How To Use TwitterEveryone likes to be liked, and be popular on Twitter.

For many Twitter users this popularity is often measured by the ratio of followers to following. Simply put; if you have more people following you than you are following, you are popular.

While this is not necessarily true, Twitter does encourage this belief by imposing follow limits that make getting past their 5,000 following limit a little difficult.

Because of this limit, many users unfollow a bunch of other users in the hope that more will follow them, thus improving their follow ratio.

But this is really counterproductive. By unfollowing someone who is following you, chances are they will unfollow back and simply reduce your following. To build a sizeable following on Twitter it takes time, patience and a more considered approach. So here are a few ideas that help in building a healthy and productive Twitter following.

Twitter best practices.

Unfollow inactive users.

This is the best way to increase your ratio because as they are inactive, they will stay counted as a follower and will not unfollow you. I know it’s just playing with numbers, but it does really help in getting over the 2,000 limit. By using a tool such as Manage Flitter, you can check your inactive users and unfollow these accounts. Generally, accounts that have not tweeted in over a month are classed as inactive.

Keep your followers.

Only unfollow those who are clearly spammers or a nuisance.

Follow back.

Check each day for new followers and follow back those of genuine interest to you.

Follow by interests

Look for fellow users who share similar interests to you to follow. Checking the followers of your own followers is a good way to find interesting users.

Don’t ‘bulk’ follow.

Only a small proportion of Twitter users will follow back, and you’ll just end up filling your account with trash.

Don’t follow trash and spam accounts.

These may follow back, but will bring no value to you on Twitter.

Don’t follow accounts with no ‘bio’.

If there is no bio, it is almost certain that it is an automated spam account, which is of no value to you.

No Tweets, means inactive.

Don’t follow accounts that have posted very few tweets. A good follow ratio may be nice, but in the end it is interaction that is the most important.

Be patient.

Give people time to follow you back, but after a few weeks or so, it is worth having a little clean out. Again Manage Flitter is very useful in doing this, but be careful. Aggressive unfollowing can trigger Twitter suspension. 40-50 unfollow every few days should be your limit on an account of say around 2,000. This is why it is very important to follow only those users who are of interest to you.

Unfollow for unfollow

When a mutual user unfollows you, it’s best to return the favour. They are probably ‘churning’ so get rid of them. You can check for these by using a tool appropriately called Who Unfollowed Me.

Engage. Don’t count numbers.

Lastly. Engaging in conversation is the very best way to build a following. After all, this is what Twitter is all about.

Hopefully these tips are useful and help you maximise your enjoyment on Twitter.
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6 thoughts on “How To Be A Twitter Star

  • 27/11/2011 at 3:56 pm
    Permalink

    Sweet post, :). Late, too late in matter of Twitter, the follow ratio doesn’t represent the popularity, because usually the inactive accounts are of people not of autobots, these are really active, the machines, :).
    No need for tools like “who unfollowed me”, they’re too specific, try to find something more complex which can have also the role of “manageflitter” as well, and this is “tweepi”, but it’s a matter or preference, I wonder how you, with that amazing amount of followers, can manage with “manageflitter”, a limiting tool, itself, :).

    Reply
    • 27/11/2011 at 4:22 pm
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      Thanks for your comments Daniel. In answer to your question, I find these two tools sufficient as I don’t ‘blanket’ follow. I follow back those users who interest me and am selective about those I choose to follow so my list stays fairly clean of bots etc.

      At most I would follow about 50 users a day so the need to unfollow isn’t really a great issue for me except for inactive users.

      Reply
  • 27/11/2011 at 7:31 pm
    Permalink

    Very sound advice, Derek! I recently posted on my blog about Twittermania: too many people are in this only to get as many followers as thy can! Instead, one should remember as you so wisely remin us, that Twitter is a conversation means!

    I put you on Google+, well done Derek!

    Reply
  • 28/11/2011 at 4:41 am
    Permalink

    Good advice. I tend to follow carefully these days. It’s not about number of followers, but whether what they say interests me. Twitter has been fun, and I plan to keep it that way.

    Reply

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