So, I’m through 2 weeks of my personal 5 week Twitter Challenge and I’d say that I learned a lot this week. But let’s get to the important stuff first – the results. And they were not quite as good this week as they were last, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Why? Because it helped me to learn some valuable lessons, and I know what to do next week to start the growing again.
So the most obvious question to ask is what I did differently in week two than in week one. I did two main things differently. I tried to embrace the whole, “work smarter and not harder” and employed two new tools – manageflitter and CrowdFire. Both of them are great tools and I will continue to use them. However I stopped retweeting as much which I think is the real cause in the drop in new followers. I was trying not to tweet too often, but I am finding that it is a fine balance and I would rather overtweet and continue to grow than to undertweet and slow my growth down. This is something that I will have to monitor in the weeks to come as I decide whether I am in growth mode or in engagement mode.
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 tweeted 3-10 original tweets every day – same as last week.
- 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.
- I followed people in my areas of interest through both manageflitter and Crowd Fire
- I unfollowed people that did not follow me back after several days
- I very sparingly retweeted a post from new followers
- I tried to engage with more influential followers by tweeting some of their original content or replying to their tweets.
What I Learned
1. While manageflitter and CrowdFire are great, they are no substitute for engaging with your audience.
I got way too excited about manageflitter and CrowdFire and thought that I could do it the easy way. And as I mentioned last week, I was going to try to be careful not to take over people’s twitter feeds with my retweets. So I neglected retweeting new followers and focused on the easy way. And sure I was able to get some great followers that way. The apps are pretty amazing – you can target people by interests, by number of followers, number of following, etc. and find “the right” people to follow. And they are very handy for finding the people that have not followed you back after several days so that you can unfollow them to keep your follower to following ratio in check.
This week I am going to go back to heavily retweeting from new followers and those that engage with me through liking or retweeting. I’ll still follow anyone who follows me as long as they are clean, in one of my interest areas, and they follow nearly as many people as follow them.
Key Takeaway – There is no substitute to actual engagement with followers.
2. It’s easier to space out tweets if you schedule them
I started using buffer this week and I have really enjoyed it. I can schedule out 10 tweets for the day first thing in the morning and be done with my original tweets for the day. Before I would try to schedule tweets out during the day, but they would end up getting clumped together. And Buffer is very easy to use. It will even optimize for the best times to post for you based on engagement. I don’t know how well that works, but I figure their optimization is better than my shot in the dark now, so I’m using it. I have it set to post 10 times a day which I think is pretty good. I post 1 or 2 tweets pointed to content on my blog and the rest are either quotes, Bible verses, or links to content that I like and find useful.
However, this is just a test run. I need to see if this lessons engagement, or negatively impacts my growth in any way. If it does, it’s back to the drawing board. Also, I know that it says in the rules that I cannot automate posts. I don’t consider scheduling posts to be automation as I have to write and schedule each one. What I mean by automation is no using apps to auto-tweet for me or to try to auto-engage with my audience.
Key Takeaway – I can get more done in less time if I schedule out my tweets.
3. Feedly is a major time saver
If you want to make it easier to find content to share across social media, Feedly is a great choice. You can let it know what your interests are and it will give you some suggested blogs to follow. Then, you can easily add to it with the blogs that you like to follow. Then, you will end up with a single feed from all of the blogs that you want to follow. You can categorize them any way that you want, and it’s generally pretty easy to use. It has made it much easier to find content that I want to share quickly.
I have also started adding the blogs of my followers to my feedly. I figure if I am going to be sharing other people’s content, it might as well be people from Twitter. I’ve only started this today, so I can’t say if it adds any engagement, but I would imagine that it will. I’ll report and let you know next week.
Key Takeaway – Group all of the sites that you follow into a single place so you can find shareable content quickly.
My Goals for Next Week
I did not get near my goal of adding 600 new followers and reaching 1,500 this week. I am going to set adding 500 new followers as my goal for this week which will put me at 1,750 followers by next week. It won’t be an easy goal, but I figure better to shoot high and miss than to shoot low and hit.
I would also like to work on engagement this week. I hope that by focusing on sharing content from my audience and by retweeting regularly again, I will see an increase in engagement. I still really want to build an active audience that will interact with me, not just a big audience.
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.