Why Auto-following on Twitter is Bad?

There are various tools out there that help you find Twitter accounts automatically which are likely to follow you back, you should avoid them and be careful to use only professional tools.

We like to think of ourselves as teachers here at Smartdog HQ, educating companies about online marketing and after all we provide online marketing training to our clients directly.

So let me tell you why generating an auto-following on Twitter is just so bad…

Let me help you understand why Auto-following is a bad idea, here’s some reasons why:

1. It’s about Quality not Quantity

This isn’t a popularity contest people, sure you’ve heard people say ‘I’ve got more followers than you!” and to that I say, so what? It doesn’t help you if the quality of your followers is 10,000 spammy or auto follow accounts that don’t add any value to your network or conversation.

Let’s look at some of celebrities on Twitter. Mr. Ashton Kutcher has 6,000,209 followers and only follows 609 people back. How do you think Ashton Kutcher would be able to keep up with 6,000,209 people’s Twitter updates! The answer is, he wouldn’t.

Lady Gaga’s Twitter account is different she has slightly more followers at 6,971,865, but has chosen to follow 146,798. Please tell me how you can possibly keep up with that many peoples individual Twitter updates!

To put that into perspective, if each person tweets on average 2-3 times a day that’s 440,394 Twitter updates a day she’d have to read. How do you stand out in a sea of nearly half million tweets? Starting to get the picture now? Read on.

Quality is good, aiming for just quantity is really bad!

2. Don’t Reciprocal Follow Everyone

If someone follows you don’t automatically follow them back, ask yourself what value do they add to my network and are their topics of conversations relevant to what you talk about. If the answer is yes to both of those question then by all means follow them back. There are lots of automated tools out there which you’ll find people will use to try and get a quick follow from you. If you follow them back they will automatically un-follow in hope you’ll forget to un-follow them from your account.

Alysson Fergison, a respected SEO consultant wrote an awesome blog post on Reciprocal and Auto-Following on Twitter = Bad Idea in her post she said:

“Auto-following is absolutely ludicrous, pointless and I can’t imagine a better way to render Twitter absolutely useless. I can’t fathom what my Twitterstream would look like with much more than 300 people in it. I probably miss out on a lot of useful tweets that pertain to search marketing or my other interests as it is. Why would I want to follow someone who sells soap just because they’ve followed me?”

My thoughts exactly Alysson!

3. Watch for the Warning Signs

I didn’t want to embarrass the people who’s Twitter accounts these figures belong to but shame on you and your auto follow generation tactics!

86, 989 Tweets, that’s a heck of a lot of tweets, this person is going to be popping up in your Twitter stream every minute of the day, too much noise it certainly will be!

Following 34,580, followers 33,536 notice how the figures are very closely linked. An auto-follow or reciprocal follow tactic has been employed here. The other image shows 16,336 following, 16,963 followers again closely linked figures.

These types of account are the accounts to avoid following back automatically why you ask? I’ll tell you…

  • It is unlikely they will ever see a single tweet you put out in the sea of thousands of others.
  • They will most likely have a poor engagement with their audience and not a lot of influence.
  • Your unlikely to get re-tweeted and if you do your tweet probably won’t reach very far.

Your best off looking to get re-tweeted by influential figures in your industry or niche who have a very strong engagement with their Twitter followers.

That’s it for today, I hope my insights have helped you build a more engaged Twitter following and you know the benefits as to why you should always focus on quality and not quanity 🙂 Good job people lets make Twitter a better place!

You might also like to read my blog on post on 5 great tips to Build a Successful Twitter network.