Are Twitter Auto-follow Messages a Good Idea?


Okay.. perhaps that is simplistic but I think we can make the case. Below I have a link to my CIO Magazine blog post on the subject. I’ll offer a little context and explanation first.

Let’s start with a question…

What is your goal with social media?

For most people, the goal is to win business. That’s our goal. From the standpoint of social media and digital marketing we are all trying to win business. The real question is, how do we see digital and social doing that? The different answers from business to business is what is critical.

Deconstructing the big buzzword: Engagement!

Everyone says it, very few do it.

Engagement means connecting with. This requires a conversation or such great emotional impact that you cannot help but feel connected (engaged) with the message.

Think Budweiser ad – puppy, Clysdales, sad man.. we all get that. Pretty damned engaging. In 30 seconds, a story that reaches most who watch it.

And if you can do that, great! But for the bulk of people using social to engage online, it looks more like:

“Buy my stuff.”
or “Here is why you should buy my stuff.”
or “Here is the reason our stuff is better than their stuff.”


It does not look or feel like engagement.

Automation is the antithesis of Engagement

And then there is automation. Great tools that let your content be posted – and even create your content for you – throwing it out there regardless of who is listening.

Auto-follow messages on twitter is this type of automation. They work like this.

  1. You follow someone
  2. You get a response 20 minutes to 2 hours later.


A direct message. How exciting!

But I often follow with two accounts: My own account @MatthewMoran and the @PulseInfomatics account that several of my team members use.

When I get the exact same message – both accounts – I know they never looked at me. They don’t know me at all. FYI: If I follow an entrepreneur who does crafts and I get a message about all the crafts I can buy.. I unfollow. Please pretend like you know who I am.

I write more about Twitter Automation on my CIO Magazine blog (IT is Everyone’s Business) – specifically why twitter auto-follow messages are a bad idea. I also offer some ideas to help you avoid automation.

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