How To Follow People on Twitter

So the other day I was reading a post over at the Assault Blog titled Why Twitter Followers Are Worthless. The author argued that:

1. “If you can’t mobilize your followers for feedback, links, retweets or an opinion: they’re worthless.”

This is somewhat true. When I first started blogging about a year and a half ago I used my existing Twitter account to send out links to posts that I’d do on this blog. For the first month or so I received minimal feedback or retweets.

I was following a ton of T-Shirt people and yet no one seemed to care about my content. The main thing that I learned is that Twitter is a two way street. Unless YOU care about the people that YOU follow on Twitter then YOU are worthless to THEM.

Once I started providing my opinions to tweets I’d read over Twitter, leaving feedback and retweeting I started to notice that people would do the same for the content that I pumped out over Twitter.

Twitter is a two way interactive street. Provide worth to your followers and the people that follow you will be worth their weight in gold 100 times over.

2. “Twitter is a vehicle for word of mouth, but offline word of mouth is always better than online word of mouth.”

I disagree. I don’t think my blog would have grown as much as it did and as fast as it did without the online word of mouth gained through the use of Twitter. Had I not utilized Twitter, my blog might just be another blog. Instead, I have a strong following of people who love T-Shirts and enjoy visiting my site to get the latest tee related scoops.

In fact, I made it a point not to SPAM my Facebook friends (people that I actually know in real life) with status updates linking back to my blog. I didn’t even announce my blog on my Facebook profile despite the fact that my 300-400 Facebook friends would have seen it. I wanted to see how much the blog would grow minus the friend and family factor. Other people automate updates on their blog to their personal Facebook page. I don’t do this and I will explain in a future post why I don’t.

Coty’s Followers/Following Rule

I started to follow the “big” people in my niche (T-Shirts) and I’d take a look at the people that they followed and I would selectively follow those that I thought had an interest in tees.

Note that I don’t have a monstrous or unbalanced followers/following count. I follow about 1800 people and have about 1100 followers. A balance in the number of people you follow and the number that follow you (followers) is a good thing. It means that more times than not, when you followed someone they followed you back. Or, when someone followed you, you found their content interesting enough to follow them back.

Remember, Twitter is a two way interactive street. So be weary of people whose follow/follower count are not balanced (i.e. they follow 300,000 people but have 23 followers). These are probably SPAM accounts, don’t follow these people. I’m a little follow heavy when it comes to Twitter, when you encounter these types of people you need to take into account their tweet history and even the link they provide on their profile page (covered in next section). When it comes to the followers/following rule you really want to be aware of the extremes, for instance:

Twitter

How To Choose Who To Follow?

Once you start using Twitter you’ll start to get people who follow you that you aren’t currently following. You can do one of two things:

1. Ignore the Twitter email notifying you of a new follower.

or

2. Click on the notification email and review the stats of the person following you.

Ignoring people over Twitter is a bad idea. Twitter is a two way interactive street, remember?

Therefore that leaves us with option #2. So you take a look at the user stats that is included in the notification email and then from there you can make a “trim the fat” decision. This when you use the Followers/Following rule: If they have an unbalanced Twitter Followers/Following count I usually ignore them and do not follow them back. They are probably SPAM.

If however, they have a balanced Twitter Followers/Following count OR they have a username related to my niche then I’ll take look at their Twitter profile.

For example, @Timothyfree decided to follow me on Twitter. I took a look at the notification email and he passed the Followers/Following Rule. Next step is to take a look at his Twitter profile page.

Twitter

So now I am taking a look at their Twitter profile and at this point I need to decide to follow him on Twitter or not. My decision of whether to follow or not to follow hinges on a few things:

  1. Are they following other people in my niche? Go through and look at the people they are following.
  2. Do they’ve have an interesting profile link (bonus if they link back to a tee related site), or
  3. Does their Tweet history show relevance to my niche?

So continuing on with @Timothyfree’s profile, I notice that he is linked to Freedom Clothing. Perfect, another clothing company to keep under my radar. But I do notice that his followers/following numbers have changed from when he initially followed me. That’s fine because I checked out his profile links, his tweet history and I know he is not SPAM, instead, he is someone that I’d  be interested in connecting with on Twitter. His tweet history shows that he likes to tweet about personal life stuff but that’s okay because when I looked through the list people he follow I found the official Twitter account for his clothing brand and I decided to follow that.

