Slow But Steady Wins the Social Media Race

10 August 2015

There’s plenty of discussion about how important a strong social media presence is for one’s business, but there seems to be little agreement about how to go about growing one’s social media footprint. I’m suspicious of most advice I read on this topic, so I’ll avoid painting with a broad brush and refrain from making bold claims.

I’ve been running an experiment for the last six months regarding gaining followers on Twitter. There’s little tolerance anywhere in the world for a “slow but steady” approach to anything – much less where social media are concerned – but that’s my experiment. Rather than trying to find the magic bullet that makes quantum leaps in the number of Twitter followers I have (or paying money for someone else’s alleged magic bullet), I’m taking a different approach. Briefly, I’ll describe my approach and my results.

Approach

  1.  I write batches of tweets and keep them in spreadsheet. I add to the batch when random thoughts come my way riding the commuter bus or doing other odd times of day. I have several hundred tweets now in my repertoire.
  2.  I compose my tweets with a formula. The formula is: Main message: 60-90 characters; Shortened url to my business web page: 20 characters; two hashtag keywords.
  3. My main message is a little truism about business, or related to my company.
  4. I use goo.gl to create the short urls and to track those that get clicks. I use a few different short codes that either lead to my book, or my blog, or my general business website.
  5. I experiment with different hashtags to see which ones seem to get responses like retweets or favorites, or just views. I’ve compiled a list of hashtag keywords that seem to get the most attention.
  6. I use a twitter buffer app to schedule a week’s worth of tweets at a time. This takes 60-90 minutes, usually on the weekend.
  7. I’ve fooled around with different frequencies of tweets, from 3 per hour to three per day. Right now, I’m tweeting once every two hours during standard business hours in the US Central time zone.
  8. I rotate through my list of tweets and recycle them, changing hashtags.
  9. When I get a new follower, I follow them back. If they stop following me later, I Unfollow them. If their tweet content is offensive to me, I don’t follow them.

Results

I. Twitter followers

I’ve grown the number of Twitter followers slowly and steadily over the last six months of using this technique. Even when I suspended issuing tweets during a time when changes in my personal warranted it, I did not lose followers.

Here is a graph showing my follower count for the last ninety days:

LMQ Stats

LMQ Stats

 

2. Twitter engagement

Impressions, clicks, and favorites are a trickier thing to improve upon. Still, I’ve seen increases in the number of impressions. The following graphic shows my impressions for a period when I was not tweeting at all, followed by a period when I employed the above-mentioned tactic.

Tweet Impressions

Tweet Impressions

 

Summary

I’m using this tactic to grow my social media presence for two different ventures of mine. The content of each is different, so they are growing at different rates, but they are both growing. I’ll continue this experiment further, and in future blogs will report subsequent results.

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