Why Are You Following Me? Wait. Why Am I Following You?

Have you looked at your Twitter feed and wondered “who the heck are these people, and why are they following me…wait a minute…why am I following them?”

You have?

Well, you’ve come to the right place today!

Every once in a while, you have to go into your Twitter account and do a little cleaning up. Just like the rooms in your house, your Twitter feed tends toward chaos, and somehow you wind up following someone who spams you to death, or someone who posts the most inane details of their existence every thirty nine seconds.

These tweeters have to go unless you enjoy spam and inane details. In that case, rock it out!  But chances are, you don’t like that sorta thing, so read on, friend.

How do you un-follow tweeters without offending them?

Well, that’s a tough one because this is another one of those things that even social media experts cannot agree on. Some people think that if someone is following you, it’s proper etiquette to follow them back. But you shouldn’t feel obligated to do that. You should follow only those people who share your interests or whose tweets you find meaningful or compelling in some way. So, when somebody follows you on Twitter, don’t’ be afraid to go check ‘em out and decide if they’re worthy of your followage.

After all, it’s your twitter feed and if you can’t deal with people who tweet things like “need. coffee.” 10 times a day (unless you own a coffee shop and then you’ll be all like “woohoo!”), then you don’t have to put up with it. There’s no rule that says you have to follow boring/irrelevant tweeters just so you don’t hurt their feelings.

We know you’re a nice person and you don’t want to be rude, but look at it this way, if people are tweeting properly and politely, you probably wouldn’t be frustrated with them in the first place--they’re kind of asking for it if they’re tweeting garbage.

Feel better?


Just know that you’re eventually going to offend someone by not following them or un-following them, but don’t worry about that. It’s more important to spend your energy thinking about what’s going to add value to your Twitter experience. When your Twitter homepage is flooded with tweets that make no sense to you, you’ll be frustrated and you won’t get anything out of it at all. Maybe you’ll even stop using it altogether, so consider this advice preventative medicine. It’s tough to take, but it will save you some pain later on.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t be willing to take a chance on someone and follow them--even if they’re outside your immediate area of interest. In fact, you really should follow people outside your usual circle—that’s how you learn about stuff and get ideas you never would have thought of otherwise!  These are the people who can keep you fresh!

So, what happens if you’re following someone and they turn out to be a disappointment? Just un-follow them! There’s a good chance they won’t even notice you’re missing. Some people will notice however and they will be hurt, but hey, this is your Twitter. You do what you want.

Just don’t be offended when someone un-follows you or doesn’t follow you back. It happens. It’s how the Twittersphere turns, man. For every person who doesn’t find your tweets valuable, there’s bound to be a dozen who do, so don’t sweat it.

Another interesting conundrum business owning tweeters face is whether or not to follow employees. This is a double-edged sword because on one hand, you can see what they’re up to, but on the other, you can see what they’re up to. What happens when, say, a client follows you and sees your employee’s tweets?  That’s awesome if your employee just tweeted something that makes your business look really, really good. But what if that employee just tweeted about his or her weekend festivities that may or may not have involved any number of, ahem,unprofessional activities followed by a 2 am run to Taco Bell?

Oh. My. Stars!

Now what do you do?

It’s just hanging out there like a big matzo ball.

So, maybe you should consider not followiing your employees and maybe you shouldn't let them follow you either, just in case.  Whatever you decide, you’re the boss and you make the rules, just be sure you've considered this issue carefully before you make your policies.

And before we take up too much of your time here, we’re going to wait until next week to talk about your follower to following ratios, often referred to as the “TTF Ratio” amongst Twitter nerds. What is the ideal following to follower ratio for a tweeter to have? Let’s think about that next week!

Leave a Comment