Following someone back on Twitter validates a two-way connection. It confirms mutual interest.
The rhetoric of courtesy
Everyone online is entitled to be selective with their follows. In fact, some of the most successful networking efforts are deliberate and executed with clear purpose.
So if someone follows you but you’re not sure if you want to follow back, what do you? Most people will likely do nothing because they’re not obligated to follow back.
But if you want them to know that you actually find their twitter account interesting but you’re not quite prepared to follow their stream, should you care to let them know that?
The question’s meant to be rhetorical, but yes, I think so. And you could do so by listing them.
|icon sourced from pazeinteractive.com|
Classification versus influence
Twitter Lists allow you to group your follows according to the various categories (types) of follows you’ve created. Some argue that the number of instances in which you are listed reflects your scale of influence.
I respect certain aspects of that view, but have yet to see a clear explanation of how the metric is designed to show the correlation between number of instances listed and what “influence” is suppose to represent…I digress.
Your intent to tag someone under one of your lists demonstrates your interest in their request to follow you. You’ve not actually followed them back yet, but since you’ve actually bothered to ‘tag’ who they are, what they represent into your personal library of connections, it means you’ve acknowledged their presence. If they really want you to follow back, they should be able to tweet that intent and let you know.
Trust—an organic build
Being selective on social networks is not an attitude; it’s actually a practical way of building a trusted group of connections with whom you want to interact, converse and form communities.
Tagging new follows (listing them) is an ideal way to organize your follows and show appreciation for someone’s interest in your online presence.
New follows always get me psyched. But I do tend to expect a level of interaction from them, be it random or planned online conversations through @’s or DM’s. That’s like me saying, “Okay, now earn my trust and confirm the value and credibility of our connection.” How else am I to get to know you?
How do you approach building your social network? What values do you personally bring that strengthen both your personal and professional brand?