What Is The Right Way To Grow Your Twitter Following?

Published by 83 Comments

I sent an email out to my newsletter before I went into launch mode for Membership Site Mastermind that was promoting the virtues of Twitter. I was hoping to introduce some new people to Twitter and increase my followers with the enticement of a behind the scenes look at the launch I was about to do.

Here is the first part of the message I sent out –

Twitter is a service that lets you communicate with other people using up to 140 character messages.

The best way I can describe it is like micro-blogging combined with instant messaging.

You’re not going to “get” it until you try it, so I’ll stop trying to describe how it works and you just go use it.

You can sign up and begin following me from my Twitter page here (it doesn’t cost anything) –

http://twitter.com/yarostarak

Go to that link, click the “Join today” button and then begin following my updates (or “tweets” as they are called).

You can then start sending messages and following other people too.

If you want more help, see the video from Gideon Shalwick on how to use Twitter –

How To Use Twitter

Why Should You Care About Twitter?

Twitter is another contact point with your audience and as such can help you in all the ways that knowing other human beings is beneficial.

You can use it to…

  • follow important people in your industry
  • influence your tribe
  • send traffic to your blog or website
  • sell your products and services
  • sell other people’s products and services
  • keep up to date with friends and family
  • participate in the conversation
  • become famous
  • and more…

Although hesitant initially, after Twittering for fun at first, I started to realize how incredible Twitter is for business too.

Simply put, you can’t afford not to use this tool if you want to stay current and be a participant in your market and not just a consumer or observer.

Participation leads to insights, which leads to you developing a more intimate knowledge of your industry, and more importantly, a more direct influence over the important people in your industry, namely –

  • Other experts/mavens
  • Your audience

To put this into practical perspective, I use Twitter to send traffic to my blog posts. I use Twitter to promote affiliate products (I’ve done thousands in sales already). I use Twitter to stay connected with other top Internet marketers and to connect with my people – my followers.

It’s a great tool, but like all things requires work to get going, so you should start now.

What was interesting was the feedback I received after I sent this email.

A few people replied saying that I should follow back everyone who follows me. I was warned from acting like a “celebrity” and not using Twitter how it should be used, as a social media tool that breaks down barriers.

My initial response, which I sent back to a few people who wrote to me, was that I don’t necessarily agree that you should automatically follow everyone who follows you. Choosing to follow someone should be because of the value they offer. I don’t read the blogs of every person who reads my blog, they choose to read mine because of the value I offer, and I think Twitter should be the same.

Because of my current status of not-autofollowing everyone who follows me, I have a much lower subscriber base of around 7,000 people, where many others are reaching 10, 20 and even 30,000 followers very quickly.

I’m Undecided

The title of this article is a genuine question that I don’t have the answer to.

The way I see it, people who build an auto-followed subscriber base might effectively be creating what we would call an “untargeted” list. Your followers are not there for any reason other than wanting you as a follower to fatten up their follow count, so they won’t be paying attention to you or responding to your calls to action (clicking your links in tweets).

If you take this even further, people are using software scripts to go around and automatically follow the followers of people they follow (phew!) and since lots of people autofollow back, all you effectively have to do is follow other people to increase your own followship.

Okay, so that sentence is totally whack, but it does make sense. At the heart of this issue is the reason why you have people follow you and I think my argument is sound: You want people to follow you because they are actually paying attention to what you tweet. It’s a value exchange.

However, and here’s where my dilemma really begins: Some people will not follow you – and even use software to remove you from their followship, if you don’t follow them back, on principle.

As one of the replies to my email stated – Twitter is like a party, you are there to interact socially with everyone and it’s not about status – it’s meant to be a level playing field.

I don’t agree with that claim because any social environment online mirrors our society, where it’s not a level playing field. Those who have more “value” based on societal conditions – like celebrities (how wrong we are to place value here) – have more attention.

For people like myself who have established themselves as a big fish in a small pond, we are rewarded with more followers, regardless of whether we follow back.

I’m not sure which way to go with this situation right now. I’d like to increase my follow count, but I want legitimate people who pay attention to what I tweet, plus I don’t want to lose those who would follow me with genuine interest, but won’t if I don’t follow them in return.

You can follow lots of people and use a client like Tweetdeck to filter people into the groups you want to pay attention to, thus using the auto-follow function and still keeping in touch with who you want to is possible, but it still doesn’t feel right to me.

For the moment I find new people to follow based on who sends me replies and who the people I currently follow send replies to and talk about. I use it as a sort of slow referral networking tool, taking human recommendations of other Twitter users to find good people who offer value.

