Twitter for Bloggers VI: Management

You can find links to parts 1-5 of this series on our Twitter for Beginners page. I’ll wrap up today by explaining how I manage my accounts. If you’re able to get your account growing, you’ll TwitterSuziehave to figure out a system for keeping up with all your Tweeps and dealing with unfollowers. That’s just part of the game. This is how I’m doing it at the moment.

I maintain two accounts. @Sourcererblog is the one I’m actively growing. @justgeneo is a personal account. It has about 250 followers. I’m not actively growing it, and I only check it once or twice a day, but I’m diligent about giving followbacks. Having a smaller account with a personal profile is useful for several reasons, and I only need one big account.

Since I started working for growth, @Sourcererblog has gained, on average, 25 followers per day. I get between 3 and 10 unfollows a day. Some of these are accounts I’ve chosen not to follow. I’ve also been blocking as many accounts as I’ve been following every day for the last couple of weeks. I’ve seen a large uptick in spam followers since my following reached the high 1400s. I can’t figure out whether that’s a benchmark they use to target accounts, or whether it’s just a coincidence.

I follow and unfollow in 10-day cycles, because I’m leery of Twitter’s spam policies. I was suspended once early on, and I don’t want that to happen again, so I’m conservative with follows and unfollows, even though I could probably follow/unfollow 200 people per day at this point.

Here’s how I follow, starting with my following/follower ratio near even.

I go and follow 200 new people over the course of 2 or 3 days. Once I reach +200, I write down the last account I followed on my calendar. Then I wait 10 days and see who either tweets to me or follows back.

The reason I stop at 200 is because I’m trying to reach 1800 followers before I follow 2000. My goal is to break through the cap with a minimum of fuss and keep growing at a rate of 35 followers per day. During the next 10 days, I still give followbacks and follow new accounts when my friends suggest them by including them in shoutouts and Follow Fridays with me. I try to do these follows from Wednesday to Friday, because Twitter heats up on the weekends and that’s when a lot of people look at their notifications.

Here are some ways to find accounts to follow when you’re looking to follow a lot of people in a short time:

  • Follow from lists you’ve been added to.
  • Follow people your friends who are also trying to grow their accounts are following.
  • Diana’s had good results lately using the Twitter suggestions. I haven’t tried that yet, but it seems as though our followings are large enough now that the suggestions make it easy to find bloggers and people who are close to us geographically.

Twitter-icon-the-bird

At the end of the 10-day growth period, I use Manageflitter to unfollow most of my unfollowers over the course of several days. Manageflitter is an app that you sign into with your Twitter account. It does all kind of neat stuff, but what I use it for the most is to display a list of everyone who isn’t following back in the order I followed them in.

I look at my followers and see what number that account I wrote down on my calendar ten days before is. Then I load the unfollowers list, start at the bottom, skip the handful of accounts I’m following whether they ever follow back or not, and unfollow until I get to that last account. I stop there because that’s the last account that I can be sure I’ve given the full ten days to.

The unfollowing takes my ratio back down to near-even. I go and follow another 200 accounts and begin the cycle all over again. I also use justunfollow. I don’t sign into it often, but I have it email me a follower/unfollower report every day. That way, if I get a LOT of unfollowers in a day, I can try and figure out why.

All this isn’t as complicated as it sounds, especially if you’re good at using apps. What I’m doing doesn’t get me anything like a stellar growth rate by Twitter standards. What it has gotten me is steady, manageable growth for more than four months now. And I started this little journey without knowing the first thing about Twitter.

I pay attention to who’s unfollowing me, but I don’t worry about unfollowing people immediately when they unfollow me. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Sometimes people unfollow by accident.
  • Twitter can be a little buggy sometimes, and it’s entirely possible that there’s a glitch which causes people to unfollow without realizing it.
  • I’m unfollowing most of my unfollowers every 10 days anyway.
  • If someone I’ve had a lot of interaction with, or who I thought was a solid follower, unfollows – especially if it’s someone who’s playing  a game simliar to mine – I want time to try and figure out what I did to get unfollowed, and to give them a window of opportunity to follow again.

Sometimes, people will unfollow for no explicable reason. People use Twitter in different ways, and everyone has different expectations of their followers.  Best to just let those go. I’ve never asked anyone why they unfollowed, and I can only think of a couple of circumstances that would prompt me to do so.

I’m also experimenting with Tweetdeck, an app that allows you to put practically any feed – lists, a friend’s timeline, direct messages, whatever, into columns in a console so you can just scroll sideways and monitor them efficiently. I haven’t fully implemented it yet, but I plan to do that soon.

That’s all I have for now, except to mention that since I started this series on May 6, I’ve gained more than 300 followers. That’s not to brag – just to point out that the system I’ve laid out here is working as well for me now as it ever has. I hope you’ve found these Twitter posts helpful. I appreciate all the feedback I’ve received, and I’m always happy for people to teach me new Twitter tricks.

Shoutouts to three bloggers: Vijay (@halfeatenmind) of Half Eaten Mind, Conrad (@winewankers) of the Wine Wankers, and Diana (@parttimemonster) of Part Time Monster. Without their help, I doubt I’d be on my way to 1700 Twitter followers, and I certainly wouldn’t have been able to develop my own system in such a short amount of time.

images via Suzie81’s Blog and Molly Greene

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Twitter for Bloggers VI: Management

  1. Pingback: Posts I loved this week | Taylor Grace

  2. Hi Gene,

    I’m glad to have helped you on your Twitter journey. I definitely see your point about giving unfollowers a chance and pruning the numbers every few days. I’m usually doing the same every weekend or so. The @halfeatenmind account has already hit its follow limit, so that’s becoming essential to cut back on unfollowers. I hate this limiting thing though. Have a queue of new followers and bloggers I need to follow back, but I’m unable to.

    Vijay

    Like

    • Yes, I don’t like the limit either. I’m lucky I found out about it early. I’m doing my best to manage my account so it’s not a problem. We’ll see how well it works in the next month; I should have a stable following of +1700 in the next day or two.

      Like

  3. Pingback: Vidding Paper Progress, A Thank You And Links: Writing, Social Media, Redefining Disability, Science Fiction, Feminism, Masculinity | Natacha Guyot

  4. Pingback: Social Media Sunday: Twitter Revisited | Sourcerer

Chatter Away!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s