Twitter is all about community.
You set the tone for your Twitter experience when you decide whom to follow. If you follow people who tweet about mundane, boring things, your Twitter experience is boring and mundane. The quality of your Twitter experience depends on the people you follow. In other words, if you don’t like your Twitter experience, change the people you follow.
In the beginning, most people spend a great deal of time figuring out whom to follow. After a while, you settle into a routine. I want to encourage you to spend a little time each week on community management. Look for new people to follow. Review the people you currently follow. Mix it up a bit.
Here are five Twitter tools that can help you manage your Twitter community, and greatly improve your Twitter experience.
Community Categories Revealed
Twitter uses two categories to describe your community: the people you follow and the people who follow you. Twitual uses three categories:
- Friends, or the people I follow who follow me back.
- Fans, the people who follow me even though I don’t follow them back.
- Idols, the people I follow who don’t follow me back.
Twitual is a community management tool that divides your Twitter community into these three groups and lets you see where each user falls. These categories make it easy to understand the dynamics within your community, and let you see your community at a glance.
Who’s Your Neighbor
One of the things I adore about my personal Twitter community is the fact that I see most of these people on a regular basis. They are my neighbors, and they run businesses or work at businesses in my community. We tweet between real life meetups.
If you are looking for twitterati in your neighborhood, you need Nearby Tweets. You provide an address or a geographic location. Nearby Tweets locates people who tweet near that location, and provides a timeline of their tweets. You can also do a keyword search through this group of tweets, and change the size of the search area by setting the number of miles from the address.
Follow Friday Suggestions
Every Friday, you may notice people posting tweets with the hashtag #followfriday. This is a grassroots effort to point out favorite people on Twitter. You might want to check for #followfriday recommendations from your favorite people. You can also do a Twitter search for the hashtag to get more recommendations.
And now, you can use Top Follow Friday to get a detailed list of recommendations. The people behind this site compile the individual #followfriday tweets into a master list that shows the recommended people, how many people recommended them, and even more trivia about this informal voting process. There are some gems in this list, people that you might never hear about through another means.
Help feed the machine. Next Friday, why don’t you post your own #followfriday list of 5 or so of your favorite people to follow? I go through the tweets I marked as a favorite during the week to decide whom to put on my #followfriday list.
Is Anyone Home?
Many people get a Twitter account, start out tweeting, and then lose interest, or get too busy. How can you tell if you follow any abandoned Twitter accounts? Use Twitoria! This tool goes through the accounts of everyone you follow and identifies how many days since their last tweet. You can adjust the setting to determine how long before someone appears in the list. For example, a week or two might just be caused by a vacation. But a longer time might mean that the person has moved on and won’t be tweeting any more.
I work to keep my following list small so I can engage my community. If I’m following an abandoned Twitter account, I see it as a slot someone else could have. So I delete people when they go silent.
The Last Goodbye
Twitter doesn’t notify you when someone stops following you. But Qwitter does. Not only does it tell you when someone quits you, but it tells you your last tweet before they quit. Now, the timing of their quitting with your last tweet can be a coincidence, but it also can show you a pattern, especially if a lot of people quit after the same tweet.
These community management tools make it much easier to tend your community garden. What tools do you use to monitor and maintain your community? Share them here and enlighten us with your strategies and tools.