How to Decide Who to Follow on Twitter

I have had several conversations lately about how to use Twitter and how to decide who to follow. I know everyone has a different methodology and goal when using Twitter.  Here is mine.

I have gmail filter, label and auto archive emails from Twitter and I go through them every week or so.

Any of the following disqualifies the account for a follow:

  • the default avatar
  • 10,000 followers or more
  • businesses
  • social media experts
  • marketing experts
  • no bio
  • no real name
  • private account

Of course as these are my rules I have broken them all at least once I’m sure.  :-) Other than that I look at the bio, the link if there is one and recent tweets.

I try to keep the number of people I follow around 250 and absolutely wont go over 300. I can’t keep up with more, some people can, I can’t.  I spend most of my time on Twitter using Tweetdeck, without the columns I think I’d have to follow less than 250.

How do you decide who to follow?

Other strategies and tips:

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23 comments for “How to Decide Who to Follow on Twitter

  1. angefitzpatrick
    June 9, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    RT @librarianbyday: How to Decide Who to Follow on Twitter http://librarianbyday.net/2010/06/how-to

  2. June 9, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I agree with most of your points, but would find a 250-follow limit rather restrictive. A good way of following hundreds of Tweeters is by using the lists that are run from the main Twitter platform and scan each one as and when you please, rather than taking all your Tweeters on at once.

    • June 9, 2010 at 1:10 pm

      As I said, people are able to follow more, but I find my limit is 250. I use Tweetdeck and my Twitter lists to break the steam into lists, but my limit is still 250.

  3. janholmquist
    September 10, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    @librarianbyday I learned from recent convo: Twitter etiquette should be follow who inspires you& who you can learn from. Don´t auto-follow

    • September 10, 2010 at 5:42 pm

      @janholmquist that’s how I feel about it, but there seem to be some who think no autofollowing has all sorts of implications

      • alsnyder02
        September 10, 2010 at 5:49 pm

        @librarianbyday @janholmquist are ppl really criticizing others “follow policy”? do what works for u & respect that there is no “right way”

  4. suzigurl
    September 10, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    @librarianbyday loved that post on Twitter.

  5. GMLGeek
    September 10, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    @librarianbyday I don’t autofollow either. I make sure I’m not looking at a porn robot or viagra vendor first. I rep the library after all.

  6. seanroxdotcom
    September 10, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    @librarianbyday Does the Columbus library maintain a local music library of records, CDs, & mp3s of new/historic local musicians?

    • September 10, 2010 at 6:46 pm

      @seanroxdotcom I don’t believe so :-(

  7. hbraum
    September 10, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    @librarianbyday yes, I think it would be worthwhile

    • September 10, 2010 at 7:46 pm

      @hbraum I’m sorry, what would?

      • hbraum
        September 10, 2010 at 9:38 pm

        @librarianbyday writing the post you discussed in this tweet: https://twitter.com/librarianbyday/statu… I think it’d be a worthwhile one

        • September 11, 2010 at 12:03 pm

          @hbraum the more I think about it not sure its worth a post, can’t keep up w/ more than 250-300 people, does that deserve a whole post?

  8. November 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    How to Decide Who to Follow on Twitter http://librarianbyday.net/2010/06/09/how

    • davisac1
      November 16, 2010 at 2:27 pm

      @librarianbyday Really, no celebrities? I couldn’t get through a day without every nerd’s grandpa @smilinstanlee

      • November 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

        @davisac1 yep really no celebrities, just not something I’m interested in personally :-)

    • nuevaondacuba
      November 16, 2010 at 3:44 pm

      RT @librarianbyday: How to Decide Who to Follow on Twitter http://librarianbyday.net/2010/06/09/how

  9. November 16, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Have recently started filtering my new follows thus — I will follow them back if
    1) they’re someone famous that I’m interested in. (This includes famous-in-libraryland, even if not elsewhere.); or
    2) they’re someone I know personally (and am interested in following); or
    3) they engage with me enough that I notice, and in a way that makes me interested in following back.

    I also have a gmail filter for Twitter follows, and this let me knock it back from ~150 (gulp) to zero almost instantly — anyone I hadn’t heard of was gone, and the rest were easy, and if the ones I haven’t heard of want me to follow back, see #3.

    I also find that above 250 it starts getting very hard for me to deal, and I’ve been rocking that limit for a while and I need a new client to thread things better; just haven’t gotten around to testing out my options. But it is *so* liberating to have a quick, easy way to decide, rather than investigating each account separately.

    I also take particular pleasure in blocking & reporting for spam all those spammers in my @replies. Ah, hammer of internet justice :).

  10. November 16, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    If I ever get an auto-reply message, I unfollow or even block right away. Those things tick me off.

    • November 17, 2010 at 10:30 am

      Oh yeah me too!

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