“Twitter just seems incredibly stupid.” A friend made this confession to me over lunch this week. He’s on Twitter because of a company mandate, but secretly thinks it is one of the most useless tech fashion accessories ever invented. He feels it will quickly go the way of CB radios, Rubik’s Cubes and leg warmers – doomed to the pop culture scrapheap. He confesses that, “I don’t want to know what my Twitter friends had for lunch.”
I have to admit, I had similar feelings when first starting to use Twitter, but now I find it is a daily resource for me. After sifting through a lot of different feeds, I have found a group of people who keep me up to date on all the stuff I find fascinating. But like all things worthwhile, you must do a bit of digging to get to the good stuff. Here are some tips for honing your Twitter feeds to make them an information treasure trove, and for getting the most out of the people you choose to follow.
Be a following snob.
Be ruthlessly selective about who you follow. Your feed list should be a protected and exclusive club of people who fascinate and entertain you. Each Twitter feed you follow should be a continual stream of wit and genius. If they don’t dazzle you, don’t bother. When you sense even a hint of mediocrity, drop them from your feed list. The first time someone tweets “I had a cheese sandwich for lunch” banish them to Twitter oblivion. This is something to remember in your own personal posts. Before I post anything on my Twitter feed I always ask myself, Will this be interesting to other people, or just me?
Follow fewer, more quality people.
Twitter is not a popularity contest. Sure, having a lot of people following you is cool, but the opposite is just not true. Just because it is trendy to follow Ellen DeGeneres does not mean you should. Remember, your follow list should only contain people who amaze you. Set a limit on the number of people you follow and stick to it. If you follow a new person, then make yourself kick a weaker tweeter off your list. By setting this limit, the quality of your follow feeds will continually improve.
Just because someone follows you doesn’t mean you should follow them back.
Too many people treat their Twitter feed like a high school popularity contest. Following a zillion people just dilutes the good stuff. Most Twitter feeds are just not that interesting, and you must be careful not to let these time wasters clutter your world. Keep your follow list trimmed to the absolute minimum. When you get a new follower, treat it like an audition. Quickly check out the quality of their tweets. Glance at their latest posts. If they aren’t a bastion of wit and scintillating information don’t follow back.
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Graeme Newell is a broadcast and web marketing specialist who serves as the president and founder of 602 communications. You can reach Graeme at firstname.lastname@example.org.