It’s not hard to gain followers on Twitter or other social media platforms. If you’re active and keep having conversations with people, if you retweet or repost interesting items, if you make an effort to tweet or post every day or at least a few times a week (and not just promotional tweets), you will gain followers. A year or so back I started working on building my base on Twitter. I gained followers, and of course I liked having more followers … but then I had to figure out how to manage them. I can’t interact with 2,000 people, which my personal Twitter account has. My professional Twitter account (screenshot upper left) is still growing, but I figured there was no reason to skip this step and then waste time later figuring out who is who.
Lists keep Twitter manageable.
I use Twitter’s list system and organize as many people as I can into lists. My business account has 5 lists at the moment, which I may or may not expand as time goes by. Because I’m a writer and editor, I mainly focus on other writers and creative types. My current categories are Writers, Editors, Publishing, Social Media, and News+Politics. Since I use social media for business, I’m always reading up on the best ways to use it, which for me basically means finding a balance between efficiency and obnoxiousness, or between friendly and pushy. The beauty of lists is that you can make them private or public, and even the ones that are public are not going to bother anyone. If someone puts me on their list, I’ll only get a notice if my account is set up to get emails about that. Otherwise, I won’t know unless I look at. If you click the “me” menu on the top bar, then on the left side click on “lists,” you’ll see this: You click on “Member of” and often you’ll see lists other people have added you to. For instance, on my personal Twitter account I was placed into a group called “Writer/Editor/Publisher” by someone I follow, which could be a useful group to subscribe to (subscribing to others’ groups is another way to keep up on what people who are into what you’re into are doing). The other groups, as you can see, are a bit more generic.
How do you use lists?
The way I usually use it is to respond to others’ tweets, or to retweet something relevant, in a timely manner. When I click on my “Editors” list, for example, and then click on “tweets” on the left (vs “list members” or “list subscribers”), you’ll see all the most recent tweets sent by list members, and exactly how long ago they were sent. Then I simply decide whether to respond to some of them. In some cases the tweet may be too old to respond to, but you might want to retweet it. Twitter can suck a lot of time away from your life if you are not careful. I try to limit the number of times I am tweeting each day and I pre-schedule tweets using HootSuite or TweetDeck. I love social media, I love being able to chat instantaneously with people. But I can’t do Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and Tumbler and Pinterest and Instagram … at least not on a consistent basis. I think I actually have accounts to all of these, but I mainly focus on Twitter, Facebook and my blog, checking LinkedIn regularly for career-related information. .