Week three of my five week Twitter Challenge is in the books, and I am really having a lot of fun doing this. I put Twitter off so long thinking that it would simply be too much work. And, while it is a bit of work, it is energizing to see my followers grow and to interact with people that I have been following in the industry for years. So, if you’ve been thinking of getting going with Twitter, get started! You can follow along with what I’ve done the last three weeks and really grow your list pretty quickly.
So for my results this week… Once again, I did not quite hit my goals, but I did get pretty close. My goal was to add 500 new followers this week and I managed to add a little bit over 400. However, as I learned more and refined my techniques this week, I saw my followers gained per day rise throughout the week, which I think looks good going forward. I also finally figured out that I was not keeping several new followers a day because I did not see them in my Twitter notifications so I did not follow them back. I found that if I checked my recent followers in CrowdFire, I saw the ones that I missed and was able to keep from losing those followers, which I think will be helpful going forward.
Just a Reminder – The Rules of the Challenge:
- I wanted to try to keep this simple and to let me learn and grow as I go on, so I kept the rules as simple as possible.
- I would only do 35 days.
- I would use no paid tools.
- I would not automate any posts.
- I would spend about 30 minutes every day.
- My focus would be on new followers and building an audience.
So What Did I Do?
- I used Buffer to schedule my tweets. I have Buffer set up to post 30 times a day, but with the free account I can only schedule 10 at a time. This means that I have to fill my queue several times a day, so I generally post 20-25 times a day.
- I tweeted links to my own content 2-3 times a day.
- I tweeted links to an article that I found interesting 5-10 times a day.
- I retweeted from my followers to engage with them 10-15 times a day.
- I followed everyone that followed me (as long as they were clean, in English, and were in one of my areas of interest) – same as last week, but I used CrowdFire to make sure that I didn’t miss any new followers.
- I followed people in my areas of interest through manageflitter and Twitter search.
- I unfollowed people that did not follow me back after several days through CrowdFire
- I scheduled my retweets out so that I did not take over people’s twitter feeds (see tutorial video I made here)
- I engaged with more influential followers by tweeting some of their original content or replying to their tweets.
What I Learned
1. You can’t rely on Twitter notifications to see all new followers.
I started to notices last week that my follower count was growing, but I wasn’t getting any new notifications from Twitter about new followers. I tried to check email for notifications, but that took forever, and still did not show everything. I was getting frustrated because when I would check CrowdFire for my recent unfollows, there were a lot of people that I had never followed that I didn’t remember seeing before. Of course, there are the people that follow and then immediately unfollow. Nothing you can do about them. However, I noticed several influential people who had followed me and then unfollowed me. I started poking around CrowdFire and noticed that it has a recently followers tab.
I don’t know that this is a perfect list of everyone that follows, but it is much more complete than the Twitter notifications are. I started checking this once or twice a day and I will find a lot of people to follow that I would have otherwise missed. The best part is that it has cut my recently unfollowed list down to about one-third the size that it was before which means that it is easier to grow a follower list.
One more note – I used to use CrowdFire to find new people to follow. But since I only have the free version, I save all 25 of the follows that I get each day to use on recent follows.
Key Takeaway – Keeping new followers is just as important as finding new ones.
2. Scheduling isn’t just for tweets. It’s for retweets too.
Of course if you are more experienced with Twitter and Buffer, you probably already knew this, but I was super stoked to find out that you could schedule out retweets as well as tweets with Buffer (if you don’t know how to do this, it’s super simple and I made a video tutorial here). So, I upped my scheduled posts per day from ten to thirty and started adding in retweets as well as tweets. I have found that retweets are one of the best ways to engage with an audience, especially if there is an influencer that you are trying to reach.
One thing that I want to do this week is to go through the people that I follow and start breaking them into lists so I can find the ones that I want to retweet without having to scroll quite so much. Right now it is a bit of a timesuck trying to either remember their name and search for them, scroll through my users looking for them, or scroll through my feed hoping to get lucky. Of course there are times when I just need to fill out my Buffer queue and I’m not strategically trying to engage with an influencer. In those times I just look for something that catches my eye in my feed. But when I am trying to engage, I will purposely look for an influencer and retweet, often with a comment or an answer to a question.
Key Takeaway – Scheduling retweets is my new favorite.
3. Twitter search is a pretty good source of people to follow.
I still use ManageFlitter to follow around 50 people per day. I use the advanced search (click where it says refine and it will open up several new search fields) and search within people’s bio for a hashtag related to my industry. I will often search for #seo, #socialmedia, #marketing, or something related. I also will set the minimums and maximums for both the followers and following as well so that I make sure that there is a good chance that the people that I’m following will follow me back. I will usually pick a range of about 1,000 for the followers (usually about as many followers as I have or a few thousand more), and then set the minimum following for 80% of the minimum followers and the maximum following for 500 more than the maximum followers. So my set up will look something like this:
The great thing about ManageFlitter is that it allows me to find accounts to follow very quickly. The bad thing about it is that It is not easy to check the accounts out to see if they are actually quality accounts before I follow them. Honestly, this is a throw it against the wall and see what sticks kind of approach and I don’t really like that about finding people to follow through ManageFlitter. I like using the Twitter search much better.
In the the Twitter search, I simply put in a hashtag related to my field. We can use #SEO again for this example. It will take you to the top tweets tab by default. I find that I get much better results if I go to the Live tab (all tweets tab on the mobile app). Then I just start scrolling down and looking at the accounts that have recently tweeted something with #SEO. I actually find this goes much faster if I do it on my iphone or ipad because of the way the app works. I click on any accounts that I think look interesting and go to their feed. I look to see if it is in English, I look at their follower to following ratio to make sure that there is a chance that they will follow me (I find that if the person follows at least 80% of the people that follow them, there’s a good chance they will follow me), and I do a quick look to make sure that most of their tweets are marketing related. If they are, I follow them. If not, I go back to the all tweets tab and look for the next account that I’m looking for. In 5 minutes I can usually find 25 high quality accounts to follow and many of them will follow me back within the day.
Key Takeaway – Automated is great, but with a little bit of manual work, you’ll get much better results.
My Goals for Next Week
I set a lofty goal of reaching 1750 followers by today and I didn’t quite reach it. However, by setting a high goal and not quite reaching it, I am very happy with my progress. I am going with another lofty goal this week and I am going to do my best to hit it this week. My goal is to reach 2,350 followers by next week. That means that I am going to have to add close to 100 followers each day, which is something that I have not been able to do consistently so far. I am hoping that if I apply all that I’ve learned so far, and with an expanding reach, I will be able to reach my goal. And again, if I do not hit my goal, but I get close, I will still be very happy because it means that I am growing quickly and I am learning more each day about how to grow a Twitter following very quickly.
Comments or Questions?
I’d love to help you out if you need anything. Please ask in the comments below or hit me up on twitter. Also, if you have a marketing related blog, I’d love to follow you. Tweet me your url and I’ll add it to my feed.