Weed and Prune your Twitter just like your Garden?

April 1st, 2013 by CASUDI


When you look at your twitter stream does it put you in mind of an overgrown, uncared for garden? Do you have lots of spam, inane, insignificant, and mundane tweets? Are a large percentage of the people you follow inactive?  And what about fakes; followers added to twitter accounts you follow to give the impression of a large following, when in reality there is no or even negative value there?

A neglected, tangled and un-pruned shrub, overgrown with lichen; a typical intruder in the Pacific Northwest after a long winter.

A neglected, tangled and un-pruned shrub, overgrown with lichen; a typical intruder in the Pacific Northwest after a long winter.

Some gardens are so buried in weeds, you’re not even able to see the flowers! Depressing, when there is so much potential beauty, all obscured. Some twitter streams are just like that!

This post was inspired by @HireInfluence

I met @hireinfluence on the twitter chat #mediachat hosted by @Kilby76 last week. After participating in the ebb & flow of the conversation about Hireinfluence, where modern-day sales and marketing professionals get discovered, I signed up (during the chat I might add!) and among other things checked my twitter stats…. Interesting; it showed 1% fakes, 5% inactive and 94% active (and engaging) ~ I’m not boasting here, but it made a point, that weeding and pruning your twitter stream pays off.

Pruning also pays off big time in my landscaping!

If you read my “Cultivate your Garden like a Startup, you will know what this heavily pruned wisteria vine looks like in full bloom....

If you read my “Cultivate your Garden like a Startup”, you will know what this heavily pruned wisteria vine looks like in full bloom….

This is my gardening strategy

Late winter, I focus on pruning and weeding. I don’t let things get out of hand; in order to get a head start on a maintenance strategy. As soon as the weeds show, they are removed. I prune the tangled, previous years old growth, and the dead wood. I also try to shape my pruning “artistically” whenever possible.

Weeping Western Blue Cedar, with bark mulch; not only does it suppress the weeds it’s a nice “framing” backdrop for the tree itself.

Weeping Western Blue Cedar, with bark mulch; not only does it suppress the weeds it’s a nice “framing” backdrop for the tree itself.

I mulch heavily, which discourages new weeds.  As spring and summer progress, I get out each week and prune the dead and pull the few weeds that dare to resist the mulch!

Yesterday I noted how, after years of maintenance, this shady mossy path finally looked the way I envisioned in the beginning!

Yesterday I noted how, after years of maintenance, this shady mossy path finally looked the way I envisioned in the beginning!

How I apply my gardening strategy to twitter

I am focused on building a quality twitter stream, and it’s very similar to maintaining a garden. I spend time each week/month checking new follows to see if I want to follow back, and I follow those who engage with me in chats (after checking them out). Every so often I use a twitter tool, which highlights those who are inactive and gives me the option to delete. Most of my weeding and pruning is based on my personal observation skills, and the criteria I have designed for my twitter strategy.

What if you follow a zillion people on twitter?

It makes sense for those with humungous numbers of followers and people they follow to use the available tools, just as you would scale up and use tools when managing the landscaping of a very large estate.

 

Waddesdon Manor, the French Renaissance-style château built by the Rothschild’s in the 1880s ©Sotheby’s ~ How would you like to maintain this landscaping?

Waddesdon Manor, the French Renaissance-style château built by the Rothschild’s in the 1880s ©Sotheby’s ~ How would you like to maintain this landscaping?

You can organize your followers into categories, and view and target those you actually want to engage with. This is especially useful and important if you are using twitter for Biz. There are tools and twitter clients, both the usual ones and others like @Bottlenoseapp and @OneQubeMe that can do just that..

What happens when you don’t follow everyone back?

The follow back policy has been an ongoing discussion ever since I committed to twitter. @markwschaefer wrote about his follow-back strategy years ago, and I assume he is still “following” it. I remember Mark said the reason to follow just about everyone back, was you might miss a very valuable connection, of someone not meeting your “filtered” follow back criteria.

