I, for one, am a supporter of following people back on Twitter. I tell people all of the time that “unless you are famous like Shaq or Britney Spears, you will probably want to follow back and reciprocate with your followers unless they are ridiculous porn or spam.” When you follow back, you may have an idea of where you want this relationship to go… or maybe you do not… but there is that percentage of possibility!
If you do not consistently check your followers and follow the applicable (meaning people in your community, niche, or anyone that is a potential) back, you are limiting your networking capability. Of course you have people that ask “how can I keep up with everything that goes across my home feed?” The answer is that once you are following 300, 500, 1000 people or more; you do not monitor your home page. You evolve to your mentions (@replies) and the niche that you and/or your business is focusing on. You can also follow by Twitter lists where you can group a bunch of people and watch them a little closer, interact, etc. For example: I set my clients up on Hootsuite where they can monitor what is going out of their account, when they are being mentioned, their direct messages, and also streams of tweets about their local community and their business niche. This allows them to be on top of their game when it comes to getting in on the tweet action.
It is funny sometimes when I hear of people complaining about followers following them, and then they complain when they get unfollowed too… and it many times because they did not complete the relationship connection by following back. Maybe they think they are better than the folks following them? Maybe they think that their product or voice is superior? Some people just don’t know? It doesn’t matter. The same result is still there.
Oh, you may also be hindering other people and businesses from growing their account by not following them back. A person can only follow so many on Twitter (around 2000) before you are subject to the 10% rule where you can only follow 10% more people than you have following you.
Part of your weekly Twitter maintenance is checking the people and businesses that are following you and follow them back to make the bond. It take two!