The New Twitter Reality

I guess my posts get way off track from the issue of writing.  In today’s climate of Self Published Indie Writers, marketing is as big a chore as writing.  Besides, who wants to read another diatribe on the virtues / failings of the adverb or some other dry technobabble about grammar or whatever?  If you can write, write.  If not, my advise isn’t going to be of much help.
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So the new Twitter reality.  Since Twitter implemented changes to their follow / unfollow policy and castrated the big third party support sites such as Tweepi, I have seen a big change in the landscape.  Take into consideration that I am just an average Joe that wakes up every morning, makes a coffee and sits at his computer for an hour working on building his following.  I don’t know if that makes me an expert but after six months of working it, one begins to see patterns and recognize DRASTIC changes.

My observations.
There are active accounts that I often follow with Tweepi.  These are accounts in my Niche that have a lot of new followers every day.  Followers that tweet regularly.  Well, these active accounts have taken a big hit.  Where they used to have page after page of new followers every day, they now have a few pages of new followers every week.

I am building at 25% of what I was doing before the change.  Previously you could use Tweepi to follow 500 people per day.  You could unfollow 200.  I also used Unfollowers to unfollow another 100.  And I would get aproximately 100 new followers per day.  These days the limits are much less.
200 follows permitted.
100 unfollows permitted.
Still able to unfollow 100 with Unfollowers.
Average of 25 new followers per day.

So this whole new landscape has made me rethink my strategy.  Obviously my first and principal goal is to get in touch with people that might take an interest in my books.  For this I have two accounts.
@dbwriterteacher for my fiction / non-fiction books about dogs.
@inglesalP3 for my tutorial for teaching English to Spanish speakers.

The former account is the one I put the most time into promoting.
So where was I making my mistake?  I was looking for very active people with large followings.  This is nice if you can entice people to retweet your tweets and is still a goal but that has taken a back seat for the moment.

If you are able to identify you niche on twitter and follow the right people, or at least people within a similar area, you are on the right track.
(obviously there are many, many people that follow anyone within any niche with the hope of upping their numbers and looking popular … let’s call them slugs for lack of a better name)

Once you identify your niche and find a user account from which you can harvest followers via tweepi, it’s important to look at all of a user’s info before following them.  Hell, if the number of followers is limited, it makes sense to follow selectively so you will get the greatest return, ie number or people who will follow you back.
So the info is … User, Location, Last Tweeted, Follow Count & Follow Ratio.
There can be certain reasons within all of these concepts why you may or may not want to follow a user.  People from my hometown get followed almost automatically.  Most people who have tweeted in the last few hours get a serious consideration.  I say people because I generally skip companies and organizations since they are not likely to buy books.

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(this screen shot is out-dated but it gives you an idea of what to look for with tweepi)

The principal New element that I am taking into consideration is the Follow Count vs.  the Follow ratio.  For this I have looked at highly successful accounts.  Not just accounts with big numbers but official accounts of highly successful people.

Cesar Milan, better known as the Dog Whisperer @cesarmillan
J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series @jk_rowling
What I notice is that the LEADERS (such as the previously mentioned SUPER successful celebrities) aren’t attracting people with big numbers. They are attracting followers.  (I found this suprising since Mr. Milan preaches the ‘Be the Leader’ message)

There are a number of ways to figure out if a person trying to carve out a twitter empire or are they just using Twitter to keep up on products, news and gossip.
Between their Follow Count and their Follow ratio you can learn a lot about a person.  (Again, I reserve my time for people who tweet regularly … those Unknown / Never Tweeted accounts are a waste of time)
The bottom line is that a person who tweets often, has a limited number of followers and a very low Follow ratio is the best bet for a followback and also has a greater chance of becoming a paying customer.

They are following more people than follow them.  The chances that they will follow back is much greater.
follow_back_by_ink5000-d4dloj0

The overall reality is that a LEADER wants more followers than people he is following.  This is why I often take a  break from following new accounts to PURGE my account of people that don’t follow back.  Yes, I could have a 100% Followback policy and it would increase my numbers, but then I would have too many accounts that are not related to my niche.

So there is my new following plan.  Obviously, anyone can use this info or advice … it is not relative exclusively to Indie Authors.

Good luck with building that Twitter Following.

David Gordon Burke
Find my books here.  

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