Twitter is intended to be used as a communication tool for direct one-to-one communication and broadcast communication from one-to-many. As a marketer I want to broadcast to as many people as I can who are interested in what I offer. As a social media tool, just like having lots of Facebook friends who you don’t really know, you can dilute the true purpose of the tool if you simply go for numbers rather than relationships.

Then again, am I harming relationships by not following back everyone who follows me?

What do you think?

Yaro

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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83 Comments

  • It’s like any tool – just because a hammer was intended for sinking nails doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be used for smashing glass.

    If you’re thinking about it’s use as a marketer, you’re getting boxed in by the expectations of how an audience tends to the “preferred” use of the service.

    For Twitter users who aren’t marketers, they are unlikely to care about who follows them and who they follow until the people they are following are of no interest to them.

    At the end of the day, if you have 30,000 followers and 80% of them are going to be non-responsive to promotions etc, you’re still left with 20% who are paying attention, at absolutely zero difference in cost/effort.

    Oh, and I could also use more followers ;) http://twitter.com/tgwng

  • I totally agree with your logic concerning your current method of determining who you follow and suggest that you ignore the twitter nazis pressuring you into a role of enforced sameness.

  • Hi Yaro,

    Well, I don’t auto-follow anyone. At first I did and quickly experienced a lot of spam as a result (direct messages saying along the lines of “thx for the follow. Check out my blog!” and people sending me DM’s to “Retweet their stuff!”. Personally, this was a turn-off to me and isn’t exactly how I think influence is built.

    When someone “follows” me, I send them an @ reply welcoming them. If and when they respond and a conversation initiates, I decide whether or not to follow back. Am I harming myself by not autofollowing and growing my network? Perhaps. But tho my network might be relatively small at 1,500, I’m confident I have influence in that network and to me that’s what counts. Numbers without influence are useless.

  • Great article Yaro and just what I’ve had on my mind at the moment.

    I just started following a girl I found with a great makeup channel in YouTube (related to my skin care niche) and noticed she has almost 6000 followers but follows only 50 people. I’m certain all 50 people she’s following are genuine and that all 6000 are genuinely interested in following her. And isn’t this how it’s supposed to work? Isn’t that the whole point of twitter? And of course she gets a HEAP of followers because she’s well known in YouTube!

    I’ve thought about following everybody that follows me because I know it would increase my followers by A LOT (I only have a teeny tiny 300 following me) but it seems a little fake, or dare I say it …social media desperate. And I know then I’m going to get a lot of people who don’t really care about my niche or what I blog about or even about me, who are just following me to get more followers. It feels like some kind of weird social media loop!!!

    I do feel a little rude sometimes not following back, twitter etiquette and all that. And I do wonder if I followed everyone back if it would make a worthwhile increase in my blog traffic.

    AND I have found many awesome people to connect with just by going through the list of people following me, and sometimes going through the people following them. If I hadn’t done that I wouldn’t have made those contacts. So if you have the time to do that then I think it’s a worthwhile way to network.

    Maybe that’s something I can outsource ;)

  • Another thing – I don’t buy that auto-following leading to “re-auto following” then creates an unresponsive audience. Sure you may end up with a ton of followers not “listening”, but you’ve got *some* exposure to them and possibly their followers (#fixreplies aside grrr…).

  • I REFUSE to auto-follow anyone. And if someone tweets too much or about about topics that don’t interest then I’ll stop following them straight away.

    Like you I want people that will read my tweets and interact sometimes – so send me a direct or reply message. I’d love that.

    But if people try to sell stuff over Twitter then I drop them. If they point me to an interesting article, story or make a funny comment then that’s great. Otherwise – I have better things to do with my time.

    I’m a picky person with Twitter and Facebook and lots of other websites because, I just don’t have the time and can’t be bothered filtering through junk.

  • C.

    I only started coming to twitter regularly a couple of weeks ago, although I had it for awhile before that.
    At first I followed anyone who followed me, but now that I know what I want from it, I only follow the people whose tweets I care about seeing (not to sound cold or anything).
    If I followed everyone, it would be really congested and I might miss the tweets which are important to me.
    I don’t think we can really have relationships – even cyberrelationships – with HUGE numbers of persons. For example, on another social network I have a rather large group of friends but a fair number of them are from the same category of people (who have a mutual interest).

    So …if you’re going for being liked really well, I’d say yes follow everyone who follows you. But if you are interested in not missing the tweets which matter to you, then don’t (unless you get that Tweetdeck thingee).

