My policy on who/how many people I follow on Twitter has become much more lax in recent months. These days, I follow back most of the people that follow me. The downside to this is that a lot of these people will immediately unfollow me as soon as I follow them back, I guess in an attempt to 'pad' their follower count.
So every few weeks, I like to go through my Twitter network and 'cleanse' it. I will unfollow a lot of the people I am following that aren't following me, and at the same time I will try to follow back people that followed me that I somehow missed. I was doing this today (using Twellow), and I began to notice a trend as I was going through the people I was following, that weren't following me.
I was following a LOT of people that write for Mashable, that weren't following me back. I finally found SEVEN people that identified themselves as writers for Mashable, that weren't following me back. I'm not talking about people that occasionally write for Mashable, these are seven paid writers for Mashable, not counting Cashmore (he isn't following me either).
I checked the ratio of people they follow to those that follow them. The 'best' ratio I found was one writer that was following back roughly 33% of the people that follow him. The worst was less than 10%.
I got to thinking about this, and honestly I'm not sure of the significance. Will I stop promoting Mashable on Twitter because none of their writers will follow me back? Probably not. Now do I think it's hypocritical for the site to bill itself as 'The Social Media Guide' and only follow back a fraction? Yeah, a little. Is that enough to make me change how I share their content with my network? Probably not.
So at the end of the day, who cares? That's what I'm wondering about. If a company is at all connected to social media, whether it's via content they aggregate, or create, or distribute, or services they offer, are these companies held to a higher 'standard' when it comes to using social media? If an agency brands itself as being 'experts in making companies social', and they aren't using social media to be social themselves, is that a disconnect? Are they expected to be more 'social'? Should they be? At the end of the day does it really matter?
What do you think?
UPDATE: As I continued to go through the people I am following that aren't following me back, I noticed that I also had several from Twitter. Which is really ironic.