“Follow you if you…follow me….”

Thanks Genesis.

Twitter can be extremely frustrating sometimes; all those people sharing their day with us: the shopping, the restaurants they went to, how many times they hit the bathroom, etc.; makes me feel “warm and fuzzy,” (sorry, I threw up a little there).  But what about those that follow us and never let us return the favor?  Ah the “Twitter stalkers.”  You know the ones; we all probably have some in our follower list.  They’re the ones that have their accounts set up to enable them to approve who follows them.  That way they can follow whoever they want but when someone tries to return the favor, they simply ignore them.

Makes you wonder what their reasoning is; are they shy?  Do they simply want to limit the number of fraudulent accounts from adding to the “madness.”  More than likely it’s the latter, but still it makes you wonder when you try to follow them in return and get no response.  I have a few “Twitter stalkers,” they have been following me for a while and every time I try to follow them in return I get, “follow request sent.”  I’ll wait a few days and nothing.  “Maybe they just haven’t logged into their account in that time?” You might say.  Well, I’ve checked and yes they have, some of them are kind of regular.  It makes you wonder; doesn’t it?  I know what you’re thinking, “Geez dude get over it.”  DON’T YOU JUDGE ME!!

The purpose for Twitter is to build a following.  It’s a way for you to connect to friends, family and even people that share the same interests as you.  Even for business this rings true to a degree, so if you find someone interesting enough to follow, isn’t it in your best interest to allow them to reciprocate?  There are a slew of possibilities in allowing someone to reciprocate your follow especially for business.  So then why ignore someone you are following when they try to reciprocate?  For the logical person there really isn’t any valid reason.  After all, if you thought enough to follow them; why not let them follow you back?

Twitter has become more of a platform for small business to connect with other small businesses and possibly generate enough interest to warrant inquiries.  So when you are faced with a situation like this, a follower who won’t respond to reciprocation, how do you handle it?  Do you ignore it?  Do you force them to “unfollow” you?  It’s a tricky one that’s for sure, especially for someone that is trying to build a following.  The best advice is to simply ignore it.  They are only hurting themselves by not allowing reciprocation and eventually if they do this enough with enough people, they will lose followers.  One of my “Twitter stalkers” has been losing followers pretty regularly over the last couple of weeks.  They’ve gone from 10,300+ followers to little over 10K followers.  Sure they could be “cleaning house” themselves, but the likelier situation is people are probably forcing them to “unfollow” them.  So I’m not the only one they are doing this to.  The sad thing about this particular “Twitter Stalker” is they are in an executive position for a decent sized company.

For small business Twitter is a great tool to help get your name out there and connect with an audience.  But you have to use a little common sense and be practical about it.  If someone follows you reciprocate.  If they don’t respond to your reciprocation, they are only truly hurting themselves.