When I chat with folks or present a workshop on social media, a common questions is, “How do you know who to follow on Twitter?”
I have to admit, I am finicky. The growth of my Twitter folks has been slow and steady. I am a little finch of the Twitterverse with 1,500 + followers and following. I follow and hope I am followed by people who are adding value to me, my network and nonprofit work. I also look for information about social media, the environment and tweeters working or volunteering in the nonprofit sector. That said, everyone uses Twitter and social media in general differently. So how you go about finding people on Twitter depends on your social media goals and strategy.
So what constitutes finicky?
- When someone follows me, before I follow back I look to see what their Twitter profile says – if they don’t have this posted I may check their tweets for content or just block them. I want to know what they are about. And I want to avoid followers who are not offering value – this is the ultimate of: “You are judged by the friends you keep.” Everyone on Twitter can see who is following you.
- I look at their website for more background – how long have they been in business or are they an expert in their field? How long have then been working in their space? Is their site a WordPress blog or traditional website?
- How many followers do they have and how many are they following? If this number if skewed heavily to following many but not many followers I need to look carefully. I like to see someone who is close to a 1:1 ratio. Means they are giving and taking on Twitter. And if all the above holds up, it means their followers are finding value and not a lot of spam followers.
- Are they working, volunteering or offering a valued service to the nonprofit space or other areas of interest to me?
- What do their tweets say? Are they writing their own content or re-tweeting other people? Is their content something I want to read more of and pass along to others?
Now we have Twitter lists which can help you slice and dice your followers. I am reviewing this next step. How do I want to segment my 1,500+? You can only have 20 lists. What will be useful for me, others who view my lists and help me organize my Twitter network. Will let you know how I decide when I get there.
Tweet ya later!