Isn’t Social Media about Sharing and Interacting? Or is it about worshipping the Elite among us?

I find it interesting that some people/accounts collect followers but never follow back. I have decided NOT to follow people that do not follow others.

I do not mean someone that has 20,000 following and they follow 15,000.  I am talking about the person that has 2,230,000 following and they follow zero people or a tiny handful of other elite people.

Some people pride themselves on not following anyone but their elite buddies.

Businessman drawing a graph with Royalty going up

I do not begrudge someone from being popular and elite. It puzzles me when people are not social on social media.

I use the term “accounts” interchangeably with “people” because most of these accounts are not really the celebrity or thought leader but an account that a social media firm manages. Many social media firms recommend that the account/person not follow anyone back or try to follow as few as possible.

I see experts, magazines, news media, corporations, CEOs, thought leaders and other personalities that follow zero or a tiny ratio of people when they have thousands and millions of people following them.

following wise men

I understand that some social media platforms like Twitter have ratios that most of us have to follow.  Plus there are some good reasons to care about your follow ratio.

Check out this great article by Neal Schaffer.  It is older post but still great data.

“So what is the ideal ratio?  It will change depending on how many Followers you have, but it has to be in a range near 1.0 (0.75 to 1.25?) if you want to grow you Twitter Followers.  Anything above that shows that you may not have anything interesting to say and below that range may indicate that you don’t care about who follows you and may not follow them back anyway (of course, if you are a famous celebrity you can get away with following nobody). Neal Schaffer”

Another good post about Follower Ratio can be found at Does the Follower / Following Ratio Matter in Terms of True Influence on Twitter?

However to have a follower ratio you have to be FOLLOWING someone.

I will bestow on you the right to follow me (aren’t you lucky) and hang on my every word.  Obviously you will have nothing to share that had any value for me.  I do not care what you have to say and doubt that I could learn anything from you.  

following the leader

We are allowed to adore them and hang on their every word but they do not care what we have to share.  It feels like the good ole “us versus them”.  Are they the popular kids in high school that do not have the desire to hang out with the regular kids?

This does not feel social to me.  So if you have little to no followers- your choice- however I choose to NOT follow you on social media.  I will buy your music, watch your films, buy from your services or products, read your blogs, watch your videos.  However, I have decided to NOT follow you on social media.

I am sure you do not care because there are many that will adore you and follow you.  You really don’t need me to follow you.   I choose to not become one of your adoring masses.  Instead I want to follow people that have something of substance to chatter about, have good content, and have or are finding their voices.  I also follow people that care about my content and I am grateful for my followers.

I am not saying that you should follow everyone but I do follow about 95% of people that follow me.  Here are my reasons for NOT following someone back.

Reason #1: I do not follow people that appear to be fake accounts.  I will also unfollow people that have never tweeted or chattered.  Or I will unfollow people that have not been active on social media for months or years.  I will confess that I am still following some dear friends and my father that have passed away because I cannot bear to unfollow them – I am nostalgic and miss them.  Maybe they will tweet me from the other side.  That would be a cool blog.

There are some good tools (most are free) that allow you to determine if an account or person is a fake.  My favorite is Manage Flitter but Social Bakers or Fake Followers also have tools.  Fake accounts can be used to spam or create viruses.  Have you ever gotten this notice from a legit follower?  “Someone is spreading nasty messages about you”.  I always contact that follower and tell them that they have been infected and suggest that they change their password.

Reason #2: I do not follow people that say mean things about others.  I also try not to hang out with people that say mean things about others.  I try really hard to not gossip or say unkind things about others.  I am not perfect but am trying hard to live my life authentically.

Reason #3: I rarely follow people that curse all the time even though I use inappropriate and colorful words now and again. My daughter Sara (@sararuh) born with Down syndrome always scolds me when I do use curse words.  So to honor her I try really hard to be disciplined and use other words to make my point but sometimes those words just seem to be the best fit.   I choose to never curse on social media.  Using swear words on social media does not really work for the content that I share.  For others it might make sense but it does not for me.

Reason #4: I also choose to not follow people that share porn pictures or insensitive or racially charged content. I try not to follow people that cram their political, religious or other views down my throat.   I do follow some people that chatter about religion and politics if it takes a mean or hurtful tone – well go back to Reason #2.

Reason #5: I rarely follow people that are always selling me something.  I do not mind you chattering occasionally about your service or product but if that is all you chatter about then I do not want to follow you.

Social Media is about being SOCIAL.  It allows all of us to have a voice.  It is my right to decide who that I will follow and you do NOT have to follow me or other pesky followers.

Here is a tip for the big corporations that are all over social media.  Follow your customers and potential customers back.   Allow us to interact with you.   You might learn something and sell a lot more products and services.  Plus we chatter so we can tell you friends about your products and services.

It really surprises me when social media tools and platforms do not follow back.  How ironic.

It amazes me that Social Media Thought Leaders think that they do not have to participate in the social part of social media.  I believe that things are shifting and others have decided to not follow you if you are not participating in the conversation instead of just chattering at me.

follow the leader

I was just wondering if other people felt the same way as me.  If you are going to chatter and share on social media – shouldn’t you be social and at least follow others back?

I adore social media and have written a book called “Find Your Voice using Social Media”.  If you care to follow me and have good content and something to say on social media – I will follow you back.  Plus I will share your good content as frequently as possible.

Not everyone will agree that Social Media should be Social but for the mere mortals among us maybe it makes sense to be social on social media.

You can follow me on most social media channels at @debraruh or check out my website at  I would also be delighted for you to buy my book on Amazon Find Your Voice using Social Media”

Follow Me on SKYPE, twitter, linked-in, facebook, pinterest, tumblr: debraruh

Proud to announce my new book “Find Your Voice using Social Media”

Follow @debraruh and @sararuh

Follow @debraruh and @sararuh