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owen at owengreaves dot com

The Twitter Effect – 10 Days to a 1000!

I joined Twitter May 21st, 2008, not that long ago but it really doesn’t matter because I only had 6 followers on December 17th, 2008. That’s right; I went from 6 followers to 1,000 in 10 days! You’re probably saying one of two things, so what or how did he do it? Keep in mind, I’m just getting started and I don’t have the following some of these Twit guru’s have because they’ve been around a long time.  This is not the only way to build followers with Twitter, it’s just what I did.

Before I get into it, we should more than anything talk about the why? Why did I sign up in the first place and then why did people start following me, I wasn’t selling anything and I wasn’t dropping pearls of wisdom on anyone, so why? You will read that I was looking to build traffic to my Blog, that’s the main reason I started and because someone got my attention.

THE LIST

Now, I had been reading, testing and playing with all kinds of tools to find a following, my interests so to speak. I’m not saying everyone that I follow and or that follows me has the same interest as me but there is a reason they follow. I follow anyone who is willing to follow me, I hope I am anyway. Why? Because I believe everyone has something to offer, even if it’s a BOT! I’ll deal with the BOT’s later. Along the way there will be a tipping point, a point where my followers will figure out if they are still as interested in what I’m doing or eventually find likeminded people and move on, I’m ok with that. So why, why did I join Twitter? I heard about Twitter while reading a Blog and the owner of the Blog called Twitter his secret weapon. That got my attention and the question came to me again, WHY? As I mentioned I was looking for an easy way to create traffic to my Blog, did I say easy? In the grand scheme of things it is amazingly simple but I had to give it considerable thought and effort.

I searched around and found a number of people had already written about getting more Twitter followers, I found they didn’t go deep enough in my humble opinion. You may feel the same way about this writing on the topic too. I’m not making claims of grandeur; I’m just sharing what I did.

I downloaded one guy’s PDF document on what he did and thought, he is just trying to get followers and not giving much thought into who is following him and what the common denominator might be between him and his followers. Now if you subscribe to Guy Kawasaki’s theory of Twitter followers – Forget the influential’s, I agree to a point, it’s just a numbers game to him. Guy is partly right and so is this young fella in his PDF document, take a read of Guy’s article called How to Use Twitter as a Twool. If you sit long enough and you follow enough people you will get followers for sure, but what do they want and what are they hoping to find in you?

My thinking on the topic is that it may be too time consuming for you; maybe you don’t care or don’t want to streamline who your followers might be or even qualify them. I do, but there is nothing like sheer numbers to guarantee your success if your selling something. I went about my business in building a following in a more methodical way and I asked myself a few questions before I click on the follow button.

1.)    Does this person have something in common with me based on their BIO?
2.)    Does this person look like someone I would want to follow? (look at their picture & tweets)
3.)    How many are they following?
4.)    How many are following them?
5.)    Who is following them? (See #1 & #2)
6.)    When did they last tweet? (Check how active they are)
7.)    What is the common denominator that ties you & their followers together?
8.)    Is their cause related to yours and how?
9.)    Are you interested in that cause?
10.) Is this a potential market?

All those questions are running in my head as I go about finding likeminded followers, did you get that, likeminded is what I was looking for in a follower. It’s the same thing as finding followers interested in your Niche or Market. I didn’t have a set number of people to follow each day nor did I go looking for the ones with largest followers, I just did a lot of reading.

Now, as you are getting people who want to follow you, keep in mind they may not know why they want to, many will never look at you again because they just want to reach 500 or 1,000 or more followers. I have also come to the conclusion; people have a deep need to belong to something so be kind. But if you are in business or are just trying to get started building a following then you must consider the above list of questions in my humble opinion. Just following people blindly without any consideration of who they might be doesn’t accomplish anything of meaning. You’re just collecting followers. I’m not saying forget the influential’s but keep an eye on them, they know something that’s why they’re considered influential 🙂

Once I have given some thought to those questions while deciding if I should click follow I will do the following, if I feel this is a viable market:

–   I will go through the next level under the 1st level followers and find out who is following them and quickly glance at their postings or their Tweets and look for the high numbers and so on.

–   Then spend time researching those top followers. And then do some test marketing.

Yes the process sounds tedious and slow, yes it is time consuming and yes it can seem like it takes forever. Anything worthwhile is never convenient or easy.

What I have discovered is that if you follow many, many will follow you. So the time issue really takes care of itself and eventually you get a reputation as being someone of value and there will be followers. Now the question is, are you reputable, is what you are doing or interested in something others want from you and want to follow? Getting published helps, an interesting Blog too, the list goes on.

There are thousands of articles on finding your passion and how to maybe even find it, but, in the end it comes from you and you will want to pursue it and hopefully monetize it. Without traffic you will not be able to sell anything or build community. You need Traffic and Twitter is just one way to get started and anyone can do it!

