Follow me on twitter…no, really…

My ass.

I know you keep asking me to follow you Mr/Ms Personality, but I also know you have no intention of following me back; even if I do try to engage with you. Trust me, I’m not impressed with celebrity in the first place and so far I haven’t seen anything really interesting from your tweets anyway.

If you are lucky, I will put you on a list so I can keep an eye on you, but I’m not going to contribute to your over inflated sense of self-worth by building up your numbers.

How do you like them apples?

Follow me/follow you

What is your twitter policy these days; still taking on all comers or are you shedding your treasure trove down to the core?

I’m not a current event guy on twitter as 98% of my tweets are coming out of Triberr with somebody’s post attached to it. However, if you were to take the time to open the link on one of my tweets I have so graciously shared, I do think you would find my tweets interesting. I still won’t be the guy telling you I have gone to Starbucks today or giving you the play by play at a baseball game. I might tag a friend or two if I think it will be something humorous that might interest them, but this is my tweeter world as I know it.

I have never gamed the system in any form or fashion trying to get a bunch of followers I know nothing about. However, I still have people showing up on my door step who are essentially strangers that I will let in. Yes, I will look at their Avatar and see what they are all about, and will use some nebulous criteria to see if they make the cut. Otherwise, they will get the Heisman pose stiff-arm and I let them decide if they want to stay or not.

Because of this strategy I am only just north of 2700 followers after 3-years. Those numbers are ok with me I suppose; it could be 2700, 27000 or 270000 and it wouldn’t make much difference.

What I have done lately is pick people I am familiar with who pop up on my twitter Who to Follow suggestions, follow them and place them on my Interesting, or not list. I see what kind of tweets they are sending out and might or might not engage with them. I am assuming anybody who still uses twitter knows when somebody starts following them, so they know I’m there. I give them about 2 weeks and if they don’t take the time to follow me back in that time then it’s see ya, wouldn’t want to be ya time. I might or might not keep them on the list at that point, but otherwise it’s hasta la vista baby.

What is your balance?

Ok, I have about 15% more people who follow me than I follow back. If you jump on board and I don’t follow back, it is only because you didn’t fit in my loosely defined niche. If you choose to stay, then that’s your business, as there is a good chance you showed up by some artificial means anyway. If you jumped on board only to ditch me later at some pre-determined time, I will cut you loose too. Once again, I am not interested in adding to your body count if you never intended to hang around anyway.

At one time in my early days, Facebook and twitter held two totally different audiences for me. In the past year, I have had many more of my twitter friends cross over to Facebook, but not vice versa.

If I were to break it down, I know close to 90% of my Facebook friends in some form or fashion; for twitter it’s just the opposite. Out of those 2700+ twitter followers it would be 10-15% at best I know at all.

Does that run true for you as well? Should I just quit following people back if I don’t know them? As long as I can keep lists for the people I do know, does it really matter?

If I’m just a social goofball anyway, why should any numbers matter other than the fact I don’t want to embarrass you showing up with only 7 friends?

Tell me about yourself

Are you using twitter any differently than you were in the beginning? Are you using it less, or more?

Where do you think twitter’s greatest value is going forward?

Are you comfortable mixing your communities?

Because I am so closely tied to my business, twitter still allows just enough anonymity that I can still have some under the radar fun in here. And you know me, I’m all about fun…

When is the last time you followed someone new on twitter?

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37 thoughts on “Follow me on twitter…no, really…

  1. I look forward to the day when I understand and value social media the way it should b. I’m not deep or wide. I probably take a lot for granted. But, I’m grateful it all exists. I’m grateful that I can check in and out and se real people having fun, doing business and building relationships.
    Today I am putting up a fence that I found in my travels yesterday. Maybe I’ll tweet about it. Perhaps that will get me some un-follows. LOL!

    • I jumped in and it was all fun and games; once it became work and I felt I was falling behind because I hadn’t figured out a way to monetize it, it wasn’t so much fun anymore.

