Twitter Follow Back Rules

While I was scrolling through my new Twitter follower’s this morning I came up with this idea for a blog post.  

How many of you take time each day to see who your new followers are and decide whether to follow them back? Or, do you just follow everyone back?

In my opinion it pays to keep an eye on who you are following, and who unfollows you.  You can check out a previous post on the tool I use to look at all this sort of information, 5 Ways to Analyse Twitter with SocialBro.

But this blog post is all about Twitter profiles and what to look for when deciding who to follow.  First though, a little quiz (the answers are at the bottom), out of the following 10 Twitter followers, which ones did I follow back?  Put your answers in a comment before checking your answers.





















Without giving away just yet which ones I followed back I want to just go over the things I look for when deciding whether to follow or not.

Am I interested in any of the information they have provided in their profile?

The first thing I look at is whether this person interests me, as a general rule I tend to follow back all authors and writers because this is the niche of my business, and books interest me. If they are neither authors or writers, then I check for other interests such as France, cooking, pets etc… If they come across as normal people who tweet normal things that interest me then I follow back.

Do we have something in common?

Similar to the above, if we have interests or business goals in common it’s likely I will follow back.

Could they be a potential client?

This is a difficult one because everyone could be a potential client. If someone sounds normal, has a genuine sounding profile and I am interested in what they have to say then I follow back. Sometimes I will look at the last few tweets they have made if I’m really not sure, that usually confirms whether I follow or not.

Does the profile contain any hashtags such as #teamfollow or similar?

This may be personal opinion, but I really hate it when people use these hashtags in Twitter profiles, it’s even more likely I won’t follow you if you have this stupid hashtag in your profile.

Do I know what this person tweets about?

I like to know by just reading the profile what this person tweets about, if it’s not clear then I will have a look at the last few tweets, and if it’s still not clear I don’t follow back. You can see one of my examples above is in a language I don’t even understand, so there is no reason why I would follow someone when I won’t even understand their language… oops given that one away!

Do they have the default profile image?

If you have the default egg image as your profile picture it’s usually a sure fire way of me not following you back. There are exceptions to this rule of mine, one is personal friends/family who don’t know much about Twitter to begin with, I let them off for a while. Another is those people who explain the reason they use the default image such as one of my followers the other day, she had set-up a new account and was preparing an image for this new account. Explanations go a long way…

I hope that’s given you some ideas about what you can look for on Twitter if you’re constantly umming and ahhing about who you should and shouldn’t follow. In fact as I was writing this I realised that I did some similar posts last year, which you can check out here (I don’t think my rules have changed much) – 5 Followers NOT to Follow on Twitter! and Who do you Follow on Twitter?

And here are the answers… (really small so you can’t cheat easily!)
3, 5, 8, 10

My Top 10 Posts of 2012

So my very first post of the Ultimate Blog Challenge… Firstly I’d like to wish your all a Happy New Year, or Bonne Année as they say in France!

As I am technically not meant to be working today, I thought I would choose something easy to start with, but I hope that my top 10 posts of 2012 will provide you with lots to read and if anything particularly peaks your interest leave me a comment – most of these posts from 2012 are still relevant for 2013.

I think I’ll start from the bottom up, give you something to scroll down for… so at…


Get Organised with this Free Resource


Who do you Follow on Twitter?


3 Tools to Optimise your Twitter Account


How I added a week’s worth of content to Buffer in 1 Hour using Flipboard…


Self Publishing your eBook the DIY Way!


5 Followers NOT to Follow on Twitter!


5 Ways to Analyse Twitter with SocialBro


10 Virtual Assistant Resources


Is Twitter Unfollowing People Randomly


5 Little-Known Tips to Improve eBook Formatting


Remember that I will be alternating my posts for this challenge, so tomorrow’s will be on my eBook formatting blog.

