Social Media 101: Process to Determine Who to Follow on Twitter

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Part of my role at MSL Boston is to help brands develop social media strategies. I take a very simple, no non-sense approach to the process and do it in a way where clients can understand it. I don't use buzz words. I stay away from all the cliches and try to put things in terms that the client will understand as well as make the conversation relevant to their business. Basically, I always have a 101-style.

That got me thinking about posting some of the 101 thoughts I have floating around in my head for those that are still unsure about how they can use these tools for business.

In the first installment, I'd like to tackle a simple question I receive all the time: "How do I know who to follow on Twitter?"

For me, there's a simple thought process that one should go through when determining if they should follow someone on Twitter:

  1. Do I know this person?
  2. Are they a friend of a friend or a referral from a business associate?
  3. If you don't know them, are they writing or sharing content that is relevant to your business interests?
  4. Are they someone you'd like to do business with?
  5. Are they someone that you'd like to recruit for your business?

If you answered yes to at least two of these questions, then follow the person and add them to a "core-follow" list as opposed to keeping them in a list of 2,000 people you're already following. You see, Twitter is like a fast moving river and if you're not standing on the banks, you'll miss whatever floats by.