I manage six different Twitter accounts. While that may seem like an overload of tweets, it’s actually quite simple. Five are related to the websites I help manage. (In all fairness, I can’t lay claim to the nickname inception of Twitmaster General. It was coined by a couple guys at work in jest to all the Twitter accounts.)
I use several different tools to manage multiple Twitter accounts including Digsby and TwitterFox. I’d love to get my hands on the beta of CoTweet to organize all the companies Twitter accounts, but no response from them yet.
When it comes to a workplace Twitter account, I’ve tested a few different approaches. With a couple consumer electronic sites, I use a low-key, targeted follower approach. I only add people that appear to be interested in what I’m tweeting about. For instance, I’ll use a program like Tweetdeck to run a search (continually updated during the day) for specific keywords related to the site. I’ll add those users periodically and unfollow anyone who didn’t return the favor within a week.
This approach definitely doesn’t grow an account quickly, but the quality of the Twitter followers is fantastic. It’s also easily to keep up with replies and direct messages in regards to followers of the site. Personally, I have to keep up with a variety of PR people in regards to equipment reviews and this approach is quite superior to other methods in regards to managing communication.
I’ve also tried manufacturing popularity in order to boost the Twitter account. For instance, by adding users that were guaranteed to follow me back, the account appears to be more popular than it actually is. This provides two benefits:
- The Twitter account will be pushed to the top of any directory listing. Nearly all Twitter directories, including the popular WeFollow, use total twitter followers when ranking accounts. If your site has the most followers, the site ranks at the top within the category. Over time, the higher ranking increases quality followers.
- By appearing popular before announcing a Twitter account, I’ve discovered that people are more likely to follow you. Very often, I’ve found myself balking at following someone with less than 100 followers due to a lack of popularity.
Unfortunately, manufacturing popularity has a couple major drawbacks. Those early followers won’t give a darn about your tweets and their endless tweets dilutes tweets / replies from your quality followers. At some point, I’ll probably use a tool like FlashTweet to mass unfollow the early additions. The risk of being unfollowed is lessened as the majority of these Twitter “Power users” have at least 5,000 followers and it’s difficult for them to manage all their followers.
Finally, I’ve recently opened up a couple accounts as simple RSS dumps. I use TwitterFeed to kick out updates of bargains and forum posts to the Twitter account. It’s really nothing more than an attempt to tie into Twitters budding, real-time search function and drive more traffic to the site via Google.
When managing all the accounts while out of the office, Tweetie for the iPhone is an absolutely dream for 3 bucks. It’s designed for Twitter power users as you can quickly pop in and out of different accounts. Managing followers, replies, messages, etc. is very simple with Tweetie.
As for my personal account, I often fine myself tweeting about updating Twitter accounts. That and all the wonderful mundane details of my life.