  • Hi Yaro, longtime follower, first time commentor!

    First of all, let me say that I love Twitter AND I use it to increase my business connections and blog readership. However, I don’t auto-follow and I have turned off the auto-DM’s people use to say “thanks for the follow”.

    I’m building my followers at a much slower pace than I see with some of the newer tweeters (20 tweets & 2000 followers) but at the same time I feel that I am getting to know the people I follow and who are following me and so there is a more social relationship.

    Most of the people I follow are within the Travel niche that I operate from, but there are lots of others too for variety and I manage that via Tweetdeck.

    I’m also curious about your question so thanks for the post,
    Cheers!
    @TotalResults

    http://twitter.com/TotalResults

  • This is all still so much trial and error! I do look at everyone’s profile when they start following me, and visit their website too. Then I look at how often they tweet publicly, ie. not the @ messages because I wouldn’t see most of those anyway. If they’re too ‘noisy’ I don’t follow them, because there aren’t enough hours in the day to read everything

    I try to keep twitter in perspective by likening it to traditional, face to face, networking. I’ll happily exchange business cards if I want to take the relationship further, but cards thrust into my hand at ‘hello’ usually end up in the bin!

  • I’m a big believer in the potential of Twitter. I have a following of about 1500 and it is the first port of call I use when promoting a blog post or communicating with readers!

  • I have used Auto-Follow and for me, its has been good for nothing!

    Auto Following people does increase stats but not conversations. I still interact most with people who I knew before joining Twitter. Not a single person of these auto-follows has interacted!

    From now on, I am stopping using auto-follow!

  • [...] Yaro Starak. He hit the nail on the head today about building his Twitter following. His list is smaller than many and he wondered if he should auto-follow, but doesn’t for the [...]

  • Great post, Yaro. I’m fairly new to Twitter and thinking the same as my followers grow http://twitter.com/neillwatson.
    You inspired me to write my own view here:
    http://tinyurl.com/ogvzz5

  • I think you’re half right Yaro. I agree that the whole auto follow thing produces meaningless numbers. However, looking at your current ratio, you are not following enough people to get some of the real benefits of Twitter.

    Here are a couple of suggestions:

    1/ Set up a search column in Tweetdeck, focusing on an area in which you want more followers and can offer some help. Maybe “Membership site.” Every time someone tweets those words, follow them.

    2/ Invest some time each day simply watching the stream. When you see an interesting tweet, go check their profile and if there are any areas where that person could help you, or where you could help them, or even if you just share a common interest, follow them.

    This way you’ll organically grow a focused 2 way list of people with mutual interests.

    Oh, there is a third…..you should follow me – I actually fall into both those categories.

  • Yaro it’s interesting how some big time Internet marketers auto follow everyone who follows them and then there are other gurus who seem to be doing their utmost to not follow anyone! It’s great to see that you’re following people you’re genuinely interested in. I haven’t been Twittering for long and I have to admit that I feel somewhat obligated to follow people back when they follow me.

  • I dont feel obligated my biggest problem is stopping people following me i had about 200 followers and now they dont stop!!!! its good but its also jamming up my email inbox!!! with 20 to 30 emails per day for twitter

  • Hi Yaro

    I’m only fairly new to Twitter but the strategy that I have been following would seem to be in sync with what you are saying.

    If someone only follows me on the presumption that I will follow them back than what is their real value to me anyway?? Are they following me because they are interested in what I do, or are they following me so they can artificially inflate their own follower numbers?? This really reeks of ego to me.

    In real life, aimlessly following someone for a period of time in the hope that they will follow you in the future kind of seems a bit silly to me. If this was the way Twitter worked then everyone on Twitter should have exactly the same number of followers.

    And, for that matter we should all have the same number of friends on Facebook.

    Can’t say I see the real value in it. Aimlessly following someone you have no interest to doesn’t make sense offline or online!!

  • You have made your point here Yaro but I think you should also follow those that are working with you like your affiliates ?

  • This too shall pass.

  • I do both. I have two accounts @lordmatt and @lordmattborg – the later autofollows and retweets everything I do or say socially on line. @lordmatt has 700 followers @lordmattborg has over 3000. Yet it is the first account that I use to chat with others the @lordmattborg account is so full that I couldn’t keep up outside of the @reply section.

  • Yaro, although you have been telling me repeatedly not to ignore twitter, it just doesn’t get into my comfort zone!

