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Earlier today, I received an email at work asking whether or not following all of your library’s Twitter followers is a good idea. Some think that following all of your followers is a hard and fast rule, others don’t. I personally land in the former camp. (Think about it – if someone whose Twitter handle is @hardandfast and their picture features prominent nudity or vast cleavage, do you really want conservative library moms thinking you’re in favor of such behavior online?)

Cigarette Pack Twitter

Flickr user: carrotcreative

I have managed social media for four organizations now. I’ve experimented with following everyone, following no one and finding the right balance in the middle. My library is currently following MOST of our followers, which I’m finding to be the right way to go. The problem with following everyone is that there are spammers on Twitter, and nearly as importantly, we really don’t need to be following people whose Tweets are completely without substance. No one cares about those users’ Tweets beyond their family and inner circle of friends.

One thing I would recommend to anyone using Twitter for their organization is taking advantage of the List feature. You can organize the people you follow on Twitter however you want. On my personal Twitter account, I organize them under the headings “librarities” (people who Tweet on library issues), “social medialites” (social media powerhouse users), and “Greater Lansing Bros.” If you’re on top of your Twitter base, you will quickly notice the major umbrellas under which your followers/the people you follow fall.

Here’s a guide from Mashable regarding Twitter lists if you’d like to learn more.

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