Whenever I get notified that someone new is following my twitter account, I look at their Twitter stats and I draw some conclusions.
- To begin with, you might assume I’d check how many Tweets you’ve actually posted yourself… but I don’t care about that as much as how many people you are following.
- If you follow more than 100 people, you don’t actually read your tweets. At least not with any sense of efficiency. You probably view Twitter more as a networking connection tool than a source of intentional influence. If I see that you are following me now, I don’t get all that excited by this as you are probably just hoping that I’ll follow you too and add to your number. (100 isn’t a magical number, so there are definitely exceptions to this, especially if you spend A LOT of time reading other people’s tweets – your number would be higher.)
- If you follow less than 100 people, you are either newer to Twitter, or are intentionally trying to keep up with the people that you have subscribed to. If I see that you are following me now, I like this, as I am one of the voices you’ll actually be able to listen to.
- Granted, by this point you are looking at your own follower list and either agreeing with me or getting annoyed by this logic (if you follow a lot of people). Obviously, there are many different ways to approach making the most out of Twitter. I’m simply giving you my approach. Which leads me to…
- Only follow the people that you actually want to be influenced by because they have something unique to say. Using Twitter as a popularity tool ensures you won’t get the most out of it. Just as we are influenced by the people we hang out with and the books we read, in this day of technology we are influenced by whose Tweets we actually read on a regular basis. Pick a few people you respect/admire, follow them at the exclusion of others, and keep up with reading their thoughts. You should be able to learn a lot about someone by looking at who they follow on Twitter. Currently, I’m following 52 people. The less people you follow, the easier it is to keep up with what they are saying so you’ll need to find a number that allows you to hear enough unique voices efficiently.