About Len

  • Len Devanna offers over 24 years of digital innovation experience at Fortune 500 brands. He helps companies with all aspects of their digital ecosystem, including online strategy, engagement marketing, and social brand management.


  • The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by my employer and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of anyone other than myself.

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I think I've seen that the limit is 2000 or # of followers + 10%
The thinking is that someone that follows a lot that don't get follow backs may be a spammer. It's definitely something that's been discussed a lot online and might be one of the paid features of Twitter in the future.
I see many corporate accounts using SocialToo to automatically follow-back new followers (and can remove if they unfollow). @mozy uses this tool (and I've played with it on my old @nohype Twitter)


You are claiming that the value of twitter is "building relationships" and "engaging in conversations". If that's true, then only follow accounts where conversation and relationships are your goals.

Your practice of following brands to "understand how these brands are using twitter" is violating your statement Twitter's core value: you're not trying to build relationship or engage in conversation; you're just watching. So don't follow them. Just browse their twitter feeds like an RSS reader.

My two cents!

Thx @ Stu and @SteveTodd. Steve - I think I am the exception to the rule. As you say, I'm watching for the sake of watching and learning. I'm not the norm (something my shrink continues to reinforce).

I'd suggest that, if Joe User follows a brand, they're doing it out of legitimate interest. That being the case, would you not hope the brand would 'return the favor' in the interest of seeding a new relationship?

I consider myself an exception to the rule. It was simply a question of watching so many based on the desire to learn that helped me see the over arching behavior.

No, I wouldn't have any hope that a brand would return the favor. I don't think it's realistic for a given brand to support Twitter's core value: build legitimate relationships through conversations. There's too many potential followers. I don't see a scalable way to have "real" relation in the sense of authentic dialogue.

As we all should know by now, building your brand is more than merely having a presence. The old Build it and they will come no longer holds true (def not in the long term).

Anyhow, the lack of response from some of these brands (you follow) is due in part to a brand strategy that is not fully thought through. This can leave gaps that could potentially do more harm than good for the brand (check steve todd second post: do you think he is alone in thinking this?)...

YES, twitter may be "new" and "cool".
YES the target audience may be engaged. BUT, unfortunately, this is often times as far as the thinking goes...
Will we have the man power to effectively communicate or twitter with our target?
What is the cost of additional man power (should it be required)?
What are some creative ways to get around the bottle neck?
What is the net gain of using the service?

These are often pieces of the puzzle swamped brand managers fail to find answers for, in their rush to be the first to embrace the next new thing under the perception of being proactive w/brand management. Not exactly the smartest approach.. but you would be surprised how many gravitate to this manner of thinking.

As per social networking sites themselves... it is the "new net fad", and in future I anticipate lots more will crop up with claims of being different - offering benefits that they think are meaningful but in fact misses the mark in solving the target users’ problems (as their daily pace rivals the speed of light) in an effort to be the next big thing... - BTW that is also another poor decision in buildging a succesfull brand -

I agree with the above post from the folks @ lechsam group. Very much correct that many (most?) go in eyes half open in react mode in an attempt to be early to market.

What's unfortunate to me is that there are so many low hanging fruit. So much could be done by simply rethinking yesterdays business processes and refocusing a small % of existing resources. Yes, you'll eventually hit a point of scale - but hopefully by then there's enough momentum that the investment is a much easier case.

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