Group photo…. by Navaneeth KN, on Flickr
“Leadership is a choice not a rank.” Simon Sinek
To follow or not to follow, that is the question and a highly debated topic.
Twitter is, in my opinion, the most public of all of the social networks. Though you can make your account private, unless you do, I feel that you should fully consider why I believe you should follow everyone* back.
It is in your following behavior that you demonstrate true leadership and, dare I say, the best way to grow your following.
Yes, there are #TeamFollowBack, #BirthdayClub, and #BuyMoreFollowers spam along with porn sites. Don’t follow them.
Yes. It is your Twitter feed. You are able to run it the way you choose. However, if you plan on tweeting for a business or for your professional life, I’d ask you to consider it fully. But if you want to be that guy who has 50,000+ followers and only follows 78, be my guest. If that’s you, you probably won’t like the rest of this article.
Yes, it is way easier to manage tweets from under a hundred people. Did you really think you’d read every single tweet? Just the thought of it makes me stressed out.
One of my favorite parts of Twitter is that reading the tweets is a low-commitment, easy-to-handle task. When I’m waiting at the doctor, or waiting for my boss to sign checks, or have a few moments to spare, I can read Twitter. It’s easy to start and easy to stop.
Generosity is a key attribute of leadership. We all respond well to those who give more than they take. And when they ask for favors (retweets, links, store purchases) many of us are happy to oblige. We’re your biggest fans, so why not follow back?
Another form of generosity is spending 5-10 minutes a day in your home feed and responding to those people. Sage advice from Scott Stratten I saw years ago. I do it daily. Guess what? I meet new people. (Imagine that!)