3 Tools to Optimise your Twitter Account

It’s been a bit of a hectic few weeks for me, a quick trip to the UK for my best friends hen weekend and then we bought a puppy (click for a photo) last week and he’s been quite a handful.  As well as that I have been trying to keep up with the Author Blog Challenge, luckily I have all the content in my inbox (author interviews) and it’s just a case of copy and pasting and a bit of formatting to get them posted each day.  So this blog post has been a long time coming… I also have a Social Media Clinic email to do this week as well as keep up with the eBook formatting work I have had in from clients.

Do you regularly optimise your Twitter account?

This blog post came to me this morning while I was doing my weekly Twitter clean out.  I don’t schedule it each week, but usually on a Monday or Tuesday I spend some time optimising my Buffer account and clearing out some Twitter friends/followers.

I like to know where I am with my social media profiles, especially on Twitter.  This last week my stats from SocialBro told me I had over 60 new follows and 30 unfollows. By checking out all the stats in one place means you can easily synchronise the information each week and get an overview of how well your Twitter account is running and also check out your new followers too.

Everyone has unfollows each week, I have learnt not to let it bother me, partly because I know that some Twitter users use lists to follow people to try and cut down their newsfeed. Also because I am not sure if Twitter has sorted out the random unfollowing people problem yet.  I wrote a blog post about it some time ago – Is Twitter Unfollowing People Randomly? – are you still experiencing this?

How do I optimise my Twitter account?


This morning my first stop was Buffer, I keep receiving emails telling me my Buffer (for Twitter) is full – I have 54 spaces, so quite a lot really but just lately I seem to be finding some great content to share.  I’ve also set-up some RSS feed actions in which means some blog posts are being sent directly to Buffer, so if these bloggers write a lot of posts then my Buffer gets full pretty quickly.  So this morning I have been through the posts and deleted some which I don’t feel are relevant for my followers, as well as editing some to make them look prettier. The other thing I have done is add an extra tweet per day in the hope it won’t fill up so quickly.  That means during the week I have 6 tweets from Buffer and at the weekend just 3.


My next stop was SocialBro to check out my new follows and unfollows.  First job is to see who has unfollowed me, in general if someone unfollows me I will unfollow back.  There are some exceptions though, I won’t unfollow anyone who I have dealt with in my business or if I genuinely enjoy their tweets. As I said before, I don’t know why they unfollow but those are my rules and I try and stick by them.

I then check out my ‘inactive friends’, the default setting is they haven’t tweeted for 3 months, but I always change this to 15 days.  If anyone pops up in the results who hasn’t tweeted in the last 15 days I use the rules above.  Some I leave and wait to see if they start tweeting again, and if they appear again the following week then I will unfollow.

I check out my new followers next, but I tend to do this on a daily basis anyway so I can quickly follow people back if I am interested in them.  In SocialBro I tend to just have a quick look to see if I’ve overlooked anyone.

The last thing I do is to click on the ‘best time to tweet’ button, it takes a couple of hours to appear but then I can synchronise it with Buffer.  It optimises the times my Buffer tweets are sent out and this is a great tool.


I check this less regularly, because I tend to pop on here every couple of days to add a new scheduled update. Every few weeks I check my queue reservoirs for any outdated updates and whether I can jazz some of them up a bit, or change them slightly.  I also have a quick look at my stats in here, to see how many of my updates are being retweeted.


I use various apps on a daily basis and I thought they deserved a mention here as well, not necessarily for optimising purposes but just to double check I’m not missing any mentions on Twitter.  I use Twitter on the web once a day to check out new followers (as well as the iPhone app).  I have just invested in a SocialCRM called Nimble which I will write about soon separately, at the moment I have all my social media accounts in this as well as my email.  I also use Tweetdeck for instant pop-ups of retweets and mentions (for my account and client accounts).

Hopefully there will be just one single app I can do all of the above in, wouldn’t that be good?!!

I’d love to know what everyone else uses and if I’m missing out on any similar apps.

