Twitter is a huge social media force now, that is no secret to anyone. In fact, according to Alexa, more than 3% of all internet users visit Twitter daily.
Many people have been on board for years while others (like me) have only been using twitter for a few months now.
People use Twitter for a variety of reasons including socializing, gossip, marketing, researching, and making money.
When I started on Twitter, I was in a big hurry to get as many followers as quickly as possible and didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. I made several mistakes that I wouldn’t make if I had to do it all over again.
1. Joining In The Twitter Follow Back Frenzy
One of the fastest ways to build a following on Twitter is to follow massive amounts of people and hope they follow you back. After a couple of days, just use a 3rd party program to unfollow the people who didn’t follow you back. Profit!
The fundamental flaw of this is that I don’t give as rat’s ass about 99.7% of the people whom I followed or follow back. I think it’s safe to assume those people feel the same way about me.
Translation: out of 1000+ followers, only 3 (at most) of them care.
Generating massive followers by just tweeting is almost impossible unless you are already famous, so the follow back frenzy has some merit for getting your account known. After all, who wants to follow someone with 3 followers?
If I could do it over again, I would mass follow selectively although I would only follow about 100 over the number of people following me (to avoid being lumped into the full on follow back group). Twitips recommends Tweepi for this process since it gives you more stats about the people you are following rather than mass following like an idiot.
2. Trying To Get Followers By Participating In Trending Topics
When I first started, I thought getting involved in trending topics would let my tweets be seen by tons of users who would follow me for me great wit and charm.
The problem… Have you actually ever read any of the trending topics and what people say? #ChrisBrownsBowTie? #Itsnotcheatingwhen? Seriously, did I really think the people who were tweeting about this stuff really cared about what I had to say?
If I could do it over again, I would pay careful attention to trending topics and wait for ones that are relevant to what I write about. Then, I would write a post about the trending topic, so it would get maximum exposure when tweeted.
For example right now, Twitter Lists is trending. Each time someone retweets my post, I get 15-20 new pageviews instantly regardless of how few followers they have. It turns out Google Wave is trending again too. It’s amazing how much traffic 2-3 retweets of each brings to me.
3. Waiting To Make A Twitter Background
I waited just over 2 months to make a background for Twitter. I probably lost 500 potential followers in that amount of time.
Since putting my background up (nothing fancy, just a pretty gradient and Props Blog Dot Com styled all sexy), I have increased my followers by 33% in 10 days.
Suck on that boring Twitter default background!
4. Not Using A Third Party Twitter Client To Schedule My Tweets
I’ve come to realize that unless you’re Chris Brogan, you can’t get away with tweeting 22 times in a hour.
Since I’ve started scheduling my tweets 30 min – 1 hour apart (and Tweeting random cool things I run across in between), I’ve increased my followers by 33% in 10 days. Err… I actually think my CTR just got better.
5. Not Writing My Article Titles For Twitter
I’m all about magnetic titles. I was dumb and tried to write titles for search engines. It’s a waste of time for a blog like mine. I get less than 3% of my traffic from search engines, and Twitter is by far my highest traffic source.
When started writing stronger titles like Problogger, Copyblogger, and Chris Brogan Hang Out In Their Underwear, I get an amazing response, tons of retweets, tons of traffic, and life is good. If I had called it “Marketing For Smart People Video” I might have gotten a few clicks, but not many.
If someone’s post title doesn’t do the content justice or simply doesn’t bait a click like a scandal, I do them a favor and write something that people will click. I hope it helps.
Twitter is a growing network that is really confusing when you first start using it. When I started, I wish I hadn’t followed back, got sucked into stupid trending topics, waited so long to make a background, waited to start scheduling tweets, and written stupid article titles.