How to manage your Twitter followers with lists

Someone recently brought up an interesting point about Twitter followers. This person only followed back a few people because they just want to see the tweets from people they are interested in. It is perfectly acceptable to not follow back but you ‘might’ be considered rude by the person following. I will now offer you some tips and suggestions.

How to manage your Twitter lists.

I follow back much less than follow me on Twitter but I’m still following several thousand people. I’m in the category of people who feels I’m not polite if I don’t follow them back. That absolutely does not mean I am right and you should do it too. I just personally feel I’m being a little bit rude if I don’t.

It is obviously impossible to keep up with my twitter feed when I’m following several thousand people. My problem is that there are around several hundred accounts that I really do want to keep an eye on. A big number of these are local people and retweeters, these are accounts I want to keep an eye on. This is why I have Twitter lists.

My main lists are:

  1. Local people
  2. People who have retweeted my tweets
  3. Influencers
  4. Clients, friends and family
  5. Helpful Twitterers

I use Tweetdeck which allows me to add a column for each list. As you can imagine the ‘local people list‘ is pretty large (over 300 accounts) but with the list on the screen, which refreshes instantly, I can immediately see when any one of them post a tweet. My retweeters list is well over 600 accounts and many of them do retweet some great content related to my field.

As an example my local list looks like this on TweetDeck:

Twitter List Example.

I can scroll through all the tweets any have have made but I can also watch it in real time and see as someone posts a tweet.

By separating them all out with lists, and displaying a real-time column for each list on Tweetdeck, it is easy to keep track of hundreds of accounts relating to different topics.

The other benefit of using lists is that even if we don’t follow each other I can still add them to the list, see their tweets as they tweet them and then I can still interact with them, even though we don’t follow each other.

When you’re starting off it is very easy to manage everything in-house. As the numbers rise Twitter lists make a complicated problem very easy to manage.

Do I follow back everyone?

For me, there are some obvious exceptions for not following someone back.

I don’t follow back if they are:

  1. Spammers
  2. Fake accounts
  3. People on or close to the maximum follow limit with very few following back
  4. People with zero or single figure tweets (unless they are local)

I also rarely follow back people who:

  1. Only ever retweet
  2. Don’t have a profile and/or are using the Twitter default avatar

I hope this helps!

Simon Day

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