  • I do worry that twitter has become somewhat of a saturated tool recently. The things that grow your following are like blogging, providing useful ‘pillar tweets’ – Tim Ferris is an advocate of the added value technique – add value to your twitter following sensible posts, with interesting links. Don’t self promote all the time – engage with your following. The priciples of good blogging can be applied to good twittering I believe.

  • Yaro, please delete this comment if it’s inappropriate. But if you allow me, please take a moment to read my blog post about the autofollow fiasco…

    http://www.michelfortin.com/autofollow-fiasco/

    I believe it’s relevant to this discussion, and will answer your question (or maybe create new ones?).

    What do YOU think?

  • You know, Yaro, I tried using John Chow’s Twitter Follower for a day, and I absolutely hated it. Everyone who asks me about Twitter, I tell them that it’s great if you are there for a purpose. A lot of these people just want to be popular and try to sell you something. I hate that. I found that it was distracting, and made me want to use Twitter less. Once I went back and unfollowed all those people, I felt better. I’d rather use it the way you do: to build personal relationships. It makes it easier to read the tweets of people who matter to you, and it just makes for a simpler experience. Am I hurting my blog by doing it this way? I only have around 150 followers, but I honestly believe more in “relationship marketing” rather than the shotgun approach.

  • When people follow you naturally, then it is much better. For instance They follow as much people as possible, then wait and see who follows them. To be honest I’ve done this and i see a lot of people follow me back. But, do I get traffic from it? No. So I stop doing it and growing my followers naturally. And now I do get some traffic.

  • I was using SocialToo.com to autofollow on my primary account (@jeffrose), but Twitter slapped me when I reached 2000 following and only 1700 followers, so I’ve had to turn it off.

    I have to agree that following 2000 people is pretty useless. Even with TweetDeck (which takes time to get set up for groups) it’s nearly impossible to really follow that many people, and then you end up making choices about what to read, what groups to put people in, etc.

    I’m trying to lower my following number for now, but that may change. I still use SocialToo for another Twitter account, smaller and more focused but I can see it getting out of control quickly. (@rumbledawg)

  • I would agree with some of the responses above, Auto Following creates quantity but not necessarily quality. I’ve been searching for a balance between the two and found it quite time consuming.

    • Yes, one problem I’ve found with Twitter is that while you can think you have a lot of followers, in reality a lot are just people following you hoping you’ll read their marketing messages. I’m still yet to be convinced that Twitter is worth the effort, as it does take a lot of time.

      • I think it’s good for communicating with people you already know in a kind of conversational way, but I think the problems start when you get too many people just trying to sell you stuff and promote themselves… Still I have found some interesting websites from there… And an awful lot of rubbish, in which case I unfollow immediately!

  • Hi Yaro, I agree with a lot of what you said, and I prefer to have smaller number and greater quality of followers. But unfortunately, just like on MySpace, YouTube, FaceBook, so on Twitter too, people are finding ways to abuse the system. It’s turning into this viscous race of who will have more followers, but where are the results? The results are what is going to keep marketers in this business tomorrow, not bunch of people who have no interest in value/products marketers have nor any intention of spending any money with them.

  • Hi Yaro, I agree with a lot of what you said, and I prefer to have smaller number and greater quality of followers. But unfortunately, just like on MySpace, YouTube, FaceBook, so on Twitter too, people are finding ways to abuse the system. It’s turning into this viscous race of who will have more followers, but where are the results? The results are what is going to keep marketers in this business tomorrow, not bunch of people who have no interest in value/products marketers have nor any intention of spending any money with them.

  • I too have been struggling with how should I be using Twitter. I don’t use autoresponder and I look at every person who follows me and if I’m not interested in who they are or what they do, I don’t follow. I like to see what people are doing but I can only take so many internet marketers. I stick with the one’s, like yourself, who I’ve been following for a while in other venues, such as blogs. I’d like people to follow me who want to know more about me and what I’m doing. So, if you’re interested take a look: http://twitter.com/enchantedrobin
    I’m still getting warmed up………………….:)

  • I love posts that make you go “Hmmmm…” I decided when I first started tweeting to grow followers slowly – the whole quality over quantity thing – I’ve been on for 8 months and have 600 followers. I can’t see myself ever auto-following. I”d rather have 600 great followers than thousands of “just because” followers any day.

  • Personally, I don’t think you are harming anything. Then again, you’re one of my followers. :) I personally only follow those who I am interested in, that I share something with, and that have interacted with me. My follower count is much higher then those I follow/follow back. I’d say its about half of my follower count, maybe a bit higher.

