Twitter has come a long way in an incredible short space of time. Within about 5 years the company transformed completely.
What started out as a ranting tool, we’d use to share random thoughts with anyone and everyone is no longer there. It’s nowadays an important channel for interactions, customer support and much more.
How about you and me as individuals though?
As Twitter moves along so fast, I believe it is very important to reflect on how to approach things on Twitter. It might be time for a change in some places.
Twitter List Building
When I started out, I never understood why anyone would create Twitter lists. As my (still very modest) follower count rose, my stream got faster. The people I wanted to be in touch with increased too, yet my days were still limited to the same ol’ 24 hours.
Twitter lists are a fantastic way to grow your following not just by the numbers. You can lists to sort your followers in areas of interest, building lists such as “Social Media Experts”, “Twitter Pros” or “Startup Minds” in my case. This can help you to promote people you have identified as quality contributors to your timeline. The best part here is that it helps you to grow in a targeted and organized manner.
I think the integrating Twitter lists completely into my workflow was a major change in how I handle Twitter.
The automation dilemma
Another point that I have played a lot with and changed around is automation on Twitter. When Social Media blogger and authority Kristi Hines decided to turn off her Twitterfeed a few weeks ago the already hot discussion got even more interesting.
Starting out on Twitter I was fiercely against any automation. Just real time postings. Then I moved to full automation: automated feed tweeting, auto-DM’s and schedule tweets. Not a good plan either.
Don’t be afraid to try out a lot of these things. There is fortunately no one or best way to use Twitter.
The optimized solution for me is to post content tweets of interesting articles I come across via Buffer. This creates the action and consistency. I then jump in for real time conversations at various times of the day. This makes up for the key social element.
Another factor that needs revisiting many times I believe is the following strategy you can pursue. For a fabulous list of how to approach this, you might want to check out @TweetSmarter’s post on the topic here.
As with most things in life, quality comes at the expense of time. Many have argued before that less followers is more. Yet gaining followers is also hugely important.
A strategy that worked well for me is to follow people that have retweeted a post. This is because it is very easy to start talking to them and actual make the connection meaningful.
Another very efficient way is to reciprocate a following if it matches the interest on my lists above. In either way, what worked well for me is to base following on whether you are likely to start talking to the person based on their timeline and interests. It couldn’t be simpler.
But hey, it is still very early days for me, so I bet there is a ton I can learn from you. How do you go about following others? Do you automate your tweeting? Are you building lists?
Let me know if you too have altered your Twitter strategy in the past and if so, how.