I love twitter. I was a somewhat late adopter signing up 5 years ago in December of 2009. When I first joined I was amazed at all the people I could chat with. People having twitter parties, tweet chats, learning the proper and improper use and overuse of hashtags. (#hashtagsaremyfavorite) But over time twitter became cluttered and I felt less like I was chatting with people and more like I was just there to click their links.
I decided a few months ago that I wanted to take twitter back. I wanted to chat and meet new people and have, dare I say, fun. I was tired of links clogging up my stream. Tired of following a ton of people who we just followed each other to bump up follower count instead of actually caring what we had to say. At the start of football season I did just that. I took back twitter, unfollowed thousands of people and now enjoying going there, especially on football Sundays.
The Great Unfollow of 2014
At the start of this I had roughly 12,000 followers and was following over 8,000 people. I used to care about stats and numbers and follower counts. And then one day I realized that I didn’t anymore. Really, does anyone care if I have xx number of followers on twitter or instagram? You can argue brands do and that it helps to get on blog campaigns and clients like it, all valid points, but if your follower number is high and engagement is zero, who is that really helping?
I started out slow. I used JustUnfollow.com to go through and unfollow anyone who hadn’t tweeted in x amount of months. I figure, if you haven’t tweeted in 3-4 months, you probably won’t care that I’m no longer following you. That took me to 12,000 followers and me following just over 6k. I lost zero followers myself in this purge.
My next step was watching my feed. I love TweetDeck and have lists and columns galore. I have a private list of around 100 people that I interact with almost daily and/or want to at least see what they have to say. This list is ever changing and evolving. I just added two people to it today in fact. Next is my general feed of everyone I follow. I watched this for a few minutes a few times a day and as I saw spam links or people without profile pics or the same person tweeting 27 different links in a row, I unfollowed.
I do still follow people!
On the flip side, if I saw people whom I trusted and enjoyed their tweets talking to, or retweeting other people I thought were interesting, I would follow them as well. Or as new people were following me, I just did a quick scan of their last 10-15 tweets and if I liked what I saw, I’d follow back. This took me to around 12,500 followers and following still around 5-6k.
(or whatever your hobby/niche/guilty pleasure is)
Who knew my passion for watching men throw a ball around while wearing tight pants and grunting would turn into a total *thing* on twitter. I knew people live tweeted award shows and TV shows and various sporting events, but I found my groove, my tribe, when I started trash talking about football. THESE WERE MY PEOPLE!
@PeytonsHead, @SportsNation, @CaptTouchback – Stop. Go follow them now if you love football. Yes, I realize this season is *almost* over, but no, really, they are amazing year round and for things besides making fun of how creepy Kyle Orton looks these days or to share memes of #SmokinJayCutler.
Sundays and the occasional Monday and Thursday (wait, stop trying to make Thursday Night Football happen. Don’t they know that’s Scandal night?!) are my most active. Mostly during Patriots and Broncos games and mostly trying to explain to people that, yes I’m a fan of both teams, and no, it’s not weird or illegal. But then I started tweeting about the other games going on and a whole new world of interesting people came into my life. Follower count is now over 13,000 and I follow just under 6,000.
So find your *thing* already
Is it fashion? Crafts? Love of bacon? Trust me, talk about what you love and you will start finding people who share the same interests. Also, and here’s my biggest tip of all the tips and advice I can give about how to “use/work/whatever” twitter… TALK TO PEOPLE. No really. If you want people to talk to you, you have to talk to them. It’s like “Being Social 101” and applies outside of social media. Like in real life too. Try it!
A few Do’s and Don’ts:
- Don’t just tweet one liners and leave.
- Talk to people.
- Don’t link us to every blog post you’ve ever written.
- Don’t link your FB or pinterest to auto tweet, in fact, auto tweets in general are annoying.
- Do talk to people.
- Follow interesting people who actually engage with their followers and aren’t just a link farm themselves.
- Follow parody accounts if you love to laugh.
- No really, it’s this simple: Talk to people.
In summary (if you’ve made it this far)
If you want people to talk to you, read/reply to them. It’s really that easy. Now I’m back on twitter 10 times more than I’m on facebook. I’ve met some super fun people, I’ve reconnected with people, I’ve made a couple of “In Real Life” friends too. Twitter, I can’t quit you!
Now follow me! 😉 @ColoradoMom But only follow if you also have a love of wine, fashion, football, funny things, one liners, etc. Remember Twitter is only as good as the people you follow.