Business lessons from twitter un-follow

by Ashvini on January 12, 2012 · 11 comments

in Business,Social Media

Recently I un-followed a large number of people I was following on twitter. When I started this blog, I had  only a faint idea of how blogging and social media worked to my benefit. I always wonder how could I make use of twitter as tool to interact with people and to gain a wider audience.

I went crazy one day and followed a lot of people

I started following a large number of people . A lot of them followed me back. I am not sure , if  it were they or their automated programs who followed me back. Suddenly my timeline went crazy. If I tweeted something, I doubt if anyone was reading it. Heck, I could not even find my own tweet in the stream of so many tweets.

As time passed by, I made a few friends on blogosphere. They tweeted my content and I theirs. It was the start of interaction. I also observed that they were tweeting something that they enjoyed and which was useful. Those messages however too got lost in the sprinting timeline.

I started un-following slowly

I made a mistake when I followed too many people without thinking. I had followed a lot of  people unrelated to my blog topics.  It took me about one month to un-follow all of them. In the end I was left with 56 people , down from 1500 (Oh yeah) .These were the people whom I had been interacting either on through blogging or emails.

What did I gain?

It felt like gaining clarity. I could now see things that my  “actual friends” were talking about. The tweets did not run away before I could read what they were all about . Now twitter made a lot more sense than it did before.

Whom did I lose?

Some of the people I un-followed,  un-followed me too. But fortunately they were not in majority.

What  is the lesson for me?

It is just impossible to interact with thousands  nor it makes sense to follow so many. I can only attend to a select few people whom I can remember. Having lesser people to follow on my list  improved the quality of interaction between us.

Why business perceive social media as a customer gaining tool?

Social media is not about gaining more followers than your competitor. It is not the number of interaction but the quality of interaction that matters. If only a few of people in thousands of your fans care about what you say, it is  time to re-look at your strategy.

Businesses are too busy to answer social messages

I have found that business most of the time do not reply when I tweet about them.  It does not make any sense why they don’t reply. Don’t business need customers who interact with them about their business practices?

What is the use of social media then?

The social media is supposed to be the platform where we interact. Noise is not good for interaction. With limited resources, it is important for you as an entrepreneur to improve quality of interaction rather than the quantity.

If you have followers who care about you or if you follow people who like it when you tweet their stuff, they will anyway take your message to their followers and friends.

About The Author

{ 11 comments }

Dianne Tehama February 2, 2012 at 9:22 am

People now a days depends in Internet and we could not deny that Internet is powerful and one of the reasons why this economy exist. Social media is a way to socialize with other people and most of the time we use it, for our website reputation. Through social media we could start change and learn many things that we could use toward success.

I love your idea about social media. You inspire me a lot on how to build and develop my website popularity. Thank you! for sharing your ideas and keep up the good work.

Aswani January 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Hi Ashvini…Lol, I also had a very similar experience a long back. I think 2 years back when I was quite new to this Twitter. I remember I got over 100 followers in just 2-3 days. I was clueless about the same till I realized my mistake. I had signed up for a service which sent me followers like anything. There was no stopping to the same. I even wrote a post on the same – http://www.aksindiblog.com/2009/05/why-are-they-following-me.html

The post may look funny but it was based on real facts. It took almost two weeks for me to see my followers count decrease and it finally looked normal. Hmm..at present, I am facing a very strange problem. I am unable to follow any more people on Twitter directly. Don’t know why but I found the reason for the same here -https://support.twitter.com/articles/66885-i-can-t-follow-people-follow-limits

I don’t care much how many followers I have on Twitter as it is not going to much difference to me. I appreciate if people are following me but they shouldn’t expect the same behavior from my side. I may follow or unfollow them..depends on what and how I see it all..also, I agree too much of noise makes it more irritating. Keeping it less and limited…works best..!!

Ashvini Kumar Saxena January 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Hey Aswani,

Thanks for confirming that I am not the only crazy person around. Your post is too funny and with Britney following you, I think you are a celebrity LOL ;).
I think we all got a great business lesson in this . That in social interaction quality is more important than quantity. If we talk to relevant people , not only our popularity grows but also our reach and influence.
I enjoyed reading your post and comment :).

