It took me quite some time to figure out a strategy about whom to follow back on my 2 Twitter accounts: @lizebizz (in english) and @lizebcn (in spanish). Finally, I sorted it out: I now simply follow back everyone that follows me!
Following & Unfollowing: the rules of the game
Everyone? Yes, everyone – even accounts from organizations, although it took me a while to decide on this one. But then I thought: if I would be running an organization’s account, I’d also like individuals to follow me. So I decided to do what I also would others to do: following back.
Some rules apply though:
- I don’t follow back followers that tweet in languages that I can’t read (are welcome: all tweets in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Portuguese and Catalan)
- I don’t follow back/unfollow bots
- I don’t follow back/unfollow accounts with protected tweets
- I don’t follow back/unfollow accounts with an empty bio or with a bio that doesn’t make sense
- I don’t follow back/unfollow accounts that look or behave like spammers (spammy bio or sending over 50 tweets a day)
- I don’t follow back/unfollow accounts that are commercial and aren’t related to my interest fields
- I don’t follow back/unfollow accounts that are inactive (less than 1 tweet a week or more than 1 month without activity)
- I unfollow any account that sends me a DM (Direct Message) without first following me back
- If I follow an account, I wait 4 days for a followback. If no followback is happening, I will unfollow the account
- Accounts that first follow me and then unfollow after my followback will be unfollowed and unlisted
- When some Spanish speaking account follows me on my english account @lizebizz, I follow them on my spanish account @lizebcn (or vice versa). This, because I want to keep these 2 languages on my timelines as separated as possible. It also makes it easier to retweet and respond.
The tools I use
How do I manage all this on a daily basis? As I already explained in mey former blogpost “17 Tools to effectively manage your Social Media accounts“, I am using Socialbro to see who’s not following back, who has recently unfollowed me and to spot inactive tweeters.
I use Tweetdeck for the interactive part: I love the “interactions” column where you can see in 1 single stream the followers, mentions, retweets & favorites coming in.
I use Hootsuite to actually follow the stream of the different timelines & lists of both my twitter accounts, and to program the publishing of my tweets and retweets on different moments during the coming days.
How I respond to following, retweeting, faving, mentioning & listing
Every morning and every afternoon I check Tweetdeck’s “interactions” columns to see who followed, retweeted, faved, listed or mentioned.
- Followers receive a follow back and a tweet that thanks & welcomes them by mentioning them publicly. I don’t send them a private Direct Message – although I mistakenly did this when I started off with Twitter. I believe followers are happier with a public mention than with a private direct message – which often is even considered as spam.
Upon a follower’s bio I also decide (or not) to list them in one of my interest lists
- When someone retweets one of my tweets, I thank them with a tweet that mentions them and copies the tweet they retweeted (Tip: this also gives more exposure to a certain tweet and often gets retweeted again!). I sometimes also follow the retweeter (I don’t do that systematically – maybe I should!)
- When someone faves one of my tweet they get the same treatment as somebody who retweets my tweets.
- When somebody lists me, I will thank them with a tweet that mentions them.
- Of course when somebody mentions me, I will reply. This often results in a little conversation that often ends up in networking through LinkedIn!