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.
- 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 😉 )
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.