      Could I use it to help my business? Probably, but like you, I’m grateful it exists and that I can check in and out and take it from there.

      Let’s check this fence out.

  2. I’ve used twitter the same way from day 1. First, I started following people one by one…picking those who were friends/followers/followed by people I already knew. I don’t automatically follow back anyone: don’t feel any obligation to reciprocate. I always check someone’s twitter feed and web/blogsite before I follow. I follow only those people that I find interesting, entertaining, provide value and enjoy. That’s probably why I’ll never have legions of followers. And that’s fine by me. Cheers! Snowshoes

    • If I would have kept using it like I did day one I would probably be gone. I had a handful of locals I knew and then I tried to follow some personalities and sports figures. There was no engagement, and it was BORING as anything. It wasn’t until Gini followed me on a fluke and I found out about blogs and engagement before it became something I liked and could use.

      I know I will never have legions of followers unless I start giving $5 for every follower, huh? That’s ok, I still like the semi-anonymity twitter allows while still being ‘somebody’ in social…at least in my own mind.

      Hola.

  3. Yo yo, Bill!

    I stopped actively following people a couple of years ago… Up until recently that is 😮

    I’m launching an online business, so I’m actively following people who fit the profile of my ideal customer.

    It’s a lot of work, but if you want to build a Twitter community for your business, it’s best done organically.

    Buying likes and followers is completely stupid – in my humble opinion.

    So there you have it; my new Twitter strategy – I’ll let you know how it goes ; )

    • That’s probably a better strategy; I wonder if I had it to do all over and knowing what I know now if I would still do the same thing. The fact I ‘only’ have 2700 followers probably makes it a moot point and if I want to change anything up I could very easily do so. I’m a little more selective however, and in most cases I will only follow back a person, not a business.

      Maybe that’s why I didn’t game the system; if I had to buy it to do it and my wife saw the charge on the credit card my Avatar would have a black eye.

      Good to see you my friend.

    • Mark I get followed by people with massive networks and then they unfollow. Do you think they are automating this? I am very selective and normally now only follow back people who talk to me. On the other hand some folks like Bill here I can’t get to stop talking with me 😉

      Curious your thoughts

      Howie

  4. I am not using Twitter nearly as much. I guess with everything that has happened over the past year, I rely more on Facebook. The other HUGE problem with Twitter is “out of sight out of mind” and I hate that. For me, Twitter has become nothing more than an echo chamber. I have much fewer Facebook friends, but the truth is my relationships on Facebook are more authentic.

    • Ah Ms Nancy D; the school of hard knocks. I can tell this year has been a real struggle for you. Hopefully there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

      Facebook is definitely more personal and so sometimes I have to be somewhat conservative in what I say and do just because I’m so closely tied to my business. At least twitter gives me the opportunity for stepping out a little more.

      Good to see you; thanks so much for stopping by.

  5. When I first signed up for Twitter I found it confusing so I gave up on it. I’ve only started using it for real recently, so I’m still trying to figure it all out. I’ve already started ditching people who aren’t interesting. Imma follow you and see if you’re interesting.

    • Lovely, no pressure, huh? How do you define interesting?

      Twitter was very boring for me at first; I truly didn’t see where it fit in. It wasn’t until I got in the blogs and meeting people that I found a place for it. However, most of my tweets are coming out of Triberr so whereas it looks like I tweet a lot, the tweets I do myself are pretty small in number.

      Even when I got up to 500 or so followers it got to be too much. Luckily someone told me about lists and once I could segment the people I really talked to it became much more enjoyable.

      Good luck on your journey mother of five and thanks so much for stopping by.

  6. Hi Bill, I am WAY too much of a talker to primarily use Twitter. I do like to engage on a personal level and I still can’t find a tribe of people who have anything to do with my niche (not that I looked that hard, maybe I should sometime). My followers just don’t seem to tweet. However a lot of the bloggers that I follow do so I am there sharing their stuff, just to be friendly and only when I really like it (which to be fair, is most of the time). My people seem to fb. I do always appreciate a new follower and try to pay enough attention to at least follow back. I don’t know what I would do with 2700 followers!! That seems like a lot of psychic questions to me 🙂

    • I dunno, 2700 might be more psycho questions than psychic….:).