    I prefer having relationships with those I follow. Its less about “business” for me then just being me. My business is just another facet of me. I try to just be me, be authentic, and I think people appreciate it. I’m not treating them like customers, or numbers…but as real people. My business is no less me then my being a mom, woman, writer, crazy cat etc lol.

    The question is, do you want to be Yaro…or just another blogging king on social media? That’s my two cents. :)

  • Yaro, I don’t see any problem with auto-following your followers… maybe you are not going to interact with every single “following” but that won’t hurt nobody either, and, in that way, you don’t have the risk of being removed from the list of the genuine followers. So, it is not a big deal. Go ahead, auto-follow each follower!

  • I have noticed that people are asking to follow me that I have no clue who they are and I have no idea how they found me. So like you said they are doing the autofollow of people that they are following so they can get me to follow them.
    I don’t even use twitter that much so… idk it all sounds funny to me, like haha funny.

  • Funny ol’ thing this Twitter is I have a couple of twitters running, one with a complete blast out with that twitter pro tool, 24 hours and shed loads of followers and its tweeting like the dawn chorus on acid. The other more serious side of our business has a small following and very rarely do I re tweet, it tweets via the blog or if there are any up and coming events. I did go a bit loopy at the begining and followed everyone in sight how ever thats been whittled down. It will be interesting to see if to tweet or not to tweet will have any bearing on search engine rankings.

  • I have conflicting thoughts and feelings about twitter. The following and follower counts look like “chicklet games” to me – inflating ego with their “count.”

    There are a lot of people on twitter with thousands of followers who couldn’t attract a couple hundred blog or newsletter subscribers if they had to. But with features like auto-follow, they can on twitter – just follow more people.

    The real problem I have with twitter is understanding how people with hundreds and thousands of people they follow can possibly be following anyone. TweetDeck is a help, but in reality it just allows you filter the people you follow from the people you really follow.

    All in all, there appears to be little conversation on twitter.

  • Yeah, I guess I’m not really using twitter “well”, but I am using it, and it’s been very important to my site. I guess the fundamental problem is that even though I understand how it works and how people use it, I don’t “get it”. I’m just not really sure what to do with it to take it to the next level.

    You can see what I mean and how I’m currently using it here: http://twitter.com/needmoneycom

  • I’m still trying to understand Twitter. I’ve had my page now for a while and I don’t have that many followers … that said in the latest few weeks, things have been picking.

    That said, I’m not clear on how Twitter can translates into business or opt-ins to my list.

    I’ve quite enjoyed reading all the previous comments to mine and I’ve learned a lot.

  • Yaro, I have to say that I looked you up and was SUPER impressed that you have SO many followers and follow so few. It’s like you ARE a celebrity, and that’s cool! It’s much more REAL than those with 20,000 both ways, where no one probably sees each other.

    We have 4 Twitter accounts. 2 for business & 2 for personal. The business ones autofollow and personal, are just for fun & for us to SEE Tweets we really are interested in (though maybe I need to learn about Tweet Deck). We actually do sell products off the two business ones, which astonishes me! We do a combination of personal, tips and some sales, but the followers aren’t nearly as dedicated to us as on Facebook.

    My opinion is Twitter is not that great and will go away. It doesn’t have a great retention rate whereas people really get hooked into FB. But it certainly has the buzz right now. Ashton Kutcher just punk’d CNN with Twitter playing a role and he was on Oprah when he got to 1 million followers.

    But for now, we internet marketers are good to jump on the bandwagon while it lasts and probably not a good idea to ignore it. (Writing from Punta Cana — still living the Portable Lifestyle! Follow us @theportablelife)

  • I am learning about Twitter, and wondering way people can have tens of thousands followers, when he/she only follow less than 20 maybe.

    And I am eager to know about it.
    I don’t use auto-follow, but I DM my followers manually, and direct them to my site.

    Not really a big result yet.. but i am trying…

  • [...] What is the right way to grow your Twitter following? (Via: @danschawbel) [...]

  • Lew

    Hi Yaro. I understand your dilemma and respect how you feel about who to follow and who to not follow. I have only just recently started to use twitter. My intent is to use it to make basic releationships with folks in general, and also to try to target people who might take an interest in some of my interests, while trying to drive traffic to my blog. A tall order indeed. I have the auto follow on, but truth to tell, I do not have the time to follow everyone that I’m following, much less reply to every conversation taking place there. Personally I think what you are trying to do with growing your followers on twitter is just fine and in your case a means to an end. I am reading Joel Comm’s twitter how to book and find it to be a valuble resource and he suggests a mix of targeted followers with some folks that might interest you, and might eventually be intefrested in following you also for what you provide.
    Stick to your guns and continue on your twitter path, I think what your doing is just fine.

