The Lazy Way to 100,000 Twitter Followers Part 5


    Hello, and thank you for stopping back! When we last talked, I was stuck in Twitter purgatory unable to follow anyone else until I managed to balance my account. Today I'm going to share with all you good people on how to shrug off those nasty Twitter algorithms and get back into the race.


    This is a huge roadblock for lots of folk. Twitter in all its cleverness and good sense has instituted this rule seemingly in order to keep losers like us from following 800,000 people without having any followers ourselves. Note: The reverse does not apply. You may have 10,000,000 followers and follow no one in return and you're all good. Make sense? No, I thought not, but that is the way it is. Thank Lady Gaga and Snoop Dogg for that anomaly.

    Anyway, where was I? Oh... the 2000 follow limit... yes. Okay, what is the 2000 follow limit, Dan, and how do I get past it? When a person hits the 2000 follow limit, they run smack dab into the Twitter percentage algorithm. Basically, what that means is that you are now restricted (or is it constricted?) to a 10% follow rule.


    What that means is if you follow 2000 people you must maintain a balance of within 10% (or 200 for the mathematically challenged) of those people following you back. Otherwise, you will not be able to follow anyone else until you rectify this unbalanced following/follower percentage.


    For example, let's say you're following 2000 people but you only have 1800 followers, or infinitely worse, even fewer than that. This means you're at your 10% follow limit and you will not be allowed to follow anyone else until either A) you garner more followers, or B) you unfollow some of the low down dirty skunks that are not following you back.


    I prefer solution B. It is proactive. I am not one to sit and wait for something to happen. I prefer making it happen. Now, I have a hard and fast rule... I never follow anyone that is too important to follow me back. It took me some time to formulate that rule but once I did it made Twitter magnificently easier for me.


    We all have our heroes, people we grew up watching on the movie screen and reading about in the newspaper. I am no different. That's why when I first started my Twitter account I was thrilled to be able to follow people like that. It made me feel special, like I was connected to them somehow. And I was.


    The thing is, that connection only works one way. None of those people ever followed me back and their presence in my Twitter account caused my followers/following balance to be all out of whack. When I finally decided to rid myself of all those people who were too important to follow me back, my Twitter followers exploded.


    Now, that doesn’t mean you can't follow your heroes. If you want to follow Johnny Depp and Nicolas Cage and Jack Nicholson, great! Be aware that unless you are a Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, or Jack Nicholson type, they will not be following you back, at least not in this lifetime.


    So what do you do if you really just have to follow the Beib or Angelina and Brad? Simple... set up a separate account for that crap. Multiple accounts are totally allowed under Twitter rules as long as you are not using them to spam anyone or to pretend you're someone you're not. Hell, set up an account for all of your favorite Hollywood bums that refuse to follow back. Nothing wrong with that other than it is a great time waster.


    Okay, so let's say you agree with me... solution B is the way to go. How do we discover the scumbuckets that refuse to follow us back for whatever reason? Well, I tried discovering those lickers by clicking upon each name and seeing if they were following me back. It became a great game, winnowing out those shysters, those bloodless ghouls who were living off the goodwill of others by stocking their followings and never reciprocating by following back. I began thinking of them as vampires and worse, morons.


    As the days progressed, however, and the more people I unfollowed, the harder it became to find those pesky non-followers gumming up my Twitter paradise. I prayed for things to be easier. I got right down on my knees and beseeched the Twitter gods for a solution. It was not forthcoming. Twitter is extremely recalcitrant when it comes to revealing its mysteries to us peons. It was then that I cursed my lord Twitter for not hearing my pleas to help me find my non-followers but it did no good... deaf ears, and all that, don't you know.


    I was stopped cold. Every day I would click on this name and that name trying to find a few people who weren't following me so I could unfollow them and follow someone more deserving, someone that might follow me back, someone good looking and smart like me. But soon all my efforts proved useless. All I was doing was burning up time, precious time that could be spent writing.


    That's the thing... Twitter can be a great tool for marketing your business but if you're not careful you begin to spend time there fooling around that would be better utilized doing what you are meant to do... writing, painting, selling real estate, peddling cars, what have you. There is a fine line between maintaining your Twitter account and going overboard with it.


    Any type of social media can rob you blind of the one thing no one has enough of: time... so do you want my advice? Of course you do. Pick one account and focus upon it, unless you're one of those lucky folk who have nothing but time on their hands. Lots of other artists that I know end up trying to juggle accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and all other manner of social media that they hope will help them sell their wares.


    Stop it, all of you! In my limited experience, Twitter is the best tool to focus your time on. Myself, I spend no more than an hour a day maintaining my Twitter account... tweeting my books, retweeting other artists, following and unfollowing, as well as a limited amount of discussions that pique my interest usually with cute girls... or beautiful women in my case.


    Discussions... be careful about having discussions. They are another great way to waste time. Pretty soon everyone and their mamma will be chatting with you about everything except why you are on Twitter in the first place. There are lots of lonely hearts out there. Bless them, but don’t make it a habit of engaging them in silly talk.


    On the other hand, it doesn’t hurt to be nice. If someone thanks you personally for following them or for retweeting them, answer them back personally too. How do I know if they are thanking me personally? Dan. That's my name and when someone says thank you Dan I know they are thanking me personally. Make it a point to thank them too, by name, of course.


    Lots of people make a practice out of copy and pasting their thank yous and then patting themselves on the back about how magnanimous they are. You'll see it. If they don't mention me by name the odds are it is a generic thank you. I might favorite the tweet but I am not going to waste time by replying to them personally. Why should I? They can't take five seconds to thank me personally? Hey, I have well over 150,000 followers and I have the time.


    Now, when someone writes to me about one of my books, I am all over it. Those are the people I want to engage. Be especially aware of people who are interested in your tweets. They may not buy what you're selling now, but it will please them to know you value their interest enough to reply to them personally. They may very well tell others about their experience and those people might tell other people and... well, you know where I'm going.


    Facebook? Eh. It's fine for keeping in touch with friends and family but otherwise I'm not convinced the time it would take to grow my Facebook account too would be all that worthwhile. Again, perhaps you're in a different situation. We all have to take stock of our life, of the time we can devote to writing and to marketing, and make the best use of it possible. For me, it's Twitter.


    Maybe you like Facebook or Pinterest better. No big deal... we're all different. I'm not into those but lots of people are. But please, pick one account and focus on it. That doesn’t mean you can't have all the accounts you want... just don't try and use them all to promote your business. If you do, soon you will not have any business to promote.


    Anyway, I was stuck at following 2000 people and unable to follow anyone else. I went along for better than a month trying to break through the 2000 following wall. It seemed that about the time I discovered those people who weren’t following me and unfollowed them in return, two dozen more would pop up overnight. It was a never ending Twitter battle that began to baffle my brains and muddle my mind.


    So, I finally did what I always do when confronted with a seemingly insoluble problem... I Googled it. Sure enough, the answers were there... they had always been there... lurking right in plain sight. I was just too stupid and stubborn to see them. Suddenly, the clouds parted and sunshine streamed down upon me, lighting my way and leading me to the valley of Twitter plenty.


    It turned out there were several Twitter apps for just the problem I was facing, and what's more, they were free! Wow! I like free (almost as much as I like pornography)! I soon discovered, however, that it was all a carefully constructed lie, a façade, a scam to first get me hooked and then to slowly reel me in. I was limited to how many people I could unfollow. Though I managed to rid myself of a few more each day and eventually bring my Twitter back into balance, it was slow going...


    (to be continued...)

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