When I first started using Twitter back in November 2010, I had little idea of how powerful it was. Over the past 3 months, Twitter has become part of my daily routine and can now see how some bloggers are using it to dominate.

Over the last month or so, I have fallen into the habit of promoting my posts via scheduled Tweets and am engaging in conversations less and less. This is exactly what I didn’t want to happen!

In my post, Use The Force Of Twitter, I talk about how Twitter is all about building relationships by getting involved and interacting. Yet I have come to a place where I haven’t been putting in the time necessary to build any of my own.

My Followers

I feel like I burst onto the scene when I started using Twitter and my follower count rose sharply. I was interacting, meeting new people, and making friends.

As you know, Twitter is extremely time consuming and I found myself slowly steering away from discussion and into promotion. Not a good move.

Over the past few weeks, I have noticed a drop off in the number of followers I am getting and have also seen more unfollows than usual.

My Experiment

Most people will agree that our follower count is basically a useless metric and that it’s not about quantity, but rather quality. It’s all about having people who want to hear what you have to say. I completely agree.

This experiement is not about just gaining followers but rather building relationships.

When someone unfollows us, it’s saying that our Tweets are boring, too egocentric, or irrelevant. I suppose I can’t blame those who have unfollowed me because to be honest, they have been all of these things.

Well, that stops now! We cannot become just another Tweep who gets lost in the Twitterverse. If we are ever going to build our brands and become known, we need to get involved in what’s going on with other people.

So, here is my strategy for the next 30 days:

  1. Begin at least meaningfulΒ  5 conversations each day
  2. Find content worthy of Retweeting and send out at least 5 each day
  3. Add value in my Tweets. Be useful and/or helpful
  4. Fewer self promoting Tweets

The benefits of this experiment will be:

  • Building relationships, not just contacts
  • Being accountable to myself. I have told myself a number of times that I was going to be more interactive, but it never seems to happen. This will force me to do it.
  • Having more followers who are interested in what I am doing
  • Meeting new like minded people

The Tools I Use

There a ton of Twitter programs, applications, and tools out there. Here are the ones I use:

  • HootSuite. This is my preferred tool for managing my Tweets. There is a paid option to upgrade, but I just use the free features.Β  Tweetdeck is also a very popular tool for this, but I have found that it loads very slowly and I just don’t have the patience for it.
  • TwitterCounter. A basic tool that shows graphs and charts about the users followers, tweets, and people you are following.
  • Tweepi. This is the free tool I have used to unfollow people. It makes the process pretty quick.
  • Qwitter. This nifty little tool will send you an email when someone unfollows you. Although most people probably don’t care when they get unfollowed, I think we can learn something from it. Sure people will unfollow you for any little reason, but there are also good reasons for it as well.

Join Me?

I think this 30 day experiment is a great idea for anyone that is not using Twitter to its fullest. In my opinion, Twitter is THE most powerful marketing tool available online. If you are not using it effectively, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your brand.

If you are interested is joining me, please leave me a comment.

Leave your Twitter follower count and your goals and I will post the results in 30 days. This is a great exercise for you to build your community and hold yourself accountable, so let’s do this!

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