    Lew

  • I am almost up to my eyeballs with Twitter, every time I turn around someone is blogging about how to get more followers on Twitter. I am almost to the point of not caring anymore. Sure what you say is true, but I like loyal followers that actually have an interest and aren’t just following me so I will follow them — it is like they view it as a game — and quite honestly I don’t want to play with them. Maybe I just prefer quality to quantity, I don’t know. My following is small, but for now that is ok with me. When more quality types want to join me, that is great, but I don’t need a large quantity to make me happy.

  • I can’t stand the idea of auto-following. I’m proud to watch my twitter followers grow and I hope it’s because people genuinely decide that I have something of interest to say. That’s the rule I use in my own following choices ..

  • Hi, Yaro.

    Interesting question, and even more interesting that so many people seem to think that what they do is “the right way.”

    I have used autofollow on Twitter, and I do skim through Tweetdeck pretty regularly to see if there’s anything I’m interested in. I also have favorite people I always read.

    And I un-follow people whose Tweets I don’t like. Why wouldn’t I? If I feel the Tweets are spammy, or if I read someone’s Tweets for days and feel I have nothing in common with them, why would I not stop following them?

    Twitter is Twitter, and everyone has an opinion on how it should be used. But the only *right* answer to that question is, what works for you?

    I am always ready to accept guidance and opinions, and take them into consideration. But in the end, how I run my business (including how I run my Twitter account) is up to me.

    I enjoyed your post, and I hope you’ll continue to consider this question. But I hope you’ll also continue to do what you think works best, regardless of anyone else’s opinion.

    That’s something I admire about you and your blog. Asking questions and hearing people out is great. I should do more of it. Thanks for asking this question!

  • I agree with you 100% on the autofollow aurgument. I originally used my account @mar1on and tried out a few autofollow solutions (is that an oxymoron?). I ended up with just way too much noise from users I had no interest in and vice versa.

    Tweetdeck is one way round the problem of ‘noise’ but I never liked it so it didn’t really solve my problem. I decided to use a new account with my real name and I will use this account to manually keep conversations going and only with those whom I choose to follow.

    Already, I have found that I can focus on dialogue and have real conversations with people.

    Inflating your twitter count is useless when you’re just another name that flashes past someones screen for a few seconds.

  • Hey Yaro

    Auto follow shouldnt be the way to go in long term as end of the day, you wont be getting targetted friends or even customers.

    It may looks good that you have alot of followers but as i have said earlier, is not targetted but end of the day, is still other peoples choices..

    Cheers.

  • Jason

    I hate auto following programs. Even John Chow uses it. I get auto-followed daily by people I don’t know. I always send them a direct message saying thanks for the follow and I look forward to getting to know them…. but no one ever replies. Therefore I do not follow them and no real relationship is ever created. Some people don;t know real networking from their ass. this twitter gig of auto following is ridiculous and a complete waste of time, pixels, bandwidth…lol

  • Autofollowing seems like a way to build a list but it’s not quality. Its like having a million emails in your Aweber account but no one buys!

  • Some influetial marketers, including Yaro, have been singing the praises of Twitter as a marketing tool. After much resistance, I’ve finally joined up and I’ve been using the service to complement my blog.

    The other reason I started using Twitter was because more and more of my blog traffic has been originating from Twitter accounts. This, alone, is a compelling enough reason to start using the service.

    I’m still trying to figure out how to optimize the service, and to increase visitor count, but in the meantime I’m enjoying this new form of communication.

  • Hi,

    A very good and valid conundrum. Personally when I first signed up to Twitter I did so purely because every else was, and it was the fashionable thing to do. Although I understood in principle what it was all about, I had no idea how useful it could really be. So as a result, I felt I was playing catchup and needed to boalster my follower count asap! So I proceeded to follow everyone under the sun in the hope they might follow me back.

    Now that I’m a little more experienced, I feel the best approach isn’t to just follow everyone, but follow those people who you feel.

    a) Might offer some value to you, or
    b) Might be interested in what I’m promoting. I.e. my website.

    I don’t follow back on principle, but I do follow most people who show a genuine interest in what I’m ‘selling’.

