How to Keep Up With Over 100,000 Twitter Followers

“How do you keep up with over 100,000 Twitter followers?” This is the second most popular question that I hear from my Twitter friends.

My Tweeting Perch

As for me, my workstation has two monitors, one is named Lefty, the other is Righty and the mouse is Minnie.

I use TweetDeck on the Lefty monitor to read my re-tweets and replies.   On Righty I either use Hoot Suite or Twitter.com to look for content to re-tweet and for scheduling my tweets.  The old Twitter is definitely my favorite! When tweeting I respond to as many people as possible. Not all the re-tweets, @ messages, and mentions sent to me are visible in my reply streams like they were on the old Twitter.   (Hey Twitter and TweetDeck could you fix that pretty please?)

On an active day, I probably have almost 1000 Re-tweets and mentions! I definitely can’t keep up with #FollowFriday, so I gave that up when I reached about 30,000 followers. ツ

Each day, I make an effort to find at least one new person to re-tweet and I do this as a way to introduce myself or to find someone new to share with my audience.   I like to expand my re-tweet circle with fresh, unique content.   I love to introduce and re-tweet Tweeters that have “relatively fewer” followers – followers that are mostly their personal friends.   So often they are able to capture and display much more distinctive content in their streams.

My secrets to Twitter are to enjoy each moment, have fun with my friends and share!

I asked ten Tweeters who have over 100,000 followers to share How to Keep Up With Over 100,000 Twitter Followers. Their helpful answers are below:

@awakeningaimee
http://facebook.com/AimeePilz
I could tell you all the tools and techniques that I use to manage my Twitter account.  The bottom line is that I use “love” to manage my Twitter account.  Everyday I say, “I love you” and “Thank you” to everyone that I follow, and who follows me.  I mean it each and every time I tweet it.  This is my secret.
@DrJeffersnBoggs
http://about.me/JeffersonB
There are three things I usually forget. Names, faces… aaaand…What was the third one? How to keep up with hundreds of thousands of followers???

Was that it??? – Just kidding – my memory is fine, but I have SO much to learn about being a better tweeter.
Hello twitter buddies! I don’t use TweetDeck, Hootsuite or automate anything simply because I haven’t had the luxury of time to learn the programs.  I do read all my @ messages, mentions and every RT with my name on it – at least the ones that I can see on Twitter.com.  I most often reply by direct message because I like to think of my page as art work and prefer to keep it uncluttered with chat so you can find items to re-tweet.
Years ago when I had not so many followers I sent a tweet to a person with over 100,000 followers he didn’t reply, I felt unacknowledged and hurt.  I feel like that may be happening many times a day to people that reach out to me.  I would love to be able to reciprocate to everything I receive on twitter but that’s not realistic for me without automation or spending all day at it.  My inner critic tells me I’m somewhat clueless about keeping up with everyone, so I simply focus on posting quality content and being my authentic, friendly self.  Now what was I supposed to remember?
@GlenGilmore
http://GlenGilmore.com
Despite having over 100.000 connections on Twitter, I’ve noticed an uncanny ability to detect new faces/avatars in my stream.  I do think social media is teaching us new strategies to significantly expand Dunbar’s iconic cognitive limit of a tribe of 150. I keep TweetDeck up in the background all the time so I can easily keep track of @ and DM messages.  I also maintain a private Twitter list of content stars (exceeding 150!).   I also try and strengthen connections by layering social contacts, connecting on LinkedIn or Facebook and, whenever possible, a call or IRL.

Even a single conversation is ultimately the best way to forge a lasting bond.
@jaycbee
http://www.twylah.com/jaycbee
Twitter, if managed effectively, can be a rewarding experience on many levels.  My online community of tweeps is fueled by genuine interactions in spite of the size… one-on-one communications are just as important as interactions with over 100,000 followers.  However, with no definite recipe for success, everyone uses Twitter in a somewhat unique way.  With that understanding my approach to maintaining relevance is rooted in discipline, organization, awareness, and time management.  This is achieved mainly by using both the standard interface at Twitter.com and TweetDeck.  I follow users with my shared interests and I tend to “follow-back” almost all followers.  Eventually time sorts out the fakes and spammers.  This helps my main objective of networking with my peers and meeting new and interesting people.
@paul_steele
http://www.baldhiker.com/
People ask how I keep up with so many.  The answer is I like variety and genuine people.  The more I follow the more variety I will find.  There are so many people around the earth sharing their world and great stuff that I like to seek them out rather than just keep to the same small circle.  If someone is interested in my tweets and follows, who am I to think I am above them and not follow back? I am no snob, we are all equal, one big family. For every person tweeting from RSS or Triberr there are thousands of people tweeting for real.  The more I follow the more I find and the more friends I make 😀

