Thursday, June 11, 2009

To follow or not to follow.... that is the question

When I spoke last night to the San Antonio chapter of the International Association of Microsoft Certified Professionals about social media strategies, a lot of questions were on the topic of following people on Twitter.

To wit, if someone follows you on the Twitterverse, should you follow them back.? And more importantly, should you click on their links.

For example, I recently completed a Twitter profile for a Bush's chicken franchise in Midland, Texas. In the course of setting it up, we had three followers. Sadly, two of them were what I would term as porn bots with such catch phrases as "Do you want to see my pixes?"

Pornbots are not what I would consider as quality followers, so I blocked them right away.

On a typical day, I get about eight to 10 people who want to follow me. When time permits, I look at all of them and if I see someone who has similar interests, I hit the "follow" button on Twitter.

Bryan Guinn, the president of Prism Technologies, disagreed with my policy of following back other Twitter types. He thinks that I should have a more liberal policy of following others.

I see Bryan's point, but I also have seen a large influx of the pornbots and the multi-level marketers who have infiltrated Twitter. The social media company does a great job of monitoring it, and I know they will catch most of them.

However, thanks to the popularity of Twitter due to endorsements like Oprah, the quasi marketing types have found it as a new medium to sell their wares.

And, that gets to the security issue also discussed last night. If you don't know someone like @BunniRAE23, you should click on the pictures links either. That's a good way to catch a virus for your computers.

So, Bryan, please understand the difference between me and you when it comes to following people on Twitter

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