I used to be AthleticBudget (because AthleticBudgetCoach was too long) but blew up the account late last year. I was new to Twitter, but let’s face it; Twitter is still so new that we are all basically new to it.
I decided I was going to use Twitter for business and Facebook for friends. I have stayed with this and enjoy Facebook with friends old and new as well as my son’s friends who are scattered at college. Although I share plenty of personal stuff about me, Twitter is primarily a way for me to share my expertise about college athletics and athletic business in particular.
In September I went to the dark side of Twitter. I did three things that ruined my account as well as seriously damage my e-mail, filling it with pharmacy spam and more.
- 1. I registered for a webinar on how to rapidly increase your Twitter following.
Actually, I mistakenly registered twice. I know this because when these two very famous social media guys send me emails they send one to Jude and one to Judith. As a result I get not one but two copies of each stupid spam email on how to enhance my non-existent body part as well as those UPS packages I never received.
My bad the first!
- 2. I actually did the rapid follow method.
OK, this is where you follow followers of people you think are your “market” then drop them if they do not follow you within a few days. So I did the 200 a day and dropped every few days. I went from 100 followers to 1,200 followers in about 10 days. Cool? No, not so cool!
I ended up with 100’s of Twitter accounts that were basically robot spammers. They filled my timeline with crap about how to get more followers (that went well the first time!), joining the Trump network (cult like – sorry Trump network) and basically how to make a million bucks in 15 minutes without ever turning on your computer.
My bad the second!
- 3. I relied on a social media program to respond and manage new followers.
This may have been my greatest sin. It certainly does get more time consuming as you gain more followers to personally thank them and interact with them but there is no greater single thing that makes Twitter fun and valuable. When you rely upon a computer program to interact with your followers you become just another spam robot. I just dropped a guy who looked pretty cool when he first followed me because he posted nice quotes. The problem is he never actually Tweets anything live…just those silly quotes. I “un-followed” him with no regret.
My bad the third!
Here is my new approach to building a grass roots following:
- Before I follow anyone I click on their profile and read at least two pages of Tweets. If they Tweet 100’s of times a day I will not follow back. Timeline hogs are not invited to my party.
- I only follow those who look interesting to me (and who will not clutter my timeline as described in #1). Here is a question: if someone gives you something for free that you did not request or desire do you have to keep it? How many plastic cups that say Acme Flange & Widget Company do you need to keep in your cluttered cupboards?
- I always personally thank each follower, whether I follow them or not. I have met some very cool people this way. After a while you can spot a computerized message a mile away. I really enjoy Tweeting back and forth with folks.
Twitter no longer feels like standing on the 50 yard line at Ralph Wilson Stadium and speaking in my inside voice without a microphone hoping just one person will hear me.
Life is good!