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Brands and Twitter: Follow for life

July 21, 2014

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Photo: Tony Alter (CC)

Several thousand users follow me on Twitter. And dozens unfollow me each week.

What’s surprising is when brands unfollow me.

Having built and run company Twitter accounts has given me insight on this ecosystem. Brands can’t follow people on Facebook or LinkedIn, but they can on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

People follow and unfollow all the time for all sorts of reasons. No worries there.

But I’m puzzled by brands that follow fans, only to abandon them later on. What is the upside to this? What kind of message does it send to fans?

Brands should follow lots of people as a first step in forming a relationship.

My simple strategy when building a brand audience on Twitter:

1. Follow all followers. (Skip spambots and scammers.)

2. Follow all relevant accounts. Within an industry, it could include competitors, thought leaders and trendsetters.

3. Unfollow no one.

What could be easier? This can allow brands to be better at listening, engagement, customer service, sales and public relations.

Brands: Heed my words. Be in Twitter, not above it. Treat others as equals. And work not on gaining followers but creating a community.

• • •

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