As a bit of a departure to the usual content you read on the Marketing Signals blog, I thought I would share a little more about what I’ve been up to in the past few weeks outside of Marketing Signals.
Around 3 weeks ago (25th May 2016) I decided to see if I could build a Following on Twitter by Tweeting relevant and (hopefully) interesting content on a range of subjects including; SEO, PPC, Content Marketing, Social Media, Email Marketing and Blogging Tips. So around 8-10 Tweets a day on average using Buffer to schedule the blog posts, so it would be completely hands off once they were buffered.
I should add that one of things that is likely to put people off following a lot of Twitter accounts (non-brand accounts anyway) is when they share nothing but their own content. Unless you’re a pretty big cheese within your industry, it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to build a big following sharing your own content constantly. So it’s for that very reason all of the content I have been sharing is content from other websites only.
So why choose to share Marketing Content…?
My main assumption is that I figured people would find the content much more interesting if the content was coming from a range of sources on a range of different (but related) subjects. I figured that sure the notion of ‘giving back’ by sharing others content would help me build followers naturally with nothing more than the power of Tweets.
So why did I choose marketing related content and not something where there is a lot less competition for followers? Put simply, I have no interest in knitting or stamp collecting, or any other type of hobby that probably isn’t as well represented on Twitter. So although this would have meant I’d have had less competition for followers, at the same time I can imagine there just isn’t all that many people interested in those things and of course, I’d have been bored to tears by the end of the first week!! (Sorry to anybody who enjoys knitting…)
The other thing was, rather than use my main Twitter account, I wanted to see how an (almost) completely new account would get on with sharing a lot of content on a daily basis and if this would help with getting followers. The reason for using an ‘aged’ account I hadn’t done much with and not using a completely new account was that it may give the Tweets a little more credibility and (well to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered creating yet another account to connect to Buffer).
So due to this not being a completely new account, I had somewhere in the region of 35 followers already, so although a tiny amount, I knew it would add a little bit of credibility since most people do not like to be the first to like something (a little something called Social Proof).
As things kicked off and the content started to be shared to Buffer, things were quite steady for the first couple of days and then suddenly, it took off (well if you can imagine taking off as going from 35 to 96 followers in the space of a few days). I started to forward project that if this growth continued, I’d have been on several hundred within a couple of weeks, so I started to get excited!!
However, the realisation quickly kicked in when almost overnight after the first week, I never hit the benchmark of 100 followers, in fact it dropped off to about 71 followers. Clearly I was being followed by people who were following and unfollowing accounts on a regular basis. Annoying? Yes! But what can you do?
Luckily, things have improved again in this past week, and I can confirm that I did eventually break the 100 follower barrier, so maybe it’s just going to take a little longer to get things moving. I’m pretty sure things would have built up quicker had Twitter not introduced the ‘Like’ button and people were Retweeting instead but oh well…
Drum Roll: Now for the numbers…
As of this morning, according to the Twitter Analytics, I have 205 Tweets, I’ve had 27’500 Tweet Impressions (an increase of 229,366.7%) which is only an average of 134 per Tweet which doesn’t sound as great! Probably more important seeing as I’m not sharing my own content is the number of profile views to find out more about the mastermind(?) behind all of these Tweets and that’s a lowly 339 Profile Visits (4,742.9%). Then for the actual engagement with the account, well that’s only 9 Mentions and 106 followers (up by 57? As I said I had about 35…).
Now if you look at the image under Tweet Impressions, you’ll see that strangely when I first got going (when I saw the biggest growth) I had a big spike in Tweet Impressions and Profile Visits. Maybe this was Twitter showing me more highly in search? Maybe it was just the content that was shared early on which helped and the newer content just hasn’t been shared so much?
Now one of the biggest annoyances I have to say is the ‘Like’ button. Now I’d never given it much thought before. When it came out I was thinking ‘how cool is this, they finally have something on par with Facebook. So I can like something without it appearing in my timeline’.
Well that’s great when you’re looking at content others have shared and maybe you want to ‘Like’ or ‘Remember’ a Tweet for instance that you may want to check out later. However, when you’re trying to prove to yourself that there is a reason for being highly active on Tweeter, that “Sharing is Caring” as one WordPress sharing plugin would put it.
But it’s a bit rubbish when you’re getting dozens of notifications daily saying that you’re being added to endless lists and getting dozens of likes. This isn’t actually getting your tweets in front of more eyeballs and in turn helping to increase the number of followers.
To be honest, what started out as a bit of curiosity has now increased into a bit of a self-imposed challenge to see what strategies do actually work to help build followers. Of course I could always try and do the follow and unfollow strategy to increase followers, but as far as I’m concerned it’s a pretty dumb way to do things as you’re just getting followed by people who follow back.
Will they engage with your tweets? Will they (groans) Like or better still, Retweet your content? Probably not as they’re only following you because for a brief moment in time (hours, days, maybe even a week), you followed them just long enough for them to follow you back. So what is the point?
Yes, you have 1 million followers, but of those 1 million, most are probably other idiots following and unfollowing as well as lots of people who rarely use Twitter and never really engage with anything you’re Tweeting so what is the point?
So where do I go from here?
I’ve read about other strategies that seem to work well such as Retweeting others content to get them to take notice of you and follow them (I guess I’m guilty of not following back those who Retweet my Tweets). So that’s likely to be my next strategy to see how this works out. It’ll either mean I massively increase my Tweet count and annoy those who follow me already or I’ll actually start to pick up even more followers as they see I’m sharing some interesting and relevant stuff they may not have known about any other way…
Either way, I’m going to keep this going solely as a Tweeting strategy to see how things go for now so I can get a better idea of how this strategy is working after a couple of months. If I find that things are still pretty flat moving forwards, I’ll reassess things then.
Update on my Twitter Analytics
As if to hammer home even more my dislike for the idiots who use the Follow and Unfollow tactic to build followers, I was looking at my Twitter account to ensure that the content had been updated and noticed that I had 102 followers (and back up to 104 now with the latest screenshot showing the additional 10 Tweets). Something else you will notice is that previously with 106 followers, Twitter Analytics was suggesting I’d increased my followers by 57 which would have put me on 49 followers when I started. Now it’s an increase of 70 followers meaning I would have started on 34 followers which is about right. So if nothing else, this hammers home the fact that we cannot really trust the data that Twitter is showing us.
So what next for my little experiment
Well I’m going to keep it going for the foreseeable future, and I also have plans to add some additional daily Tweets by lining up additional content which will probably be Images and Quotes, as well as lining up relevant Retweets throughout the day. Retweeting is definitely a way of getting yourself noticed by others, reciprocation is definitely going to be a better way in my mind anyway to build connections (Followers) than the old (and annoying) Follow and unFollow method which is annoying to be honest.
You can always tell the accounts that do this as they have almost as many followers and they follow, usually in the thousands, hundreds of thousands and one recently I saw was following over 1 million people and had over 1 million followers. How you’re supposed to engage with and gain meaningful interaction with that many people it’s beyond me. It’s almost like the spoilt kid with his toys, he can never have enough, even if that means he’s not playing with all of them!!
Anyway, I may well revisit this in a few months and post updates on how things are progressing once the account have been live a few months…
Do you have a thirst for Social Media exposure?
If my little experiment has made you wonder about how best you can market your own business online through Social Media Networks such as Twitter and Facebook, etc. Why not get in touch with us for a chat to see how we can look at helping you to not only gain more Followers and Likes, but also more engagement online through a mixture of Organic and Paid Social Media Marketing.
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