      I’m a talker two, that’s why it was nice to find blogs were actually attached to some of these tweets; that’s when it started working for me.

      Good to see you; thanks for stopping by.

  7. Hey Bill, As I recall, I started following you after you deposited that $1 million in my Hey Pal account and you started following me after I sent you that red Ferrari. Or do I have that backwards?

    I follow people who tweet interesting stuff. Nothing personal but even if you’re my bestie, I’m not following you if you only tweet dribble.

    Triberr gives me interesting stuff to tweet, which I like. That makes me more interesting, and has gotten me more followers, but I still have a long way to go before I have more followers than your good buddy Justin Bieber.

    • Yeah, me and Justin had a race going on and somehow he has moved to the front of the pack.

      I think your recollection of the story is correct; I had forgotten about that hot red sports car.

      I like to think my tweets are interesting if you take the time to look into them. And I think a fair amount of people do.

      Happy weekend to you.

  8. Hi Bill

    It was suggested I not follow people who would not follow back. So a few months ago I cleaned it out. Also ones that have not tweeted in the last 30 days, cleaned that out. And now unless I know them or recognize their name through my travels online, I don’t follow them back.

    Besides, I have never figured this thing out and get very little traffic from it, so I am not really wasting time on it. Got too many other things I am spending valuable time on.

    Mary

    • I hear ya; just on tweets alone I would say I get very little interaction. Somebody has to link me to a tweet most of the time for it to get my attention. I do have lists, but don’t always look at the stream.

      I have about 3-4 people I follow who don’t follow me back; most I cleared out and if I thought they were interesting I put them on one of my lists.

      For me, I guess it’s a means to an end in sharing posts; it appears it has gone a little more mainstream hear lately though.

  9. Hey Bill,

    I’m still not a huge follower kind of gal. I learned my lesson early on when some big wig told me it was about the numbers. Yeah, like that really worked.

    So I cleaned up my account and started all over again. I do have more followers then you though, almost to 7,000 but I’m only following a little over 1,300. I will check out the people that follow me and if their bio has something interesting and they’re sharing stuff that I like then I’ll follow them back. I also clean up my Twitter account for those who don’t follow me back or don’t tweet anymore. For the most part I have to admit that I’ve got a pretty darn good group I think.

    You know me though, I mostly share other people’s awesome content because what can I say. It just rocks!!!

    ~Adrienne

    • The sharing part I like and that’s what I can do via Triberr mainly. There are probably a lot of people in some of my tribes I don’t follow and they don’t follow me, but we share each other’s posts.

      I’m probably not going to actively unfollow anyone at this point unless they aren’t following me, but I am being much more selective in who I follow back now. I want them to be real and active in twitter.

      Good to see you, thanks for your thoughts.

  10. I don’t auto-follow back but I’m not as selective as many. I follow back on my main account as long as it’s a real person that is active on Twitter. I check each follow on my phone, I find it easy with the phone app, and if it’s a real person that actually uses the account for something other than spamming or building numbers, I give them the benefit of the doubt.

    I do have separate accounts for different sites/purposes and it’s tough to keep up with some of them. I still don’t auto-follow on those but I also don’t follow just to be followed either.

    The idea of following and then unfollowing once someone follows back is pathetic. I also think it’s sad when someone uses mutual follows to accumulate a ton of followers and then mass unfollows just to look important. I’ve seen that many times over the years and it’s a low life practice.

    • Yeah, the people who did the mass dumps once they had a ton of followers did little to gain my respect. However, I’m sure they had their reasons so I’m not one to judge. I just know I have stayed away from them.

