Following back on Twitter – should a business follow back?

Following back on Twitter – I’ve been on Twitter for nearly six years. My account is used both in a personal and a business capacity and I’ve built up a really good quality following. I’ve formed lasting relationships with people whom I’ve met solely on Twitter and we even have regular ‘tweet ups/meet ups’!

I also manage other businesses social media accounts and I was recently asked why I follow people back from those accounts. I was a little bit taken back with this so I did the only thing I could do and asked my followers for their thoughts. I was inundated with replies from both personal and business accounts and you know that saying, ’the customer is always right’, I believe that applies on Twitter too. I will share with you a couple of the replies I received over the weekend from personal accounts:

‘Would you have a conversation with someone who doesn’t listen and only wants you to listen to them? Not following back is the same’

‘If a business account doesn’t follow you back, they don’t think you are worthy customer.

So, what does all this mean for a business on Twitter? Well, out of the 58 accounts that replied and messaged me, 48 personal accounts said that if they followed a business account and that business didn’t follow back, they’d unfollow. Six personal accounts said they’d still follow regardless. The other four were business accounts and half said they do follow back and the other half said they didn’t. One replied with the following:

‘If you followed everyone back, surely your news feed would just become irrelevant?’

For businesses on Twitter, this is your shop front and your first point of contact with many of your customers. A follow from a genuine* person is the same as if someone has walked into your shop or rang you so why would you turn them away by not following them back?

Let me give you an example, I manage a Twitter account for a restaurant, if I see a person or a business account has followed it, I look at the profile, have a quick read of their tweets and if I think they are a potential customer I will follow them back. This now means I can see their updates in my timeline, I can interact with them and they can private message me to book a table.

If people do business with people, can a small to medium sized business on Twitter really afford not to follow a potential customer back?

*A genuine person to me is someone who isn’t chasing followers, they don’t automate everything they tweet and they haven’t bought followers (this is obvious!)

If you’d like to know more about following back on Twitter or any other social media platform for that matter, get in touch.

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