How I added a week’s worth of content to Buffer in 1 Hour using Flipboard…

…and got a tan!

Back in January I wrote a post about my top 3 social media apps and one of these was called Flipboard. I’d only just started using it back then but already it had won a place in my list along with Buffer and SocialBro.

Today I use Flipboard more than ever, and also have it linked to Buffer in a way which makes the sharing of content so much easier.

Initially I only included my Facebook and Twitter profiles to my Flipboard account, a lot of the content I share comes from Twitter anyway, people are always posting links to great articles online.

I recently upgraded my Buffer account to the Pro version which means I can have up to 6 profiles and 50 updates in my buffer at one time.  I’ve now added a few of my social media clients Facebook pages which means I can post articles to these through my Buffer now as well.

There are lots of ways you can share content from Flipboard. My new favourite way of sharing content, the quickest way I’ve found is by emailing the article to my very own secret Buffer email address.

In the email you can use some short codes to identify which account you want the post to go too. By default it goes to all accounts, by putting @p on the first line followed by the name or even part of the account name, for example for my Twitter profile I could put various things like @p Twitter @p JoHarris0n, the post will only go to that account.  You just have to make sure each profile can be singled out, if they all have the same name you might come unstuck.

I have set-up some keyword searches on Flipboard so I can check out all relevant content I’d like to share. Today I’ve also added my LinkedIn profile and my Google Reader account which is great as I subscribe to a lot of great blogs which I share regularly.

All this information is fed through to Flipboard and I can quickly flick through the articles and email them straight to Buffer…

Unfortunately for me, living in France and still under a UK Vodafone contract for my iPhone I only get 25mb of free data per day. This afternoon I have sat for approximately 1 hour in the sunshine filling up Buffer for me and my clients, but I’ve used all my allowance. But it’s great when I’m at home and can use my wi-fi and browse and add things to my hearts content.

Between Flipboard and Buffer I save so much valuable time. I now have over a weeks worth of great content to share on my Facebook page, LinkedIn, Twitter and also on my clients accounts. It frees me up to interact with people more on my social media profiles instead of always looking for links and articles to share which takes time.

If you are using social media to promote your business, these two apps will make your life a hell of a lot easier, they have mine.

I challenge you to disagree with me!

Buffer is still in my Top 3!

Have you given Buffer a try?

I’ve been using it for a while now and I mentioned it another blog post of mine My Top 3 Social Media Apps back in January.  The reason I want to mention it again here is because in the last week or so I have been using it a lot more, for both Twitter and Facebook and I wanted to know whether any of you have been using it since my last post?

I use the Buffer app on my iPhone, which means when I come across an article/blog in Flipboard (another app I mentioned in the post above) while flicking through it in the evenings I can easily add it to Buffer with a few clicks.  Last night I managed to find some great articles I wanted to share, but instead of retweeting them out instantly I scheduled them on Buffer which meant they would be spread out over the next couple of days.

I don’t share everything I find, I make sure I am selective in the articles I tweet out to my followers.  With Buffer I can decide whether my Facebook fans or my Twitter followers would benefit more from them, and then choose which platform to post it to.   Sharing great content, even if it’s not your own, is a great way of gaining more fans/followers.  I actually enjoy sifting through the days content on Flipboard and being able to share it, if I find something useful or interesting why keep it to myself?

By using SocialBro (oh another of my top 3 social media apps) on a daily basis I have connected this up to Buffer so it sends through the ‘best time to tweet’ information, they suggest you do this once a week to keep Buffer optimised for when most of your followers are online.

I’m always on the look out for new ways of using social media and making it more time saving for me and my clients.  So far I’ve not come across any further apps that have topped my top 3 I posted about 6 weeks ago.  Do you have any suggestions for me to try out?

Buffer have a great Twitter tips blog and many of the articles I share are from here, and no I’m not being paid to say that!