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Thoughts of a Concerned Tweeter

Christina Reed was born in California, relocated to Louisiana at the age of ten and resides there still. Her interest include: Metaphysics, Pseudoscience, Writers, Photography, New Orleans, Music, Twitter, and Human Behavior.

“We dance when there is no music. We drink at funerals. We talk too much, and live too large and, frankly, we’re suspicious of those who don’t.” -Chris Rose.

Klout Questions

  • How do you stop Klout from turning you into a pretentious snob who actively looks for “Thought Leaders” or “Influencers” to follow and interact with?
  • Is it ever OK to mass unfollow everyone with a perceived low Klout score?
  • When you actively follow and engage someone that is controversial, raunchy, or deliberately illiterate, how much will this affect you as it pertains to List, Klout Scores, and reputation?
  • What is the most likely reason Klout list you as influential on subjects you truly have no influence in?
  • Is it tacky to ask people for a +K?
  • Is it tacky to invite people to Klout? Those who haven’t heard of it, tell me it looks spammy.

High Profile Celebrities

  • When celebrities follow, without introduction, or engagement, what is the most likely reason for their follow?
  • Is there a proper way to thank a celebrity for following without coming across as a braggart?
  • When Companies or Television Networks follow, what is the likely motive?
  • When a celebrity DM’s you a request to check out their; book, album, movie, TV series or whatever, is it tacky for you to ask them to reciprocate considering their status?

Why are they following me?

  • Why aren’t more people on Twitter asking the question, “what made you follow me?” This is crucial information.
  • Is it proper to ask a new follower “what made you follow me?”

Team Follow Back

  • Are Twitter users who include the phrase “Team follow back” in Tweets, or on Bio desperate, or brilliant connectors who are collecting people?

Will you answer these questions?

Many of you are experienced in the art of Twitter, building relationships & interacting with people around the world. Use the questions above, and share your thoughts and answers below.

Let’s enjoy a feast of Twitter discussion.

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28 comments… add one

  • Kristi Hines October 4, 2011, 9:32 am

    Great questions…

    About Klout – I think Klout is manipulable. I did an experiment that consisted of a new Twitter account – got 200 followers in a niche based on who looked like they would follow back and then got a ton of retweets through a service. Went from 0 to 47 Klout in a week. It’s since dropped to 28 since I abandoned the account, but it just goes to show with the right connections and services to add followers and get unnaturally high number of retweets, you can create an account that *looks* influential that really isn’t. A better judge of who is influential is looking at what users are asked the most questions and whether those users actually interact with their followers and answer them.

    About Celebrities – It really depends if it’s the actual celebrity or a representative of that celebrity. In general, my philosophy on reviews is not to review anything that I don’t believe in or isn’t good for my audience. But I’ll generally say sure just for free books as I am a book nerd.

    About Why People Follow – I would actually love to ask that in a DM to new followers, but auto DMs are seen as spammy more often than not. Sometimes it would result in a legit answer. One way to see why people follow you is to look at the names of lists people add you to. If most have a specific topic, then you’ll know that you’re an influence in that area. Or you can do this with your Twitter lists and Wordle – http://shuaism.com/2010/01/so-this-is-what-you-people-think-of-me/?success#comment-31496811. :)

    About Team Follow Back – Without putting it on my profile, I was an unofficial member of team follow back as I automatically followed back people who followed me so they would have the option to privately message me when needed. Then I used a program called Refollow and realized that thousands of people were no longer following me, and I was following another couple of thousand people who hadn’t tweeted in over 3 months. Those are who I mass unfollowed, and after I was done it amounted to around 10K people which is pretty sad.

    • Christian Hollingsworth October 4, 2011, 11:23 am

      Love all these thoughts, Kristi.

      I think you’re right about Klout. If someone is obsessed over Klout versus providing real quality, they can easily inflate those numbers instead of really providing good value to followers. It’s like anything in life. Whatever you put your mind to and practice, you’ll be successful at. I’d rather provide a service than worry about a number.

  • Bruce Sallan October 4, 2011, 10:58 am

    I don’t get the bio’s with multiple ##### in them? I care to follow and “KNOW” people who tell me about who THEY ARE. The challenge is to do so in a limited # of characters. But, it is possible. If you can’t even do that, what’s the point? I have a higher Klout than Jack Welch. Means diddly-squat. I know who I am and who I’m not regardless of a metric that assigns me value! So there…lol.