This Poppy suddenly appeared in the lower branches of a neglected shrub last year; if I had pruned and weeded more in the spring....I would have missed out!

This Poppy suddenly appeared in the lower branches of a neglected shrub last year; if I had pruned and weeded more in the spring….I would have missed out!

NOT following back is a risk; as those who follow you, when you don’t reciprocate, may un-follow ~ well if you’re that superficial…….

Which tools should you use?

Just as every gardener has their favorites,  there are many twitter tools for the same job.

Here are are couple of lists of twitter tools; this one by @unbots and the second list curated by @wigginsprojects both list.ly lists.

Bottom line: if you don’t have your strategy in place, and the tactics designed to carry out that strategy, no amount of tools will keep your stream beautiful and productive.

Has any one else signed up for Hireinflunece? Are you finding the stat’s useful and revealing as I did? Anyone get hired?

And a note to my landscaping design readers, have you begun your spring garden maintenance?

CASUDI Designing Success.

7 Responses to “Weed and Prune your Twitter just like your Garden?”

  1. Brian Driggs Says:

    Interesting. Though I kind of feel like I just signed up for the latest Klout clone, it’s interesting to see the data. 0-5-95 on Twitter, 26% strength of some kind. Whet do I sign for the free Audi? (I’ll take an S3, thanks.)

    Been thinking about pruning, okay, slash-and-burning my feeds lately. More often than not, I’m skimming anyway. Hard to cul the list though. Lots of good people, but just too busy doing to discuss these days. Already closed 3 domains down, considering closing a fourth. (Running a magazine pretty much solo on top of a full time job is time consuming!)

    Forest. Trees. Chainsaw!

  2. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    Great to see you here again, Brian. As I researcher I probably sign up for more things than I should, however you have to sign up to see the stats and how they relate to what you are doing. This was definitely more interesting than many. The big question is of course, are people actually being hired or rather are they making real money once hired?

    Pruning with a chainsaw is very rewarding, I recommend it highly.

  3. Jennifer G. Hanford Says:

    Hi Caroline, I really like this post a lot, and especially love the pictures. I keep meaning to clean up my Twitter accounts and now you have given me some great tips to use. Great post!

  4. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    Thanks Jennifer for visiting Designing Success. They always say if you can move one persona to action with a post, you have succeeded! Cheers and good luck with your pruning, one of the tricks in the garden, is to make sure your pruners are sharp, believe me the same is true with pruning twitter.

  5. Brian Driggs Says:

    You know, I saw your response to Jennifer, but never got notification of your reply to me, Casudi. Apologies for the delay in getting back over here. It’s been a busy week-to-ten, as I just put the wraps on GBXM #3. I take it you found yourself (literally) in it? ;)

    I agree the data displayed in this app was better than most. And, as is the case with all data analysis, you need to know what you’re after before you can really make the most of it. As I was merely trying something you recommended – I do that from time to time – I was missing a big piece of the puzzle.

    Hmmm… Pruning with chainsaws. There’s a metaphor in there!

  6. CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego) Says:

    Hi Brian, your ISSUU Gearbox magazine is fabulous.

    The post would have to read ” Prune your computer data storage like a forest: with a chainsaw”!

    We keep way too much old stiff stored on our computers (now in a cloud for many) ~ every new computer I get, I have a category from “Macbookpro 2010″, on that computer is from “Sony Vaio 2008″…. and back to 2000. LOL ~ It seems I only retrieve stuff from the last computer, all else is superfluous. That’s why a chainsaw is appropriate.

  7. Brian Driggs Says:

    Thank you, Casudi.

    And I totally agree with you on the storage thing. Fortunately, storage prices have gone so low, it’s possible to move everything to the cloud. I have very similar system to yours at this end! One of my big projects for this summer is to move everything to mirrored archives on a couple of my domains (which have unlimited storage).

    As for the chainsaw, I was also thinking about how you use a chainsaw. “Always cut from above and let the weight of the saw do the work. Never force the saw. And always wear hearing and eye protection when using the saw.” ;)

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