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Social Media Desperado October 27, 2011

Posted by christinapappas in Social Media, Strategy.

Recently I sent out a tweet saying that I needed to catch-up on my follow backs. As you know, and can easily see from looking at my profile, I don’t follow everyone back. The reason? I don’t believe in following you just because you followed me. So, last week as I sent this tweet stating my intents and then proceeded to check out the list of people following me and followed a few back, I received this tweet not too long afterwards(name has been removed to protect the innocent) :

“Hey Christina…OK, so I guess maybe I qualify then for a follow back? :-)”

Seriously? Ok, maybe they were trying to lighten up the tweet with that smiley face but I decided to take a look at their profile more closely and see what they were tweeting about. I couldn’t believe what I saw. Here is a sample (again, all names have been removed and I promise this is spot-on true!):

“Amy, let’s connect so we can chat digital…connect back?”

“Don’t let me down…follow back”

“You’re awesome for following back, maybe you can connect with me on Facebook too?”

“Thanks for follow. Right back at you ;)”

“I’m still hoping you will follow me back, why not??? Maybe today’s the day J”

“Follow us back and on FB too and tell your friends in the biz”

I’ll stop there because not only was I appalled to see this (yet mildly addicted to reading the entire stream), I think you get the point.

We have got to stop this obsession with numbers. Did you see the recent post at The Sales Lion that talked about 10K comments on his blog and zero $$ in the bank as a result? So why is this tweeter begging everyone to follow them back? What is the intent of this? What will more followers do for him and his ‘biz’?

Auto-DMs are a major turn-off for me. In fact, if I follow you and get an auto-DM, you can guarantee I will auto-unfollow (has someone built a tool that does this automatically yet?!?). But, the thing with auto-DMs, is they have some kind of goal. They usually point me to a piece of content or a website that I may be interested in. One would have to assume I am interested in the person if I am following them right? So whats the harm in introducing me to their blog just in case I didn’t know they had one?

Now, asking for a follow and then following up on everyone who hasn’t followed back on the other hand seems to be a tremendous waste of time. What is the point!?!?

I don’t get it. Do you?



1. Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion - October 27, 2011

Agreed Pappas, the obsession with numbers is in so many ways hurting the potential of businesses, bloggers, and average Joe and Janes all over the world. Personally, I can’t stand DMs either. I follow back about 10% of the people that follow me. I can’t imagine my follow list getting over 600 or so. After that, what’s the use??

Good stuff girl.


christinapappas - October 28, 2011

Drew Davis (@TPLDrew) told me one time to unfollow at least one person per day that is not providing value. Thought this was a great tip and have tried to keep up with it. I honestly need to get better at organizing my lists to stay on top of who I follow and for what reasons.

Did you see recent blog over at Hubspot on marketers not tracking leads from social, yet they are tracking # of followers? Seems backwards to me…Im not here to generate leads for myself but I am not going to follow someone just for the sake of getting my #’s up. http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/28070/65-of-marketers-dont-track-leads-from-social-media-data?source=Blog_Email_%5b65%25%20of%20Marketers%20Don%5d

Margie Clayman also had an interesting post about someone that followed her. She did not follow them back to which they responded ‘we have to unfollow you because we only follow people that follow us back’. What?!?!

2. Jennifer MacDonald - October 28, 2011

Christina I completely agree, I do not automatically follow back. I have got some grief for this from some of my friends & followers.

My reasoning is that I use Twitter for business, I am an admin for 5 twitter accounts in different industries. I need my feed to be full of helpful and useful content and if you will not provide that then I will not be following you. For this same reason I do not get upset when people unfollow me.

As a summary I usually say “I can’t have you clogging up my feed.”

christinapappas - October 30, 2011

I love that you respond to people with this. And your decision to not be consumed by the numbers game has surely enabled you to have a really great feed of content for your followers. I would guarantee you get more followers as a result of that, than just following for the sake of following.

Have you ever considered reaching out to people that unfollow you to ask why? Honestly, the first time I was approached by someone, I was taken aback because I knew that if they were seriously monitoring their numbers, they would see a follower left but I had no idea they could identify the exact follower. Since then, I have been really cautious about who I follow so that I dont get into a situation where I am unfollowing a lot.

Jennifer MacDonald - October 31, 2011

Christina I have never reached out to my followers when they unfollow me, for the main reason that I do not follow everyone because I don’t want anything but great content in my feed and I assume it’s the same for them.

Sometimes I tend to go off on a rampage about a random subject and I expect a few unfollows from that. Oh well what ya gonna do?

Watch out, there’s a Zombie behind you!!!

Happy Halloween! : )

3. Jay - October 29, 2011

I completely agree. I think this craze for numbers is similar to the need to have the most amount of friends in your friendster, myspace and now facebook accounts! and now the number of followers you have on twitter. Honestly, they don’t even read your tweets nor are interested in them, they just want the numbers. I’m not sure what analysis they’re running.

Oh, and I like your blog! Good stuff!

christinapappas - October 30, 2011

Hi Jay,

Thanks so much! And you are spot-on, the people like the one I called out in this post do not care about my content and what I am sharing. They are simply there to be a presence and get their #’s up. I have no idea why someone would dedicate so much time to doing this.

4. Daria Steigman - October 30, 2011

Hi Christina,

I once had someone I know come up to me at an event and say, “You need to follow me on Twitter.” And this was about a month AFTER she had spammed me (and a whole bunch of other people) with tweets that said, “Daria, you need to follow me or I will unfollow you. I need to be able to follow more people.” Apparently she’d bumped up against the 2,000-follow limit.

My response to her: Why? I follow people who are interesting, and your Twitterstream isn’t. (Oh, yes, I did, say that.)

I know people who obsessively monitor their #s. I can’t be bothered. Numbers aren’t interesting; people are.

christinapappas - October 31, 2011

Wow Daria! Just WOW!! I meet people at events and although I never ask for a follow, I will ask if they are on Twitter based on the conversation because, as you said, the conversations are interesting so I would like to follow them. The #’s dont matter if there is no value. And clearly this woman who bumped into 2,000 is not provided value to anyone.

Btw I LOVE this -> “Numbers aren’t interesting; people are.”

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