My Twitter Presence

Three Chris Brogans Managing one’s Twitter presence can be tricky. At over 146,000 followers at the time of this writing, I’ve got to do things to manage at scale. I wanted to share with you my thinking, as I’m asked quite often, “How can you follow over 100,000 people?” This post should help you understand the ins and outs of my Twitter Presence.

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My Twitter Presence

First – My Accounts

I now have 3 official accounts for me:
@chrisbrogan
@cbreplies
@broganmedia

@chrisbrogan – is my main account. It’s my home base.
@cbreplies – is how I’ll reply to people from now on (most times).
@broganmedia – is a data feed of things I’ve shared plus my blog’s RSS feed.

Every other account that mentions my name in part or in whole is not mine, not run by me, not endorsed by me.

The Tools

People always ask about the tools I use for Twitter. Here’s the list.

Seesmic Desktop – for my desktop.
Seesmic Mobile – for my phone.
SocialToo – for auto followbacks (NOT auto DMs), and spam mgmt.
Twitter Search – for search strings.
Listorious – for finding good Twitter lists.
oneforty – for all things Twitter (hi, Laura!).

My Twitter Goals

I have more than one goal in mind when using Twitter. In fact, I have several. They may be different than your goals. Your goals are also okay. (Oh, and you’re doing it wrong.)

  • I use Twitter to get the pulse of people in the larger online world.
  • I use Twitter to communicate in two directions.
  • I use Twitter to promote important causes, as well as business opportunities.
  • I use Twitter to promote other people’s stuff 12 times as much I as do mine (12:1 rule).
  • I use Twitter to stay updated on people’s shared news.
  • I use Twitter as a quick pulse-taking service.
  • I use Twitter to find business (via search).
  • I use Twitter to stream links to my stuff and to others’ stuff.
  • I use Twitter to connect with humans.

Again, there are lots of ways to use it. Your way is just wonderful. My way is just mine.

My Twitter Methods

  • If you’re not using a multi-view client (like Seesmic, or HootSuite, or Tweetdeck), you’re not going to see it all.
  • I use search more than any other feature and follow many search strings.
  • I scan my @replies and a search on “brogan” to make sure I don’t miss replying to you.
  • I have a column open to scan for Trust Agents. I said we would.
  • I use lists to make sure I see as many people as I can. I turn these on and off.
  • I probably didn’t see your tweet. At over 100,000 people, the Twitter API can’t even send me them all. Software/pipe issue.
  • I follow back so that you can DM me. (I unfollow you if you spam me.)
  • I follow anyone who follows me (with some exceptions). I unfollow bad/annoying people as I find them.
  • I try to reply as often as I can. If I miss your @ message, I’m so sorry.
  • Sometimes, I use Twitter to get answers. If you ever want to see what people said back to me, just click this.
  • Twitter is not a way to reach me in a hurry. If you need me immediately, you probably already have my cell number.
  • Twitter isn’t a great place to ask me serial questions. If you have many questions to be answered, feel free to contact me.
  • Twitter is a great place for serendipity. Try that for yourself.

How do YOU use Twitter?

This was my methodology and mindset behind Twitter. Yours is no doubt different. It’d be fun to see your post on “My Twitter Presence.” Feel free to drop links to such posts in the comments section (note that I manually approve all html links, so bear with me). What say you?

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  • http://twitter.com/ohradiogirl ohradiogirl

    I like this. I may borrow your ‘template’ to assess my use of Twitter (of course credit will be given to you). Thanks much for always sharing your insight.

  • Sue Reddel

    Great thoughts Chris, definitely some ideas on how to streamline what can be an overwhelming amount of information both helpful and not. I’ve been following more people now than when I started on Twitter and it’s worked out well. Thanks also for taking the time to answer some of my questions directly – I always appreciate your thoughts and ideas.

