Tag Archives: Twitter

Twitter Tool – Tweepular

As a followup to my previous posts about Twitter (you can read part 1 and part 2) I wanted to tell you about Tweepular. I have many new followers every day now, and I want to follow them all back to keep the Twitter karma going. I found that my old recommendation – TwitterKarma – couldn’t handle the larger size of my followers list. Tweepular handles it great, has a nice interface, and has worked great for me. You can view separate lists that show people that you mutually follow, people who don’t follow you back, and people who only follow you. If you select the Tweeps only followin’ me tab, then you can select Bulk Follow and GO! and voila – you just followed all your new followers. This really beats hand-clicking on all the “follow” buttons in your follow list.

Tweepular has a tab that isn’t working yet labeled “Recent Unfollowers”. This is a much needed feature that they will hopefully release soon. In the mean time, I’m looking for a tool to monitor people that have unfollowed me. If you have one, please comment and let me know!

My Twitter Experience So Far – Part II

This is a follow up to my previous twitter article. This time I am going to look at the available Twitter tools and how to increase your follower count – and how not to try increasing follower count!


Twitter Website

The Twitter website is still the best place to get a good start and get used to the whole Twittering thing. This fancy graph here shows that over half of all tweets are still made from the Twitter website. There are two main problems with the website – it is often very slow, and the timelines don’t update in real time as people post messages.

As a result, many other people have written programs or web pages to solve common Twitter problems. Twitter provides the Twitter API which is a way for outside programs to access Twitter’s data – both the posts and the following/follower data. If you are a programmer and are interested, there is a ton of documentation for the Twitter API.

Client Tools

The most popular client tools are TweetDeck and Seesmic Desktop. These are both Adobe Air applications so they can run on any platform supported by Air (Windows, Mac, Linux).

HootSuite is a web-based client that is worth mentioning. Its interface is better in some ways than the Twitter site, but its main power is the ability to manage multiple Twitter accounts if you need it. You can quickly switch back and forth between multiple accounts.

List Management Tools

The one I use the most is Twitter Karma. This shows you a big list (with or without the avatars) of all your followers and following. You can look at your lists and filter by showing just those following you or just those you are following. Then you can easily select a bunch of people and bulk follow or bulk unfollow. This is a great way to find all the new people who followed you and follow them back in a few clicks instead of having to click “follow” on everyone one by one.

Fun Tools

TweetStats is a fun website to get stats about Twitter in general and your own tweets specifically. By plugging in your username it will give you statistics about your posts. Also, you can view general Twitter stats showing top tweeters and a breakdown of what tools are being used to post tweets.


There are whole other categories of tools which I won’t go into here. I found this list of 140+ tools which has some really odd and niche tools. The post is almost a year old so some of the links don’t work any more, but still has a lot of good info.

Basically, if you have a need or a way you want to use Twitter, someone has probably written a tool for it. A quick search should turn something up.

If you have a tool you can’t live without or something I majorly missed, comment and be sure to let me know.

Increasing Your Followers Count

Easy Things

Add yourself to John Chow’s TwitterFollower list. Then go through all the pages and follow everyone there. Yes it is time consuming, but this is still a very easy way to get a lot of followers. I did this on another account and have 200 followers after only 1 day without following anyone on the list – just followed back the ones who followed me. (I am going to follow everyone there, just haven’t yet!)

Find lists like this of people who will follow back. Follow as many people on the list as you can and wait for them to follow back.

Harder Things

Follow a bunch of people and hope that some of them follow you back. After some time, unfollow anyone who hasn’t followed you back and then repeat the process. You need to be careful here because this is getting close to spamming and should be done right. Here are some basics to stay on people’s good side:

  1. Give people time to follow back. I suggest at least 24 hours. Remember that the people may be on the other side of the world from you and be sleeping when you start following them.
  2. Try to find people with something in common. Do searches on #topics that interest you, follow your follower’s followers, etc. I search #vegetarian #mountainbike and #austin regularly.
  3. Keep track of what you are doing so you don’t follow, unfollow, follow, unfollow, etc. the same people.

A good tool like Hummingbird can help you manage this process.

What NOT To Do

The worst thing to do is follow a bunch of people, get people to follow back, and then unfollow them. Sometimes called “Twitter Spam”, this is hugely frowned upon and most people will unfollow you when they recognize what you have done.

Final Word

The best way to get followers is to actually use Twitter. Do searches on topics that interest you, find posts and reply to people. Sometimes people won’t see your replies or won’t reply back, but many times you can start up conversations and get people talking.