There it is that’s what I did to reach 1,000 followers in 10 days. No tricks no games, just hard work. I had the time because it was over the Christmas break and I’m in between gigs. Sorry if you were hoping this was going to be a step 1, 2, 3 type of lesson but that wasn’t my focus at first, I wasn’t looking to write about it. I didn’t decide how many per day I would go through or anything that orderly, I just looked for people that looked like we had the same interests. Around the 600-700 mark I noticed people were coming along for the ride and they had no common ground with me from what I could see, they just rode the wave with me. I stopped actually following people once I hit 1,000 but the next day I went over 1,100, the eleventh day.

My next steps will be determined by the followers really, what they want and what will they consume. I only hope I can be a positive influence and make a difference to those looking for my knowledge and help.

Have fun and enjoy this Social environment called Twitter. I do use TweetDeck as my primary tool and I use the website now and then but that’s it for tools.

I look forward your comments and tweets.


Owen Greaves, EzineArticles.com Basic Author

About Owen Greaves

I'm a Futurist, I write, speak, and teach the open & free business model, the future of business. Create. Differentiate. Deliver.  

10 Comments

  1. Anjuan on December 31, 2008 at 11:05 AM

    I was going to ask you this on Twitter, but it needed more than 140 characters. Also, I felt that I was pestering you too much with my Twitter questions!

    On average, how many follows, followers, and updates did a person need for you to follow? Also, what types of common interests did you seek to find in those you followed? What were the usual attributes of the Twitter users you absolutely would not follow (e.g., I usually don’t follow people who use brand/product/blog names as their Twitter usernames).

    I think your method is a more algorithmic approach to how I naturally chose who to follow on Twitter. Thanks for sharing your results and approach!



  2. Matt Longley on December 31, 2008 at 11:08 AM

    Very interesting thoughts about twitter. I have been a member of twitter for a year and a half and just started using it more this month. I have taken a very similar approach and it seems to be working well. I just wish I had more time… =/



  3. Todd on December 31, 2008 at 11:11 AM

    I like the qualitative approach you laid out. The numbers are important, but it’s more about the quality while you build those numbers. Congrats and thanks for sharing.



  4. […] people will tell how to build a big Twitter network. My new Twitter friend, Owen Greaves, got 1,000 followers in 10 days. He’s now up to 1,400 in 14 […]



  5. admin on January 2, 2009 at 9:17 AM

    I never really tracked updates until well after I got started, being such a newbie I was looking at the BIO, Followers and Following. I learned shortly after that about BOTS, then I started to pay attention to updated tweets not how many.If someone hadn’t updated more than a week I probably wouldn’t follow unless the Tweets were interest related.
    And yes, the BIO played a big role along with thier picture but a lot of times the Tweets were interest related even though they didn’t have a good BIO or no picture.
    I followed only those who had similiar interests or related interests to me, but eventually followers just came that had no relation to my interests. This is where the @GuyKawasaki thoery of sheer numbers kicks in, you really don’t have control over who will follow you.
    As I mentioned before, around the 600 mark that’s when unrelated BIO’s and tweets started to follow, also, the last 400 followers were strictly organic, I stopped pursuing followers after 1,000…it was merely a test and research that I was doing it for anyway.
    Thanks for you comments and talk to you soon,
    Owen @Anjuan



  6. Ken Kaufman on January 2, 2009 at 5:27 PM

    Thank you for this blog. You validated some of the ways I was approaching this and you also gave me a few new insights. I agree, there is just no quick way to go about it.

    Here is a question – do you eventually un-follow those who do not follow you?



  7. admin on January 2, 2009 at 5:35 PM

    Hi Ken, and thank you. I do infact unfollow and I have a criteria for that as well which I was considering writing about but I’m not sure it would be of value to readers.
    Right now, I’m sifting through and looking for BOTS, then some that are just lurking, they may have less than 50 followers and they don’t put any updates. I also look for how active they have been and what they have posted, if there is no activity and the content is questionable I will unfollow.
    Hope that helps?@Ken Kaufman



  8. It’s The Traffic Man! | Owen Greaves on January 9, 2009 at 3:18 PM

    […] I started building my traffic with Twitter over Christmas and found the community an amazing source of information not to mention it’s responsiveness. I was able to test topics, interests in traffic, all kinds of things that lead to traffic to my Blog, it is and was a fun experience and I truly value all those who follow me. That’s a key thing for me, Value those who follow you and those who visit your site regularly. The traffic that comes from Twitter is considerable on a day-to-day basis so twitter is probably the best place to start of you are building organic traffic to your sites. To find out how I build traffic using Twitter read my post called, ” 10 Days to a 1,000 Followers“. […]



  9. Grant on January 24, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Owen, this was an interesting read. I’m curious about whether you’ve done any analysis about how helpful Twitter’s been at bringing you paying customers. Is there a way to quantify the benefits? I find Twitter very enjoyable, and it’s a great connection tool, but I do find it hard to say whether it’s been a real benefit to my business.



    • owegre on January 24, 2011 at 6:17 PM

      Hey Grant,

      That question is asked more than any, I actually teach how to quantify the benfits, and I teach you how to fish in my workshops because I get most of my business through Twitter.

      Owen