I remember in the days way back when I first encountered the infuriating Twitter limit of only being allowed to follow a maximum of 2000 people. Not being able to get past this exceptionally frustrating limit I was then faced with setting up a ridiculously time consuming system of bookmarking interesting tweeters in the hope that at some point I should be able to follow them. Sadly however, that had its inherent problems. First I was missing out on valuable information that they were pushing out to their networks (too time consuming to visit their profiles individually regularly to see if they had posted anything interesting) and secondly I am polite and had an automated thing set up to automatically follow back any new followers. So until I scrabbled up the twitter follower mountain and got thousands and thousands more followers, it was going to only ever improve at an exasperating rate of a turtle on sleeping pills. Worse than walking in treacle.

The misery I then felt is still very evident in the tweets I read regularly where people are hitting this brick wall stopping them from moving forward with their twitter accounts. It doesn’t suddenly open the flood gates once you get your 2000 followers following you as there is still a limit of only being able to follow 10% more than are following you. And the problem was always going to plague people until ….. Twitter made some changes. The answer to this infuriating problem came to me when I realised that it is not in managing your follower to following ratios but in using twitter lists effectively.

I only follow people who are following me or who follow me back pretty swiftly – sorry but that is just the way it is. You can quickly find out who isn’t following you back by going to Friend or Follow and typing in your Twitter user name.

When “Friend or follow” has finished searching through your network it will give you a summary of who you are following but not following you back. There are two other tabs to look at later – tab two is for Fans which are the people you haven’t followed back (good for keeping an eye on any automation system you have set up) and tab three is the list of Friends which is the list of people who you supposedly love and they love you because you are following each other.

Once the site has done go to the top left of the page – you will see the Connect to Twitter button. You probably have to make sure you are logged in to Twitter at the same time so that it can link to your account.

As you hover over the avatars a pop up box should give you a summary profile of each person with the usual buttons. Simply unfollow the ones that are not fascinating delectable tweeters offering you insights, wisdom and/or amusing entertainment. Even if you have several hundred profiles to go through it is worth investing the time at the early stages to sort them out. It is amazing how quickly you can work through them just by doing a few minutes every so often.

Cherish and treasure the fascinating and educational tweeters who are of most interest to you

If you are a follower of people who tweet REALLY interesting and fascinating stuff but who don’t follow you back then you don’t have to lose touch with them. You can still keep track of what they offer by creating a series of equally fascinating and useful Twitter lists. They may even love you back for adding them to your lists as it looks good for them! Twitter lists is a great filing system enabling you to follow groups of people according to topics of interest, genre, credibility, subject matter and so on.

Unfortunately you can’t yet manage your lists from the Friend or Follow site so you have to do that from Twitter itself. So you need to open up each profile page individually. Easiest way is to right click on the avatar and select to open up in a new tab. Do this rather than click on the profile image otherwise each time you go back to the full list it re-does the searches which will take you for ever! Then gradually add the people you want to keep in touch with to your lists.

This is a time consuming thing to do in the initial stages but worth it. In the future you can automatically add people you want to keep an eye on to your lists and then not worry about whether they follow you or not!

Once you have sorted your lists then you can either employ the services of someone who can manage your following on your account for you – or invest (time and/or money) in one of the Twitter automation software tools.

There are lots of uses for Twitter lists once you have them – they have certainly proved worthwhile for many reasons for me. I wrote a blog a while back “Twitter Lists Tips – My thoughts on Twitter lists, things to do – things that have worked for me & might work for you too.”

As a result my Twitter creativity was no longer scuppered and I did not suffer from the frustrations of being stifled with my twitter ambitions. Yes I could have worked hard at tweeting the most amazing tweets possible which could have got my account to go viral but I have a life and lots of other things to do. I am sure you do too!

Hope that helps!

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