Also, come up with something useful for your followers. Can you regulary (but not too often) post funny quotes, interesting pictures, useful links? Watch the traffic from the people you are following and see what you consider valuable and interesting and try to provide something similar.

Have a tip that I forgot? Make sure to comment or send me a message on Twitter.  Make sure to follow me while you are at it.

My Twitter Experience So Far – Part I

I had heard a lot about Twitter.com and had even signed up for a few different accounts, but really hadn’t done anything at all with it until last week.  Over the last three days, I have immersed myself in all things Twitter and this is my report on how to get started and how to get followers.  I will cover everything from the very basics to how I got over 1,000 followers in 2 days.  I’m writing down what I wish I could have read last week!

The Basics

Just in case you have been hiding out somewhere, Twitter is a social website where people post very short (140 characters maximum) posts typically about what they are doing at the moment.  Posts are also referred to as “updates” or “tweets”.  You can “follow” people and then their updates show up in your stream.  They can follow you back if they want and then they will see your updates in their stream.  I’m LoPaul on Twitter and you can follow me on Twitter here.  You can post updates from the Twitter website, from your cell phone or your iPhone, and also from several different Twitter tools – both standalone applications and web applications.  Twitter was originally designed with cell phone texting in mind and this is where the short limit comes from.  You can add your mobile phone to your Twitter account so you can text in your updates and have other people’s updates texted to your phone.  Make sure you have an unlimited texting package if you choose to do this!

The Follow

You have 2 numbers – your “following” and your “followers”.  This is the number of people you are following and the number who are following you, respectively.  As a general rule, you want them to be about equal without one hugely bigger than the other.  Unless you are a celebrity like Ashton Kutcher (142 Following and 1,574,304 Followers at the time of this writing) you need to follow other people in order to get them to “follow you back”.  Also, Twitter places limits (I’ve heard it is about 2,000) on how many people you can follow who don’t follow you back, so if your following is greater than your followers by over 2,000 then you won’t be able to follow anyone else.

The Follow Rules

These are rules to follow if you are trying to increase your followers count.

  1. Always follow back to anyone who starts following you.  This builds goodwill and people will spread the word that you will follow back and recommend others to follow you as well.
  2. Don’t let your following get much above your followers count.  Having wildly different numbers will turn people off and prevent them from following you.  Periodically go through your following list and purge people who haven’t followed you back.

The @

One important thing to know is you can reference someone in a post by adding @name in your post (change “name” to the person you want to reference).  Anything with an “@” in front gets turned into a link to that person’s profile and also they can easily see any responses that mention them.  When you are logged in, there is a “replies” tab (labeled @LoPaul or whatever your name is) which shows any posts with your @name in them.  Even if you don’t follow someone and they use your @name, you will still see it in your replies list.  This is the most common way to direct a message to a person.

Keep in mind that your @name post is directed at a specific person, but it is not private to them!  It appears in your timeline and in the timeline of everyone else who follows you.  You can also include as many @name’s as you want in a message.

The DM

Unlike using @name, a Direct Message (or DM) is a private message only seen by the recipient.  This is sort of like a Twitter inbox.  DMs are still held to the 140 character limit.  Many people have abused DMs for spam, so DMs typically aren’t used by the community.  You can pretty safely ignore DMs completely.  In your account settings you can disable DM so people can’t even send you DMs.

The #

Putting a # (hashtag) in front of any word marks it as a keyword.  For example #Austin would mean your post was relative to Austin or #cooking would mean it was relevant to cooking.  Warning: Use hashtags correctly and sparingly.  They are socially understood to be informative on the topic.  Hashtags will often come from an authority on the hashtag topic.  For instance, you shouldn’t use hashtags when just posting about your daily activities unless it is something informative to the topic.

The RT

Putting a RT in your message indicates a “ReTweet”. If you see a great tweet, you can re-broadcast it to everyone that follows you using this method.  The RT is usually at the beginning of the message, but can be anywhere in the message. It should include the @name of the original person posting it as well. This is a decent way to build good will by retweeting other people’s posts, but make sure not to overdo it.

The #FollowFriday

This is a good common tradition to know about.  Hopefully obviously, people post “Follow Friday” posts on Fridays.  This is a post with #FollowFriday (or #FF) and a list of @name people that you recommend for others to follow.  It is a way to give back to people you have been corresponding with and recommend them to your followers as someone that they should follow as well.  This is typically done in the hopes that other people will reciprocate and include you in a #FF post.

Next Time

The basics turned out to be more lengthy than I thought.  Next time I’ll cover the common Twitter tools, how to simplify tasks, and how to increase your follower count.

For now, get Twittering and make sure to follow me on Twitter!

Proceed to Part II