    Time will tell if this is the best approach. I’m sure I could get more followers much quicker using some clever tool, and while that is tempting to boost my ego, I don’t think I’d really benefit much, other than appearing more important in the eyes of the people who do pay attention to what I’m writing… Maybe it’s more for appearance than anything else…

    Tricky… What’s the official Twitter line on the right way to use the service anyway? Surely they have an opinion?

  • Now everybody seems to be using twitter. I think it is a good tool to connect with others. However, automating the process to get followers is going to lose the basic concept of genuine followers.

  • Great info on Twitter……I like the 140 character limit and I am going to go set up an account and get started!

    Thanks,

    Sean

  • I was wondering about the importance of twitter but couldn’t find enough information anywhere. Thanks for a great post. I am in South Korea teaching English and I am writing and posting vids/pics about the experience but it seems like there is no audience.

  • I’m glad you did a topic about Twitter. Frankly, I get the concept but I am still unsure about the execution.

    For now I follow only a few people. I’m sure that eventually I will figure this whole social media thing out but for now I am still wondering how to get MY market to follow me.

    On Facebook I went out and asked to be friends with everyone. I don’t think that was such a good move on my part. Now my wall is filled with useless comments and people are sending me things that I just don’t have time to fool with.

    I’m sure that I will figure it out at some point or someone else will and share the secret to using social media.

  • I’m not sure how this whole social media thing is supposed to work or if it is powerful as so many others make it out to be.

    For now I only follow a few people. I’m still trying to figure out how to get people from MY target market to follow me. I get the concept but the execution is a little off.

    I’m sure I will figure it out at some point or someone else will and give up the secret to social media.

  • good stuff. best advice i’ve heard about twitter is that 90% of the time you should be listening to your market, and only 10% of the time you should be communicating to it. so for me, it’s been a great tool for seeing what interests people enough to write 140 characters.

  • I am currently trying tweet deck and the auto following thing but am quickly getting turned off. My marketing and web site are all family friendly and I found that as soon as I turned on the auto follow feature I was getting porn followers and some with nasty avatar pictures. I have noticed that no other comments on this subject have mentioned a problem with this but it has really turned me off of the auto follow function.
    Has anyone else had a problem in this area?

  • I’ve been following people through auto follow out of respect for following me. I try to follow other internet marketers, the main reason is to follow and connect with like minded people who I may learn from and possibly make a sale.

    The fact that I now get a lot of followers that I normally would not follow doesn’t concern me. When I make contact with someone I will always see their message in the sent DM’s as I’m deleting the others.

  • I like your observation that any online social application mirrors our society, where the playing fields are not level. What i’m seeing with social media is that some people tend to go on a bit of a binge, where they equate quantity of followers / friends with perceived success, but pay scant regard to quality. Quality wins out over quantity in my book, every time…..

  • So many people on Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, et al, are there just killing time and are not looking to buy anything or be marketed to. They are the ultimate “lookie-loos”. In my experience, the only Social Media thingy worth a hoot when you’re trying to build a following of people who have a reasonably high probability of buying something fom you is Blogging. [ That's why I joined your Blogging Mastermind program ;-) ]

  • I too totally agree that just because somebody follows you it doesn’t mean that you should automatically follow them back.

    However, being pragmatic, if you want to attract as many followers as possible then it may be better just to grit your teeth and follow them all.

    There are various Twitter clients around where you can group people, so you could put the majority of people in one group that you don’t actually read very often and the ones you are interested in in another group.

    That way you’ll not get drowned out by everyone’s tweets.

  • Joe

    As a long standing member of social sites from Friendster ( before went down for 6 months and everyone moved to myspace) myspace and facebook, I’ve seen the potential of Twitter but as a new member of Zero followers and following Zero, the general push to begin is a little staggering. As you mentioned.. i don’t want to just add people for the general sake of it.

    However this being said for example : if i have 10,000 followers, 6,000 of those are auto-followed that probably have.. little to no interest in what i have to offer. those who are interested will still read you reguardless even if its at a glance. and those who aren’t.. well it changes nothing even if they weren’t following me they still wouldn’t read it.

    Except. i have been to many websites that offer little to no value to me Personally… But do i know someone who might like it? someone who ..yeah they’d like that and then you IM the link? of course. we’ve all done it.

    even if the refferal rate is 1%. thats still 1% more potentional clients. and as we know.. they’ll tell 2 people.. and they’ll tell 2 people.. and thats like a million people right there!

  • I’m planning on starting a fresh Twitter account for this exact reason; I’d rather have 1,000 people that follow me because they are genuinely interested in me rather than have 10,000 followers that only care about me following them back.

