Rethinking My Twitter Follow Strategy

by JR Griggs

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twitter_bird_follow_me__Small__bigger Recently I was thinking about my follow strategy on Twitter. Well, strategy is probably not the best word. Method or style would be more fitting.

I was wondering how much value I was getting from the people I followed. And how much was I getting from my followers.

This was really easy to gauge based on the ReTweet’s I get, the @replies and how many clicks I get when I post a link. Overall just how much of a conversation was Twitter vs. just a numbers game.

The answer was very little compared to the 3200 + followers I had and the 3000 + people I was following. No doubt some were following just because I followed them. These people are the ones who will rarely add value to Twitter for you.

So I decided that it was time to start a new strategy to get more out of Twitter. No I do not plan on unfollowing everyone as some of the “gurus” have done.

I actually am still not 100% sure that those who did are doing the right thing. In fact I wrote up a post about how wrong I thought it was but have not posted yet. Want some time to evaluate further.

Quality or Quantity

I wrote a guest post for Twitip called “Twitter Followers: Quantity or Quality?” I laid out the arguments for having quality followers, being the ones who will ReTweet, reply, visit your site etc.. vs. quantity of followers who will just boost your numbers but pretty much ignore you.

My thoughts on those are unchanged but what has changed is how I handle who I follow back.

To Follow or Not to Follow

I have never auto followed. Because I know doing that would have me following a ton of spam accounts. I also did not want anyone to look at who I’m following and find some webcam site.

So my method was to take time and go through my recent follows and look at their profile and recent tweets to see if it was someone who had similar interests.

This of course took quite a bit of time and during busy times I fell behind on it.

Keeping Track

The biggest problem with following a lot of people is how do you keep track? The way I have done that is by using TweetDeck. I have created different columns.

My first column is all of the people I am following. And yes I do look at that as often as possible and try to reply or ReTweet anything of interest. Then I have a few other columns for the people I like to watch for more often. That way I can still see everyone’s but I can also make sure I do not miss certain feeds.

But again watching the main feed can take a lot of time. But I feel it is necessary to engage in conversation and get a better quality of followers.

Increasing Quality

So here is where I started to rethink my methods a bit. I have over 3200 followers. But I only average 20 clicks when I post a link to my blog or an article I found.

That’s not even 1%! This tells me that I have a ton of followers who are pretty much ignoring me. I also gauge this my how many responses I get to a question I ask etc..

So I knew that I needed to try and increase the quality of my followers. And to do that it starts with who I am following.

My New Method

So my new method of following is that instead of going through my recent followers and following anyone that looks interesting, I will instead follow those who engage in conversation. Anyone who ReTweets or replies to a tweet I will make sure I am following. Those are the followers that will make Twitter far more interactive and beneficial.

It’s nice when you can use a medium like Twitter to find out what products are good. Or get advise about a blog post etc.. But if 99% of your followers are ignoring you that won’t help.

By following back less I will have less noise in my “all followers” feed and can reply to them more and engage in conversation more. This will create stronger relationships.

Of course there are still going to be people I follow who do not follow back. That’s fine because I do not follow to get followed back, I do so because I am interested in you and what you have to say.


So what should you take from this? You should do exactly what I do! lol

NO! I could still be completely wrong! Do what you feel is right and what works best for you. 😉

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }


Great post JR. So true, quality beats quantity most of the time. It’s like sales conversions… you may have thousands of website visitors but if only a percentage of a percent convert, its not worth the time it took to acquire those visitors.

I agree its better to focus on a tight niche group who are true fans; much easier to manage.


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