Growing an audience on Twitter can be hard, but I once took a new Twitter account from 0 to 1,000 followers with just a few hours of work.
How? By following everybody and anybody that looked interesting.
It’s well known that about 20-30% of people you follow will follow you back. After you follow 2,000 people twitter only lets you follow 10% more than the number following you. So, keeping your number going up while avoiding the follower churn penalty requires artful unfollowing.
Having an account that follows more people than follow it is tacky. Maybe you’re not as hardcore about getting followers, or you think Twitter is “just for fun.” But consider this: since following someone sends them an email, it’s a great way to introduce yourself. If your account represents a business, it is also useful to follow your customers so they can message you directly. If you’re not building your business or personal brand this way, and wondering why no one reads your tweets, you’re missing out.
I’m a liberal follower because it’s simplest way to grow your following on Twitter. The price of that promiscuity is that I need to clean house occasionally.
The list of people I follow on Twitter is as cluttered as my desk. There’s people I saw at conferences, people who are launching something, soccer players, and a fair few who I have no idea why I am following. Every couple months my stream starts to get vaguely annoying and/or boring.
After signing in, you can simply work your way down the list of filters selecting lists of people and unfollowing. ManageFiltter will buffer your unfollows so that you don’t get penalized by Twitter.
As you can see above, ManageFiltter has filters for followers that are not following back, have no profile image, don’t tweet in English, tweet too much or too little, or follow to many people themselves. I use this tool every few months to unfollow accounts in all of those categories. I struggle with unfollowing people I know in real life who don’t use Twitter very much. I usually keep them as sort of a bookmark – I want to preserve the connection.
How cluttered is your Twitter stream? Is it time for some spring cleaning? Do you use lists to filter your stream?
Leave a comment to let us know how you keep your follower base growing.