Should brands on Twitter follow back?

Today I read this article discussing whether brands on Twitter should follow back.

If you’re a brand on Twitter and your social media strategy is not to follow everyone who follows you, you’re missing the point. More importantly, you’re sending a strong message to those you don’t follow: I’m important because I’m a brand and you’re not…

 

 

I tend to agree with this comment

@savvari ~ If you follow a brand and interact with them often, it would be nice to be followed back.

However this is an extremely valid point. Following back opens the Direct Message door and makes it much much easier for private conversations between a customer and a brand

I tend to think that a brand should follow Twitter accounts that fall into one of the following rules:

  1. Partners, staff, contractors, clients, people you work or do business with
  2. Customers and fans who share or engage with your content and stories
  3. People or businesses in your local area
Whether or not to follow back these is a different question
  1. Competitors
  2. Agencies or contractors representing or working with the competition
  3. People talking negatively about your brand - I say yes to this one for the same reason we don't delete negative comments from Facebook pages. Everyone has their right to an opinion and being open and honest is what relationships are built on.
  4. Fake or spam accounts - Easy to say no to following these

 

 

Question: Is the act of following someone on Twitter an endorsement or simply a statement that "I'm interested in listening to you"