Building a quality twitter follow-list

Whether you like it or hate it…tweets are here to stay. (at least for now)

Building your twitter list is what most people talk about. “How do I get more people to follow me?”

But how do you make your twitter fall/feed reflect information you actually care about? A few months ago, I signed up to follow a bunch of people that I wanted to follow me. As I was adding these people, I felt like a “sell-out”. Are they tweeting about things I care about? Yet, I did it anyway. following the advice of many of many social media experts who tout that it’s an important technique for building your own twitter following. Many believe that there an unwritten rule of “If I follow you, it’s only polite to follow back” and since Canadian’s like to be nice they’ll usually follow you back.

Well I say “Bah Humbug” to that strategy! Why? Because I was immediately bombarded with 100’s of tweets a day of conversations and information that I don’t care about, diluting my feed.

Twitter shouldn’t be a popularity contest, it should be a way for you to connect with people who share like interests. I’m not down playing the value of having hundreds or thousands of followers, but I think there should be quality over quantity.

I recently stumbled across this blog post about twitter do’s and don’ts. #5 states that twitter posts should not just be feeds, but I don’t think this statement works for every twitter user. The author of the post is advocating “the social side” of social media…fare enough. But many people (including myself) are trying to juggle 16 hour work-days, family responsibilities, and health. For us, social media is a new way to access information and the “social” side of isn’t always as important. For example, I enjoy following people and companies that give me access to interesting articles, opinions, events, or news. I am the first to “unfollow” people who are chatting back and forth on twitter. I simply don’t have time to keep up with the convo. Perhaps I’m just bitter because they have as much time to chat as they do, lol. But the reality is that if they are “chatters” I unfollow them quicker than a cat running from hot bath.


So if you’re a time strapped business person, like myself, you’re twitter account will be more meaningful to you when the banter is stripped out and the people you follow are giving you nuggets of information catered to your life/business. For these people, I highly recommend building your follow-list more strategically. On that note, here’s a really cool site that gives you lists of people to follow that align with your interests – Follow Formation. For example, if you want to Follow the most popular tweeters covering the Olympics, you can do it instantly, the top 10, 20 or 30 people. It’s so much easier that trying to find individuals covering your topics of interest. This website is a great tool for building a relevant and interesting twitter feed for yourself.



2 comments

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  1. Zoe C.
    Zoe C. 18 March, 2010, 12:30

    Great analysis and suggestions, Lindsay. I couldn’t agree more. Twitter has many uses, but for me as a business person/entrepreneur it has been an excellent “news feeder”. By following people who are on the cutting edge of technology and business, and who link to great articles and news, they’ve done the research for me. Using this approach to twitter has actually been a time-saver. Glad to learn about Followformation – will have to check it out. Thanks.

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