I realized pretty quickly after I started using Twitter that I needed to be careful or it was going to become an obsessive personal contest and a lot of pressure I put on myself. Why is that, you say? Because basically everything I do becomes an obsessive contest where I put to much pressure on myself--but then, that's another story!
I pre-determined a number in my head for how many Twitter followers I would like to have by the end of 2013. It may seem like an arbitrary number to some people but there was a reason behind it for me. I also have a longer term goal. I don't just want followers for the sake of followers, however, I want people that are interested in my products, in crafting, in Etsy, in selling, or people that know a lot about these things and want to share their knowledge with me. This includes a lot of people, however--moms, dancers, gymnasts, fashionistas, people who like to read blogs, and anyone who wears clothes--yep, a lot of people! So, it was very difficult for me initially to decide who to follow. Eventually, I found someone similar to myself but more successful and started following some of the same people as her. I also tried to convert blog followers and Facebook followers to Twitter. I even joined some groups on Bloggymoms and Etsy that asked other people to follow on Twitter. I felt like these people would have a lot in common with me.
Slowly but surely, the number of followers began to grow--and then drop a bit--but then grow. Originally, I followed anyone back who followed me. But then I realized some people were following me just long enough for me to follow them back, and then they would unfollow. This made me upset and angry. It was difficult to tell who I was following that wasn't following me back. I started looking more carefully at profiles. If a person seemed legitimately interested in what I was posting about, I followed back. I stopped following people who looked "scammy" or people that looked a little sinister. If you are a 57 year old male who likes bicycling and hunting with your German Shorthairs, why would you be interested in looking at little girls' tutus--or do I want to know the answer to that? Maybe not. So I wasn't following everyone any more but I will still follow anyone remotely related to what I do.
I still had a lot more "following" than "followers." I found a website yesterday that allowed me to go in and clean out some of those people that had followed me and then stopped following me after I started following them. It also identified some "bots" or "spider" or whatever you want to call them, so I was able to get rid of them, too. Unfortunately, it would only let me do 100 a day and I had about 400 to get rid of so I started using my phone to go through and unfollow as well. I still have some tidying up to do but I'm much happier with my numbers now. I've found I'm much more likely to follow someone who has a good ratio between followers and following because they seem pretty legitimate and they will most likely continue to follow me. If you have a lot more followers than following, you seem to me like you're not quite, "doing it right." I also have HootSuite on my phone so I can create columns and won't miss the tweets of the people I really like to follow. Sometimes it can get a little cluttery when you're following so many people.
I really hope that everyone who signs up for teams or groups of "follow me on Twitter and I'll follow you back" is taking that seriously, too. Same story with Facebook. It's sad when you spend a lot of time signing up to follow other people and they don't follow you back. I have met a lot of amazing people through Etsy and I like following them on Twitter and Facebook. I hope they feel the same way about me.
If you are not following me on Twitter, it might be a good way for you to know when I've posted here. That's about all I use it for and to promote items of some of my Etsy friends. I'm @GlitterTulle and if you start following me there, please tweet me so I know where you came from and I can be sure to follow you back--even if you're not a suburban mom with gorgeous little girls who will look perfect in my tutus. That doesn't mean I won't be interested in what you have to say.
I have another twitter account that I use for work so if you happen to be a teacher or a parent, you can follow me there, too @AmyVanHornCISD
How do you determine who to follow on Twitter? When do you decide to Unfollow someone? Are there any cool apps or sites that you use to manage your Twitter account? Or do you hate Twitter and wish that little blue bird would just fly away already?