I’m writing a lot about twitter at the moment – this is because I’m preparing a workshop about it for the Construction Marketing Conference in February, and as I put stuff together I’m sharing some useful bits and pieces with you. When the conference is over I’ll be collating some of my advice into a download for you too, and I’ll get back to talking about some of the other tools and techniques. In the meantime, here’s one of the useful tools I’ve found recently which you might find useful too.
Why don’t some people get twitter?
In my research I’ve come across the data Sysomos prepared in the summer of 2009 about twitter users and how a small proportion of twitter users were really active – only 30% of the 11.5m twitter accounts they looked at were active – that is someone had posted within the previous week.
One of the reasons many people don’t twitter is that they use it for Broadcasting. They feed their press releases, news and website links into it and expect something to happen. Now if someone is really interested in you (for example if you are a signature architect, the BBC, or there has been some major crisis and the press want your comments) then perhaps you’ll get some followers. But this is NOT what twitter is about for me.
Outbound marketing – using twitter as a hose – doesn’t work on twitter as a general rule. Twitter is OPT-IN and people will soon turn off your hose for you and you’ll be shouting in the dark.
If you want twitter to work for you, you must be Engaging.
More about that later, but here is a tool which can help you find engaging people.
Refollow is a tool which allows you to sort the people you follow and your followers according to a number of factors. You sign in using Twitter’s O-Auth feature (which means twitter keeps your password the site never sees it – a bit like Paypal) and the people you connect with on twitter appear in a pane. This includes all the people who follow you, and all you follow.
You can then choose from the check boxes at the top. For example, choose ‘I’m not following’ from the top and ‘Users who have @mentioned me’ from the right, and you’ll see all those who have recently replied or mentioned your handle who you aren’t following. NB – Refollow will load 100 users at a time, so if you follow a lot of people makes sure you click ‘load more’ a few times to get them all.
Then when you have a pageful, hover over the avatars to see details of accounts – click through to their profiles. Take a look and see who you should be engaging with more. You can even bulk follow those people who @mention you.
One of the things you discover is that some of the people who are following you have started following because they think they can help you. Check out their profiles, and if you agree, why not follow them too and start a conversation. Remember – you don’t have to follow people, even if they @mention you. Only follow people you want to follow.
If you want to, you can also find the people who aren’t using twitter much by clicking ‘I’m following’ and ‘No tweets in last 90 days’. Who in your network do you need to get in touch with? Why not be engaging yourself and drop them a line?
Refollow is a really useful tool which you can use in various ways to sort your followers. Give it a try and let me know how you use it.
Image Credit – A visualization of some of the Sysomos data by Information is Beautiful