In the realm of electronic communications, you owe me nothing. Not a follow-back on Twitter, not a response to an @ reply, not an answer to my emails. You don’t even have to pick up the phone when I call. Counterpoint. It goes both ways. Earlier while talking Twitter with a few friends, I realized that I have no published Twitter policy. I’ve recently seen a few disappointments that stemmed from users not setting expectations for communication with them. I do not follow everyone back who follows me on Twitter. When I follow you, it’s because your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. It’s not a ploy to get you to follow me back, that’d make me a spammer. I follow missrogue, dickc, gruber, badbanana, Armano one-way because they have consistently excellent streams. Not being followed back on Twitter isn’t an indictment of our relationship, I have plenty of dear friends who I don’t follow. Twitter’s not a great place for conversation, for those I’m a bigger fan of friendfeed, facebook and the phone. I can’t take all of Twitter unfiltered and the only filter Twitter allows is Follow/ Don’t follow. “Follow me back on Twitter so we can talk.” Is bordering passive aggressive if there’s multiple other ways to contact me. I make myself available over email, by phone and on facebook.
Note: This works for individuals. If the Twitter account is for business / customer service, it may be better to follow all back and use monitoring tools. That way, all your customers feel listened to and have an additional means of contacting you (direct message), always a good thing. The downside, all those aggregate streams coming in make keeping up with the tiny newsletters that you ARE interested in impossible. That’s the trade.
Who are you on Twitter for?