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The politics of Twitter

twitterI overheard a discussion around Twitter this week which really struck a chord with me. The issue was essentially how to use it correctly. The usual questions cropped up; “How do I know who to follow” “If someone follows me should I follow them back” and so on.

The question that really jumped out though was “Who should I follow to get more people to follow me back”. Now, if like me you use Twitter every day, you might understand why having heard this question I couldn’t resist jumping into the conversation.

As with any other social media tool, the aim of Twitter is sharing interesting and relevant content with a like-minded global audience. It is not about following anyone who might follow you back to increase your numbers. Yes it sounds impressive to say you have hundreds of followers, but are they really the right audience? A huge percentage of them could actually be SPAM users who add no value to your business what-so-ever.

Instead, you should aim to increase your numbers by sharing the right things. If you’re tweeting out links to news articles relevant to your industry and using hashtags focused on your area of expertise, you’re more likely to develop a valuable online network. As you grow this group of followers you will notice higher levels of interaction and engagement – both attributes we all aspire to achieve through our social media activity.

So, next time you hear someone boasting about the number of followers they have, why not ask them how many they actually speak to? I can guarantee it will be very few!

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