  • http://twitter.com/AngelaMaiers Angela Maiers

    Hi Chris-

    Here’s why I love Twitter:

    * Twitter allows me to share and glean resources I can use in the classroom
    * I meet and connect with other educators from around the world whom I would otherwise never be able to meet
    * I’ve become aware of and involved in conversations “beyond my field”
    * It gives me 24/7 access to the most creative, influential, and innovative minds the world has to offer, allowing me a virtual whiteboard and brainstorm group
    * And yes, it makes my personal brand “findable”

    As a critical reader and writer, Twitter or otherwise, you must be purposeful in how you engage. You get what you put in, and I am not talking about the number of “Tweets”-I am talking about engagement in the conversations.

    My Twitter Engagement Formula is my guideline for entering the Twittersphere with purpose and intention. It’s what I call my 70-20-10.

    Share Resources (70) – Successful learning in the 21st Century is not what you know, but what you can share, so 70 % of my Twittertime is spent sharing others voices, opinions, and tools.

    Collaborations (20) – 20% of my Tweets are directly responding, connecting, collaboration, and co-creating with like-minded Twitter colleagues. From these important tweets, lifelong professional and personal relationships have been forged.

    Chit-Chat (10) 10% of my Twittertalk is “chit-chat-how’s-your-hat” stuff. It is in these “trivial” details shared about working out, favorite movies, politics, and life in general that I connect with others as a human being. These simple chit chats are what have allowed me to know that I am never alone, and there is support whenever, wherever, and however I need it!

    Everyone’s “Formula” will, and should, be different, but I encourage everyone to consider and create one. Engage with purpose and intention, and Twitter success will follow!

  • Dave

    Thanks for the look into your systems, I’m always curious how people with huge followings manage all the data coming through.

    I’m starting to become overwhelmed by the amount of clutter in my tweet-stream and am trying a few things to manage it. Tweetdeck helps a lot and I have a few permanent searches in there to help find great people and content in my area of interest.

    Really loved the 12:1 rule, think I might adopt that one.

    Cheers

  • Anonymous

    Darren should have learned that that’s what facebook fan pages are for, personal vs public profiles. That was his own mistake rather than the tipping point of the platform.

  • ntho

    Thanks for the insight – great approach!

  • http://twitter.com/AECguy Steve Atencio

    Chris, this may be more of a question than a comment. I’m really digging your blogs here as someone new to the game (me), but what I am lacking, or maybe just not finding on your blog posts, is the “Print” button. There used to be an option on blogs and articles that you when you click this button, or “make printable page”, it would take you to a clean page and strip everything out to make a clean page that you can print. I would like to print your blogs that contain lists and then keep them in a folder for later reference. I ended up using “print to PDF”, but that includes all of the comments which may or may not be wanted.

    What are your thoughts about this kind of feature? Where did that option go, as I don’t see it on too many blogs anymore.

  • DaraBell

    Dude this post is like Social Media 101 or something. I really like these tools you mention. Anyone know how Social Too works. I find I cannot find the auto-follow feature. I like that point on Twitter is great place for Serendipity. A Serendity Engine as you elequently say.

    It does seem that you mention Time Manage and you get some timemanaging people follow you.

    Daves idea on managing big follower counts. It does boggles me how this is done in when you hit 100,000 people. I wonder if there is highly niched book for people like Chris Brogan who have 100,000 followers. Must check out Amber Mac new book. Think Rebbacas comment is wise but I think lookign at what the Rebbaca brand means online. That way she could Tweet and stay human while remaining business focused.

    Michael Keara Seesmic allows you to use Facebook, so maybe that is better for productivity. Maybe that can be helpful if you use more Facebook in your Social Media (Media) Mix.

    Eric. I think you need to look at who and what your positioning for, your demographic and clients product. That is what the search box is for. You can get down to geographic location too I am told.

    Thanks for great piece and some great comment from others too!

    Dara

  • http://twitter.com/GuayaGeek GuayaGeek

    interesting approach, you have clutter my mind, Thank You.

