Twitter is great. It provides a platform to link with like minded people and when used correctly can boost your book sales/business/website hits/blog visits. However, the basic Twitter page is hopeless once you top more than about 100 followers. The solution is to find yourself a Twitter Client. My client of choice is TweetDeck.
The key to large scale twittering is the realisation that no matter how much you try you simply can't give every one of your followers your full attention. Instead you must stay focused on the people that offer you the most value. The tool that allows this to happen (for me) is Tweet Deck.
Once you have TweetDeck installed and up and running here are some hints and tips at becoming an effective twitterer to more than 100 followers:
THE best feature of Tweetdeck is the ability to create groups. Automatically created is a group called All Friends. The biggest problem that you face when dealing with large groups of twitterers is keeping an eye on the tweets that are useful to you and this is where a skilful use of grouping comes in handy.
On my tweet deck I have these groups:
This contains people I am following who themselves have more than 5000 followers. A mention in the twitter stream of one of these big boys can earn you loads of followers.
This group contains all the people I follow whose tweets I comment on regularly. I like to keep these all in one place and give them the most attention.
These are people who I follow and find interesting. They will have less then 5000 followers and will not have been promoted to the commentable group.
Here I put all the twitterers I follow who have a local link.
Replies and Direct Messages
These groups are created automatically and house all those juicy @replies and DMs.
Tweetdeck makes it possible to set up a few groups based on search terms and this can be very handy. I have one with the term BubbleCow. This means anyone mentioning BubbleCow will appear in the group. This can be very handy.
Dipping into All Friends
I like to spend ten or fifteen minutes each day looking through my All Friends stream. If anything catches my eye I simply promote them to Interesting.
The power of the @reply
One criteria I use for moving followers from the All Friends group to Interesting is an @reply. If a follower ReTweets one of my tweets or takes the time to @reply to me I automatically promote them, after all it is active twitterers who I am looking to spend my time following closely.
This is just how I use Tweetdeck and I hope it will give you a few ideas. However, one thing I would like to drive home is that I am not the only person using Twitter this way. One of the keys to building a good twitter following is to know your audience, know what they want and try and make your tweets as valuable to them as possible.
So are you using Tweetdeck? I would love to hear any of your tips and tricks.