To Follow or Not to Follow?

To Follow or Not to Follow? {twitter tutorial #10}

To Follow or Not to Follow?  is the first post of the newly organized categories under the main category, ENTERTAIN STRANGERS.  The sub-category is FOLLOW {social media} (click for previous posts).

Twitter, the why of using Twitter rather the the how, which is in the Twitter Tutorials.

It is for Twitter users and non-Twitter users, drawing from both sides of the fence.  The pros and cons are similar to those of other platforms.

Let’s ask a series of questions to draw out the pros and cons:

  • Why use a social media platform in the first place?  What do you want to achieve?
  • What guidelines do you use, if any, in following (or friending) others?
  • Do you unfollow people?  for what reason?
  • How do you measure your success in using a social media platform such as Twitter?
  • What would you like to change about your platform? or are you satisfied with it?

We’ll start with these.  If you have suggestions for questions, put them in the comments and we’ll address them in future posts.  Let’s save the automation factor for later, if we can.

  • Why do you use Twitter?  What do you want to achieve?

When I started using Twitter, I was curious and wanted to know how it worked.  I was fed up with the changes on Facebook and wanted a change.  As I learned how it worked, I began seeking a certain group of followers, people with similar interests.

My goal is to establish a community with whom to ‘talk’ about shared interests.  I want real followers, with something to say, an interest in my tweets, and who respond when tweeted to.

I use Twitter to share God’s Word, and to give my blog a wider audience.

  • What guidelines do you use in following others?

I only follow real people.  If they have a website I check that out first to see if they are a real person.  Some have bogus websites — nothing there.

I don’t follow accounts which are selling followers.  I report them as spam.

I don’t follow accounts whose profiles or tweets show scantily clad bodies.  I often report them as spam.

I check out the tweets, looking for repetition and originality, looking for bots/spam accounts.

If they are real people, not selling followers, not spammers or attention-seekers, my final criteria is what interests do we have in common?

My ideal follower shows (head shot) and tells who they are and what they do in their profile, which negates the need for the previous steps.

I also look for followers who will return the follow.

To Follow or Not to Follow?

  • How do you measure success in using Twitter?

With difficulty.  It comes in spurts, like everything else in life.  I confess that I am a numbers person, and have for the past fifteen or so months set number goals for my Twitter account.  In a sense my success rests in the numbers, but not solely.

I have an ongoing Twitter project, which involves regular shoutouts and tweeting my followers’ content to get some interaction going.  The ones who interact move on to the next level.

I started this with my first 1000 followers, categorizing them into groups by interest, hoping to introduce them to each other and get some interaction going.  It has been highly successful in some instances, and a bomb in others.

The outcome of this ongoing project is posted in the List of All Lists.

  • Do you unfollow people?  for what reason?

Yes, on occasion.  I unfollow inactive (six months or more) accounts, and accounts which don’t meet my guidelines.  I also unfollow accounts which don’t follow me back.  I unfollowed one account because it was following some pretty nasty accounts.

  • What would you like to change about the platform?  what do you like best?

I much prefer the way Twitter works to Facebook.  However, I lost all, yes every single one, of my Facebook friends when I switched to Twitter.  I have one or two Twitter followers whom I know in real life.  The rest I met there.

I am not sure what I would change about Twitter.  There are things that frustrate me about the way people use Twitter, but the platform itself works well for me.

I understand that the way people use Twitter now is quite different from a few years ago.  I am disturbed by the amount of advertising and use of tweets to promote the sale of one’s product, but I love that I can make lists and only read the feed of those accounts which I choose to read.

I love the accessibility Twitter provides me to connect with people in places and positions which I would not otherwise have the opportunity.  I love being able to tweet to an author while I am reading his/her book.  Or someone in another country.

I love its simplicity.  I have heard others complain about the negative tweeting, but I somehow thus far have avoided that.

I love being able to follow social media influencers and learn from their experience.  And I love being able to easily recommend what works to a large audience.

In summary:

  1. Twitter is a great place to build a community with whom you share common interests.
  2. Twitter profiles should have a head shot and tell who you are and your interests.
  3. Twitter accounts which are inappropriate or spam should be blocked and reported.
  4. Success on a social media platform is relative and measurable.
  5. I recommend Twitter to those who wish to broaden their community, meet new people, and learn new things.  If you have the courage to try it, I think you will like it!

Now tell us what you think in the comment section.  Until next time … FOLLOW {social media}


One thought on “To Follow or Not to Follow? {twitter tutorial #10}

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