    Do you subscribe to the RSS feeds of all the people that are subscribed to yours? No.

  • Once you follow more than about 1000 people you start to just get a rolling list of tweets that fill a new page in a few minutes. So once you are there whats the problem with following more people? It doesnt really cost you anything and you can still track @s and DMs? Thats why I decided to turn back on my Auto Follow Back.

  • And Rajaie, what’s wrong with having more followers? If 10,000 followers meant I had 1,500 “targeted” followers I would always choose it over having 1,000 purely targeted followers.

  • I have to agree with you on not following everyone who follows you. As you said, they are following you for the value you are offering them and if the only value they percieve from following you is to get you to follow them back then for you it is pointless. Great post!

  • I am still fairly new to Twitter but have to say I believe in the quality vs. quantity approach. I only want to follow people I am truly interested in and want to read what they say. Thanks for your view point Yaro!

  • In my experience, it’s much saner tack to follow people who give value by tweeting useful links, engaged you in meaningful conversations. Twitter can also be like a playground. A cool place to hangout and have fun with online blogging buddies. I try to joke or tease people I’m friends with. And for this, I’m using DM a lot. You just never know who will be offended even with a lame joke.

    You’re right, we don’t need 20K followers if we have an engaged circle of friends and buddies. It’s a waste of time, resources. I’d rather have a few hundreds than thousands of people who don’t have the time to read my blog. Or even connect with me on a personal level.

    Splendid idea, this.

  • Hi Yaro

    I am doing your BAB and Membership Mastermind courses and am just beginning to delve into Twitter so have not really had the dilema of to follow or not to follow. I think it is best to follow people that I find interesting regardless of who followed who first.

    Just like Facebook, there is a tendancy for people to get as many followers and ‘friends’ as possible for quodus. Then there is the spam element, I have just blocked two profiles with dubious content. However I am somewhat aware of of the appearance of having more people following you, the more prestigious it appears to be.

    Lydia

  • I just saw that a lot of people were promoting these viral twitter following builders which I felt were just a waste of time. BTW, I’m following you on Twitter. Follow back is possible!

    -Abdulrehman Agha

  • [...] David Risley’s post Top 10 Signs You ARE Worth Following On Twitter and Yaro Starak’s What Is The Right Way To Grow Your Twitter Following? to see what I’m talking about [...]

  • Yeah Yaro,
    I totally agree with you. Recently, i just sacked..ups sorry, i just removed who i am following and just 8 remaining people who i am truly following, including you, Yaro. I dont mind if my followers do the sama thing like i did, because i just want to start all over again from zero who really want to be my follower. And so it goes with my Facebook, it doesnt bother if i only had few friends as long as i stay connected with them.

    Thanks,
    Daniel Likin

  • I think Twitter is great in principle but the problem is like everything else if people start to automate everything you then start to wonder if it’s real. Spammers made email so much harder and you can be sure that the same will happen with Twitter as it did Myspace and many others.

  • I too have been struggling with how should I be using Twitter. I don’t use autoresponder and I look at every person who follows me and if I’m not interested in who they are or what they do, I don’t follow. I like to see what people are doing but I can only take so many internet marketers. I stick with the one’s, like yourself, who I’ve been following for a while in other venues, such as blogs. I’d like people to follow me who want to know more about me and what I’m doing.

  • i am using for a over a year now. but i rarely focus on my twitter because i can follow only 2000 people but some people i know have like 4000 followers or more.
    but good thing about twitter is that it helps my generate traffic for my site and also helpful for the products i promote. my friend recommend me a software to have 10000 followers but since ive read the twitter guidelines once you get caught your account will be disable

  • Normally if you follow someone, they will follow you. I think it’s able to follow 1000 people per week without much trouble with time – but the question I would ask myself is: Is the followers following me targeted? Will it do me any good as I doubt whether they relate to what I do.

  • [...] Yaro Starak. He hit the nail on the head today about building his Twitter following. His list is smaller than many and he wondered if he should auto-follow, but doesn’t for the [...]

  • I made the same mistake as a lot of people in that I followed anyone who followed me. I also signed up for a service that was to get me followers but most of them are my competitors for services I offer.

  • You definitely should not have to follow everyone who follows you. You might have people who are interested in your area of expertise but you have no interest in theirs.

    I read that Seth Gordin of Squidoo fame doesn’t follow anyone. That, on the other hand is arrogant – I guess he thinks no one has anything to teach him! – Ellyn Deuink

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