Twits plus 243.

It’s Twitter count time!

August 8, 2015: I began with 426 Twitter followers. I did nothing out of the ordinary, just happily tweeted away per the usual routine.

If you have read my earlier posts, you know that this number represents my total lack of effort at actually forming a Twitter “presence” – no effort, chemicals or preservatives added.

March 4, 2016: my follower count increased to 503.

As of March 30, 2016, I now have 669 followers (a HUGE increase from past results). In 26 days, I gained 166 Followers. That makes a total of 243 new Followers since I made this darn bet, in case anyone is counting – which I AM.

This was taking too long. I decided to stir things up a bit. It was time to research and test out some Twitter strategies and see if they make a difference. (Answer: they do.) And I promised to share my results with you 🙂 So, here goes nothing.

Strategy #1. Follow Your Followers.

Do people really care if you follow back? To find out, I followed each and every follower I had on Twitter. I also did some research, as was required along the way. (I’ve learned a lot on this little adventure!)

This is what you need to know:

1. There is a follow limit on Twitter. And yes, they have an algorithm.

Twitter doesn’t cap the number of followers you can have. However, they do monitor how aggressively users follow other users.  If you don’t follow or unfollow hundreds of users in a single day, and you aren’t using automated methods of following users, you should be fine.

Twitter does limit the number of people you can follow. Every user can follow 5000 people total. Once you’ve followed 5000 users, the number of additional users you can follow and that is based on your TFF ratio. What is your TFF Ratio? It stands for Twitter Follower–Friend Ratio.

Your TFF Ratio is the ratio the number of followers to the number of people followed by a particular account. To figure out a Twitter account’s TFF Ratio all you have to do is divide the number of followers you have by the number you are following. Try for a ratio of 1 or higher. #themoreyouknow

2. Your feed can get cluttered real quick.

Reading through a cluttered time line is like sifting through a mountain of garbage while looking for treasure (it can be a real waste).

There is a reason that Twitter allows people to opt-in or -out of receiving a person’s updates. Because following everyone leads to a feed full of tweets that are not relevant to you. Just because someone finds your tweets interesting does not mean that you feel the same about theirs.

Result: I started skimming through my feed instead of reading to avoid all of the junk tweets. Frankly, you will stop reading your feed if you follow every follower.

3. Following and DM’ing can be automated.

Social media tools are everywhere, so use them to your advantage.  I focused on Crowdrise.  With Crowdrise, you can manage and track your followers (including who unfollowed you). You can also automate your Twitter account to auto-respond to new followers via direct message.

Recommendation: Try not to automate your DM’s to your new followers. At first, I thought it was really cool! Then I realized (after there were no replies to my auto DM and my inbox was clogged with messages to each follower) – it’s annoying!

And that brings me to the Breakdown:

Good idea: Following your followers.  Bad idea: Following ALL of your followers.

The downside of following everyone was that my feed got clogged. I learned that auto-DM’s miss the mark. The upside was that only a few people I followed decided to leave me, and I learned some new Twitter trivia (TFF ratios, anyone?).

I’m excited to be moving on to Strategy #2: Using an Account Manager. I decided to use Buffer, if you want to tag along with me.  You can either email me directly or tell everyone about your experience in the Comments!

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