    • Christian Hollingsworth October 4, 2011, 11:25 am

      Getting to know someone is what it’s all about, and then assigning and determining whether that person defines and adds value for you. One person can be extremely valuable to a soul, while that same person might not be valuable in the least to another.

      Love the passion and thoughts, Bruce.

  • Christian Hollingsworth October 4, 2011, 11:30 am

    In regards to inviting people to give you Klout, for me personally, I wouldn’t do it? Why? Well, first of all, I just feel like people would take it the wrong way. I’d rather receive the Klout naturally by people who are actually moved to give it. Otherwise, asking for Klout could mess with the metric even further.

    Also, I’d rather be asking people for other things. Each person has their “do” limit. Every time you ask someone to do something for you, you’re taking away a little bit more of what they’re willing to do for you. I’d rather take that ambition, and ask users to do other things that I feel would be a more valuable use of their time.

    Most celebrities aren’t really Tweeting what is on their profiles. It’s interesting to see the influence they have nonetheless. It all comes down to their brand and its popularity. I’ve always loved how you can have some who “worship” twitter and grow their following, but then you also have celebrities who have tremendous followings just based on being popular in the first place. Wherever they go, whatever social network, they’ll see success; because of the great brand that’s already put into place.

  • Quintius M. Walker October 4, 2011, 7:51 pm

    The question ” Why are you following me ? ” Or more so ” what made you start following me ? “, is a perfectly normal and justified question. Think of what it means to follow someone in the offline world. If I were to ” follow ” anyone it would have to be for a reason other than me having nothing else better to do with my time. To follow is an action. So if I’m following someone it’s because we’re either headed in the same general direction or I don’t know my way to the general area so I’m following the person because he/does know the way. Fortunately for me, I’ve managed to stay away from a lot of online tools that are out there to gain massive followers ( just so that it looks good on my ” resume’ ” so to speak ). As a result, I’m able to closely manage and monitor the people who chose to follow me. Whenever someone shows up that doesn’t at least have anything in common with me in their profiles, or there isn’t even a glimmer of hope that the person and I could ever end up doing business together due to the nature our professions, I make it a point to DM that person and ask them point blank: ” what is the reason that you decided to start following me ? ” out of all the million and some odd people in the world. (Remember however; I always make it known before I even go there that I am totally honored by the follow ). Back to the offline example: if you were leaving the grocery store real late at night or early in the morning and noticed that not just one, but there were quite a few individuals following you…there’s a good chance that this question will be the first one to pop up in your mind.

  • Joanne Cipressi October 4, 2011, 9:40 pm

    I personally think we all have our own styles of doing Twitter…just like how we interact in offline life.
    I love klout. Its fun. I look at it as another way to show someone I appreciate them. Since we could only give 5 klout a day…it is a nice gesture.
    Celebrities…they are just people like us. Just be yourself and get attention for that..than for being something your not just to get their attention. Like it was stated above…many of them are not tweeting their own anyway.
    Why people follow me? I don’t like to get caught up in the why’s in the beginning. I like to see where the relationships will develop…if at all.
    #TeamFollowBack? I tried it one on of my accounts for about a week and it felt really silly. So I stopped.

  • Richard October 4, 2011, 11:46 pm

    Good questions, but some of them require no answer. Most of the things we do are just that – things we do. Why do i drink green tea instead of dark, why do i get 5 minutes late on every meeting, why do i follow celebrities on tweeter?
    See what i mean?

    • Christina October 5, 2011, 1:37 pm

      Everyone is curious about something; it’s the conduit through which we learn. I’ve been professionally curious about social media for quite a while now; it’s changed how we behave, how we think and how we connect.
      You can be sure Network Executives, Marketers, Political Think Tanks, and Corporations are asking these questions, with full understanding that they are delving into human behavior on social networks. He who finds the largest commonality, and then manipulates these behaviors will indeed be a force…or at the very least, get you to switch from green tea to dark tea. 
      However my goals are not nearly as lofty as above, I’ve actually struggled with a few of these questions. Thanks to the commentary, I have a better understanding as to how much Klout truly influences people, and how they are most likely to react if someone asks for it. (15 out of 20 said tacky so far.) I can also stop hanging my head in shame for mistakenly thinking Team Follow back was right for me. It appears as if it can happen to the best of us.
      I’m excited for having the chance to discoverer valuable new tools I can use, better-quality content, and a broader understanding of how people feel about these questions, even if the answer is… ambivalent, I’ve still learned something.

