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30 Twitter tips hath September: Are you auto-following? Why?

September 11, 2009

In September, we’re offering a Twitter tip a day. Send us your thoughts and suggestions.

[Tweet this tip]
Day 11: Are you auto-following your followers?
Why/why not? Tell us in the comments.

Some Twitterers are using services like SocialOomph (formerly TweetLater) to both auto-follow their new followers and automatically send them a direct message. Others are manually following people based on common interests, geography and other criteria.

For me, I don’t send auto-DMs. It’s annoying and intrusive and fake. I don’t auto-follow either. If I follow you, it’s because you’re interesting fellow, a funny lady, an old friend or someone with vital info. That’s it. I simply can’t read thousands of tweets without getting bored, so it needs to be worth my valuable time.

What’s your policy? How are you adding people you follow? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

(And vote in our poll on how you tweet from your phone.)

Follow @WadeOnTweets for more Twitter fun.
30 Twitter tips hath September

8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2009 10:42 am

    I don’t autofollow, and like you I only follow those I am interested in following, it’s nothing personal, I just cannot possibly manage all that information so I have to prioritize. Something I have noticed though is we appear to be in the minority with this strategy since each time I get an email notifying of a new follower I see they are following as many or more people than are following them.

    However I do have to disagree on one point and that is the automatic DM in response to a new follower. I have one of my 5 accounts set up to respond to new followers in order to direct them to more information and will be setting up a few more of the others. I feel this is a good strategy for commercial enterprises since they are more likely being followed because of the goods and services they offer and followers will appreciate more resources.

    I wrote a blog post about this very subject back on the 28th called “Do You Follow Me” and more of my strategy is available there (link below).

    Thanks for a great question!

    • September 11, 2009 11:04 am

      Interesting. Can you post an example of your auto-DM?

      Thanks for sharing!

  2. September 11, 2009 11:12 am

    I don’t auto-follow or auto-DM. First, when I follow someone, I truly follow them. To do that with all of my followers would be impossible. When I get a new follower, I review his/her Twitter stream to see if the tweets address topics of my interest. If not, I don’t follow. I don’t see the sense in following someone who tweets about topics I do not have an interest in. And is really rude not to follow back? Or is it just as rude to “follow” but ignore? I’d rather have people follow me who are truly interested in the info I post.

    I do make a few exceptions. A few people I follow because I know them in the real world, and therefore are interested in the ideas they have and occasionally even their activities. These are the exception because I generally use Twitter to stay up to date on info and conversations related to my professional field.

    I don’t auto-DM for the reason you stated: it’s fake. Inauthenticity is unattractive, even in the Twitterverse.

  3. September 11, 2009 11:51 am

    I definitely only follow people with updates that interest me. No auto-following or DM-ing. Twitter would have no utility for me if I used it to virally follow others.

  4. September 12, 2009 12:57 pm

    Thanks for the feedback. I’ve suspected only spammers and newbies use the auto-DM.

    I would suggest that companies auto-follow, because they should be interested in what their followers have to say.

    • September 11, 2011 11:56 am

      I don’t think companies should auto-follow. Follow, yes, but not auto-follow. Not taking the time to decide is someone is a spammer or gaming the system suggests they are not really listening.

  5. July 12, 2011 9:49 am

    I used to follow everyone who followed me because I am all about being polite. However, I find that I am following many people that don’t interest me…like vacationing spots and half birthday people etc.. Anyway, I would like to begin simplifying my twitter list, but it’s uncomfortable to me to unfollow. Also, if I see a person who has 3000 followers and they follow 350, I think it makes them look snotty. You have to think about the unspoken message you are sending with your numbers. I like to see numbers that say, more people follow this person than they follow, but the ratio is close so it is possible they will follow me back…and yes, I want followers. Numbers mean something to people who will pay out whether those people are actually reading my tweets or not. Now I am a newbie, so maybe this is proof 🙂 Oh, and as far as autofollowing…I didn’t even know there was such a thing. So no. I don’t autofollow. And after reading this, I don’t think I will 🙂


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