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Follow or follow back - do you want to be part of a conversation?

I'm sure that you will have heard, from many sources, that it's not the quantity of followers on Twitter that counts but the quality and that your influence is not necessarily dictated by the 1000's of people that follow you.

Yes, I agree 100% with that - it's just like being in the pub and shouting out something - some will ignore you, some won't hear you and a few will take notice - perhaps more if you're shouting "The next round's on me!"

One thing that there seems to be a split in opinion is the 'follow' or 'not follow' question, ie do you follow back people that follow you.

Prior to the implementation of lists on Twitter, I would be hard pressed to argue the case of following back everyone that follows you (except the bots and the spammers) as it is incredibly hard to follow a stream if you are following more than 150 to 200 people.

However, now that lists are in use and you are able to easily segment different groups of people into manageable bitesize streams, why is there such a problem with following back all the genuine followers? If they do turn out to be non-genuine or not 'your cup of tea' you can always unfollow them at a later date - simples.

Surely Twitter is about engaging first and foremost and as such if you do not follow people that follow you, you are making a statement that "I don't rate you as much as you rate me so" and to use the pub analogy again, would you turn your back on someone that struck up a conversation with you at the bar without even saying 'Hi'?

If we were all to have that attitude then we would all be staring at a Twitter page wondering why we are talking to ourselves with 0 followers and 0 lists - and that sort of defeats the whole point of SOCIAL MEDIA.

Bottom line is, if you're not following me, why should I make the effort to engage with you?  It's a 2 way street and if you want to be able to broadcast your message to me, have a little humility and just follow me back, then I'm all ears!

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