Why I no longer follow companies on Twitter.

by Karolyn Hart

My how the times have changed.  Less than two short years ago I was espousing the virtues of creating corporate twitter accounts and even advising companies on how to get followers.  I’m not going to be humble on this one – I am REALLY good at figuring out that sweet spot for companies that will get twitter followers to not only follow them, but truly engage.  Every customer and client I’ve had was unique so there was always that customization, tweaking, and it worked.  It still does as I am doing it again with my current workplace.  The secret? It’s nothing you haven’t heard before: you need to be real, don’t spam your followers, provide something of value, make it engaging…. yadda, yadda, yadda.

So, for some of those companies I’ve helped… to hear that I just went through my own personal Twitter and STOPPED following all corporations, organizations, agencies, etc. Well, that makes me a hypocrite…or does it?

The change started for me when Twitter created “Lists”.  Here’s a secret tip: you don’t have to be following a corporation to get updates from them.  Actually, you can create a customized list called “InterestingCompanies”, add them to it and check in on your list whenever you wish.

So what’s the big deal? Why bother unfollowing companies?

Well, for me it’s a matter of principle.  Once upon a time Twitter was a place unscarred by bots, companies, spammers, and the like.  It was made up of real honest-to-goodness people. So for me, this is a way to try and get back some of that magic.

Now here’s an interesting phenomenon.  When I stopped following all those companies nothing happened. I mean NOTHING.  Which is a huge loss for each of these companies.  This was an opportunity to send me a quick shout out saying “Please don’t go” with an awesome link to the classic 1992 hit by KWS. That would have made me laugh and maybe (for a moment) made me reconsider. (For those of you who don’t know this there are a plethora of tools you can use to tell you when your followers leave and send them an automatic shout out.)

At the end of the day, the name of the game “engagement”. Truthfully, there are no hard feelings here because my Twitter engagements are now with individuals and already I am seeing the benefits. Companies using Twitter should take note – I’d much rather follow your actual employee that works for you than a corporate account.

That said, if you are a corporate company and you want to follow me, please feel free to @karolynhart 🙂

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