead of ignoring them when they follow you. Everytime you get a new follower, check out their profile and their bio and follow back if you think you could connect and build ties. If not, don't just follow out of politeness. Give it some meaning and add some value.
Anyway, this is just my point of view and I hope you found it useful!