Are you frustrated with the lack of interaction or response on your Twitter account? Have you ever wondered if anyone is really listening to the valuable information you’re tweeting?
You’ve done your research on how to use Twitter effectively. Your tweets are informative, thought-provoking, and engaging. Your follower count continues to rise each week. Where are the results you were promised by the gurus?
Does this sound familiar? You’re not alone. About three weeks ago, I became so frustrated that I started a new account fully intending to let my existing account gather dust. This sounded a lot better in theory than it was in practice.
Where Did My Twitter Strategy Go Wrong?
A week into my new account something was gnawing at me. If I didn’t know where I went wrong, wouldn’t I be right back here in a few months making the same mistakes?
Follow Back Lists
Like it or not, we all have a herd mentality. We’re more inclined to think someone with 100,000 followers is more credible than someone with 50 followers.
It’s takes time (or a lot of money) to generate traffic to your site and to start building a following through RSS subscriptions. It’s much easier to slap a Twitter follower count badge on your site, and utilize a follow back list to boost your numbers quickly.
I employed this strategy my first month, but even though my follower counts were climbing nobody was listening to my tweets. How did I know? I wasn’t listening to theirs either. It looked good on a badge, but that was it.
Twellow Pages & Keyword Lists
Using a Twitter directory, or a list generated from keywords tweeted, is actually a great way to build a targeted follower count. These are people who are interested in the topics you tweet about.
The problem is that most of us use the old spaghetti-on-the-wall method when it comes to these lists. We follow everyone on the list and see who sticks. If they don’t follow us back we flush them.
This used to be much easier to do when Twitter allowed automated unfollowing. Easy or not, employing this method is not much better than the follow back list approach.
While Twitter has banned automated unfollowing of people who do not follow you, they’re still in favor of automated following. It’s a little surprising since they’ve argued that following back anyone who followed you was not how Twitter is supposed to work.
Of course, Twitter etiquette has become that unless you’re famous you should follow back anyone who follows you. Automating this process makes managing your account much easier, except now you must manually remove those who unfollow you.
While reciprocating a follow is the polite thing to do, it has a major flaw – you give up control of your follower list. Your message of helping abused animals is now tweeted to Forex traders, gun enthusiasts, or Trump network pushers.
Inactive Twitter Accounts
You might just be surprised how many of your followers have become disillusioned with Twitter and flown the coop. This past weekend I spent several hours combing through my followers and discovered that a good percentage of them are missing in action.
I unfollowed so many people who haven’t tweeted for three months or longer that I stopped for fear my account would be suspended or banned. No wonder my nearly 5,000 followers were so unresponsive.
With automated following those inactive accounts will continue to gather followers from people who employee the methods above. One account I unfollowed had over 65,000 followers and had never made a single tweet.
Maybe It’s not About Strategy at All?
In the process of unfollowing all of those inactive followers, I noticed I’m following a lot of people for which I have no interest in what they’re tweeting about. I also found a few people whose tweets I do care about but were lost in my Twitter stream.
I realized this weekend that while I was frustrated about all of the followers who weren’t listening to me, I’d never stopped to ask myself if I was listening to those I followed. If I wasn’t listening, then why was I following?
Reciprocating a follow wasn’t something I was doing out of genuine thoughtfulness for that person, it was so they wouldn’t unfollow me and drag my follower count down. I was one of those people who wasn’t listening.
Does Your Follower Account Really Matter?
Tweeting to a larger audience is better than tweeting to a small audience right? Yes, but only if your followers are actually following what you’re saying. Otherwise, it’s more like trying to perform in the middle of Times Square.
Someone will stop and listen to the naked cowboy sing for a minute, but most won’t pay any attention. They’re just faces in a crowd to you, and you’re a face in the crowd to them. Wouldn’t a small coffee house setting with fewer people be better?
What Are You Doing?
Do you have a large number of followers on Twitter? How responsive are they to your tweets? What percentage interact with you?
Do you have a limited number of followers on Twitter? Do you experience a high level of interaction with your followers?
What strategies have you employed to increase your follower count? Has the increase in your follower count helped you?