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Twitter Tip — Paring Down a Following List

Wow. What great people! I am not kidding.

I think almost everyone on Twitter is great with some obvious exceptions that need not be mentioned.

So why have I zapped going on 7000 great people from my following list? Because I want to follow mainly people who gather and post content, news, cultural things, etc. People who provide references for their tweets. People who Tweet at least once a day.

Why?

So I can reach my followers with the most salient information, including retweets from the folk I follow. The ironical result of this activity will be to improve service to folk who follow me!

Just this morning, going by hand through profiles, I found some great things to retweet. Check out today’s tweets.

If everyone on Twitter observed the Twitter advice to follow no more than 2000 (a manageable number) there would be considerably more sharing among members of useful things. And those who did the most effective sharing would have more and more followers.

And I would still be in contact — better contact — with the great people I am no longer following. Vis @ messaging and RTs. And the provision of better content.

How does one “get” followers when one is paring down to a smaller follower group? When you reduce the number you follow, you clear space to send invitations (follows) to an increasingly targeted group. If you have a good profile and produce good content, you will add followers who are interested in what you are tweeting about.

I intend to invite people regularly to increase my “following”.

How do you actually pare down a list. I go into my follower list and enlarge it with control + and read the latest tweets — if they are personal or clearly business related I unfollow. I also tend not to follow quotations or maxims. If I think the tweet suggests content I open the profile and if the person is regularly posting interesting content with references, I continue to follow that person.

I now use one bit of automation. http://huitter.com/ to clear out those who are not following me back. This means that I will never exceed any ratios imposed by Twitter. There is a valuable thing huitter does — it shows you who you have unfollowed. I go through this carefully and reinvite anyone I think will be interested in my content.

Fortunately I now have enough follows from content providers, that there is no real need to follow anyone who does not follow back.

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Twitter Needs to State its Follow Policy

There is enough confusion and frustration on these many pages of complaints that Twitter needs to state its follow policy.

CLICK HERE TO SEE COMMENTS OF TWITTER USERS ON THE FOLLOW PROBLEM

Here are the questions that need to be resolved with a few suggestions appended.

1. What daily limits are there on the number you can follow if you are following less than 2000?

I think Twitter should limit the number you follow to 2000.

2. What are the current limits on the number that someone can follow over 2000?

I think Twitter should limit the number to 2000. If this is not done, I think that, above 2000, Twitter should not allow users to follow more than are following them.

These would be simple rules rather than obscure notions about ratios and a lack of communication.

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Twitter Tip: New Twitter Following/Follower Page Changes

Twitter Tip: New Twitter Following/Follower Page Changes

It is too early to assess the changes that Twitter has made on its following and follower pages.

Here are some initial thoughts.

On your Following page (folk you have chosen to follow) you have three or four options in the drop down menu on the right. You can mention that person in a @ reply message that will be displayed on your profile page and broadcast to all your followers. You can unfollow that person. And you can block that person.

If the person is following you back a fourth option appears — you can also Drect Message that person.

The uncollapsed page shows the following information about those you are following.

Their username and screen name. Their location. And their latest Tweet with the time it was posted.

Here is the writing on the wall I currently take from these changes.

1. Think before you invite someone. If you are mass inviting you will end up with a long process to rid your list of folk you do not want to be following long term.

2. It is much slower now to unfollow someone. Instead of whipping down the page and unfollowing, you have to do it by opening the drop down and clicking the unfollow option. This triples the time involved.

(I have no idea if these changes will work to defeat or otherwise hamper the mass unfollow software scripts out there. If so, I approve. All this does is underline the need for care in inviting people in the first place.)

3. What this “forces” me to do, if I want to build my follower list, is to selectively follow those on the lists of persons I follow with care, hoping they will follow me back. The reward is a potentially much more responsive following.

4. On your follower list (those who follow you), there are four options on the right hand drop down menu. @ mention, direct message, follow/unfollow and block. There is an additional button enabling you to click to follow someone who is following you.

My own opinion is that Twitter should consider entirely eliminating the Direct Message option. I doubt many read direct messages as they are automated in most cases and either pro forma or pitching something.

This leaves the @ mention or reply function as the most likely to get through to someone else. I have used it very selectively recently to mention someone I am following. I wonder if the Follow Friday mode will now become a daily follow fest.

All told, I think the newly refurbished follow and follower pages will force a more thoughtful approach to following. Whether it will also open up new forms of abuse remains to be seen.