  • Sara October 5, 2011, 9:22 am

    I started off randomly following a guy whose books I had enjoyed. I saw who he followed, followed some of them, and found stuff to retweet and reply to. Searched areas of interest, followed family and friends, and started getting a few followers! I generally check out the profile, what they tweet, what they retweet….. I have learnt an amazing amount of useful stuff from their blogs – I even bought a kindle and can now download their books in seconds…. so much amazing stuff out there!!!! Hopefully I will eventually add something of value myself but for the moment I am soaking up the good stuff…. What is klout by the way???

  • Jen October 5, 2011, 9:32 am

    I am SO happy that I’m not the only person who has these questions; it makes me feel less like I’m doing it wrong. I’m with you on not asking people for +K—it feels like being back in high school campaigning for student government. If people feel I have something interesting to say, they’ll do it out of the goodness of their hearts (so far, not many people have goodness in their hearts).

    Being followed by celebrities, while it must be nice, would also seem a bit odd I imagine. Especially if it was someone skeevy.

  • Stan Faryna October 6, 2011, 1:51 am

    “… so far, not many people have goodness in their hearts.”

    Big hug to you Jen. This comment platform doesn’t let me get to your blog or Twitter from your comment. Otherwise, I would go check your blog out.

  • Stan Faryna October 6, 2011, 4:02 am

    Regarding your question, Why aren’t more people on Twitter asking the question, “what made you follow me?”

    Those of us with some common sense are afraid of the most frequent, obvious and disappointing answer: They wanted a follow back. Who are you?

  • Christina October 6, 2011, 11:25 am

    Jen, I know we’re not the only ones! Twitter is evolving rapidly, and a lot of us are playing catch-up to those with more knowledge and experience. The experts are scrambling to keep up with the Super Experts, so we are all always learning, or looking to learn.

    In reply to Stan, the tactic of “follow for follow” is easy to recognize. Advanced users who have no need for this tactic are easy to recognize also. The focus of my question pertains to the latter. Of course you’re right about the majority of followers. Those are the type I can personally do without, especially since I’m not selling, or promoting anything that depends on mass numbers.

    Quintius made a good point by applying real world interactions to this question. When someone actively decides to follow you-something sparked that decision. Typically it’s because your content is focused on a subject of interest to them. Easy. But when that is not applicable, the question of “what predicated this follow” becomes more important. The answer could offer insight as to what that follower expects of you.

    Joanne, thanks for your perspective! Questions carry weight, and if someone wants to quietly observe for a while—it could be off-putting. Definitely food for thought.

    Stan @Kris10sL8 is my Twitter handle. The link on my profile takes you to a shoe string Non-Profit I run in New Orleans. Eventually I will add another link for my blog, but not until I’ve listened and learned a bit longer.

  • Sean October 6, 2011, 1:40 pm

    An excellent thought provoking post – some amusing questions too – Most of which would have a personal answer, as we mostly all tend to use twitter a bit differently, its a matter of choice.


  • Grenae Thompson October 7, 2011, 12:33 pm

    Great questions! As to Klout, I’m a little “turned off” by comments on Twitter that begin, “I just received +1 on Klout from . . . . ” I don’t get it.

    I personally follow people on Twitter who have worthwhile things to share. If someone follows me, I check their recent tweets, blog or website, etc., then decide whether or not to return follow. I learn so much from the people I follow and enjoy the occasional friendly exchange.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking list of questions.

  • susanborst October 7, 2011, 2:58 pm

    Great questions and thought provoking post, Christina! In my experience, I’ve seen countless posts that address many of these questions. At the end of the day, it seems we all have our own Twitter “strategy” – whether conscious or not, that determines who/how/when we follow/unfollow/not follow another Twitterer.

