Although I am a big proponent of gaining Twitter followers naturally, through interaction, without using any tools (read my previous post on gaining Twitter followers for free), lately I feel I’ve stumbled into – how shall I call it – a barrier of sorts.
Up until now I have been heavily using Twitter (as those who follow me clearly know), and I would say gained roughly between 80-100 followers every day I spent on Twitter. Often I would refresh my screen, and within minutes 1 or 2 new followers would appear.
However, this changed once I passed 2,000 followers. I was doing my own thing (if anything, perhaps even used Twitter more heavily), but suddenly I was not gaining more than 25 followers per day. This has been going on for roughly a week. Although I wish I could explain it by the fact there’s a labor day weekend here in the US (and overall, I see a decreased number of visitors in many of my sites), this seems too sharp a transition to be a coincidence.
Perhaps I need to explain again my ’strategy’ (if it can be called one) for gaining followers. I simply talk to people. I RT people. I send articles and links I find interesting. And people follow me. I am not doing the ‘other’ strategy, that is, follow 500 people, and weed out the 2/3 that haven’t followed me back, follow another 500 people, and repeat the process. I know this works, but – well, it just didn’t seem to be necessary. Of course I don’t mean to say I’m not following anyone on my own – that is far from the truth, but that number is pretty small (20 people a day?).
Since I am primarily relying on people following me, which is what I call interaction, and this interaction hasn’t changed, it appears to me that there is another factor involved here.
At the moment I’m not entirely sure what it is. I do have a guess though. I’ve been told by a source I consider reliable that once a user has 2,000 followers, he can only follow 10% of his number of followers per day (if you know for a fact this is incorrect, please let me know). Clearly, this would significantly impact people doing the ‘other’ strategy. However, I’ve never even gone close to this limit. That being said, I would not be surprised if some of the automation tools take this into consideration and bias their auto-follow algorithms towards people with fewer than 2,000 followers since they are more likely to follow back. In other words, if you follow someone with 1,000 followers, he is much more likely to auto-follow you back (because he’s not limited), however, if you follow someone with 2,001 followers, the chances of him following you back drop because he’s subject to the 10% limit.
Does this make sense? I cannot think of any other way to explain it (besides labor day). If this is true then it heavily weakens my theory of interaction being such an important key element of Twitter, but rather reduces it to being a weaker, secondary force that can “push” you to some degree, but by itself, is insufficient. If this is the case, then Twitter should re-engineer some of their algorithms (i.e. I don’t think it makes sense for someone without any tweets and a single follower to follow 1,000 people), as clearly that is not their goal.
If you have any opinion on what I wrote, by all means, please let me know.
p.s. I went through the ‘top Twitterers’ list (or whatever it’s called) in the US and was quite disturbed by the number of people there I believe are bots (or semi-bots – that is, bots that are occasionally controlled by a human). Clearly their strategy is extremely effective. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read my previous post. Just reinforces what I suspected before.
p.p.s. one question I’ve been asked online is “Why do you care about followers?”. Why? Well, it’s nice having a greater audience. More followers means more people noticing my blog. At the moment I would say 90% of the visitors to my blog come through Twitter – and my blog is one of my most popular websites! Therefore, it means more people reading what I write. Means more people responding and interacting with me. Means more friends I get to meet. Maybe if I had one million followers I would say “Jeez, I can’t handle this noise”, but at this point I’m nowhere even close to my limit in handling my list. There are about 40-50 people who I closely monitor, and whenever there’s a moment which these people aren’t writing anything (which is 95% of the time), I simply look into the Twitter Timeline and look for interesting tweets, or do a search for interesting tweets. I think that’s the entire point in being in Twitter.
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