The goal of this post is to explain to you why the standard mass follow/unfollow Twitter network growth technique is becoming less and less relevant with time. And introduce you to an engagement technique that will get people responding back to your interactions, which in turn will help you nurture your leads & turn them into followers that actively engage and respond to your interactions.
Twitter is the best social network for connecting with your target audience by real-time interest. Tweets may not get the massive likes, like Instagram posts do, but that is a good thing for you, the marketer. Why? Because you don’t have much competition. When you like or retweet a tweet, people will notice you within their notifications. You are not competing with all the others like on Instagram to get noticed within your prospects’ notifications. These days, with all the generic autómated activity happening on Twitter, people will appreciate and much more likely respond to your pin point genuine engagement.
The mass follow/unfollow Twitter network growth technique
The most common strategy to connect and grow your target audience on Twitter is known as the mass follow/unfollow technique. When mass following users on Twitter, many people use one of these approaches: follow someone else’s followers, follow the people someone else is following, or use the most common approach, and that is to follow users tweeting in real-time by connecting with them through specific hashtags or keywords.
The basic idea is that you follow people with the hashtags & keywords that define your target audience. You then get a % of follow backs from these follows that you’ve done. You wait 5-7 days for people to follow you back, and after that, you unfollow the accounts that did not follow back, so you can stay within the Twitter follow/following ratios. You repeat this process over and over to keep growing your audience.
There are 2 follow limits:
The 5,000 friends limit. That is, if you have less than 5,000 followers, the maximum you can follow is 5,000 accounts.
The 10% limit†. If you follow over 5,000 users, you’ll be limited to 10% more than the number of people who follow you. For example, if 5,000 people follow you, you can follow a max of 5,500 people; if 10,000 people follow you, you can follow up to 11,000 people, and so on.
The next generic interaction people do with this technique is to send automated direct messages to engage with their new followers and @mention their new followers to welcome them. A few years ago, this strategy worked great, but over time, with so many people using this same generic strategy, the response rates to dm’s and @mentions have drastically declined, and most of these automated dm’s are now seen as spam. Now I’m not saying that automated dm’s do not work, in fact they do but the response rates are getting lower and lower over time.
So, how can you stand out from the typical marketing crowd and get better response and results? By learning the right way to interact & engage with your target audience. The key to standing out from the crowd is to create clever interactions that lead to powerful engagement results.
Strive to create powerful interactions by replying (commenting) on your target audience’s tweets. Always look to help out first and make sure to complement people on the right tweets with the right content. Then aim to ask the right follow up questions that lead to back & forth engagement with your prospects.
Complements and questions are the best way to spark up conversations with strangers you just met on Twitter. The strategy comes down to getting into your new followers’ notifications, so they can start to notice who you are & what you are all about. After you’ve interacted and engaged a few times with your new followers, you can then send them that warm dm that shows them how you and or your services can help them out. Then and only then, one can expect to get much higher response rates, because you’ve done the little things that count and make you stand out from all others using the same generic mass follow/unfollow automated technique approach. This is how you start to strengthen and nurture these newly formed relationships within your Target Network.
There is so much poorly planned, non-strategic automated engagement happening on Twitter that the auto likes accompanied by the auto follows with that auto dm or auto @mentions right after they follow back, are not seen as true genuine Twitter engagement anymore but are now seen as Twitter marketing residue spam. The key with Twitter automation for today’s Social media marketing age is to first time your interactions correctly so you don’t come across like another bot. You want to perform the automated actions in such a way over time where you now can come across being more genuinely humane. Finding the right balance between human and automated engagement interactions is key in today’s social media marketing age.
Having an efficient system and process for creating genuine engagement with the right tweets from the new prospects you are following is essential in today’s fast evolving social media marketing space, which in turn makes you come across being different because you are interacting from the left field instead of the right field like everyone else is doing. That is what makes you stand out from the crowd to gain that initial trust and confidence that will increase the response rates from your new Twitter prospects.
The importance of asking the right follow up Questions
So why is it so important to ask the right follow up questions that lead to back & forth engagement with your prospects? Number one it allows you to keep the thread alive & lets you test the waters with your new prospect by throwing the ball onto their court now after you initially reached out to help them and or complemented them. If they respond to the Tweet, the thread lead you created becomes that more important and the new prospect starts to become warmer. Here is an example of what I mean by finding & engaging with the right tweets from the new people you are following. Notice how I come across being genuine by including their first name on the reply and in the second example see how I’m being helpful to their question or issue they are facing. I don’t mean to blast anyone publicly like this but this thread here is a good example of the engagement technique and approach that will make you stand out and gain the trust of your new prospects.
