The other day, I broke up with hundreds of people.
I did it. I bit the bullet. I took that needed step and just did it. I was the one picking up the slack in these one-sided relationships, the one carrying most of the burden and I just couldn't take it any longer. I deserved more, and I knew it. I looked at the list of people, groups, and businesses I was following on Twitter and checked which ones were also following me back. There were over 350 relationships in which I was the one doing all the work! My Twitter life needed to change. NOW!
Image: MKHMarketing via Flickr
I had followed 2,002 people, groups, and businesses for all sorts of reasons.
This is an actual list of how I decided to follow people on Twitter:
- Homeschooling (I never did it but definitely support it as an option)
- Montessori (I never taught in these schools but find them interesting)
- New Bloggers (I am not one of those)
- New Parents (I am not one of those)
- Grandparents (I am not one of those)
- Dog Lovers (I love dogs but do not own one right now)
- Coffee Addicts (Okay, this one is me!)
- People Who Seem Funny (I'm funny, aren't I?)
- People Who Admit They Are Weird (I admire their courage)
- People Who Have Only a Few Followers (If I didn't follow them, who would?)
As embarrassing as this list is, I really made my "Who Should I Follow on Twitter?" decisions based on this hodgepodge of reasons, most of which had nothing to do with my niche of Parenting, Education, Kids and the Business of Blogging. Stupid, stupid, stupid, dumb, dumb, dumb. I was like a kid in a candy store, clicking away at various people to follow on Twitter. In my mind, I was saying, "Ooooh, I'll take that one, and that one, and one of those over there!" Why not follow everyone...?
Not only were these silly ways to make my Twitter decisions, hundreds of these 2002 people, groups, and businesses were not following me back! Wasn't I dear friends with them? I thought we bonded over the fact that we both love dogs and drink coffee.
Thank goodness that Twitter swooped in like a watchful parent and let me know that I could only follow more people, groups, and businesses after more of them followed me first. Once Twitter sent me this message, I had a few choices:
1) I could wait it out until 300+ more people followed me.
2) I could pay money for Twitter ads in hopes that this would increase my followers by 300+ in a timely manner.
3) I could do nothing and complain.
4) I could analyze my Twitter list, get rid of those that didn't follow me back, and start again from there.
I did #3 for a while, considered #1, and was too cheap for #2. That left #4, which is exactly what I did. I went through my list of Twitter followers and anyone who I was following and didn't follow me back was gone! I unfollowed them all! Hundreds of people who blogged about things that interested me, but who were preventing me from following all of the other hundreds of people who did the same thing were systematically unfollowed, one by one.
After I completed this task, I went through the list again to see if I missed any spammers (there were two) and to see if these people, groups, and businesses were truly the ones I wanted to follow. I decided they were not and unfollowed about a hundred more who were following me, but that I no longer wanted to follow. After doing all of this, my list was cut from 2,002 to 1,438; all of whom were also following me. Hooray!
Now I am free to follow whomever I want and make thoughtful decisions as I do so. I mostly choose people who fit my niche and followed me back. Twitter ads are always there for me if I want to do that, and I know they work because I've recently followed some people that way. I also gained about a hundred followers from some changes I made in Facebook groups I joined.
I really hope this information is helpful and keeps other bloggers from making some poor Twitter decisions. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Bonnie L. Frank
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