The only abuse I have seen recently is the use of @ replies to spam users including me. My response is to block those who do this.

By making the block function more prominent, I think Twitter is upping the ante in the fight against spam.

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Twitter Tip: A Radical Approach to Spam Follows

Twitter Tip: A Radical Approach to Spam Follows

If you invite someone by following them, you are ALREADY following them, whether or not they reply with a “following you” email.

This means you do NOT need to fear deleting ALL your “following you” email. Acceptance emails complete the loop. The rest of your “following you” email is spam or prospecting for followers.

If you want to go completely radical on this and pare your list of followers down, then post something like the following as needed.

SPAM follows. I now delete all following email.If I miss you, send me a @ reply with FOLLOW. I will check these. Thanks. S

To rephrase this, I believe if someone you want to follow gets missed, he or she should be invited to send you a @ reply with FOLLOW as the message. This means I can check the profile again and follow the person.

Naturally if you get mail from someone you follow and recognize it, you can and should keep it. But if you are getting tens and even hundreds of spam and prospecting follows each day,an approach like this may help.

My Twitter Profile | My Twitter Philosophy | More Twitter Tips

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Twitter Tip: Paring Down Your Following List

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Twitter Tip: Paring Down Your Following List

Tweepi is presently the only utility I use to manage my Twitter activity.  You can pare down the number of folk you follow according to multiple criteria. Reducing the number of people you follow is a choice, not a necessity. Eliminating persons you follow who do not follow you back is likewise a choice.

I value followers who retweet or reply to my tweets. I list these as Folk you should follow. I use these lists to find salient tweets to pass on. You can find these lists at https://twitter.com/stephencrose

Updated March 9, 2013

 

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Twitter Tip: Forget Using “Programs” to Get Followers

Twitter Tip: Forget Using “Programs” to Get Followers

Get followers by hand, using your head and your keyboard.

Automated mass follow programs are a poor substitute. They take time. They get repeating names. They get multiple accounts. They get promo accounts. They turn real people into numbers.

Do you have a passion to communicate, share, help? Then do Twitter with your mind, not by pushing a button.

It’s easy. Click NAMES of people to follow and hope they want to follow you. I get at least a 50 percent acceptance rate, more than double what automated programs claim. I build daily at the rate of 100 or so.

Update daily with relevant content derived from your blog or site and from news alerts that you can get via Google. You can also use rss feeds for relevant update urls.

It makes no different whose followers you get. If someone has a name, that someone is most likely a real, multi-dimensional person, whether an affiliate in an MLM or a political activist or an artist. Sort out folk you don’t appreciate AFTER they prove difficult.

To be more selective, niche follow using Twitter search.

When you are on a profile page that has lots of individual names, just follow names. If you like the profile and you are using your email program, STAR the email and revisit it.

It takes me only a few minutes to invite 100 or so. It takes time to go through follow email. When I am swamped I simply archive it and go through it later. I do not read direct messages as these are mainly automated and the reply function enables good personal contact.

Automating everything creates a false sense that you are succeeding but your results may be pretty shoddy.

Doing Twitter by hand is satisfying, quick and effective.

My Twitter Profile | My Twitter Philosophy | More Twitter Tips

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Twitter Tip: The Uses of Gmail

Twitter Tip: The Uses of Gmail

Use any robust email program to “do” Twitter. I like Gmail.

Try to visit every profile you receive. Use the best to find followers.

When swamped, archive Twitter mail. When you want to invite folk, search Twitter in Gmail then click on Older. You’ll get an url like this:

http://mail.google.com/mail/?source=navclient-ff#search/twitter/p2

In the address bar, change the number at the end to where you guess the last of the lot is. eg: /p300

At the end of your Twitter follow mail, go through the profiles and STAR keepers. Delete the rest.

Invite from the profiles you keep. Maintain stars on the best for future use.

Bear in mind my Twitter Philosophy below. Use Twitter to share information that’s helpful, entertaining or informative. Invite “real people”. Avoid automated inviting and blatent marketing.

Gmail is a great platform for dealing with a large Twitter account. Starring useful profiles is the key to an ever-more-refined means of inviting followers.

PS: I notice that active Twitter accounts seem to grow exponentially. There are tons of multi-1000 follower accounts and I would guess that will be the pattern. Growing followings. Refining how it is done.

My Twitter Profile | My Twitter Philosophy | More Twitter Tips

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