Experiments in Bad Social Media (Part 1)

A while back I read a great booked called “The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users” by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzsimmons. Great book. It pointed out a lot of things I speculated about social media and it told me a lot of new things. So when 2015 hit, I said to myself this is going to be my year and I am going to make great strides on my blog, my books, and my social media presence. You may have said similar. It takes time and patience to do all of that. It seems to also take sleep deprivation.

You may not know this but I am lazy. I try to find the shortest path to any problem. Because of that I am willing to experiment from time to time with radical jumps in logic to see what works and what doesn’t. Social Media has been an ongoing experiment for me. Editor’s Note” By the way, that Wine company still follows me on Twitter as do a lot of the ones who jumped on board because of that Wine festival. 

So recently I was hovering just under 1200 followers on Twitter. I could not seem to break 1200. For every 20 followers on Twitter, 10 will unfollow you. This isn’t an exact science but that seems to be the ratio. This happens mostly because of so many spammy accounts on Twitter.


I use a site called unfollowers.com They have a paid service but I use the free one. I used to be fixated on how many followed or unfollowed me. I learned quickly this is not a good strategy. 

You can't get fixated on who unfollows you. Instead, get fixated on those who do follow you. Click To Tweet

So unfollowers.com shows you how many followers were suspended from Twitter. They made the Twitter Gods mad and were smited by Twitter. But it doesn’t show you their names as well, they are basically just no longer on Twitter. These users usually come from the “$29 dollars and I will give you 5000 followers” type Twitter accounts that pop up all the time. What is often interesting is to see the real people who follow these accounts. It is also strange to see how many real accounts are accounts that are a part of the 5000. Here is a great story about someone who paid $5 on Fiverr.com and what their results were. So today 9 users in the list got suspended. This is how the numbers of followers and unfollowers fluctuate so fast.


But unfollower.com does have some great statistics, such as who are your Zombie followers? Those who followed you and have become inactive on Twitter are Zombies.  I have theorized and even read some articles that elude to the fact that if less people follow you than you follow, some people will not follow you. So I every so often prune those I follow, especially those who followed me but then stopped tweeting. If I had followed them back and they stopped posting, not much use to keep following them. For me the magic number used to be I would follow less than a thousand people. See, I don’t like to follow companies or famous people. Sure this probably means I have less followers but I prefer to follow genuine real people and I try my best to be a genuine person. Also, I don’t follow Egg Heads. You know what I mean. The ones that never load a profile picture. What do they have to hide? If you want genuine followers you have to be genuine yourself and post a real photo of yourself. Only people who have already earned a lot of followers or who are artists or photographers can post a cartoon head from the Simpson’s and still earn new followers.

Here are some tips that I should use to get and keep Twitter followers:

1. Be authentic

2. Post great headlines

3. Engage with your users

4. Tweets with photos get more clicks, more favorites, more everything

5. Post often by using hootsuite or Buffer

I use Hootsuite (the paid version) but 99% of what I want to accomplish I could do with the free version. You should try the free version of either. In the future I think I will try Buffer app. Both schedule your content based when your tweets seem to be read the most.

6. Figure out what your niche is. You can’t focus on great content if you are all over the place. My niche seems to be Computer Security, Cool Technology, WordPress, and the occasional funny Internet post. Look at Twitter Analytics to see what of your Tweets interest others. Buffer and Hootsuite also will show you your trends.

Hootsuite Stats

Here is an actual complete report if you want to see what Hootsuite provides.Ow.ly Click Summary – aroyrichardsonFeb2015

Part 2, I tell you some of the crazy things I have tried and what worked and what didn’t.


Adventures in Twitterville: The Wayfarer Conspiracy

I hate to talk about it really because as I am writing this, the conspiracy is still taking place. I was at 995 followers and stuck there for some reason. The needle kept moving forward and backward, then suddenly I passed 1,000 followers.

But almost as soon as I hit 1,000 I started getting new followers at a very rapid pace. I wondered why. I tried spotting patterns in the users. First it seemed suddenly I was popular with people in Tampa, Florida. Why? I don’t know. Also there was lots of postings for a Wayfarer Wine company. And I was getting lots of followers from a analytics company called Targit. So people who seemed to be affiliated or work for Targit started following me.

Wayfarer Wine

Nearly everyone involved kept retweeting this link and other links about Wine. So I figure I must be in the middle of a ad blitz and their goal is to get as many as possible to retweet pictures of this wine and an event called West of West Wine Festival, which strangely seems to be based out of New York though the Wines featured are based out of California Wine Country.

Then this picture started being retweeted by some of the new people I followed back.


Now I had followed the Host of Ladies Room Live as she started following me, seemed interesting, and I wanted to see what was going on with the Tampa Connection, which I am still puzzling through. I am being followed by a Dentist from Tampa, several people who are connected to Targit (a business analytics company), and others who seem to be caught up in the storm of following. The black screen with green writing gives it a Neo/Matrix feel.  I am going to try and find a free tool that will let me graph the connections and figure out how all of the dots are connected. Additionally I can search on the hashtags and see how many people have used or retweeted this content.

My theory as of 7:30am August 2 is Social Quant uses Targit’s analytics tools to try and spot patterns and make people follow each other. All of the follows from Targit are going along for the ride to see how this all works and are working in the experiment. They are probably all working together to refine a tool they will turn around and sell or already sell to others? The Wine Festival is real and so is the wine and they are what is being hyped by the experiment. So it is all an experiment and as they say, I would like to see how far down the rabbit hole it goes.  I am just a piece in the experiment. And odds are when the experiment is over, I will lose most of my new found followers.

The Festival is this weekend, so the exodus will probably start on Monday.