The beauty of Twitter is that we can use how we wish and not need to judge.  Sharing smiles, sharing lives!
@pramitjnathan
http://www.pramitjnathan.com/
Actually, I don’t even think of ‘keeping up’ with them all, otherwise knowing me I will be tired even before I begin tweeting for the day.  Everybody has their own tweeting style and I am a Re-tweeter – I re-tweet to stay in touch with my Twitter friends.  Firstly, there are some tweeps who have been kind to me ever since I joined Twitter and I am indebted to them for their generosity so I re-tweet them often.  Then there are those many others who re-tweet me on a daily basis and I try to reciprocate their kindness by a re-tweet.  And finally, I re-tweet any interesting tweets I see in my timeline or on my lists.  For me Twitter is my ‘Window to the Web’ and by visiting about 50-100 profiles everyday while doing the above, I get my daily dose of news, knowledge, humor and wisdom.  This is primarily the reason why I created another account – @IamPramit – so that I can RT more and more people, many, many times. ツ
@SharonHayes
http://sharonhayes.com
I credit much of my ability to handle so many followers with using CoTweet Enterprise. CoTweet is a web-based platform for Twitter account management.  Within CoTweet, I can view my Twitter lists (which I use extensively), profiles of followers and their tweets, mentions/re-tweets and direct messages.  One of my favorite features with it is being able to view my full conversation history with people I communicate with.   Often a single exchange can take place over several weeks due to time differences and other factors and it helps me keep track of things.

I also can respond or handle things out of order by using the archive feature when I’ve dealt with things.  I don’t always get back to people right away due to my high volume but I eventually do respond to close to 100% of tweets. I don’t believe in absentee-tweeting (prescheduling messages to go out when I am not there), but I do use CoTweet’s scheduling feature to stagger my outgoing tweets over time rather than in one burst.
As I come across things I want to share on Twitter, I can just add them into CoTweet to go out when I want.  This allows me to handle all of my Twitter activity in 30 to 90 minutes a day.
@TweetSmarter
http://bit.ly/WhoIsTweetSmarter
To keep up with the (many) people I follow, I use Twitter’s new search feature (http://bit.ly/oDjqZI ).  It’s made my life much easier!
@zaibatsu
http://www.twylah.com/zaibatsu
List, list and more lists, with a dash of hashtags.  Finding interesting people to populate those list is easy as going over to listorious.com You can search by common interests, popularity or my favorite: grabbing people from the carefully procured lists of friends (http://listorious.com/Jason_Pollock/twitter-giants). To weed out a lot of the background noise I use hashtags as well.  Empire Avenue, the social media game is a current passion of mine and #EAv is the twitter hashtag for the game, a diverse group of people are constantly contributing to the conversation.
@2morrowknight
http://about.me/The2morrowknight
One of the best ways to do this is to be a great “digital listener”.  What do I mean? Use your Twitter lists to figure out what’s important to people, who they like and re-tweet, and how they interact with others.  This has helped me tremendously. Twitter is one of the best listening posts I’ve ever seen.  You really get a feel for what’s happening all over the planet. It’s important say hello to people and share their content.  Some people like to follow thousands of people and then…unfollow nearly everyone down to 50 or 100 followers.  Ok, that’s good for them.  But doing that means lots of people can’t send you a private DM to say hello, or thank you for retweeting something that got them through the day.  People don’t always like to share their thoughts publicly.  But this kind of connection is also great for me as a journalist because people send me ideas for blogposts.

