*Why* I Follow Who I Follow on Twitter

July 28, 2009

twitter bird & brand
Something I’ve heard many times from newbies (and honestly, many not-so-newbies) on Twitter is, “How do you decide who to Follow?” The answer to this question is easy…

…it depends.

What do you want out of Twitter? Upon reviewing your tweets, what updates would you have seen, what information gathered, conversations contributed to, or relationships sparked would make the time you just spent in front of your feed feel productive upon walking away? For me, the answer is: a little bit of everything. Answer the question for yourself, then determine who you follow from there.

I’m on Twitter to to network and build new relationships, to build my brand, to learn, to stay up-to-date, to be inspired, and to catch up with friends and family.

Therefore, I follow people on Twitter who:
– are my close friends, family
– make me laugh, smile
– regularily provide links to new, informative articles on topics I find interesting (everything from outer space and wine and interior decorating to personal branding and blogging and thinking positively)
– are local to my area
– provide breaking news or updates about the world
– are businessmen and women who have achieved a level of success for which I strive
– spark discussion topics and routinely engage in conversation with their ‘tweeps’
– are authors of books I’ve read or would like to read

Some Twitterers I follow fall neatly into one, specific category. Others span several or all categories. It doesn’t matter. If you find their tweets interesting, informative, and worthy of your precious time, follow away. On the flip side, if you’ve gone several days or weeks and have regularily NOT found a user’s tweets worthwhile, it might be time to unfollow (gasp!). Don’t be afraid to drop a follower or two. It’s YOUR time – don’t waste it.

So you’re on Twitter, now what? Have you thought about the reason you spend part of your day (or many parts!) reading and posting tweets? Does that purpose match up with your Following list? What category or categories of Twitterers do you care to follow? Do you find your Twitter-time worthwhile?

P.S. While you’re perfecting your Following list, come say hello.

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