Friday, June 26, 2009

Twitter Tips

I set up a Twitter account a few weeks ago to test it out.

At first it seemed pretty cool to have all those people following me, but then I realized that the system sends out an overwhelming amount of junk. A message sent out to an infinite number of people that do not read it has no value. So I have been trying to filter the junk out of Twitter.

I am Following people. Ideally these are people that have a message that I am interested in. I am constantly reducing this amount to keep the messages manageable. Twitter will automatically attach people to my Following list, even though I personally did not request them. Watch this list, as it grows you will be overwhelmed by the junk messages.

People are Followers of me. They have either selected or were attached automatically to my Tweets. I broadcast out a message to these people. My thoughts are that the messages I send out are going out from One person (me) to Many people (my Followers). Just like an advertisement in other medium such as TV or Radio.

Settings and Controls

Twitter has options to allow you to select who Follows you. I found this option after about two weeks of uncontrolled expansion. Select Settings at the top of the page and then at the bottom of the Account Tab, there is a check box to "Protect my updates". Check this box and hit save. When someone wants to Follow you, you will get a notice on the right of your home page. When opened you can select who Follows you, and in turn who you are Following.

As I am reading the Tweets that come in and I notice a junk Tweet, I right click on the name of the person sending the Tweet, and select open in a new tab. I then click on that tab on my browser to open the unwanted Tweet Sender's page. On that new page there is information about the Tweet Sender, which I review to see if I really want to follow this person. For the Junk Tweet Sender I then click on the Following box on the left and select Remove. I also click on the block selection on the right, just under Actions. This one is hard to see, so you need to look for it. A new page will open asking if you are sure that you want to block that Tweet Sender, I select OK and close the tab on the browser.

By using this process, I have noticed a dramatic drop in the Junk Tweets I am receiving.

My goal is to use Twitter as a marketing and communications tool to send out messages to a target audience, by controlling my followers I am selecting the target of my message. By controlling the people I am following, I filter out the junk messages. This allows me to focus on the messages coming in from the people who I choose.

I hope that the use of Bold has made the Following and Followers clearer. Please let me know if this helps you.


  1. Agree that there are many "junk" tweets and "junk" followers. Haven't noticed Twitter adding follows without my permission, but will check. I don't think you need to go through all that to control this. When you get an email notifying you of a new follow, you can choose to follow or remove. The Tweeter does not know if you have removed them, so no chance of offending anyone either.

  2. Thanks for the tip Seth. As much as I follow people on the web, I have now cut down to 2 ezines and 2 twitters.
    There is only so much info that you can take in and work at the same time.
    David Singer

  3. Hi Seth - Can't believe I found your blog within 24 hours of it going live. Great to have you joining the blogsphere. Like the information about Twitter. I am a Trainer in a Real Estate office and this is great info to share with them in class tomorrow. Thanks!
    -Laura Benson (

  4. Thank you Urban Gardens, David, and Laura for you feedback. I am glad that I have been able to help you.

    I also just added the content of a Blog I tested last year to this one talking about Constant Contact. I hope you find it helpful.


  5. Hey Seth,
    Unlike a lot of the other social networking sites, the great thing about Twitter is that you don't have to follow those people that follow you. I am selective about who I follow, but I allow anyone to follow me. This allows for me to have more followers and influence and I still avoid spam, because I don't follow anyone that I'm not genuinely interested in. Also, never accept the "default" people or suggestions that Twitter gives you. Choose who you follow by using directories like twello or wefollow to follow those people that you're most interested in. Have fun!

  6. Hi Yvette,

    Thank you for your suggestions.