I plan on continuing my trek towards 10,000 twitter followers, but I think I’ve gained as much as I can from this experiment and don’t really see the point of continuing. In fact there are so many polluters of my tweet stream that I just can’t take it any longer and need to begin unfollowing. (You’re first, @cellband)
I can confirm the methods I’ve been using do increase your followers, but, it doesn’t seem to be an effective way to promote yourself. Followers alone aren’t enough to boost your revenue and while I was clicking away, trying to reach my limit of 1,000 daily follows, I didn’t have much time to read along or interact with many people.
Early on in the process I did mention quantity vs. quality and I still think that’s the key with twitter. Groups like TeamFollowBack and others create lots and lots of followers for each other, but in most respects the tweets from this group have very little value to a small business owner. Lots and lots of tweets about following so-and-so and plenty of use of their hash tags, but I found I was more likely to have a real conversation and real impact with someone who followed just a few hundred people.
Yesterday I was fed up with the MLMs, SEOs, and other so-called social media gurus and tweeted that I was going to find some Knitting folks to hang around with. I immediately had a response and was able to start a series of conversations – more than I’d had on any single day since starting the experiment. Because even with the lists I started and other tools that might be available, it’s just too hard for me to have meaningful relationships on twitter with thousands of people.
I probably could effectively keep up with 15000 people on twitter if all I did was marketing, but as a small business owner I wear many hats and it’s just too easy to devote too much time to twitter. It’s clear to me now why big companies have made room in their marketing budgets for a Social Media specialist, because you could do this full time. In fact it might be extremely cost effective to hire someone just to manage new follows, Tweet and interact full time.
As far as hard data, along with this chart, I’ve been keeping track of the time I spend hunting for followers. The red square on 2/19 is a note about resetting the timer. You might remember from my Day 1 update that I was having trouble with my time tracker skills.
All in all, 4313 followers came in as the result of 22 hours 40 minutes of work over a 14 day period. That averages out to:
190 new followers per hour
308 new followers per day
1 hour 36 minutes of work per day
Though you can see from the numbers that there wasn’t an average day. In fact March 8 is 10 followers lower than the day before. I started the morning of March 7 with the count, and flushed those who weren’t following me back, but as soon as I tried to follow, Twitter told me I was already at my limit of followers for the day. As a result, I show negative growth on the 8th.
There are also days when the follow cap was much lower than others. The difference being as many as 600 follows. On days where I spread the process out, I was able to get to my cap of 1000. On days where I was busy and trying to get it done quickly I wasn’t able to follow as many people.
I think that’s the reason why I was surprised that I was only spending about an hour and a half per day working on the 10k. Because the timer only counts when I’m on desktop 3 where I keep my 10k applications, and not when I’m doing other things. This time is real and actual working time you’re seeing, but what that number doesn’t show is that the process was tedious and took all day to complete. Take it from me, a gal who knits blankets by hand, that this has been the most tedious thing I’ve done in a while.
I’d still like to test who’s most likely to follow me based on the number of followers they have and the ratio of followers to following and such, but I’m running out of time for the experiment. I had hoped to be finished by now, but I took a week off so I could be with my husband at his Grand Father’s funeral and now I need to devote the next week or so to filing taxes and other business goodies. Though I suppose that’s the way small business works. Doing what you can, when you can and above all else knowing that each day you might have a new priority.