Having almost 15,000 Twitter followers is great sometimes. I get an enormous amount of exposure every time I write a blog post and so does anyone I retweet and that has come mostly from growing my Twitter contacts.
I started collecting Twitter followers en-masse a couple of years ago as an experiment to try to prove that having lots of followers was meaningless and had no value. It didn’t take me long to realise that I was wrong. Or was I? Maybe it wasn’t the number that was important after all. Perhaps it was the growth.
These days I gain followers at a rate of about 20 per day, this obviously fluctuates in line with how active I am on Twitter. A lot of it is bot traffic which I do my best to cull from time to time but not unlike Pokemon, it’s hard to catch ‘em all. I also auto follow back because people like to be followed back when they follow someone… unfortunately, so do bots.
The question I’m asking myself is: Is the value of this large follower base proportional to the effort I put into it’s continual growth? At the moment, I don’t believe it is. This brings me on to my next experiment…
The new experiment
What I plan to do is set up a new Twitter account and start again. I will follow everyone that I already interact with regularly and hopefully they will follow me back.
I will not auto follow back on the new account. I will be much more selfish and will only follow those that interact with me or those accounts that I find particularly interesting or care about for some other reason.
I will do some username shuffling so that my new account has my old username. This way I won’t kill my “personal brand” in the process.
What am I trying to find out?
As with all good experiments, this is not real science. I’m not going to end up with some amazing piece of objective analysis. Let me try explaining it:
I plan to find out whether the value I get from Twitter is from what I consider to be my “real” contacts or from the vast masses of near anonymous hangers on.
When I’ve built the account up to “normal” status, if I tweet a blog post and it gets less than 100 hits within a couple of minutes of posting I will have some idea.
Back to the original question
Should I do it or shouldn’t I?
I’m still undecided. There is a possiblilty that I might end up losing “real” contacts or even lose some of the influence that I’ve built up. I may be completely wrong about the whole thing. It has been known to happen.
I’d be interested to hear your views on the matter before I take the plunge and kiss my Klout score goodbye.
I went and did it! Read the next three blog posts in this series:
- Social media suicide – @LStacey is dead, long live @LStacey
- Social media suicide – and what about influence?
- Social media suicide – the conclusion
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