Sunday, July 24, 2011

Don't be a TWIT onTwitter!

Beware of bloggers who re-tweet "old posts!" There's a lot of misinformation and some very bad advice circulating concerning twitter, the popular microblogging via SMS service.

Let's clear things up straightaway!

(1) The number of followers you have is NOT important, nor should you be concerned about it, UNLESS you yourself are following many more than are following you in return. For example, if 100 people are following you and you are following 50, that's fine. But if you are following 500, there is a problem. I personally follow 300. That's my cap, for reasons I have explained previously.

See somebody with thousands of followers? Unless they are a celebrity, those are JUNK followers that perhaps they purchased.

(2) Here's a bit of bad advice making the rounds via "re-tweet" - If you think you need to UNfollow peeps, BE CAREFUL! I advise against un-following "tools" like untweeps ::: here's why: I follow Karl Lagenfeld and MIA. Both tweet rarely. I would never want to UNfollow them.

A better method is to use twitgether in conjunction with Google or Facebook. You can click on a link to see if someone is following you back or not. This gives you complete control over the unfollowing process!

(3) If you want to KEEP your existing followers, DO NOT USE AUTO-RETWEETING SERVICES!
Case in point:
Dragonblogger is a great guy and serious about his online activities. But please - who cares about a three-year old post about entrecards, especially when Dragonblogger no longer participates in the program?

He shot me back an email:
This is a side effect of the Tweet Old Post Wordpress plugin, I am still going through and finding which articles to edit and put in categories that won't auto tweet. However, I forgot to limit my posts to not retweet anything over 360 days. Eventually this will become 6 months, and 3 months but only after enough posts publish per day.

I did create a "Archive" category that Tweet Old Post ignores, but didn't put 100% of everything I don't want tweeting in it yet. I don't tweet my contest category so old contests never autotweet as that would be pointless.

The fact that 8 out of 10 posts are valid a year later and still could reach a new audience are still worth more than the occasional "useless post". Useless posts are simply ignored, they rarely make people unfollow. My follower count has been relatively static, I don't get very many unfollows on a weekly basis and I auto tweet every 4 hours an old article.

But folks, DON'T YOU TRY THIS AT HOME! Justin is a pro who knows what he's doing, and he'll work it out. Most tweeters get into something like this and have no clue as to how to get out!

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  1. Hi Dave. I have to politely disagree with this post.

    1) While the follower-following ratio is important (more important to most than following) those with many thousands of followers are not always junk. I know many bloggers and social media personalities who actively engage on a constant basis and amass a large, genuine following because of that engagement. Everyone encounters spam, as well, but that doesn't discount their entire following.

    2) Limiting your following to 300, despite the reasons you stated seems sad - Twitter is a wonderful tool to create conversations with people you might not otherwise connect with. To limit these connections based on a number alone seems to be counterintuitive to the point of Twitter.

    3) Many bloggers create content that is not timely and may still be evergreen even a few years later. One of my most visited posts is from a year ago. While I don't actively promote it, I will occasionally tweet it - it's as fresh and relevant as it was when I posted it a year ago.

    While I understand where you're coming from on some of these points, the case that you're making seems a bit extreme and well, anti-social.

    That said, thank you for your thoughts, it's always wonderful to hear different perspectives on the social media space.


  2. (I should also mention my qualifications: I work in social media on the brand side with brands such as Warner Bros., Hersheys, GM and Colgate). I've been practicing and studying the social media space for about 5 years.

  3. Hi Dave,
    Just an FYI, UnTweeps features a whitelist function for tweeps like Mr. Lagenfeld. Add these guys to the list and they don't appear in your UnTweeps list for unfollowing.

    (UnTweeps developer)


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