When someone follows me I always go to their page, check if they have a bio and photo and then start to look through some of their recent tweets. I want to make sure they are someone who is interesting and add value, but sometimes even more important than that I want to know if they are conversationalists. Do they have any @ replies? Do they RT others? Are they just automatically feeding links from their Facebook or blog? I like to interact and follow real people.
2. Who is talking to them or about them?
The next step is getting on search.twitter.com and looking for @ replies to this person. Are people interested in what this person has to say? I want to know if people are answering or paying attention. A one sided conversation isn’t helpful to me (aka answering every question a celebrity asks). I don’t count @ replies but I definitely check out the stream and notice if you haven’t had a mention in two weeks.
3. What Twitter lists are you on?
I really like the Twitter list function, but maybe not for the same reasons as others. Often people view individual lists and compare the people who are listed together, or they expect people to follow lists they build as a recommended group to watch. Typically I’m more interested in visiting a page and looking at all the lists someone has been placed on. It helps create a profile of that user. It’s also helpful because it tells the story of outside perception versus self-perception that particular person might have. Their bio might tell you what they think they stand for but when you read through the 100+ lists they’ve been placed on you can start to see how others perceive them. Someone who is on lots of lists is usually someone who is engaged and values community.
How do you check engagement on Twitter? Is this important to you when building your network?