Follow Follow Follow: Why do we Follow on Twitter?

Why do we bother to follow accounts on Twitter? It’s a good question. I can tell you the reasons I don’t and the reasons I do.

I don't do it for my Twitter stream.

Every Twitter account I follow will come up in my Twitter stream, so why would I follow 200,000 accounts for a stream that you could barely read? The solution to this problem is to make topical lists (or follow someone else’s list): I use lists to listen to what people are saying on certain subjects.

I put nearly every account I follow in a list, Microbiology; SciComm & Communications; News & Politics etc., and, here’s the best part: Even if I unfollow the account it is still in a list so I can keep ‘listening’.

I do it to show my support

I do it to show my support but mainly to interact with certain accounts.

No matter what your reason for following people, whether to gain more Klout, to look more influential, people are always looking for a bigger and broader network of accounts, of people to influence.

Reasons I follow Twitter accounts:

  1. I support a ‘follow-back’ so we can both get more followers, but mostly…
  2. So I can converse more often with that account. It’s a good way to keep in touch
  3. Accounts I follow come up in the highlights notifications I subscribe to: “X and Y have all Tweeted about Z

Who do I follow?

I follow any account which:

  1. Tweets my stuff, – we like the same things so I follow back
  2. Favourites my Tweets – thanks for bookmarking – we have similar interest foci
  3. reTweets – if we’re Tweeting the same stuff we should find similar things of interest
  4. Follows me – I always follow back, unless that account is obviously Spam. I can always unfollow later

Why do you follow on Twitter?

About Dr Jojo Scoble

Freelance Science Communicator. Microbiology PhD Oxon. Fiction Writer. Social Media dilettante. Ideas Factory.
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