Social Media: Following for the sake of Following?

Judy Vedder Internet Marketing

Facebook Friends.
Twitter Followers.
LinkedIn Connections.

Everyone is following everyone else.  Sometimes I wonder if this is this just a numbers game.  He who gets the most followers wins?

My kids are on Facebook now, so I had to set some guidelines.  #1 is that they have to friend me and #2 is that they can only friend people they know – no strangers.  As kids will do, they’ve stretched the boundaries of rule #2 to include:  friends, relatives, friends of friends, friends of their cousins, each other’s friends, kids in their grade that they know of (but don’t really know well), etc.  “He who has the most friends wins.

I use LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter for business and I often see the same mentality in adults.  I receive email notifications each time someone new follows me on twitter.  Although it is flattering to have people following me and as a business owner it is great to have an audience that is interested in my company and my services, but sometimes I can’t help but wonder why?  I can go for weeks without a tweet, yet I continue to get new followers.  Why would you follow someone who has not posted anything of value to you?  What do you get out of it?  Are you just looking for a follow back?

I don’t follow someone just because they are following me.  I don’t follow someone just because they have a lot of followers.  I follow someone who I think has something meaningful to share.

I also don’t follow someone hoping for a follow-back.  I follow someone because I agree with their point of view or because I think I can learn something from them.

Remember, one of the key rules to social media is to add value.  This goes both ways.  You’ll gain a larger following if you add value through meaningful posts.  But don’t you also want to get valuable information from others?

Social Media can be a waste of time if not used wisely.  If you are following thousands of people on Twitter or have hundreds of “so-called” friends on Facebook – then you are only seeing a very small fraction of posts and are probably missing many of the more important ones.

What do you think?  Do you choose your friends wisely or do you think it’s more important to just rack up the numbers