Twitter

Once I review these three things I make a gut decision as to whether or not I follow this new person. I decide to follow @Timothyfree.

If you follow these steps then I promise you that you will develop a community of Twitter followers that actually care about what you are talking about. And once this happens, online word of mouth becomes a gazillion times more powerful then offline word of mouth. This is all based on the quality of your online word of mouth reach. And remember, since Twitter is a two way interactive street and you’re interacting with your community, your community members will be much more likely to retweet your content and/or provide feedback. Once this starts to happen on a regular basis then that’s when the online Twitter world becomes your oyster. Eat it up.

Some take home points:

  1. Twitter is a two way interactive street.
  2. Remember the Follow/Foller Rule and be weary of people whose follow/follower count are not balanced.
  3. Trim The Fat, but don’t ignore new followers, see what they have to offer before you decide to follow or not follow them.
  4. Once you’ve built a quality number of Twitter followers, don’t forget to continue to provide good content and leave good feedback.

I’d love to know what you think of this post. Also, if you have a different strategy for following people I’d love to hear about it!

If you enjoyed this post be sure to follow me on Twitter!

Friends Don’t Let Friends Tweet and Drive

This shirt makes me wonder, have there been any reported accidents directly due to someone sending out a tweet? In any case, you should not be sending out tweets while you’re behind the wheel. Neither should you be eating, drinking, doing your nails, brushing your teeth or releasing sexual tension.

You can pick up this shirt from Rizzo Tees for just $15. Buy this shirt and save a life.

Friends Don't Let Friends Tweet & Drive

Tweet by Glennz Tees

Tweet is the newest tee from one of my favorite tee designers, Glenn Jones of Glennz Tees. It’s possibly the most subtle of all the “Twitter” tees that have been created so far. It doesn’t spell out Twitter, nor does it play on the newly invented Twitter vocabulary. It does, however, show just how imaginative Glenn really is! Tweet!

Tweet by Glennz Tees

Tweet by Glennz Tees

Threadless Partners With Twitter

Whenever something becomes a cultural phenomenon, you can almost always expect a T-Shirt to pop up here and there that promotes, makes fun of, or applauds that particular phenomenon. Twitter has definitely swept the Interwebs and has become a phenomenal new way for people to connect and communicate. And we’ve seen a couple of Twitter tees op up here and there, but, expect that amount to increase exponentially! 

The popular Chicago based T-Shirt contest site, Threadless, announced earlier today that it has partnered with Twitter on a new project that will bring popular tweets to the torsos of millions. The shirts will feature notable tweets that are submitted and voted on by the users of Twitter. 

Winners will receive $500, a prize identical to that of the Threadless Typetees contest. And to promote the submission of tweets, individuals that submit a winning tweet made by someone else will receive $140. 

The new Threadless/Twitter tees cost $18 and feature the Twitter logo along with the @name of the tweet author on the bottom left corner of the tee. 

Threadless and Twitter Partnership

Props To My Tweeps!

Our buddy Chris from Rizzo Tees recently released his newest tee and it’s a fun one! Riding on the popularity of the phenomenon that is Twitter, this new tee is simply called, Props To My Tweeps. The tee is available for sale at the special introductory sale rate of $15 until this Friday (May 8). Remember, Rizzo Tees is part of the Attack of the Coupon Codes promotion so be sure to use the code ”COTY” at checkout to save yourself 10% off your entire order! 

And just for fun, here are 5 Twitter terms (courtesy of Mashable list of 66 Twitter terms) that you should know about!

dweet: tweet sent while intoxicated

tweeple: Twitter people, Twitter members, Twitter users.

tweetup: when twitterers meet in person – a Twitter meet up.

twittectomy: an unfollowing of friends.

twitterrhea: the act of sending too many Twitter messages.