The Biz Blogger January 13, 2012 at 4:03 am

Hey Ashvini,

I’ve been through exactly the same. Like you, I see lots of potential in Twitter, but most people (initially including myself) use it the wrong way and follow people who they will never have any sort of relationship with. Social media is all about quality over quantity. I love what you said here “It is not the number of interaction[s] but the quality of interaction that matters.” – That is it. It’s all about building real relationships.

Most businesses are treating it completely wrong, which is such a shame. The science is very simple. Engage with people. Show a genuine interest in them and many of them will show a genuine interest in you. I just wish more people thought the same way as you on this! I don’t follow back most of the people that follow me because they don’t engage and have conversations, they just broadcast their stuff, but no one wants to listen.

Quality always trumps quantity.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena January 16, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Hi Robert,
I think this is becoming the most common theme around this post. We all at first followed a number of people and then later realized that it was difficult to talk to them or hear what they are saying, unfollowed many of them. Building relationships matter in the online world too as in the offline business world. I am glad that I am finding people ( including you) who echo the thought that for anyone and for any business, quality is more important than quantity.
Thanks a lot for your awesome comment :)

Carolyn@The Wonder of Tech January 12, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Hi Ashvini, I did the same thing when I joined Twitter, followed a bunch of people. Then I started automatically following people who followed me. Neither way turned into a fruitful way to find folks to follow.

I follow a lot of news organizations (general and tech) who don’t follow me back so my ratio is more people I follow than people who follow me.

Every so often I cull the people I follow to stay below my 2000 limit (I swear, Twitter, I’m not a stalker).

One thing you could do, Ashvini, is make Twitter lists. Make a list for different groups of people so if you only wanted to see tweets from bloggers you could go to your Blogger list. I haven’t made lists because I enjoy the randomness of my Twitter feed.

You’re right, though, I don’t know why more businesses don’t interact with people on Twitter. It’s a great way to spread the word about your business.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena January 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Hi Carolyn,

Haha!! So I am not the only one here who was involved in following too many people. :)

I can understand that you need to keep track of tech and the news that often break on the news site.
I now only follow 56 people and have decided to follow a person only after I have interacted with him or her.
Making the list is a great idea but I am not so much organized, Carolyn ;). However I need to seriously start thinking about your suggestion as it helps me to keep track of things as I grow my “Follow” list.
I am these days doing social experiments when I tweet to business. Till now none out of three have replied to my tweets ;). It says a lot about how social media potential lies unused.
Thanks for your comment and have a great day :).

Simon Duck January 12, 2012 at 6:59 pm

This is the thing that I don’t like about Twitter. People will follow large amounts of people just to get their numbers up and in the end they are just following loads of random people. Whenever I see a Twitter account with the same or more Following than Followers, I makes me think twice about them, as it shows they probably just follow everyone.

I have done this in the past, I went for a week following people who are in the same niche. This means I have twice as many people I am following than how many are following me, which means I am my own worst enemy in this department.

I need to go through and un-follow everyone I don’t actually need. As with you when I tweet, I can’t even see it in my stream because I have so much **** come up.

Regards,
Simon Duck

Ashvini Kumar Saxena January 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Hi Simon,
Your comment made me smile a little :). I feel that I am not the only one who started on twitter like this. It is so true that we are our own enemy on social because we have no clue who to talk to. I guess I realized it a little later what I was doing wrong.
You may use the service called as twitclean It will tell you about who actually needs to be on the list.
Thanks for your comment :)

Anna January 12, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Personally I am not big fan of social networks. I think that if you have ability to establish contacts and to keep them, you do not social networks. And you are right the followers who care will follow you anyway:)

Ashvini Kumar Saxena January 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Hi Anna,
Social to me is another way of connecting with people. The more relevant it is the better. We just need to be careful about the time we spend on it because it can easily go out the hand :).

I hope businesses learn that getting huge number of followers is not really a recipe for success.
Thanks for the comment and have a great day :)

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