Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Socially Approved Stalking: The Ins & Outs of Followers

When Becoming Beauty was picked up by Cedar Fort, the marketing rep contacted and said, “So, I've noticed you only have 17 followers on Twitter...” He then proceeded to pass on some basic tips to increase my following. Now, I'm rolling past 4000 followers and I couldn't be more grateful for his guidance. Mostly, I'm grateful for slow steady growth and the opportunity to meet some amazing people. 
Let's assume you've already set up an attractive, welcoming, and error free blog/website, and profiles on social media sites. Once that's done, how do you get people to visit it? Welcome to my tips on Socially Approved Stalking!

The numbers game: Followers vs Following and choosing active, engaging people
Follow accounts that are about equal in Followers vs Following. Generally, those who follow few and have an overwhelming number of followers aren't interested in helping others. Next, check how regularly they post and what type of content they post. I always do a quick scan to see if they retweet and/or engage with others. If they don't, they won't change their game plan, no matter how amazing, witty, thoughtful, and moving your posts are. Make sense?

How do you discover people to followers? 
Hashtag city, baby! Searching hashtags is a fabulous way to discover like minded individuals. I use the  following hashtags to find new readers and writers to follow, but I discover more all the time:
Searching keywords like writer, author, and indie is another great way to connect with new people. My favorite source for generous followers are the weekly hashtag parties like #MondayBlogs, #ArchiveDay, #wwwblogs, and #SundayBlogShare. Granted, you must participate by posting fresh content regularly on your website/blog, using the hashtag, and sharing others' blog post links. They take time, but hashtag parties provide great exposure.

Personal Preferences
There are some accounts I won't follow. This includes anyone with obscenities in their profile or anyone who claims to be a writer or author but has grammatical or spelling errors in their profile. It's unprofessional and it tells me that your book/website will also be riddled with them. I also avoid anyone selling followers (since they are only interested in interacting with my money) and any account with uninteresting or obnoxious profiles (offensive picture, no picture, no description, or a description that sounds stupid or boring to me). FYI it's okay if you don't follow everyone back, if they like you, they'll stick around and engage with you and show you that they're worth following. I was totally that girl!

How do you keep followers?
I've pulled the Ms. Etiquette card before, but here's the recap: Engage with people! Be genuine and generous. Use your manners. If you can't say it in kindergarten, maybe you shouldn't say it online. And measure twice, cut once from high school wood shop can be reinterpreted as think it through and check it twice before you post. Keep it professional.

Finding unfollowers
I allow people a decent amount of time between following them and unfollowing if they haven't responded (i.e. engaged in the ever so polite Follow Back). Unless someone posts something truly offensive or obnoxious, I don't unfollow them if we're following each other. CrowdFire helps me track unfollowers and nonfollowers on Twitter and Instagram. It's free and just had a massive update so that it now provides even more information for its users. But, if you don't love it, there are plenty of other apps that will give you the same type of information. 

Will people be offended if I unfollow them?
If they're not following you or they post uninteresting or obnoxious things, why should you care? Drop the dead weight! And please, feel free to take whatever action you feel is appropriate (blocking, etc.). I regularly go through my list of followers and weed out the those who unfollow or never followed back. It's how the system works and increases your growth.

Like everything, you get out of it what you put into it. I'm a full time teacher, so I do what I can when I can and it works! For guidelines on following, friending, and trending on Instagram and Facebook, the lovely Raylynn Sleight has agreed to do a sister post. Please feel free to leave me a comment about any tips or big no-nos you've discovered. Thanks for reading!


  1. Fabulous post!!!! Well written. You're definitely the Twitter expert.

    1. Thanks, my friend! I don't know that I'm an expert. I just enjoy it! I think having fun should go hand in hand with getting your message out there.

  2. And so it should. You've added great fun to mine.

  3. Oh, This is good! All the info in one place, well done you :) x

    1. Thanks, Kimmie! It took a lot of work & yes, it's a year in the making. I hope people will use it as a resource.