Three weeks ago I deleted my first twitter account @edragonu. At that time I had more than 1000 followers and I followed around 800 people. After a few days of silence, I decided to restart my twitter experience, on another account, @dragosroua, which happens to be me real name. I restored the first account but let my followers know that I’m on a new account and invited them to follow me there. During that silence period I learned a lot about how Twitter works and about myself. Here’s what happened.
Real Followers On Twitter
After I announced that I switched accounts, I experienced a flood of new followers on the new account. Those were the real followers, the ones who were listening and had a real interest in follow me. In 2-3 days I went from 0 to 100 followers. And then it slowly started to stop. I have around 1-2 new followers per day right now.
As you can see, the “core” of the followers was less than 10% of my actual numbers. Out of 1000 listed followers, only 100 were actually listening to my tweets and were interested in following me. It’s a little bit sad. And also unexpected. I was convinced that my followers are interested in what I write. At least, I was interested in what people I followed wrote.
Fewer Followers, Better Experience
The feeling I had in the first few days of having only meaningful followers were terrific. And I still experience the same feelings now. I feel relieved, authentic, useful and true. No more dumb numbers chasing, no more empty performance metrics, just authentic interaction.
I used to spend around 2-3 hours each day only in reading my timeline. I had to find ways to filter the content and cut down the noise. Somehow I took for granted that “noise” is something that Twitter has by default and I have to get over it. After I started the new account it was like the noise never existed.
Twitter doesn’t have any associated noise, it’s you who create the noise, by succumbing to the numbers game.
Twitter Numbers Game
One of the worst thing you can do on Twitter is to play the numbers game. Which comes down to accumulate as many followers as you can in the shortest possible timeframe. We still function sometimes on a performance based behavior and tend to define our worth by some external circumstances. Twitter can be a huge deception because it fools your subconscious mind to think that the many followers you have, the many people will actually care about you, or even love you. And that would give you some inner comfort sense.
As my experience shows, this is not even remotely true. If you hunt for numbers, you will get numbers in return, not authentic interaction, not real value, just empty numbers. And that will make your frustration rise in spiral. You will start thinking that you feel like this because you don’t have enough followers, even if you already have more than you can physically handle. And then you’ll start hunting for more, looking for tools to assist you in the process, analyzing more metrics and prepare yourself for an even bigger frustration session.
The Twitter Numbers Game is no joke, is something very serious and with serious consequences. It creates a mindset of “brute force” over a much normal mindset of “nice approach”. You can get a lot of followers and I’m sure those tools can fill your follower box with thousands and thousands of Twitter id’s. But then, what? What’s the purpose of gaining so many followers?
The “nice approach” is different than the numbers game. It states that you can use Twitter in order to share, get informed and find like-minded people. It’s the fulfilling path.
Getting Satisfaction On Twitter
If you get rid of the numbers game you’ll find that Twitter can be very rewarding. If you know that you’re audience (of 30 people, or 300 people, 3000 people) is an authentic audience, you’ll find much easier to interact and create value.
First and foremost, you can get satisfaction on Twitter by sharing. You can share thoughts, quotes, links, own blog posts. You know you’re followers are reading and they are interested in that. You talk with people, not with walls.
Second, you get satisfaction by being authentic. If you’re sad and need to express that, try to do it on Twitter. If you have followers, not numbers, you’ll raise compassion. And I mean real compassion. I know it works like this. If you’re happy, be authentic and share it. Chances are that you will make somebody else happy too. As long as it’s about a human being, of course.
And third, you get satisfaction by allowing yourself not to be a Twitter superstar. In fact, by not being a superstar at all, but being yourself. Superstars can look interesting, they’re having a shiny lifestyle, but a shiny lifestyle doesn’t always guarantee happiness. On the other hand, authenticity, honesty and compassion are good foundation stones for your happiness.
If you’re already a celebrity (a blogging superstar, a web 2.0 person, a movie star or a political person) Twitter will confirm that instantly for you. But if you want to use Twitter to become a celebrity, I’m not sure you’re going to succeed. At least, not that fast. You have to prove that you’re valuable enough and you have to do that by sharing your value and becoming useful. And that takes time, in whatever world are you playing.
Twitter is a terrific amplifier. It’s one of the most interesting phenomenon on the Internet. But it does not have a consciousness of itself. It’s not self-aware. It amplifies what you give to it. If you give to it greed and shallowness it will amplify that and send it back to you in one form of another. If you give to it true value and the will to share, it will multiply that and send it back to you in one form of another.