Continuing with the theme of following others on Twitter, I previously wrote about how to follow good people and a strategy for unfollowing some as well. Since I’m into organization, especially with email, I thought I would share with you my strategy for sorting and following back those that choose to follow me.
When somebody follows you on Twitter you will typically get an email telling you so. This is great…to a point. I found that My inbox was getting cluttered with email alerts from Twitter (don’t get me wrong, I love my followers!) but it was challenging to wade through and find more time sensitive emails, especially since my primary account goes to my iPhone. In the interest of streamlining the process and to make sure that I don’t miss anybody (I like to follow back real people, but not robots), this is how I sort it out.
- Create an email account for Twitter. I originally used my primary address (matt at mattsingley dot com) for my Twitter account, but found that I didn’t like it all going to the same place. I create a unique account that is used only at Twitter, so now the info won’t go to my iPhone, just my primary and secondary computers.
- Create a “rule” for sorting. I use Microsoft Outlook, so I simply created a rule that the email will follow. You can do this by right-clicking a message and choosing “Create Rule…” or Tools–>Rules and Alerts–>New Rule. I made the rule that any email sent to my unique address that contains “is now following you” in the subject goes to a special folder I created called “Twitter Followers”. This way it doesn’t sit in my inbox, and I can go check it out anytime without disrupting my normal work flow.
- Sign up for SocialToo. I discussed this in my unfollowing post, but it should be repeated here. Sign up at SocialToo and select the option to get a daily email. Once a day I receive an email that shows who started following me (thank you!) and who unfollowed me (it stings a little!).
- Create a “rule” for SocialToo. Using the method described in #2, I created a rule that not only puts my daily SocialToo report into my Twitter Followers folder, but it also flags it for follow up that day. Now to follow back I just open up that one email, check out who is new, and when I’m finished I can mark the flag as completed. No more retracing my steps!
That’s it! A quick and simple way to organize your friends in Twitter. Of course there are tools (even in SocialToo) that allow you to automatically follow everybody that follows you…but where is the community in that? I actually click on every single person’s link, read their bio, look at their tweets and often click through to their website. I still think Twitter is a conversation and not a lecture, so the more tha I can interact with people and get to know them, the better! If you have any strategies that you use to organize your Twitter life I would love to hear about them in the comments or with an @ reply to me.
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