A basic misconception about Twitter

My experience with Twitter started in the wrong way: I created an account and followed a few celebrities, big names like CNN and some well known bloggers and… nothing happened so I left the account unattended for nearly a year assuming Twitter was not for me…

Then I read a number of articles and blog posts about what a powerful tool Twitter is and, intrigued, I decided to give it another go, looking for the right way to use this apparently amazing tool.  I am now I happy user of Twitter and it is brining me a good percentage of the total traffic for my blogs: this is all due to understanding my misconception: out there are many people looking forward to connecting with you.  These are those people that tend to have the number of people they are following very similar to the number of their followers.

People that are somehow important or famous in their own field naturally attract many followers: if you follow them it is likely they won’t follow you back.  One of (if not) the top UK twitterer is Stephen Fry with (as I am writing this) 1,247,743 followers and following 54210.  As famous people are on Twitter to market and communicate about themselves or their business and they are already  famous they don’t need to follow many people to have followers.

On the other hand if you are kind of normal person it is unlikely that at the beginning many people will naturally follow you: this is true as long as your number of follower is very small.  In my experience this all changed when I started, systematically, following people in my field and fields I was interested in.  These twitterers had a fairly high number of followers, in the thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, and they were following a similar number of people.  This started a great mechanism that added many followers to my main account @maxgaet that I use for business and personal blog: I am on the verge of 600 followers and growing at 15-20 per day.

To test this theory I just described I created, about a month ago, another account @carismauk that I use for my martial arts blogging: in a very short time, starting completely from scratch, I passed today 130 followers that is a good place to be.

So my basic misconception was that somebody with many followers will not follow somebody with very few: that is absolutely not true and if you follow them it is likely they will follow you back, attracting others and helping you to grow your followers.  Be nice to your followers and thank individually with a direct message every new follower and you’ll see your membership growing!

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