Unwritten Rules

While reading ePolitics this week I was intrigued by the article, A Politician’s Role in the Twitterverse, Part One: Follower to Friend Ratio. There are so many unwritten social media rules and it is interesting to consider if public figures abide by those same guidelines.

After receiving this tweet, “Should Politicians follow all of their own followers? What do you think? Should mutual following be a priority for politicians on #twitter?” the author answered no. However, it got her thinking more about a follower to following ratio means.

The ratio breakdown accordsing to TFFRatio is as follows:

  • A ratio of less than 1.0 indicates that you are seeking knowledge (and Twitter Friends), but not getting much Twitter Love in return.
  • A ratio of around 1.0 means you are respected among your peers. Many people think that a ratio of around 1.0 is the best – you’re listening and being listened to.
  • A ratio of 2.0 or above shows that you are a popular person and people want to hear what you have to say. You might be a thought leader in your community.
  • A TFF Ratio 10 or higher indicates that you’re either a Rock Star in your field or you are an elitist and you cannot be bothered by Twitter’s mindless chatter. You like to hear yourself talk. Luckily others like to hear you talk, too.

The article presents examples of politicians who are active on Twitter and what their ratios signify about their online presence. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has 25,594 followers but is only following 275 tweeters. However, Governor Patrick of Massachusetts has 14,446 followers, and is following 11,672 Twitter users for a follower/friend ratio of 1.23. Gov. Patrick’s high amount of followers most likely lead to his high followers, as people often follow back. This pattern of following  also maks him appear more engaging and connected to his constituents.

I agree with the author that you shouldn’t blindly follow everyone who follows you but using some discretion in reciprocating a follow can go a long way.

This also got me thinking about other unwritten rules on Twitter:

  • Always give credit where credit is due. Never use a tweet without proper RT credit.
  • Keep personal inquiries and sharing of personal information to DM.
  • No spamming! (OK, that one is written)

Anymore guidelines to share?

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