Blocking Your Twitter Followers

twitterDuring Web 20 I had a very interesting conversation with John Welsh of UMB Live. He mentioned (and has a post) that he blocks anyone not directly related to social media and his direct interests from following his tweets. This is in direct contrast to the recent CNN and Ashton Kutcher race to 1 Million followers.

For John, this enables him to know exactly who everyone is and provides a higher quality community. While this makes sense I’m not sure about blocking everyone. In my case, I don’t mind who follows me as this doesn’t IMPACT me versus if I “followed” all of these folks.

What is you goal?

I think it comes down to what your goal is. For John having higher quality is important. For a celebrity like Ashton this provides a direct link to his fans. For me, my goal is to educate people on marketing, public relations and social media.

For B2B Businesses I think you have to strike a balance. I would recommend blocking any blatant “spam” accounts and being selective on who you follow.

But my competitors…

Some have asked about blocking competitors. While you can block them from following you, you can’t stop them from searching on you and getting those updates. In the end, Twitter is a public avenue for connecting with people and engaging in an open dialogue. I think private Twitter defeats that purpose.

If you’re concerned about competitive issues, then don’t use Twitter.  That’s frankly what instant messaging and email are for.

Conclusions: Block with a strategy in mind

As with everything you need to fully consider your strategy for Twitter and how blocking followers with this. Furthermore, blocking may have a negative impact if you accidentally block someone from your target audience. I’m going to take the conservative approach. I will begin blocking anyone blatantly a spammer (britneyspearsbuzz watch out!) but will keep everyone else.

What do you think – to block or not block is the question?

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Should you block your Twitter followers by @csalomonlee:

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3 responses to “Blocking Your Twitter Followers

  1. I have a simple policy – I block the obvious spammers. People with a lot of follows, few followers and only a small handful of updates of a mostly promotional nature. I hope that others do the same to signal Twitter about their nature and hopefully make their efforts unproductive.

    But I don’t see the point of blocking because the person didn’t express all of their interests in the few characters available.

  2. Cece,
    I’ve been wondering about this and have blocked a few people myself. This post helps and has great advice: block with a strategy.

  3. csalomonlee

    @wbw_jeff – you do raise a good point about blocking clear spammers. To clarify, I will block non spammers who haven’t updated much (maybe 1 or 2 tweets every other month) and competitors as well (I know, you can still get to my tweets via search, but adds one step)

    @Veronica – good luck with your blocking strategy!