Props To My Tweeps

Send A Tweet and Save 25% at Regal Clothing

Our UK buddies over at Regal Clothing Co. is having a neat promotion that involves the very popular and powerful social network Twitter. All you need to do is head over to this page over at Regal Clothing, enter your Twitter information, and they will then post a Re-Tweet so that others can find out about the promotion. The information is not stored, and only that one tweet will be sent. 

Regal Clothing Re-Tweet

If you’re wondering what the heck you’ll use your 25% off coupon on, well, here area few of my Regal Clothing recommendations: 

Free Hugs

Guitar Hero

Tweeting This

Desired Hearts Announces Twestival Contest Winner

Congratulations to Lenwood Brown from Amherst, New Hampshire for submitting the winning design to the official Twestival T-Shirt Design Contest that was held by Desired Hearts. Brown is no stranger to good causes, along with being a talented designer, he also helps out his community as a volunteer firefighter. And if you saying to yourself, hey that designs looks familiar – well, you’re right! The design is a play on the famous “Fail Whale” splash page that appears whenever Twitter is down for maintenance. 

This winning Twestival shirt will be available for pre-sale until Monday for $20. All proceeds from this sale will be going to Charity: Water. And remember, the Twestival will be happening all over the world on February 12 so be sure to check out the official site Twestival site to see where your city’s Twestival will be held. 

Twestival

Twestival Shirt

Desired Hearts Back and Helping With Twestival!

After recently closing their site down, the Desired Heart team is back in action, re-branded and hopefully better than ever. To kick off the re-opening of Desired Hearts, they have teamed up with the folks running the upcoming and worldwide Twestival and is currently organizing the official Twestival T-Shirt Design Competition. You can now vote for your favorite entry (12 from the 45 submissions were selected) and can even pre-order your Twestival tee now for $20.00. Voting closes this Sunday and the results will be announced on Monday, February 9. The profits from this sale will be going to Charity: Water – a group dedicated to bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 

Here are the 12 Twesitival designs that you can choose from and vote for:

Twestival

For those of you wondering what the Twestival is all about, here is the information that you need:

On 12 February 2009 175+ cities around the world will be hosting Twestivals which bring together Twitter communities for an evening of fun and to raise money and awareness for charity: water.

Join us by:

Attending one of the events detailed on the city sites listed on this page.
Uploading or buying music at Twestival.fm.
Taking part in the t-shirt design competition.
Donating to charity: water.
The Twestival is organized 100% by volunteers in cities around the world and 100% of the money raised from these events will go directly to support charity: water projects.

10tees – The 10 Best of Everything!

10tees is a great place to find themed collections of tees. They do all the work by thinking of interesting themes (i.e. 10 Star Wars Tees Every Fan Boy Should Have, 10 Funny Tees About Strange Creatures, etc.) and then collect and post on their blog the 10 best shirts from a mix of indie and popular brands. It’s fun to see which shirts make the list and its a great way to find random tees that you would not have know about otherwise! 

Be sure to also check out and subscribe to their RSS Feed, a secret birdie told me that you can find some goodies in there, like handy dandy coupons! And if you’re like me, always looking for people to add on Twitter, then go ahead and follow 10tees on Twitter to stay up-to-date on everything 10tees.

The Tcritic To Collaborate with Hide Your Arms

According to ongoing Twitter conversations, It looks like the Internet’s number one t-shirt blog will be collaborating with the author of another hot tee blog. Karl Long, better known in the tee community as the Tcritic has invited Hide Your Arms author Andy Bowness to be a guest poster on his blog.

The Tcritic has been around since 2006 and has over 4000 subscribers according to his Feedburner stats. Although one of the most prolific tee bloggers around, he has slowed down a bit, producing just one or two post every week or so. Hide Your Arms, on the other hand has been busingly pumping out content like a mad man. Fellow tee blogger, Taddict, even pronounced Andy as the “heir” to Long’s t-shirt blogging throne.

Needless today, this is a great thing for both Andy and Karl. It’ll help to feed the thirsty palettes of the Tcritic fans looking for more content and it’ll boost Andy’s credibility in the community and help to bring in more traffic to the already popular Hide Your Arms blog.

Is this the beginning of a passing of the torch from one top blog to another? Only time will tell.