Humanizing Twitter: How to Work It Good

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Dead accounts don’t retweet. Brands don’t retweet. And the retweet is the holy grail of Twitter: for one shining moment your little message is broadcast into another’s network of followers. It’s a beautiful thing.

I’ve rarely been retweeted by a brand. It’s people on Twitter I’m most interested in. In the binge and purge process required to grow my Twitter account (Growing a Flock of Followers on Twitter) I’ve been thinking more about the types of accounts I follow.

We all know it’s a laborious process to find good/active tweeters to follow. Some of my ideas for that are:

  • Find LISTS that users have created on your subject. (But avoid the lists that were just made to build followers)
  • Find top tweeters and follow who they are following. Since we’re all doing this process, the good ones will be finding good tweeters to follow as well.
  • Using the “Who to follow” function on Twitter, but reading the bios, because Twitter makes some dumb recommendations.

The grind of following new users is a real pain in the ass. But it’s part of Twitter’s idea about keeping down the spammers. There used to be tools that allowed you to find and follow massive numbers of people at once, but they were squeezed out by API denials from Twitter. What I’ve started doing, as I’m browsing through this see of Twitter accounts is:

  • Follow only people who have faces not logos and have a bio and background image.
  • Block spammy “buy follower” accounts from ever following me.
  • Look for key “nope” phrases for me: coupon, thrift, MLM, expert, guru, jesus follower (shouldn’t be in your bio), foodie, fashion, sports.

Again, Twitter is a numbers game, always has been always will be. The more ACTIVE followers you have the more activity your reach can produce. And if I told you up to 35% of your followers were either fake accounts or abandoned accounts you can see why continuing to build an “active” list is so important. Dead accounts don’t retweet. Brands don’t retweet. Mainly people retweet. Active people. And the retweet is the holy grail of Twitter: for one shining moment your little message is broadcast into another’s network of followers. It’s a beautiful thing.

You can judge the liveliness of your followers and the prowess of your tweets by how many RTs you get during any given week. Check your Twitter Analytics account (https://analytics.twitter.com/) and see what’s working for you. And always thank those that to take the time to RT you. And of course, follow them.

It’s a bit of a game. Play well, play intelligently, but don’t spam us. Please.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

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