I don't automatically follow people who follow me on Twitter. It may sound like bad Twitter etiquette, but it's more self defence than offensiveness.
I'm happy to be followed (preferably by people keen to read my Tweets; not simply by those playing the numbers game). I will follow people who I believe are wiling to share information or contacts relevant either to my professional work or to my other interests.
I look at each new follower to assess suitability, and also look at their inward and outward followings and their recent Tweeting history. High-frequency Tweeters tend to clog up my Timeline so I tend to avoid them – unless I can see potential value. At the other extreme, low-frequency Tweeters may not say much – but it can be worth hanging on for an occasional gem of a quote.
In the past I have followed (or followed back) several people whose Tweets are simply not adding value for me, and in the not-too-distant future I shall be wiping them off my list.
The fact is that Twitter is a brilliant way to communicate. It's important to have a good and growing number of followers and followings, but there's a limit to the number of Tweets any person (who isn't actually a paid social media executive) can read in a day. If you can't keep up with your Timeline, the chances are you are missing useful information – and communication isn't happening.
So if I haven't followed back or if I stop following, please don't be offended. I'm sure there are still many others who will gain a lot from your comments.
David Goddin was born in the UK and educated in South Africa. He began his career on daily newspapers and trade journals, before moving into public relations consulting. He produced award-winning writing and became an Accredited PR Practitioner, the highest qualification of the Public Relations Institute of South Africa. Since his return to the UK 17 years ago he has also contributed to a number of highly successful PR and marketing communications campaigns for major national and multinational clients. He is currently also President of the Haslemere & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce.