Networking Note: Twitter’s good for now. Time to fix the Facebook. With Wankery.

Some bullet points for those of you who are following my effort to build a chatty, thriving network of bloggers who read things bloggers contribute on mine and Diana‘s blogs. And our posts too, of course.

Image via Suzie81's Blog, 2014.

Image via Suzie81’s Blog, 2014.

  • I’m satisfied with the progress of the @Sourcererblog Twitter account and with the number of bloggers who are following it. I think its following is stable above 5K, but we will see.
  • I’m not managing that account for growth as a way of keeping score. I need its following to be as big as I can easily manage. Given the time and tools I have to work with, and what it’s taking to manage now, I think that number is 10K.
  • I am not eager to do more rapid growth and try for 10K at the moment. It’s time to let it settle and see what kind of growth I can get just by Tweeting for at least a month, and to reorganize my lists so I can give my attention over there to people who Tweet with me.
  • I don’t plan to do much unfollowing for a least a month. In general, I assume that if I don’t get a followback in 10 days, the other person isn’t interested in tweeting with me or isn’t looking at new followers. But I am giving all the bloggers I’ve followed in the last week a lot of latitude, and I don’t really need to unfollow until I’m ready for more growth.

I’m where I want to be on Twitter for now. I am not at all happy with my Facebook at the moment, but I’ve improved it greatly over the last month or so. I’ve thought a lot over the past couple of months about what to do next once I reached my Twitter milestone for the year. I’ve considered working on improving the reach of a fanpage, figuring out Tumblr, or getting interactive on Google+ again. But really, I think, what I need is to be Facebook friends with more bloggers. That takes time, but I am working on it. I’m not ready to start adding many friends yet because I need to make sure I have my privacy settings airtight before I do that and I just adjusted them a day or two ago.

Here is why I made this decision. Our traffic numbers are miniscule, but they are still numbers. When I look at where our referrals came from in the last year, Facebook is near the top for both Sourcerer and Part Time Monster. Neither of those other two networks are. Twitter is also high on the list. Once I get that following to 10K, probably in February, I think it will outperform Facebook until I find a way to fix that. And I don’t know how to grow a Facebook page without paying for follows. Working on my personal network there makes more sense.

I have another post coming about Facebook at some point, but I’m not satisfied with the draft, so it’ll have to wait awhile. Now here’s a little Twitterwankery on how I’ve done the growth. (Shamelessy ripping off your Blogwanking thing here, Luther, but only so I can mention that you write science fiction books, and you’ve even set up a way for people to pay for them 😉 )

Twitter Dec 2

This follower graphic is from my Twitter analytics. The screenshot is taken today and it captures May through yesterday. You are looking at two consciously-managed growth cycles here. The little steps from the second week of May through the first of July are me growing the account from 1200 to around 2500 by following accounts right up to the limit every weekend and then using apps to unfollow my unfollowers after 10 days. That was difficult and time-consuming, but much less so than getting to 1200 was.

The flat part of the graph is where I stopped, partly because I wanted the following to settle and see what I really had. Partly because I just had other things to do, and didn’t know whether it was worth it to do more growth at that point. I added about 300 new followers during that time just by Tweeting regularly and following the good accounts back.

In late September I decided to go for 5K to see what managing it was like. I started growing again in October. The bottom of the spike at the end is October 2. I had a little under 2800 followers at that point, and the capacity to follow hundreds of accounts. So I did. The top is 5,043 as of yesterday. I have a few more than that at the moment. Now I’m convinced that eventually getting to 10K so I can use that account to tweet links for friends and contributors is worth the effort, and I think I have set myself up to get that done by April.

2200 followers in two months is not professionally impressive Twitter growth, but it is better than I thought I’d ever do, and there is no question in my mind that I can easily double my following pretty much any time I am willing to manage the growth. A ton of other people helped me get it done. Too many to list. I haven’t spent a single dime on promotion, and I can explain how I did this to practically anyone who is interested.

Happy blogging!

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16 thoughts on “Networking Note: Twitter’s good for now. Time to fix the Facebook. With Wankery.

  1. I’ll be at 2500 followers by the end of the day, probably, and it took me a year– I had 24 in January, before I really started using Twitter for anything. Then again, I haven’t been pushing it as hard as you have. You’re right that when you shove Twitter you can get results pretty quickly; using Justunfollow has been bringing me better people, too, since I can pirate followers from other bloggers and through keyword searches. It really surprises me how much functionality the Twitter people are willing to leave on the table in their app.

    Liked by 2 people

    • …actually, saying it took a year is probably misrepresenting it– I started using Twitter regularly this year, had almost 300 followers at the end of June, and have added the rest since then. So about 2200 in five months.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I am surprised about Twitter’s lack of functionality, too. I don’t use JustUnfollow that much. I started out following from lists people added me to and by following people who follow Diana and Monday Blogs. Once I got to the point where I was just following people I’d already followed once, I started using “who to follow,” which is squirrelly and full of celebrities, but the #SundayBlogShare madness forced it to find me a lot of bloggers this weekend.

      I’ve been pushing so hard because I’m ready for it to be done with the managed growth and have it on a stable trajectory to just pick up followers when I tweet. I need that capacity for other things.

      On your second comment: Sounds like you got off to a better start, and that growth is not bad at all. I actually set up the account in November, but didn’t do anything there but publicize links until January.

      Like

    • Also, re: shoving Twitter. It accelerates the larger you get, because the cap gives you more capacity. I can follow somewhere in the neighborhood of 5500 accounts right now. If unfollow all my unfollwers, I’ll probably only be following about 4500 people, at best. That’s a lot of capacity right there. The bottleneck is in the following/unfollower management.

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        • Twitter won’t publish the formula for fear people will exploit even more than they already do. I’ve read and been told repeatedly that it’s about 10 percent of your followers, and I hit a technical limit when I was well over 2000. It was an odd number, but close enough for 10 percent to be a good rule of thumb.

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        • And don’t fear the caps, because it is easy to unfollow 200 unfollowers for you now that you are at 2500. But if you do massive follows, leave yourself a little room to maneuver so you can follow people back.

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    • If you’re at 1000 in that length of time, you’re off to a much better start than I got off to. The key to it is in the following and unfollowing, but you have to be careful with small accounts because Twitter’s spam algorithms punish small accounts for follower churn as a way of keeping spammers from getting big. I’ll stop by sometime!

      Liked by 1 person

    • One more thing. Didn’t think of this earlier.I documented my growth up to 2000 and tried to do it in a way that might be helpful for others. This is a link to an index page to posts I published at my other blog about it, and it includes a few links to articles that I found helpful. It’s 10,000 or more words, not written as an expert, but as a person learning on the fly. Some of it’s probably more basic than you need, but some of it might be profitable.

      http://sourcererblog.wordpress.com/plans/twitter-for-beginners/

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m just waiting until I hit a thousand twitter followers, but for no reason other than to say I have a thousand. I love your strategy behind everything!

    Liked by 2 people

    • The strategy is really all I’ve got, if we want to break out. I’m a fine writer and have a good eye for the visual stuff, but I’m just not that entertaining.

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  4. 2200 followers in two months…. wow’s and I was so happy by doubling my growth in one month but that was like only 100 followers! will you do a post on how exactly you did it? tools you used ect, ect, I could really use the tips and help.

    Like

    • I’ll tell you, it was hard to get to this point. I remember several milestones that made me positively high. 100 follwers in a month was one of them. The first time I picked up 25 followers in a day, I went out for a drink.

      I documented my trial and error process of getting up to 2000 here. This is several posts, and it’s many thousand words. I did it because I thought it might help someone else. And because Twitter was consuming so much of my time back in the spring and early summer, it was all I had to blog about if I wanted to post.

      http://sourcererblog.wordpress.com/plans/twitter-for-beginners/

      The short answer is that if you want to grow fast, you have to follow TONS of accounts, then use apps like ManageFlitter (which I prefer) and JustUnfollow(which I use sometimes) to unfollow accounts that aren’t following you back.

      Twitter is my favorite social media after blogs, and I love to talk about it, so happy to discuss it any time.

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