Using Twitter To Look Important?

So, as per a post at Facebook, I’ve done the “Twitter bankruptcy” thing. Was planning on a blog post re my reasons after I learned some of the implications. Round 1 comes a bit early (and I explain why):

I originally set my Twitter account to follow anyone who followed me. Reason why (we’ll discuss if smart move a bit later here) was simple: the general teaching on Twitter says it’s polite to follow anyone who follows you. Whether or not I agreed with the concept, if someone’s first impression of me was that I was being rude, what chance do I have? As a result, I followed back everyone (automatically).

Now, when you have 18,000 followers (yes, my numbers have gone done, more on that later) there is simply no way you can track read it all. No matter what social media strategies you have, it’s just a numbers issue.

So, I had an account that was simply designed (with automation) to keep people “happy.”

How did I “track” Twitter? Easy, I set up a phantom account of people I really wanted to track and then I set up several tracking feeds and get automatically updated whenever the terms I’m interested are mention in Twitter – whether I’m “following” the person or not.

Why the move? What I was doing wasn’t really doing anyone any good. Clicks from the Twitter feed were pathetically low (percentage wise at least – many many times as many clicks from my 2,200 Facebook Fans) and it simply wan’t painting a ‘real’ picture of what was going on online. In addition, there are some fascinating SEO implications of a realistic Twitter following that I wanted to explore. Also, I want to take my Twitter stream a little more seriously and I want to get a real accurate understanding of what’s going on.

What I’ve learned so far? Unfollowing everyone wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be. In addition, when I started – 17,968 were following me and the number is currently down to 16,952. There is no way 1000 people in the last few days have gone through this stuff by hand. What we have here is a lot of people running the popular “unfollow anyone who doesn’t follow me” scripts. That isn’t about communication is it?

Anybody want to guess what the “robots” are going to do to my follower account in the next months? Should I care at all?

ALSO LEARNED – Not all Twitter tracking is created equal. That quote from the graphic above wasn’t picked up by either MarketMetSuite, HootSuite or (yes, I use all of those and more – I’m very serious about Twitter). I caught it from, of all things, the iPhone App Boxcar. This morning, it was retweeted by @TonyMackGD and that was picked up accordingly. Was planning on writing this in a few days but once the retweet happened, it was time to deal.

Smart move? Time will tell. As you can tell from the graphic above, some people are thinking I’m making the wrong move. That’s ok, it wouldn’t be the first time.

What am I doing next? I’m actually intending on doing a lot more with Twitter now that I have a “real” account. I want to do a lot of content curating and real tracking of a real audience.

We’re less than a week into this grand experiment and I certainly will share more of what I’ve learned along the way but that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.

So, did I make the “right” move? I’d love your thoughts below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Doug S

    I’ll chime in…. I applaud you on your efforts to gain control of the stream.. I remember when Robert Scoble did the same thing a while ago. I don’t have nearly as many followers as you did and my stream is too much for me to bother with. I’m slowly trimming my account as well. I think you’ve proven through your research and others that large followers don’t necessarily lead to conversion. In my mind it does me no good, other than flattery, to have you follow me along with 18,000 others, which means there is almost a zero chance you’ll find tweets anyways, especially since you probably don’t even look at the stream that big.. :)

  • Mark

    I think you made a good move. You can’t possible follow everyone and everything. Twitter (all the other social media outlets) are for connecting with people. To hopefully make lasting relationships with customers, friends, etc. It is not just to have fun. Although that is okay too… to have fun with it. Thanks for your posts on here and on EMV. I watch your tips & others on it all the time. Thank you for creating a great marketing channel (watching on the Roku player).


  • Anonymous

    Exactly. Re the Scoble thing – he’s still following 31 thousand plus people. There is no way he reading all that.

  • Anonymous

    Not only can I “not” follow everyone but it’s kinda silly to have all these computers around me that can sort through it all and not use it. I just don’t want anyone to think I’m doing anything other than what I am.

  • Robin

    I think you made the right move. I just do not see the point (although I do it) in the big follow list.

    I am very curious to here about your next moves.

  • Anonymous

    Actually thinking of doing a whole free Webinar on the thing.

  • Christina Hills

    I love watching you trail blaze Paul! Can wait to hear the results

  • Anonymous

    They’re already interesting. I do think I’m gonna do this Webinar.

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