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How many followers do you really have?


As my Twitter followers grow on both  Beaming Bohemian and Shanna Bright, I am often fascinated by the follow-habits that seem to be prevalent among Twitter superstars.  Just today, I was followed by a social media “guru” who previously followed me, and then once I followed back, promptly unfollowed me. He’s not the first Tweep to do this. Numerous folks engage in this behavior in an effort to boost their following.  There is no genuine interest to find new connections. It’s a numbers game.

It makes me laugh for a few reasons. I love that someone can claim they have over a million followers, but when you look through their list, you see lots of hallow and spam accounts.  And two, I laugh because I actually remember the people who practice this type of number boosting exercise. It’s not that I have an awesome memory, it’s my Twitter management style.

I do not have over a million followers, nor am I following thousands. But everyday, I take a moment to look through the people who are following me, determine if they are providing valuable, relevant content and if they are someone I want to follow back. I report and block hallow and spam accounts without hesitation. Sometimes, I don’t feel I need to follow certain accounts and will just place them on one of my Twitter lists, a terrific organizational tool.  I make the effort to manage my account so that I know who I am associated with on Twitter. It is a more accurate circle of influence.

You can do the same. You can closely manage your account and have valid, useful and helpful contacts or you can simply work toward some unverifiable cool factor and let anyone and everyone follow you. For high school and college students and student-athletes, law or med students, and job hunters, it is in your best interest to monitor who you tweet with just as much as what you tweet.  If you are following tweeps who post a lot of inappropriate content, you are associating yourself with that content and personality.

With the same motivation to manage your reputation, protect your brand against being linked to the wrong people. Take the time to weed through your account and build up a following of quality and image-appropriate accounts that reflect the core values of your brand. Tweet with and retweet content from good sources, not someone you are going to regret “knowing” when your coach, college or potential employer take a peek at your account.


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