Thursday, August 29, 2013

How my Twitter Experiment got me to 3K followers

This past April, I did this spur-of-the-moment Twitter experiment to see if I could gather up some new followers quickly.

Twitter Experiment: Part deux

Basically, I offered a CONTROL swag giveaway to encourage new followers. You could get entered into the draw if you RT'd or became a new follower.

So. Did it work?

I don't think so! 

I got a good amount of RTs, but honestly? The trajectory with which I gained new followers didn't seem to change. I hit my 3000 follower mark not that much sooner than I expected without the experiment. I was grateful to the RTers and was more than happy to send the swag prizes to five winners who really RT'd their hearts out.

I used to seek out people on twitter when I first started. I'd follow a bunch of people I thought I had something in common with (mostly in the writing world), and hope they followed back. It worked for a while, but I don't have time to search out followers anymore. Also, it felt icky and weird after a while. So how else to gain followers?

I think the best way to get followers is to do the old fashioned good stuff on Twitter.

  • Interact with people who reach out to you, and who tweet interesting things. (This I need to be better about. I tend to just look at my mentions and not read my feeds.)

  • Post some original content once in a while, not just RTs and endless conversations with other twitterers. (Okay, I confess I do that all the time. Have endless conversations about, say, Benedict Cumberbatch, or Doctor Who, or being introverted, or what I'm eating. But I like to discuss what I'm eating!)

  • Be there. I'm not on every hour of the day, but I'm there almost every day. (And yet! I've gotten social media fatigue and been off for a week at a time. Which I'll do for sanity's sake, but not if I can help it.)

  • Have fun. It shows, and people want to follow people who are enjoying Twitter. This one is easier for me. :)
  • Get creative. A few others and I write poetry using a single medically-related word prompt using the hashtag #twtpoem. It's so energizing and a great way to be creative on Twitter.

  • Join some Tweet chats once in a while. There are so many--#yalitchat #Lucky13s #theClassof2k13 are regular ones I participate in, but I'll jump into others that are trending if they're interesting.

  • Don't just tweet about your book, or promo yourself. There's no quicker way to lose followers than to drown in book narcissism. But the opposite isn't the answer either. A little promo is okay!

  • Mix it up. I cross tweet my Tumblr posts, and my blog posts, obviously. But I'm on Instagram and often take tweet pics of random things I like. I'd love to add some video via Vimeo or something. Maybe later. And I'm still NOT vlogging!

  • Write a good book. Still hoping this one will pan out. :) Once your published book is out there, people will find you. And that will be (I hope) pretty cool.

So...are you on Twitter? What's your favorite thing about it? Do you have any Tweet Tips to share?


Krispy said...

Thanks for posting up your findings! I remember when you did this. I totally agree with your tips. Meaningful interaction is key. That's the most fun about Twitter - chatting with like-minded folks. :)

mooderino said...

Ah, twitter. I'm pretty sure I'm doing it wrong.

A Lady's Life said...

i guess if you are looking for hits going to many places is good.I find it too much work. Blogging is fine.

Mark Koopmans said...


This post was so much fun to read, I just tweeted it :)

Old Kitty said...

Gosh, I don't tweet but glad you're having super fun with it! Yay! Take care

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the tips. I've resolved to join Twitter this weekend so will follow you and your advice.

Dianne K. Salerni said...


Those are exactly the things I do on Twitter! I find that Twitter is that old friend you can reconnect with any time, even after being away for awhile. Just jump in and respond to the interesting Tweets, as well as try to share when you have something (you think is) witty to say.

It's okay to promote on Twitter, but that can't be all you do.

Personally, I don't seek out new followers any more, because they kind of grow themselves. But I choose who to follow back.

If the person has a twitter feed with nothing but promotions for their own (or their friends') books, if they have nothing but RTs or nothing but famous people quotes, I don't follow back.

I want to follow people engaged in conversation -- and I assume most followers who stick around want that from me, as well.

Shelly said...

I have a Twitter account, but have only used it a couple of times. I am wayyyy behind the times.

Indigo said...

I had a palooza of followers my first time out with Twitter. Over a year ago I deleted that account and started another this year. I seriously need to get more involved with social media. As it stands now, my Twitter feed is more or less a replica of whatever ends up on my Facebook page. (Hugs)Indigo

Connie Keller said...

Thanks for your Twitter tips. I have a Twitter account, but I get overwhelmed by all the tweets. I guess I need to just get out in there.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It's good to know what doesn't work. I don't follow many new people either but I do gain a handful every day. Guess I need to join some chats now and then.

J. A. Bennett said...

I'm so glad you wrote this post! I've always wondered, but I came to the conclusion that doing those things you listed is the best way. Now if only I can get that good book out there! :)

msmariah said...

Lydia-- You make some good points. I often wonder how to effectively use twitter. I'm not a big twitter bug myself. I try to get on there at least a few times a week, but I don't always succeed.

Barbara Watson said...

I do love Twitter. Sometimes. Other times I'm frustrated because I can't keep up with tweets and still other times I'm frustrated with what people are tweeting...

M Pax said...

When I hit 6K, I gained followers quicker for awhile. Summer seems slower in many ways.

Being in Triberr and having a constant feed helps, and being chatty. :)

Kelly Polark said...

Great tips!
I do like following people who are genuine, friendly, informative and/or entertaining.
Congrats on 3K! I have a LONG way to go to get there!

J E Oneil said...

What I like about Twitter is saying something totally bizarre and having someone tweet that they know exactly what I'm talking about :)

Melissa said...

I agree with your tips.

The way to build your twitter follow list fast is to follow others en mass.

When I was actively pursuing followers, I'd go to another author's Twitter profile and click on their 'following' list. Then I'd go down the list and follow tweeps who looked interesting (40 or 50 at a time ...but I've known of people who do many more, barely staying under Twitter's daily limit). Many of the tweeps I followed would follow me back. A few weeks later, I'd use a service to purge the ones who didn't and then go follow 40 to 50 more.

Now I have so many followers and I'm so established on my blog, I get new Twitter followers daily without doing anything. I don't actively pursue large numbers anymore.

Hope that helps. :)

Misha Gericke said...

I agree with you. The best way to get followers is by being involved with the community. :-)

Vanessa Morgan said...

The best way is, indeed, to seek out likeminded people and to follow them. I also follow everyone back (except if I have reasons to beleive he's a spammer).
By the way, I just started following your blog via Bloglovin. Looking forward to visiting often.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

These were good tips, Lydia. Thanks for the share.

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