In the Twitter Universe, there are “broadcasters” and “companions” the terms are mine.
Team followback are part of the companions, you follow them, they follow you. Some others are in between, (that’s me) I don’t automatically follow folks back. If their bio doesn’t reflect something I’m interested in, or their last three tweets are full of curse words or sales then I don’t follow. Then there are the rock stars of twitter – the broadcasters. They follow a miniscule number of folks and have followers in the hundreds of thousands. I first thought that my goal was to be one of the rock stars. Now I’m not so sure. There are so many wonderful things said by everyone, I’d hate to miss out. But I’ll wait to decide on that after I’m on the NY Times Best Seller list.
After not to long, I started to “unfollow” folks. That has been a more challenging proposition. There are websites out there who help with that (for a fee). So instead of paying someone else (I’m still cheap), I did a spreadsheet comparison. I’m sure my computer whiz husband could set up an equation for me to do it automatically, but instead I’m reading through the spreadsheets and seeing who is following me and who I am following.
If folks aren’t following me, then I look and see who they are, what their bio says, what they tweet, and what their following is. If it is a famous author I love, then I keep following them. If it is someone who hasn’t bothered to follow me back, I unfollow them. The reason for doing this is to get my following/follower ratio closer to 1:1.
How do I interface with Twitter? Three different ways (there are more ways but three is my limit).
a) via email – I set up my preferences in Twitter to email me when someone follows me, direct messages, mentions, or retweets me. (This is very important so I can thank folks for doing all those things – gratitude and appreciation are key on twitter. One of the reasons I like it.)
b) via hootsuite – this was a suggestion that @stacyjuba put out in the twebinar #tweetlikeapro by MWRA. I used tweetdeck for a bit, but the interface didn’t work for me. There are other applications out there, look for what works for you. The advantage to hootsuite is that I can set up columns with my list of followers, key word searches (ie. #amwriting, #ambeading), mentions, messages, and main feed. This is the interface I use to thank folks with cute notes always including #TY or #shoutout so that if folks search on those then the tweets come up.
c) via twitter (directly) – this is the easiest way I’ve found to click on my follower list, see their bio blurb and decide whether to follow them back. I also use that interface to unfollow folks.
My cell phone is from another century, so I don’t use it. Nor do I have other means of dealing with twitter other than my laptop. Use what you can, experiment. The worst thing that happens is you’ve wasted an hour of your life on it.
My last Twitter 101 blog will be about the nuances of Twitter etiquette I’ve alluded to in these last two blogs. Find me at http://twitter.com/#!/skjarkins