Week four of my five week Twitter Challenge seems to have flown by. Maybe I am just having so much fun with this challenge that times goes quickly, or maybe it was because the wife and I had a vacation planned from Thursday through Sunday. While I am having a great time with this challenge, I tend to thing the fact that we were in Arizona watching some Spring Training games over the weekend had more to do with my week flying by.
OK, my results this week were actually pretty good. I really should have looked at the fact that I was going to be gone, and therefore limited as to how much time I could spend on Twitter for four of the seven days this week before I set such lofty goals. However, vacation considered, I had a pretty rocking week. I gained 530 new followers, but the part that I’m excited about is that I gained over 80 followers a day on Monday – Thursday with a pretty big dropoff over the weekend while we were out of town. So why is that exciting? Because on most weeks, I actually gain more followers over the weekend, so I’m pretty confident that if I had been home all week, I would have reached the crazy goal that I had set for myself.
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?
Really, I didn’t change anything that I did from last week. I just did it more consistently, and a little bit better, and a little bit more. I’ll explain what I did better in the What I Learned Section below.
- 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. Be Persistent In Engaging With Influencers
I am totally new to the Twitter neighborhood. I have found several of the big shots that I would love to engage with, but I am not delusional enough to think that it is going to be either quick or easy. Of course I read JeffBullas.com and businessgrow.com as part of my regular daily reading. They post great content on their blogs and across social media. I have followed them on Twitter from very early into my Twitter Challenge. Of course I wanted them to follow me back, but I recognize the pecking order. I was hoping however, that as I was consistent and sharing their content that they may notice and follow back. Well, this week I gained both Jeff Bullas and Mark Schaefer (the founder of businessgrow.com) as followers.
The coolest part is that it wasn’t totally on accident. I have wanted both as followers because I really respect them and love the way that they conduct their businesses online and I have been working towards adding them as followers. It’s not like I think that we are best friends or anything now, but it was pretty cool to wake up one morning and see that both had followed me. How did I do it? I regularly share content from JeffBullas.com and I made sure that I added @jeffbullas each time I shared his stuff so that he would see it. For Mark Schaefer, I also regularly tweet his content, but much of that is written by other authors, so I generally tag the author of the piece. However, he recently wrote a great piece that I shared and mentioned him in the share. Here is a screenshot of the tweet.
So in the post, I didn’t just tweet the title with a link. I complimented his blog and him, shared a link, and mentioned him. In this case it was enough to capture his attention. While I can’t tell you that it will work every time, I am going to keep experimenting with capturing the attention of influencers and I’ll keep you posted as to what I learn.
Key Takeaway – Persistence and a little extra effort can go a long way towards building a relationship.
2. Don’t Tweet What Everyone Else Tweets
Personally, I don’t like to do what everyone else does. I will be the first to admit that sometimes this ends up with me doing a lot of extra effort for no good reason. However, in this case, I do think that it will end up serving me very well. I try to share the content of people that follow me pretty regularly. And I especially try to share content of people that I know to be responsive. I don’t see much sense in sharing your content if you won’t even respond with a thank you or a like (of course this is different with the big influencers in the industry – there is no way that they could respond to every share or retweet). But I also want my tweets to stand out just a little bit. I see that most people will simply post the title with a link and maybe a mention. I like to take it a step further.
When I find a piece of content that I want to share, I usually look for a line that I can use as the beginning of my tweet. I will either copy and paste the line or paraphrase it if it’s too long. Then I will copy and past in the link, mention the author, and add a hashtag or two. The tweets end up looking different than everyone else’s and they can get some good interaction with authors too. Here is an example from earlier this week:
As you can see, I got a personalized response from the author, @deepcrawl. Had I just tweeted out the usual title and link, I may have gotten a generic, “thanks for the mention” or something similar, but with a personalized tweet I find that I get better responses.
Key Takeaway – A little personalization goes a long way.
3. Be Yourself, Let People Get To Know You
Of course I use Twitter mainly for business. I share SEO, social media, marketing, and entrepreneur related content. However, I also share quotes that I find inspiring, Bible verses that I find impactful, quick updates about what I’m doing on vacation, and sometimes something from some of my favorite sports teams. Of course these things have absolutely nothing to do with marketing, but they have everything to do with me. My long-term goal for Twitter is to build relationships with people online. I know that in order to have the kind of relationship that I want to with others, they will have to know, like, and trust me. Of course producing great content is a good way to build the necessary trust, but I am finding that it is easier when I put the real me out there as well. That way, when people see something that relates to them personally, something that we have in common, it makes it a little bit easier to relate with that person. And while I do not have any of the relationships that I want yet, there are people that I would say that I am moving in that direction.
Key Takeaway – Don’t be all business, all the time.
My Goals for Next Week
Time for another lofty goal. Yes I do realize that Easter is this Sunday, and my two boys and my wife all have Good Friday off of school this week. So this is going to be challenging again, but I really want to do it. I want to reach 3000 followers by the end of my 5 week Challenge. That means this week I will be a little bit more active on Twitter, just because I am really trying to hit that goal. That does mean that I need to gain 800 new followers in the next week. I completely realize that this is going to be difficult, but I really think that I am going to do it!
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.