    I’m using Hoosuite but I will try you method xD

  • http://www.pushingsocial.com Stanford @ PushingSocial

    Thanks for the look behind the curtain! As you know, I watch your twitter feed like a hawk and you do practice what you preach my friend. Now I’m off to check out SocialToo

  • http://www.pushingsocial.com Stanford @ PushingSocial

    Thanks for the look behind the curtain! As you know, I watch your twitter feed like a hawk and you do practice what you preach my friend. Now I’m off to check out SocialToo

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  • http://twitter.com/AlwaysWellWithn Sandra Lee

    This is interesting and helpful. I like the underlying message sthat none of us know for sure what works and we’re all different with different goals.

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  • http://martynchamberlin.com/ Martyn Chamberlin

    Great article Chris. You’re doing it right, I’d say. This post inspired me to write my own. Here it is: http://martynchamberlin.com/blog/my-twitter-presence/

  • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

    I get this from clients a lot. They freak when auto-following back if they see any junk in the mix. I tell them for every 10 good follow backs you’re going to get 1 maybe 2 bad but if the net gain is worth it then why not? Can always delete the junk when we see it.

  • @patgermelman

    Thanks for sharing such a wealth of information with your Twitter buds. Was waiting with baited comment and you surely delivered. Wow. Didn’t expect all the tips and resources, too.

  • http://www.mikestenger.com Mike Stenger

    Hey Chris,

    Very cool way of managing everything. I can see how having a separate Twitter account just for replying to others would help in scaling things. Of course, the mass majority won’t ever have to worry about that, but it’s good knowledge for those who do reach a pretty large level.

    I find it pretty interesting that we use a lot of the same tools. Not sure why, but my first judgement when it comes to the tools you use, would be some more advanced and possibly paid ones.

    Cool stuff!

  • http://twitter.com/JanetAronica Janet Aronica

    Thanks for the mention of oneforty, Chris!! This is really interesting and quite the case study in personal branding, Chris. (And not *that* kind of personal branding ;)…legitimate, Grade-A, “How do I offer my audience value?” branding.) What do you think about making a Toolkit out of Seesmic, SocialToo, Twitter Search and Listorious? http://oneforty.com/i/toolkits

    Janet Aronica
    Community Manager
    oneforty

  • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

    I’m here to help. : )

  • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

    What would I get from advanced tools? I’m all ears on this.

  • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

    It was slowing down my web page immensely so I ditched it. I’m fairly anti-print. And even with the “make into a PDF,” I was all for it, but like I say, it wrecked my speed on my page. So… sorry.

  • http://www.mikestenger.com Mike Stenger

    Hopefully something that’s worth the money and more advanced than free tools LOL

    Just one of those automatically assuming weird mind things. Like when most people see a guy driving a Mercedes, they automatically think he’s a rich guy when he could actually be $50 grand in debt and about to lose his home.

    I’m sure you have, but have you used any paid tools and if so, what did you enjoy most about them? Or did you simply prefer the free tools since that seems to be what you use?

  • @patgermelman

    And, boy howdy, you do! This post is second only to borrowing your brain for an hour. In true Twitter vernacular just let me write…. *MUAH*

  • http://twitter.com/Keith_Clark Keith Clark

    Thank you Chris!

  • http://www.mattscottnelson.com mattscottnelson

    I see a trend towards people using Twitter as a niche broadcasting service…all take – no give…they follow people in the niches they care about knowing that those people will keep them abreast of the latest happenings in that niche…

    It’s the way that I find my self using it more and more each day.

  • http://twitter.com/AECguy Steve Atencio

    No problem here, I was curious if it was something that has fallen by the wayside. I can understand your reasons.

  • http://twitter.com/AECguy Steve Atencio

    I was trying to reply to Chris’s comment below. Sorry about the goof up.

