We all know how important it is to be present on social media. But once you’ve got yourself set up, how do you maximise your profile? Who do you follow?

For many out there the focus for a social media presence was predominantly on followers, and how many you had. And to a certain extent, there is still value in this. But simply following every person who follows you is not necessarily the best way to approach your business social media profile. A more appropriate angle is to be more selective about who you follow. It’s very much a case of quality not quantity. In fact, most social media platforms have a set limit on the number of accounts you can follow so the scattergun approach to following isn’t the way to go.

They are:

Twitter: 5,000 per account. Twitter will limit you on the number of additional accounts that can be followed when you reach 5,000 accounts. There is also a limit to the number of direct messages you can send on Twitter, which is 250 total per day across all devices.

Facebook: this is the same as Twitter – 5,000.

Instagram: no more than 7,500 accounts can be followed. There are also timed limits in Instagram – only 20 users per hour can be followed/unfollowed, with a maximum of 100-200 in a day.

LinkedIn: you are permitted to make 30,000 connections on this platform.

So if being selective is the right approach, how do you decide who to choose? With more and more people joining social media every day, the pool of users is ever increasing!

There are some important facts to bear in mind before you decide to follow someone back:

Spam There are a number of spammy accounts out there that will end up filling your feed with useless posts. You also want to avoid aligning yourself with any accounts that might be provocative or paint your business in a negative light by association. Take a look at the feed of the profile you’re contemplating and just be sure that it’s a profile you won’t mind seeing posts from.

Think about your target audience You have a pool of potential customers out there that want to hear from you. You have a service or product they need and they’ll be interested in hearing about you. Think about who they may be and follow accounts that sit within this arena.

Connect with your suppliers These are the people that you believe provide great products or services, otherwise why else would you be buying from them? If you follow them then you’ll hear their latest news, success stories, events etc and you’ll be able to pass the message on to your customers. That way if people are looking for that product or service you’ll have a visible connection to them.

Influencers provide inspiration Whether this is high profile people that you admire or those that are recognised for excellence in your industry (or one that you’re interested in), there is a whole host of valuable inspiration that you can draw upon from the wider social media community. Tap into it and be in the know!

Spending a bit of time on finding relevant accounts, following them, engaging with them and keeping an eye on how they’re getting on can not only provide you with some knowledge, but can place you firmly as “one of them” so that others are more likely to view you in the same way.