    My thoughts on your question categories:
    - Klout: I think it is a meaningful metric, but to be put in perspective. I do not see Klout scores on my browser when people follow, etc. But I will look at their scores later. And, no, it is NOT OK to ask for +Ks. That is a major turn off for me.
    - High Celebrity Profiles – Guess I’m not “important” enough for this to even be on my radar!!
    - Why are they following me? – Usually I “get” why someone is following me as their content stream is similar to mine. But if not, I do think it’s appropriate to ask “why”?
    - TeamFollowBack – Don’t get it and don’t like it. I want followers who like what I have to say – genuinely. I hate being on those lists – wish I could stop their RT with my name in it.

    Thanks again.

    • Christian Hollingsworth October 7, 2011, 7:18 pm

      I think that’s why the idea of posting as “questions” instead was so attractive to me. These questions are addressed by so many, everywhere, but it’s also important to work through the questions, build answers, and discuss what might be better on a while.

      It’s always been interesting to “ask” how people started following me. Some just fall into it, some do it deliberately from finding the blog, and some are just scanning.

  • sandiegosharksfan October 7, 2011, 5:00 pm

    i was going to type my whole own comment but I think Susan ^^^ pretty much summed it up for me.

  • Christina October 9, 2011, 2:25 pm

    Thank you Susan for your thoughtful advice! I tend to agree with everything you said, especially after my own experience in regards to asking for +K’s.

    Klout’s interface allows users to request +K’s, therefore one may assume this is acceptable, as I did.

    One three occasions I opted to ask followers for a +K , but the result was less than desirable. Two had never heard of Klout, and assumed I was asking them to subscribe to a blog–the other granted my +K wish, but the sense of accomplishment was diminished as I realized how undeserved it was.

    The subject of Klout, as it relates to “Teamfollowback” and inflated Klout scores is by no means a new topic. My question is this…has their tactic proven to be successful, and if so, for how long?

    • Christian Hollingsworth October 9, 2011, 5:36 pm

      There are those who tweet the #teamfollowback hashtag every few minutes on their account in order to inflate their numbers, and I’ve seen it work for people. You might have high numbers, but the problem is, only other spammers are going to follow you if you’re doing something like that, as only that crud is coming from your stream. It’s not worth it.

  • Christina October 11, 2011, 11:10 am

    Great point about spammers Christian! What’s the point of having a high follower count when no one is listening to you. What’s worse is, often they are the source of those nasty hacks that could ruin your Twitter account.
    You reminded me of the old saying, “birds of a feather flock together” –Well, I’d rather fly with the eagles than scavenge with the vultures.
    Thank you for that advice!

    • Christian Hollingsworth October 11, 2011, 2:29 pm

      Fly with the eagles. I love that. Let’s keep flying, let’s keep supporting, let’s keep blogging! :)

  • Quintius M. Walker October 12, 2011, 12:02 am

    After keeping up with the threads and reading some more of the comments, I just have to add a bit of elaboration to the comment I’d made and the context that it was implying to. I read two key trigger words that are very important in our online existence; spammers and hackers. Well…follow me here ( I have to clarify there because after all, this is just text and it’s read as what’s written out of context. Spammers are spammers. But when I say hackers, by no means am I talking about ” true hackers “. We need hackers online. They’re our protection. I’m referring to the ones with a lot of potential but are misusing their knowledge destroying. But anyway, sorry, about the rambling.
    In my situation, who I am online is who I am offline. Every bit of it. Therefore, my reputation is my cornerstone. Thus, I pay attention and closely monitor who’s following me for one; I truly care about my customers, fans, and community. I can’t afford to have Debbie Does Dallas and Her Cousins following me. It makes no sense from a business nor a personal side of view. So, when I come across people who have a questionable character following me; and what I mean by questions is that I’ve already done the mathematics on it and exhausted all possibilities of why Debbie Does Dallas should be following me, at that point it’s time to start getting to the bottom of it. How can I explain to my family and to Warren Buffet why I have Debbie Does Dallas and the entire state of Texas making up 95% of my followers and the books say that I’m in the red zone? Nice discussion here. It’s real conversation.

    • Christian Hollingsworth October 12, 2011, 1:10 am

      I think your thoughts on being yourself online and off, is a great goal for every blogger to have. You make a great, valuable point.

      To me, it would be rather difficult to keep track of two personalities – and not let them cross. What a headache!


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