LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Twitter: How To Manage Lots of Followers

Last summer I changed my Twitter philosophy. Prior to that, I was following 123 friends and didn't really care what anyone else had to say. I had no room for the extra noise in my life. But I realized I was missing out for two important reasons: 1) I was inadvertently communicating to the 2,000 people who followed me that I didn't care what they had to say. Like talking to them was more important than listening to them. And 2) I was missing the opportunity to add value to more people than I could ever possibly meet.

So I decided at that point that I would aggressively broaden the number of people I'm following. This change led to a 1,900% increase in friends and an 815% increase in followers. Some people ask how in the world I can possibly manage that many followers.

Here is what works for me...

  1. I decide which tweets come to the front of the line. To do this, I use the list feature in Twitter. Everytime I add someone, I decide whether they show up on one of my lists. My current main lists are: Family and Friends, Pastors and Leaders, Coaching Network and Pop Culture. Between these four lists I follow 150 people and read 100% of their tweets.
  2. I use Tweet Deck on my computer and Twittelator Pro on my phone to view tweets from those on my lists.
  3. In Tweet Deck, I also run a column with "all friends." I breeze this a couple times a day to read tweets and scout new people to add to one of my lists. I always find interesting stuff.
  4. I use Tweet Adder to find new friends to follow. For example, I ran a search for anyone who had "executive pastor" in their bio and automatically subscribed to their tweets. This system can be completely automated once you set it up.
  5. I attempt to follow everyone who follows me. (I also use Tweet Adder for this, but it isn't perfect, so please let me know if I missed you!)
  6. I also use Tweet Deck to run a constant search on @timstevens. He isn't me. But he gets LOTS of @mentions directed toward me. So I just constantly monitor his @mentions so I can see anything directed at me.
  7. Most days I get more than 200 direct messages. And most of them are auto-replies, but I skim everyone looking for personal DM's. I also look for porn sites (they usually stand out with creative avatars) and immediately "block" them. So far I've blocked 230 accounts.
  8. About once a month I run TwitBlock on my account to check for spam or porn. It is real easy within the program to block the sites that rise to the top of the list.
  9. Because I'm a stats geek, I use Twitter Counter and Twitter Analyzer to track growth, retweets, @mentions and more. Again, my goal is to add value to people, so seeing how much I'm re-tweeted or mentioned gives me an indicator of how much value I'm adding.

This probably sounds more complicated then it is. But I look at Twitter as a tool to broaden my influence as I follow Christ and lead at home and in the church.

What questions or thoughts do you have?