It’s always a smart idea to experiment with your social media efforts. Sometimes, changing a small thing from the way you have always done it can open up your business to new opportunities. I recently changed the Twitter follow policy for the Social Media DIY Workshop, and found surprising results.
- Before You Start: You have a business Twitter account.
- Learning level: 3 | Building Skills
- Article Last Updated: Thursday, April 4, 2013
In the midst of everything else going on this week at the Social Media DIY Workshop, I tinkered around with my Twitter follow policy. And the results have stunned and surprised me.
My Previous Twitter Follow Policy
In the past, I’ve been pretty conservative about my follow policy. I’ve kept my following count low because I wanted to know these people personally. I wanted time to get to know their personality and a bit about their lives. I wanted to really know and engage my online community.
It was always tough when I would find people started following me who were real gems, people I wanted to add into my community, but I felt stretched to the limit with my current community size. To keep the purity of the signal, I felt I had to shut out a lot of voices so it didn’t get too noisy.
My New Twitter Follow Policy
Quite a few things were going on in my office the last few months, and my Twitter use temporarily shifted. As a result, I found myself a little more adventurous than usual. I thought I might try something radical for a time. I decided that I would follow back almost everyone who followed me and just see what happened.
It’s only been a few days, but my follower number has climbed rapidly each day. I’m stunned to see such a dramatic change in just a few days. But I’m also wondering if I’ve made a decision that is going to make it impossible for me to feel the same sort of cozy familiarity with my Twitter community. It feels like something is lost along with this follower gain.
What I’ve Learned (So Far)
One thing I realized today is that the shift from knowing everyone to embracing relative strangers is a normal part of the business growth process. Haven’t you seen this yourself? You start out with a handful of customers who become almost business friends. And as your business grows, that small, tight-knit community feeling gets diluted by the larger and larger number of people who become customers. Yes, something is lost along the way, but it’s along the way to realizing your dreams of running a larger business. And more people get to be part of the fun.
Social media can be a great barometer of your business growth and give you a very visceral sense of intangibles along the way. I’m still the same businesswoman I was with the other Twitter following policy. I’ve just opened myself and my business up to more people along the path of my business goals. And that’s a good thing.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your social media. A great new opportunity may lie just ahead of you, just around the corner from that thing you are doing the way you have always done it. Stretch yourself just a little bit. You might be thrilled with the results.
Your turn: What is your Twitter follow policy? Have you ever changed it? Have you ever considered changing it? Share your experience with the community.
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