- Tech & Gadgets
- BRW. lounge
Published 13 June 2012 06:53, Updated 18 June 2012 09:41
If your Twitter feed has become nonsensical and overloaded with tweets you may need to cull the number of people you follow.
Deloitte digital practice partner Frank Farrall thinks some tweeters need to be ruthless and cut the number of people they follow down to no more than 100.
He says opening an untended Twitter feed clogged by hundreds of followers can be like facing “a deluge”.
“It’s better to get rich information from fewer sources,” he says.
He reckons you can put numbers on the right amount of people to follow if you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve online.
“If you’re a casual Twitter user and work in a particular field, you might need only to follow individuals related to a topic,” he says. Users in this category, he believes, typically only need to follow 80 to 100 people.
Subject matter experts and people who are trying to build a profile in a particular field should also only be following about 100 tweeters.
Instead of following many people, subject matter experts should channel more effort into building the right sort of audience among their own followers. Retweeting and other forms of “valuable input” such as thought pieces, blog posts and content demonstrating “leadership and expertise” is the way to go, he says.
However, if you are running a consumer-facing business, the number of people you follow could usefully go as high as 500.
Farrall’s views are backed up by Social@Ogilvy senior digital strategist Roger Christie.
“You have to be able to cut through the noise to get value out of [Twitter],” he says.
When it comes to building a list of people to follow, Christie says a quality over quantity approach is best and suggests that users attempt to identify the 10 key “influencers” in a given industry or on a particular topic and then build a following base from there. “You have to do your due diligence,” he says.
Farrall suggests applications such as Tweetdeck can help Twitter users make better use of being online. Tweetdeck divides a screen into a number of columns, each displaying a different feed, so that users can view multiple feeds at one time. The application also allows users to create different lists. Lists could comprise identities writing about one particular industry or could be based on a hashtag such as #auspol (Australian politics) which enables a user to follow all conversations relating to a particular theme.
Both Farrall and Christie agree there is a basic code of online etiquette that professionals need to be aware of before jumping in to make their mark.
Christie also advises companies to familiarise themselves beforehand with the tool and the online communities they hope to tap into.
“It’s a lot like a cocktail party,” he says. “You don’t just go over to the first group of people you see and start sharing your opinion … You listen first and then, if appropriate, introduce yourself and then … join the conversation when you find you can make a contribution.”