To be clear, lots of followers doesn’t make you anymore relevant than someone who doesn’t.  This is so true.  But, no one can deny the power and value of engaging and re-tweeting a wide, diverse group of people.  I love that.  I try to retweet someone new everyday.  As fitness guru Eleni Kehagiaras says, “Everyone has value.” Absolutely! And I love finding that value, and then sharing it with the world.
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30 Replies to “How to Keep Up With Over 100,000 Twitter Followers

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  2. Thank you for taking your time to RT & interact w/ me. You were awesome & I felt you genuinely cared about what I had to say. Please continue to share your experiences. You rock! ; )

  3. Hi, Ann,
    I wonder how many of the people you included spend over 2 hours per day on Twitter? Or have other people who assist with their tweeting (e.g., CoTweet and Hootsuite allow for multiple “associates” tweeting to the same account).

    My favorite part of your post is that there’s no single approach! Everyone uses their own way of “keeping up” (or not).

    One of my challenges is that I tweet (100%) for myself AND I consult with [undisclosed number] clients where part of my job is to tweet on their behalf. It keeps my TweetWorld very interesting!

    Thanks for sharing your continually awesome input with the web community.

    Playful blessings,
    Stan (aka @muz4now)

  4. I don’t have 100,000 followers but I rotate my second monitor so that I can see the scrolling webpage. And I have notebook with me, where I do most of my real work. Also, my phone and tablet comes into play time to time, so I have 5 screen strategy. 🙂

  5. Lovely view from your window. I think I’d get nothing done for looking out of it!

    This article was really helpful. I need to get better at Twitter, but right now I am enjoying messing with it. I really love the interactive element.

  6. Love that you asked several people the answer to this question. People say you can’t track more than 100 people a day, almost like it’s a physical limitation of the brain, so some say that people who follow everyone who’s not a spammer back are insincere.

    I just believe that the 100 people you interacted with yesterday may not be the same 100 people who are into you today. And that scales to whether you focus on one person a day or 100. Love this post.

  7. I can see why you have so many followers. You take your spotlight and share it with others. Tells me a lot about you.

  8. Thank you Ann, & all the your friends who shared perspectives 🙂

    I’m new to tweeting & have apparently a steep learning curve.
    I’m still finding my Twitter voice, being naturally verbose.

    I don’t know if the name field is correct. Should I have put @neonlotus1 in the *Name field?

    Have a great day,
    Mark

  9. Hi Ann,
    I really enjoyed reading this. A lot of good information to use and think about. Being just a beginner at 500 I have also been wondering how it can be possible to manage so many. Thank you very much.
    Wishing you the best, take care.
    Annette

  10. In the spirits of what I shared about the great twitter purge, it is refreshing to read this. It shows that you understand the reciprocity that having so many followers entails. You are a shining light on the stream. Thanks for everything you do to use your influence for good!

  11. Great post, Ann! Happy to say that I have engaged with most of these fine folks at one time or another. There are several posts out these days talking about the great unfollowing of 2011; it’s refreshing to read how unnecessary it is to purge in order to engage. All my best, John

  12. Hi Ann,
    Having a little under 2000 followers myself, I have been trying to engage as much as possible with as many people as possible, and have asked myself the question lots of times. “How in the world do people like Paul Steele handle their twitter?” Considering the time and energy I see myself putting into twitter (not to mention FB, G+, LinkedIn, oh and there’s also my blog…) and only having a fraction of the followers you guys have, I assumed that it would be a full time job… and frankly, after reading this post, I still think it is.
    Great read… Thanks for posting.

  13. Great article Ann, good to know more about the tweeters you have mentioned above. I personally know about 6 of them and i know they all are rockstars..

    Loved your Logo too 🙂

  14. Ann, thank you for this post! I use a number of these tools and at my tiny 5K-ish followers I try really hard to be engaging and share and be nice and add value. I too, have my lists – I especially follow my BA75 sisters because you all have so much to contribute.

    All my best,
    Sara

  15. Thanks Ann.. once again, you’ve given some solid and authentic insight! Thanks for sharing your tools, techniques.. bottom line, it’s obvious you are a caring person and work very hard to share you knowledge.. thank you!

  16. Love your post Ann! I am also a two monitor girl and have my iPad with keyboard handy.

    Not even near 100,000 followers but appreciate the thoughts of those that are – very interesting.

    Peggy 🙂

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