Social Media Commerce: Who Should You Follow Back on Twitter?

When someone follows your personal or business account on Twitter, you receive an e-mail notification from the site. Take a minute to click through and view the user’s bio and Tweets. If you see no bio or no real name, there is a chance that the account was set up with no intent of real engagement.

When you look at the user’s Tweets, see if what the person says (and how it is phrased) is aligned with your personal and business culture. Are they your customer? Reading what someone writes gives you insight into the person and their background. But because Tweets are limited in length, you need to look at someone’s Tweet stream to understand who they are.

People want your writing style to make them feel as though you are sitting next to them chatting — not talking at them. You might want to Tweet news stories regularly. Try to get into conversations at least once a day, and share quotes. It’s that easy.

Because social media is about inclusion, following back will help you build your audience. As a business or small brand, building an audience is the first step to building a community.

The decision to follow back is often different for major brands and celebrities than for small business owners. The legal department of some major brands prohibits following back. But reciprocation with the prospective customer is critical for a small business. As to celebrities, perhaps people are thrilled just to get a word from their heroes?

Having tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of followers seems impossible to manage — and it would be for the average Twitter user. But you can also set it up to view a private Twitter list of just your close friends. You will still see a message anytime someone on Twitter addresses you personally.

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