KarlieRobinson.com

Rural Housewife or Tech Entrepreneur? You Decide

Twitter 10k – Day 5

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I now have 5 days of data and observations recorded and I am starting to see some interesting trends.  How about we get to the numbers first and then my observations of how my experiences so far might impact a small business?

The Data

The first change you’ll see is that I’ve added a column for Reciprocate.  I can only manipulate numbers in the following column, and the data might give me a little insight into what other people are doing and how it effects my ability to reach 10k followers. I’ll be looking to see if the reciprocate number grows organically or if it might be people I’ve flushed before they had a chance to follow-back.  I may not know which is which, but I’ll keep it in there just in case a pattern forms.

In my last post I also wondered how flushing might effect my numbers and since the 19th and 20th were a weekend I was able to leave everything as it was to see what might happen.  It would seem that some people came on board and I’m now wondering if just the act of sending a following message might be enough to trigger a follow-back from some.  If so, it shouldn’t matter when I follow and flush as long as that notification ends up in their in-box.

On the topic of organic growth, I didn’t see much happen with the numbers as of Monday morning so I think organic growth is going to be limited to finding relevant followers and not just the crop of Social Media Marketers I have so far.

The weekend also meant that I didn’t prowl the lists adding followers.  I did update my spreadsheet with the morning numbers and spent 30 minutes on Sunday watching the tweets come in faster than I could read them.

The reduction you see on the 20th (reflecting the previous 24 hours)  and then again this morning are because I unfollowed people when the post was in a language I couldn’t read.  That may not stop them from continuing to follow me, but I can’t justify keeping them around if there’s no possibility that I’ll respond to something they’ve said.

The Observations

As long as we’re talking about unfollowing, I had to resist the urge to unfollow tweeps posting annoying or repetitive posts. To keep from unfollowing I made a pact with myself and vowed to unfollow many of these offenders as soon as my experiment was over.  In the mean time I’m going to create my first lists so that the people I do enjoy reading along with won’t get lost in the shuffle.

In some ways, the vast number of annoying people made me really sad, but then I suddenly knew why there were so many fail-whales in my life.  Seeing the same post more than 6 times in less than 3 minutes is probably the reason Twitter is always going over capacity.  The reason might also have something to do with the giant circle of SMM that’s been created.  If someone has thousands of followers who are also following thousands of tweeps, posting the same pitch and URL over and over again might be the only way to ensure that the tweet will be seen.

To test this hypothesis – About an hour ago (writing time, not real time) I included a URL in a tweet.   Since Naturesoundsfor.me keeps track of how often a custom sound composition was listened to in the past 10 days, and I hadn’t been there recently, I had a quick and dirty way check for a response.

Now that I have 4 times as many followers, surely there would be someone willing to check out my link?

Nope – “In last 10 days this sound composition has been listened to by 1 listeners.” That’s me, the one lonely listener.

Social media, in a pure marketing sense, was suppose to be about pulling people in by becoming attractive and someone enjoyable to hang around with.  That’s in contrast to traditional media which pushes out messages that are largely ignored by… well… everyone. So far I’m not really seeing pull marketing by anyone claiming to be SMM experts.

Bad Habits of Push Messengers on Social Media- AKA don’t do this – EVER!

Bad Habit # 1 – On day 1, I mentioned Direct Messages, but what I didn’t mention was the style of most of them.  Usually they had the same crappy pitch and URL combination I mentioned above, which was, and always will be, ignored. Though they must work to some very limited extent, but I think I have a hypothesis that I’ll share in a moment or two.

To boil it down – If you can’t write a decent headline, why should I click your link? If nothing else, please try to sound sincere.

Bad Habit #2 – I did have a few DMs that looked a little less like they might be auto generated, or at least were a less crappy auto generated DM.  In fact some even asked me a question, to which I attempted to reply.

Attempted being the key word here.  Some of these folks weren’t following me so I couldn’t send them a DM in return – bad, bad, bad. Why would you miss an opportunity to engage with someone especially if you’re the one who started the conversation?  Isn’t engagement the whole point of Social Media?

In the future, I’m only going to respond to DMs with @user mentions and will only use DMs for private information like my mobile number.

Bad Habit #3 – Just because you saw the same technique more than once, doesn’t mean that you should jump on the band wagon.  I know this flies in the face of my “Rule of Two,” but there’s a difference between spotting a trend and knowing if it’s a good trend to get in on.

Conclusions

I see that there is some sort of Information Cascade effect where people justify bad habits because lots of other people are doing the exact same thing.

Twitter might have become less about lots of people having conversations, like chit-chatting with the mom behind me in line at the grocery store , and more like being on a street where everyone is wearing a sandwich board like the guy in this article’s mast head.

While talking with my husband about my observations so far, he said it sounded like I was describing the FFA pages of the past.

In case you never had the pleasure of Free For All pages, the idea was that lots of links boosted your hits, and lots of hits meant lots of sales and lots of sales was the way to get rich quick. I suppose it did happen once in a while, but not because you posted  a link.  The site owner always asked for an email address in exchange for posting a link and those emails were then used for SPAM email marketing campaigns.

People listed with FFA because a long time ago, in internet years anyway, the search engines didn’t automatically crawl your site and placement was dependent on regular submissions. It was a necessity of the time, and luckily for us, the Engines have evolved past the stage of irrelevant links.

So when Todd reminded me about FFA and I was able to recall it’s rise, and fall, I began to think about how the process has been recycled into Tweets. Frankly it has me a little worried about the longevity of Twitter – will it get so fouled up that everyone abandons it like they did with MySpace?

I am optimistic that I’ll be able to eventually find a list that works well for pull marketing on Twitter, but for now, I think I’m going to have to deal with the barrage of bad marketing messages.

If you have any questions or comments about my Twitter 10k, feel free to leave me a note, below.  Otherwise a tweet, Thumbs up or share on another service would be greatly appreciated. ~Karlie

Written by Karlie

February 21st, 2011 at 1:36 pm

2 Responses to 'Twitter 10k – Day 5'

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  1. Interesting experiment. I’ve had a Twitter account for my helicopter charter business for at least two years now and have had no success using it as a tool to promote my business. The people who follow it apparently do not read the tweets — or care about them — which makes me wonder why they followed the account in the first place. I use to reciprocate all follows on that account and soon discovered that most were spammers.

    As far as automatic DMs or “thank you for following” tweets, I ALWAYS unfollow an account that sends me an automated message. It doesn’t matter what the message is or how sincere it sounds. If I’m in a foul mood that day, I also report the account for spam. Social networking should NOT be automated to the point where it targets individual users and sends them a message. That’s spam.

    Personally, I believe that unless you’re sharing valuable content and have loyal followers who actually read your tweets, follower count is meaningless.

    Maria

    9 Nov 11 at 5:06 PM

  2. I agree, Maria. The reason I started the Twitter 10k was to confirm my suspicions about what’s really going on with Tweets and their effectiveness as a marketing tool. I have further evidence that tweets kicking off conversations are much better than trying to advertise yourself Via Twitter.

    When people start hanging around because they want to talk to you, you don’t need to shout about your brands. People understand what they would be getting and know full well why they want to do business with your company. And… some day when I’m in your neck of the woods with a enough extra money, I’m going to charter a tour with Flying M Air, not because I’ve always been in the market for a ride, but because now I know who should do the flying.

    Karlie

    9 Nov 11 at 5:33 PM

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