Of course creating this pin point interaction is much easier said than done. After you follow a few hundred accounts on Twitter, your Home Timeline feels like drinking water from a fire hose. So you must find a way to get to the right tweets from the people you are now following in order to maximize your marketing efforts and save precious valuable time.
You can use Twitter management tools, like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, and create columns to facilitate your interactions with the people you are following. But with the 800 tweet api limitation, you cannot go back more than a couple hours on your home timeline given that you are following a few hundred accounts already. Imagine when you follow 1000’s of accounts while building your following with the mass follow/unfollow technique, your home timeline becomes another worthless feature.
In order to interact with the right tweets from all the new prospects you are now following, you must have a process to filter out the noise from your home timeline to get to the right tweets from the new people you are now following. Creating Twitter lists to manage your potential prospects is a great way to engage with the tweets from all the new people you are following. But the construction & maintenance aspect of lists is a very time consuming & tedious task to accomplish. Also lists do have noise, so you must still find a way to filter out the non relevant tweets from them.
I couldn’t find any apps out there to help me with this Twitter network engagement problem. And if you think about it, maybe this is one of the major reasons why tweets get low engagement, because most people can’t deal with the vast amount of noise from their home timelines and they don’t browse as often and on top of that, they are limited to browsing less than 2 hours of content from the 800 tweet Limitation. ( https://dev.twitter.com/rest/reference/get/statuses/home_timeline ) For a while, I lived on Twitter search to find the right tweets to engage with from the people I follow. But it’s a time consuming task to manage the whole engagement process and follow ups with no boundary to organize and analyze my progress and next moves. This became a frustration of mine so as an entrepreneur, I decided to tackle this problem myself and fix the Twitter Home Timeline limitation and noise chaos once and for all.
The Solution I developed:
The basic idea is to create a process to funnel down your prospects from initially following them, putting them on lists, then separating them into who became your followers, then further segregating them as cold followers, warm followers, and hot followers.
So, how can we funnel all these steps and classify our prospects? The solution to this is a Qweboo hashtag community page. Allowing you to get to the right tweets, from the people I’m now following and at the right times.https://qweboo.com/app/livepages/single/10336/startup/tweets
First step, you define your target audience by connecting to a popular hashtag community and then describing your interest topic or target market by defining all the other terms and phrases that make the topic or market uniquely relevant to you. You then check off, create an automatic Twitter list of the people you follow, tweeting to your tag cloud. You’ll soon see why this step is important to save time later.
The “All People” feed of tweets is people you don’t follow on Twitter, who are tweeting to your Tag cloud in real-time. That’s your top funnel, where you first engage with the tweets and people that match your interests.
After you follow your prospects, then they are now in your following section. The second level of the funnel is the “People You Follow” feed within your hashtag community page. Here, you can interact and engage with the right tweets from the people you are now following. Qweboo solves the 800 tweet api limitation by making offline cron calls to your home timeline every hour, even when you are not logged into Qweboo or Twitter. This way you never miss the important tweets from the people you follow. Now, you can interact and engage with the right tweets from your new prospects within the “people you follow” feed on your page. Creating interactions within this feed allows you to show up in the right prospects notifications, so they can start to take notice of who you are.
As you follow new prospects, Qweboo shows you the list of users tweeting to your tag cloud and puts these users into a specific list associated with your hashtag community page. This way, you have a complete feed to track all the tweets from the most relevant people that match your target audience’s criteria.
Under the people tweeting tab, you can further funnel your prospects to the people you are following and see the ones from this specific list that became your actual followers. You can also unfollow the users who did not follow you back within your allotted time limit.
Finally, the activity tab tracks every interaction and engagement you’ve done on this specific page. So, you can monitor and manage your next engagement move. I suggest you work out your new Twitter growth hack manually, at first, and once you have a good understanding of the process and have your custom interactions down pat, you can then automate the whole process with Qweboo’s approved automated task management. With Qweboo’s automation module, you can further classify your new followers as cold, warm, and hot followers. Qweboo then tracks the followers within your hashtag community you are most engaged with. You can then export your warm and hot leads into your favorite leads management app.