  • http://ricnunez.com Ric Nunez

    Hi Chris, I used to use twitter to help people with their web presence needs, but that took me a lot of my time and I had to stop. Now, I share content and chat. I have found few clients and helped some people for free too, I’ve found some good friends over there. Following your criteria, that means I’m not annoying since you never followed me or unfollow, a relief? maybe I’m even less than annoying. jk lol

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    I’m not sure why, but I always figured that you were using a Mac, but since you’re using Seesmic Desktop, I understand that you’re not :)

    I’m using HootSuite for my Macs, and while I’m travelling, since it’s web-based. I’m using Tweetie (Now Twitter since Twitter required it). Both works great for me.

    I use lists to keep track of interesting people, and I use search for keywords.

  • http://twitter.com/MaartenvRijn Maarten van Rijn

    Hi Chris, thanks for this clarifying blog. It helps me a lot; being a twitter new-by, trying to find my way around. I started using Hootsuite right from the start – tip from an expert – and that serves me well. I’m also convinced having clear goals is important to focus my energy and attention. This helps me to be pro-active rather than solely reacting on other peoples input.

    I already learned some others use twitter and other social media (LinkedIn, facebook, gowalla etc.) just to interlink forums and improve their ratings in SEO, rather than to interact with others. This was a disappointment, but a good reason to un-follow them immediately ;-)

    Personally I’d value your expert opinion / reflection on working (tweeting) in multiple languages. I’m Dutch and have Dutch clients, but international organisations for clients also. I started tweeting when facilitating an international conference – so in English. How to serve my Dutch clientele and build a follower base at home? Do you have suggestions? Are two twitter accounts an option or do you see other possibilities?

    Thanks in advance for your time and attention. Your opinion is much appreciated.

  • http://twitter.com/mickmel mickmel

    Chris — I’m not sure I understand the purpose of the @cbreplies account. A few years ago it would have made sense, but now it seems redundant. Twitter won’t put those posts in my main stream unless they’re people that I already follow, so posting a zillion replies from your main @chrisbrogan account wouldn’t be a problem for your followers.

    Look at Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) as an example. He tweets a TON of replies through his main stream, but that’s no problem for me — Twitter doesn’t show them to me unless I also happen to follow that person.

    If I’m missing something here, please explain.

  • Steve Shoemaker

    Chris,
    I clicked through on some of your resource links very nice resources.

    2 questions:
    Why don’t you use tweetdeck? (I guess what I mean is there something wrong with it I should know?)

    What is wrong with automated DM’s? I simply don’t have time to reply to everyone some days. If they are just simply welcomes without a bunch of affiliate links that is not so bad huh?

    Thanks,
    Steve Shoemaker

  • http://twitter.com/mickmel mickmel

    I still consider them bad. Why welcome someone if you aren’t really welcoming them? Auto-DMs have made the whole feature almost useless for me.

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  • http://twitter.com/ECCWF Erik Carlson

    What tools do you use to measure your Twitter strategies & goals (eg: post count, replies, retweets, mentions, friends & followers, etc.)?

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  • Anonymous

    A little late, but here is the team at HMA_PR’s twitter presence.

    http://hmapr.com/hmatime/?p=3235

  • Anonymous

    A little late, but here is the team at HMA_PR’s twitter presence.

    http://hmapr.com/hmatime/?p=3235

  • http://kevinspidel.com kspidel

    I have to disagree on having a seperate account for your replies. It becomes a disconnected channel and out of context. If Amy @digitalroyalty can manage over a million followers and have quality replies and DM exchanges on her account, while boucing back and forth from event to client so can anyone. Sure, the experience might be easier to manage for you, but then puts the onus on followers to know, or subscribe to another account to fully close the loop on the conversation experience.

    For my larger accounts/clients I still uses lists, hastags, and filters to manage conversation. I keep the entire conversation experience on one account.

    Mad respect for all you do, just gotta disagree on this one.

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  • http://www.blackfridayplanet.com/ William Hushburn

    Having a Twitter account makes you more busy than ever.

  • http://www.coopersbarnyard.com Frankie Cooper

    I’ve never thought about a Twitter Presence that way before and how important it is.

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