We can argue until the cows come home whether it is merely “polite” to follow people who follow you on Twitter or whether it’s essential. Yes, it’s your stream and yes, you can do what you want but when I see a member organization that is extremely lop-sided in its following (like following 50, followed by 552), I wonder how much it values the input of its members.
Let’s put some qualifiers on that broad statement – don’t feel obligated to follow companies that have bikini-clad girls as their avatars (unless they sell bikinis or sunscreen); make your own decision about following people without bios or those who have “eggs” for heads but for the love of your members, follow those you recognize. Why? Because it shows you want to know what’s going on with them. If you follow them you’ll see their status updates in your stream. You can tweet their successes and connect with them outside of meetings and events on things that matter to them personally. But if you only want your tweets to be about you — and I hope you don’t — consider asking them about the things you see on Twitter when you see them in person. That connection goes a long way to making them realize how much you value them.