January 25, 2013

From 0 to 5,000 Twitter Followers – What I’ve Learned

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Written by: Ross Quintana
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0 to 5000 Twitter Followers - Social Magnets











It’s been about a year! My brother reminded me the other day that it had been a year since I really decided to go after social media and that I had 300 followers a year ago. I finally hit 5,000+ this week. Like most social media geeks I kept telling my wife about it, who was supportive, but probably didn’t care as much as I did. For me it isn’t about the number, I’m sure people could buy that many fake followers in an afternoon. For me it is about the time and energy I have poured into the platform and the great people who I network with every day. So after my little 5k dance, let’s get down to the nitty and the gritty of what I learned along the way. We’ll talk about the tips, tools, surprises, and peeps that have made this an awesome journey.

Tips – (1)Follow Quality. What I mean by that is that you may follow a lot of people, but the quality people are the ones who engage with you and also who have quality content. They will make themselves known after a little while.  (2) Don’t spam. Yes it is easy to follow self interest but you must refrain. Social media is like approaching a dog you don’t know, if you are trying to “get them”, they won’t come near you. (3)Reply. If someone in the universe sends a signal to your planet (says something to you, RT’s or mentions you), you better make a sound back at them. There are millions of other people they can shout out to. (4) Thanks. That’s right politeness and gratitude goes a long way in making and growing relationships, say it with me now…Thank You (and their name).

Tools – (1) Hootsuite. Yes it is great and for whatever reason I just love using it more than the other dashboards. I set up my “mentions” column first, then “inner circle”, then “retweeted me”, then “home feed”. This order shows the value I place on them and I interact most from left to right. I will write a post on exactly how I use Hootsuite to manage my Twitter accounts. (2) ManageFlitter. Yep this tool lets me analyze my followers in many ways, the main thing I use it for is to unfollow people who are either not following me back, or are not active on Twitter. Great tool. (3) Tweepi. Love this one, it lets you set up columns with different criteria. The greatest part is obscure, it is that I can rank people by how many replies they do. This is for people I’m not following yet so I can look at other people’s followers and see who is most engaging. Shhh great secret. See, I may not have 50,000 followers, but I build my network with quality in mind and the reach and engagement of my network is huge.

Surprises(1) Reciprocity. I remember @OsakaSaul told me early on, “ignore your home feed.” This seemed counter-intuitive as the home feed is where all the information comes in. He said, the home feed doesn’t matter nearly as much as the mentions tab. I can say he was so right. He may not realize it, but he really set the tone for much of how I think about social media and reciprocity (Thanks Saul!). It is true, the world is full of people who don’t even know you exist or won’t give you the time of day. I engage with those who engage with me. BTW the “not following you back” group are generally the first to go when I am cleaning up my twitter account. If they don’t want to engage, I am not that interested in following them. (2) Accessibility. You can meet and build a relationship with anyone (Best selling author, Twitteratti, etc). You can choose your circle of friends online when you could never recreate that in real world settings. You will be surprised how accessible really cool people are, and you may also be surprised how a few won’t say thank you after you share their content for months (unfollow). Yeah I like to spread the love to those who spread it back. (3) My Twitter Tutorial  is on the front page of Youtube for “Twitter Tutorial” 27k+ views. That was a surprise!

PeepsOK I love them all… But if I go more than a few sentences here you won’t spend the time to read it so I will highlight a few of the many I have great connections with. I already mentioned @OsakaSaul, he defines what “getting it” in social media is about. He knows how it works and I thank him for sharing with me when I was posting random sentences of my own thoughts into outerspace. As he put it, “I will teach you how to suck less ass on Twitter” @Sbhsbh Steve Hughes, you gave me my first tribe in Triberr (shout out to @DinoDogan who rules). and let me start sharing my content and I am forever grateful. @Fondalo Robert Caruso, great guy with excellent content that is real and says it like it is. @NealSchaffer Helpful and engaging early on, I have appreciated our interactions. OK I realize I will have to do a series of posts to recognize all the peeps, a wave of guilt has fallen on me because I can’t fit them all in here.

Twitter is my favorite platform hands down. I love the real time connections, the speed of information, and the real time responses you can get. People have a Twitter persona that you get to know when you are on everyday. I will reach my arms around the 5,000+ people and give them a huge digital hug (hey,who grabbed my butt?). I have learned a ton, and will continue to learn and share with all my peeps and future peeps. Thanks for your support, conversations, content, comments, and your unique awesomeness that is the reason I follow each one of you! I hope you have enjoyed my tweets, friendship, and content. Next stop 10,000 :]

I just want to say thank you to every single person who has followed my to get to my first 5000 followers, so here you go:

P.S. Everyone of my awesome blog readers who leaves a comment will get 5.000 Retweets. Leave your twitter handle in your comment. I know you will comment without reward, but dammit I love you guys.

About the Author

Ross Quintana
Founder of SocialMagnets, I am passionate about social media, influence, innovation, strategy, and marketing. I love to help people learn and understand the digital world. I stretch people's thinking and share my analysis of information, tools, and strategies in social media. Let's connect


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