Thursday, 14 June 2012

Twitter Redux - Free E-Course - Class 1 - Followers

Hii! Thank you for joining me! My name is Katie and I love social media, it's my favourite thing. After my son. And cake.

The next week will be packed full of posts about twitter, how to use it successfully for personal and (small) business purposes, and how to make money, connections and friends.

This is a beginners course. I won't be dealing with complex SEO queries relating to backlinking or metadata, so if you have questions about that you can email me and I'll endeavor to answer them to the best of my ability.

This was a really nice biscuit. I was walking around the supermarket, what sort of image shall I use for my first post? And where is the granola? I don't normally buy myself giant biscuits with sugar sheep, but it was a lovely I hope you like my picture.

So, followers.

I have, as of right now, 1,157 followers. I'm not a particularly prolific internet personality, I don't tweet about anything especially exciting for the average follower, but for some reason those people have all decided to stay with me, reading my tweets for the last two years.

We can safely say that some of them are no longer active (say, 20%?), but the rest are reading my tweets on a daily basis. Following my links, listening to me complain etc. I follow just over 200 people. I try to keep it below 200 because I don't have the time or inclination to stay connected to more than that amount of peoples lives - sometimes I slip over but I also keep track of who I am following and delete them is they become inactive.

I started off by choosing three or four companies whose image, products, ethos and personality I liked. I chose Etsy, Folksy and a few others. I also follow five or six celebrities who I have a genuine interest in, primarily ones that don't endorse products or only post links to their ticket-sales websites.

Then I looked at their followers, and I clicked down the list and followed the most recent 100 people of each of them. It only took about 60 seconds, because twitter makes it SUPER RIDICULOUSLY easy to mass-follow people by offering a one-click-no-page-reload button.

I know. It was crazy, right? Boy, was my feed filled with some crap. I even debated giving up, such was the rubbish that I was seeing every time I logged in to twitter. 90% of them followed me back, giving me a swift 400 followers in the space of a few days. This original number rapidly dropped as the individuals realised that I didn't tweet much/wasn't a hot guy/wasn't interesting to them. But a few stuck with me.

Over the course of the next week I deleted anyone who even slightly irritated me. I was ruthless. I still am now, if I follow someone, and they don't interest me or post things that annoy me (only promotional links, constant negativity, explicit content, loads of ads or spammy virus links, an irritating profile picture - I told you, I'm ruthless)

Some points to consider:
  • The best way to GET followers is to engage with people. 
  • The only way you can ENGAGE with people is by FOLLOWING people.
  • Interact with people - this will increase your exposure to others.
Here are some other ways I gain followers that might or might not be effective to you:

Facebook is a great way to connect with people who you already engage with daily. They should at least be mildly interesting to you, and probably won't unfollow you as quickly as random followers will if you aren't immediately interesting.

I like to keep my posts like this rare and a little tongue-in-cheek.

You could also try LinkedIn if you use it for personal use, creating a fun image that relates to your twitter name (so I might do a fun cloud picture) and posting it on Pintrest or any other social media site you can think of. The key is to come up with an idea that makes you seem totally engaging and like you have more to offer.

Blog Links Try linking your twitter from your blog posts. A little note on the end of each post saying something like, tomorrow I'll be tweeting live from the dentist - follow me *here* with a link to your twitter profile is more engaging and interesting that a static button that the eyes of your readers may skim over.

Next, a very important note...

I could write a whole blog post on why I HATE seeing people begging for people to follow them. But I won't. Because that would be even more boring than seeing these tweets come up on a daily basis. Instead, I'll condense my reasons into three succinct points.

  • 100% of the people who will see your tweet initially are already following you
  • The first time you do it, 1% of your followers might take pity on you and retweet
  • The 27th time, people are deleting you. They'll realise you aren't interesting enough for other people to follow, and therefore won't want to follow you.

Make it your mission to find 20 new people to follow. Over the next two days, engage with every single one of them at least once. Either by tweeting them direct using the '@username' tag, or by retweeting (The little square arrow button) a tweet you dislike.

Feel free to put your twitter name below, and I will follow you, and put a tweet out to all my followers to follow you to :-)

Tomorrow: Content.

Oh yes...follow me on twitter ;-)

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