One of the most common pieces of advice shared by so-called “social media marketing experts” about Twitter is to follow as many people as possible. The whole idea is when you follow people, a certain percentage will follow you back. According to this logic, if you follow a huge a number of people, enough will follow you back that you will have a sizeable audience of followers. You can then send updates to your followers and a percentage of them will click. To sum this “advice” up, you’re basically spamming. There are no two ways about it. The whole point of Twitter is to reach out to people that are genuinely interested in what you’re doing. The whole point of Twitter is not just to reach out to direct consumers but to actual influence leaders in your niche. That is the most sustainable way to get marketing traction on Twitter and other social media platform. Influence marketing doesn’t require you to follow back. In fact, you have to be very discriminating as to who you follow. Here’s why:
Your most precious asset: Your brand credibility
If you’re doing influence marketing right, you have invested a quite a bit of time and effort into your social media profile. You have assembled the very best and rarest content targeting your niche. You have put in the time and effort and energy to reach out to influence leaders in your niche to get them to engage your brand and your content. You have done all these and you are rewarded by the credibility your brand has developed. You don’t want to flush all these down the toilet by indiscriminately following back people that first followed you on social media.
Beware of who you lend your credibility to
Believe it or not, when you follow somebody back, you are lending your credibility to that person. Imagine the outrage if the President of the United States immediately follows back a hate group that followed him on Twitter. Do you see how ridiculous that would be? The same goes with your brand. By setting up Twitter automation software to automatically follow back people that follow you, you’re just setting yourself up to lending your credibility to brands that don’t deserve your credibility. At best, there will be some sort of brand confusion. There has to be some consistency between your brand and the brands that you follow. Normally, the consistency involves niche specificity. At worst, your brand could be destroyed because of the low quality of the websites that you choose to follow.
Guilt by association
Brand reputation is infectious. I can’t emphasize that enough. You have to guard the reputation and credibility of your brand. You work so hard to build such a solid brand in social media. Don’t throw it out the window by just automatically following any other account that follows you back. Be very discriminating as to who you follow back. You would notice that a lot of the top leaders in your niche don’t follow back automatically. These people know what they’re doing. You should start doing the same.