Who to Follow on Twitter?

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CC: The meaning of follow by dhammza.

Twitter is SEO 2.0! In fact Twitter is more SEO 2.0 than StumbleUpon, Mixx or other social media I hailed.

Yeah, Twitter has surpassed my wildest expectations.

Why is Twitter so valuable for business bloggers, social media consultants and SEO people? Well, Twitter is:

  • Fast
  • Targeted
  • Simple

You can spread the word fast, to a targeted audience and do it in a very simple manner.

Also the word of mouth can spread virally if you get it right. To get it right you need to build a network of friends over at Twitter who share your interests and who care for you. I was incredibly lucky as a blogger to already have such people scattered over the Interwebs. So I could get them on Twitter quickly.

When I reached approx. 200 friends (followers whom I followed too) the Twitter concept worked best for me. Ever since it got tougher. The more people I followed the less I could communicate with each one. In the end at double the number of friends my Twitter experience has significantly deteriorated. I got more and more unanswered tweets. People stopped to submit and vote my on posts on StumbleUpon or Sphinn. Part of it was due to my focus shifting to my business blogging clients.

The main reason behind my Twitter problems was the nonsense the Twitter celebrities tell you. ” The more the better, follow people to make them follow back”. I was wondering what happened:

  • Did people stop liking me?
  • Am I not prolific enough anymore?
  • Are there too many new kids on the blog to notice the old Mexican with the biggest sombrero in town?

I noticed some new voices among the Twitter clamor: People who said “quality before quantity”, not the numbers are important but the bonds. This is obvious but we tend to forget that the Internet is just a reflection of real life enhanced by technology. So you can’t have hundreds or thousands of friends.

So then I had to change my strategy on whom to follow. Before, like described in this post of mine on SEOptimise I followed quite indiscriminately

  1. Leaders of the SEO industry
  2. People “I knew” from elsewhere
  3. People who might be useful for due their high popularity
  4. People who followed with me
  5. Active Twitter users
  6. Renowned marketers
  7. Friends of friends
  8. People who addressed me

So I ended up with huge amounts of tweets on my Twitter homepage (I still prefer that to clients) from people I couldn’t even remember to have followed. Then I used the emergency brake. I started to “unfollow” people who never even addressed, linked or referred to me. I unfollowed people telling me about their lunch and those tweeting all the time so that you couldn’t see the others anymore. Just 50 such “friends” less and the Twitter experience already had improved significantly.

Would I only reduce the number of people I follow from now on? No, I wanted to move on and connect with new people, but this time I’ll do it differently. Who to follow on Twitter then?

The single most important factor for me to follow you on Twitter is from now on: You have to communicate with me.

  • You can reply
  • retweet
  • mention me
  • or let me know that you exist on other social media.

I don’t care but there must be a connection. I’m not just listening to you like to a radio station. You don’t talk to me, I don’t speak with you either and I certainly won’t listen all the time. Also I don’t care that you do SEO. I hate such SEO! I practice SEO 2.0 so in case you think I’ll befriend you just because you’re a self proclaimed SEO expert: Fail!

Also I rarely “befriend” people who beg me to become friends. I befriend people who act like friends. Especially some people from India tend to write messages like “please, please, please let us become friends!” We’re not in the slums here. On the Web attention is the currency not money so I’m as poor or rich as you and I don’t beg you so stop begging as well.

Btw. I’m @onreact_com over at Twitter.