      There certainly is many ways to skin this cat, but for now there will be very few I actively seek out to follow unless there is some kind of connection. I would say I follow back about 2 out of every 6-7 that shows up here. If it’s not interesting enough or real person I’m likely not to reciprocate. Most of those got her via automated and they will be quick to leave too if I don’t follow back.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your strategy; hope all has been well.

  11. I do believe in following back (humans), even if I only check my follows once in awhile. I wrote about this awhile ago. I think it is sort of the way the medium is supposed to work

    As you said, the reality is that unless I put you on a list and add that to Hootsuite, I rarely see your tweets — follow or not.

    One site I love is http://fakers.statuspeople.com/ You can see how many of your (or your favorite A-lister’s) followers are real. It’s actually eye opening how many fake accounts make up some large followings.

    • I’ll have to check the site out; I do think it is sort of the way this medium is supposed to work.

      It took me awhile, but thank goodness someone educated me about lists. I remember having just a few hundred followers and it was overwhelming me.

      Hola sir.

  12. Hi Bill, I manage several Twitter accounts and it’s been great for retail websites I manage. I can’t tell you how many orders over the years came vai Twitter. I love to interact with folks on Twitter more than FB. My personal account I mix up with all my interests and my Inspire blog. I try to keep it to 5-7 topics most of the time. Currently I’m following 5500 with 6370 following me. Too lazy to figure the ratio out. I try to clean out who I follow monthly. Unless someone gets annoying in between. If they tweet too much or total nonsense. Then I wonder why I was following them.

    I tend to follow less back than I used to. I may just put some in a list if it makes sense. I love using lists too. I’ve made several wonderful friends via Twitter too.

    On Facebook I already know them pretty much. I’ve gotten more leniant there too recently allowing some bloggers to friend me. And they go on my blogger list too on FB.

    Interesting how we all decide who to follow or unfollow. I check in on Commun.it but I don’t always follow their recommendations either. I use Triberr but I do prefer to interact with many via Twitter. It’s a balance act Bill 🙂

    • I’m not familiar with Commun.it, guess I better check it out I suppose.

      I’m becoming a lot more picky and if I read in their ‘about me’ they can get me thousands of followers yet they only have a few thousand, I’m not interested. I wouldn’t be interested regardless, but my window is narrowing on who I will let in the house.

      Sorry your late night missive got caught in my spam folder, but you are free now…:).

  13. I enjoyed the post, Bill. I do still try some targeted following, with the hopes of reciprocity, for what my business goals are – increasing awareness of Mantis and Pulse Analytics. I also use the Who To Follow along with ManageFlitter.

    If you do not follow me back after awhile, I will probably unfollow you. There is something to that reciprocity, and “chasing Twitter stardom” annoys me. In fact, when I’m choosing to follow people, I do look at their ratios. If it is skewed in either direction (following 2000 with 10 followers…or being followed by 100,000 and following 100), I will not follow.

    I do still expect to engage with anyone who wants to have a legit discussion on Twitter – personal or professional. I’ve also appreciated our occasional sports back-n-forth chats…unless you are sending me pics while watching spring training while it is snowing in Denver. Then you suck!

  14. I use Twitter in much the same way. I found myself nodding along and even laughing along. It’s frustrating to follow back and see that they drop you a few days later, never intending to follow you in the first place. I think there is this notion that you are much more important if you follow 100 people and have thousands of followers, like most self-important celebrities. I would rather follow folks who have roughly equal numbers of followers and followings because that tells me they are more into engagement than anything. Or I just follow folks with a funny bio…I’m a sucker for a funny bio.

  15. I use Twitter much more than I used to; I generally follow people back when they follow me if their profile looks like it would be of interest to me. But I periodically check out services that search your follow lists for inactive users and unfollow them for you. Twitter’s silly follow limits sometimes make this necessary.

    I’m now hosting a weekly blogging-related Twitter chat, so I am trying to make sure I’m definitely following bloggers and those who choose to participate week after week.

    I’m using Twitter lists more and more, but still don’t use them as much as I should. That’s one of my goals for 2013.

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