Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Twits, tweeters, and Twitter

Do you tweet? I do. I signed up for Twitter so I could follow people, or publications, I think are funny or interesting. Or both. Like Caitlin Moran and Rosie Boycott, The Guardian and W Magazine.

Then I got serious. When my entrepreneurial friend and I conceived our fantastic book idea I decided to start using Twitter to build my reach. It is packed to the gills with women called things like @GirlyMomma or @JustaMummy (no, I'm not kidding), promoting their blogs. Why not me, too? That way I have more to offer a publisher - a social media following, and a ready-made marketing platform.

Because our book is pregnancy and baby-related I started to follow all those whimsical mummy tweeters and a bunch of brands like Mothercare and Avent. Oh, and some celebrity mums too. I never imagined I'd be following an ex-Atomic Kitten, but lo, so it came to pass. And some random people Twitter suggested to me, like @Sassafras Mom and @Pasadobledc, whose tweets I always enjoy.

Part of Twitter etiquette requires that mere mortals (as opposed to celebs and brands) follow back. So if I follow @MumsyMumsy she has to follow me back. It's rude not to. Likewise, if @unBEElieveablehealth follow me, I have to follow them back. Despite that I'm really not interested in bee-related health. That's how they come to have 8k followers, I suspect.
By following those who follow me, I ended up following an awful lot of obscure companies like the bee loving health people. Also a bunch of women who blog about parenthood, which is fine by me. But then the list of people I follow grew above 500. And as I only have ~280 followers I think that looks a bit sad.

So the cull began. First I cut people who don't tweet very often and don't follow me. Sayonara, @Kate Moss.

Then the ones I only followed 'cos they followed me. Like Activities Children (which is a stupid name, for starters). Here are four tweets in a row from them from a few days ago.
I think you can guess how the next 20 or so went. You can see why I had to cut Activities Children out. They're still following me but I suspect it won't be for long.

My social media profile will be in tatters soon, and my Twitter stream very tightly focussed indeed. Which is a shame. But given that my grand 280 followers are the result of months of following back randoms, and consistently tweeting witty little tweets, I wonder if I have just reached the limits of my social media potential. I suspect a publisher might want a followers number closer to the 45k enjoyed by @FormulaMom.

I'll have to follow an awful lot of chumps and obscure brands to hit those heights. Time to retreat back into a Twitter cave, I think. Stop following for follows and go back to following those who interest me. More Kardashians, fewer @craftymummies. I won't miss all those craft projects and motivational tweets, that's for sure.

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