Hey, everyone. Last week I was asked by a friend and a fellow author a question which surprised me. But what shocked me more, was a best-selling author got in touch with me and asked me the same direct question only a few days later. Then would you believe, two more followed in quick succession.
I’m not kidding you. In a matter of seven days four authors had asked me the same identical question. Well, I scratched my head, because it was as if I had a secret they wanted to know. So here we go, here’s their question.
Joanne, how on earth have you managed to gain 85,000 followers on twitter?
Okay, so my number of followers is up there, but it was still a question which surprised me, because there’s no secret to how I did it at all. For us authors, twitter is one of our social media platforms. It’s where we can reach out and let people know what we’re doing, what we’re blogging about, and so much more.
Before I answer the question though, here’s what happened to me a couple of days ago, because twitter can be a magical place, and surprises jump out around every corner.
So there I was, about to hop onto twitter when my puppy started barking like crazy in the laundry room which is right next door to my office. Off I went to check on him, only to discover him tearing into a beach towel lying on the floor. Yes, you heard me right, he was tearing into a defenceless beach towel. I’d like to point out the beach towel, to my knowledge, did not begin the fight. 🙂 It was just sitting there, doing nothing but being a beach towel. Now, after I rescued the towel, I tweeted about it, and a really cool lady who has a bulldog said that was nothing. Her dog goes all crazy just barking at the wind. Well, I’m glad my puppy doesn’t do that, but it’s amazing what can start a conversation, and where it can lead. We swapped photos of our adorable dogs, and then she visited my facebook page and tweeted that she gave me a “like.” How cool! Love that! And Daveda, if you’re reading this, thank you very much. Every “like” an author gets makes us smile, and this one I’ll never forget just how it came about.
Okay, so next I got a tweet from an actor in the UK who had a Kiwi flatmate. He’d seen my name mentioned on the “who to follow twitter list” (which I’ll explain later in the post), and checked out my bio picture with the fabulous New Zealand beach on it. He tweeted it was cool and showed it to his flatmate. His flatmate joined the tweet stream and told me he was all teary-eyed at seeing the picture since he missed home. He said it was freezing cold in England and he’d never experienced such a thing. My fellow Kiwi asked me to tell him about the weather, and his actor friend tweeted an urgent, “NO, PLEASE DON’T, I’m already trying to console him about living half a world away.” I laughed, and then squinted as I peered out the window and into the dazzling sunshine. Yeah, NZ is in the middle of its summer and it’s a gorgeously warm 90 degrees. And would you believe, for the first time ever, I was stuck for words.
After meeting the UK actor and Kiwi, I put out a tweet asking if anyone lived close to where my sponsor child was. I’ve been worried for a couple of weeks since my sponsor child’s village was recently flooded. Thankfully a lovely lady from the Philippines responded. Ahh, the beauty of twitter! She lives in the city of Manila, about two hours’ drive away and she happily updated me on the area I asked about. Later that day she got in touch with me again, and gave me a wonderful surprise. She told me she was a book reviewer and after tweeting with me, looked for my ebook on Amazon and bought it. Woo-hoo. Now for any author, that’s pretty cool.
Wow, what a day. My dog got to go for an unexpected trip to the beach because I began to actually wonder if he was barking at the beach towel for a reason. I made a fellow Kiwi cry (sorry mate,) discovered my sponsor child’s village is all good and thriving again, and met a major reviewer which still has me smiling.
Ahh, but after all that, let’s get back to the main question of this post.
How did I manage to gain 85,000 followers? It was simple ->I FOLLOW THEM BACK. Yes, I do! (Now, not everyone will want this many followers, but for me it just happened.) So, if this is something that appeals to you, I began by using www.justunfollow.com. They have a free option where you can follow/unfollow 50 people per day, or for a small fee, you can pay the $4.99 per annum and follow/unfollow 1000 per day. I’m sure there are many other websites which have similar features, because with twitter itself you can’t actually see at a glance who follows you in return. With websites like the one I’ve mentioned, you can. And that’s the way to grow your numbers.
IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN SOME STATS, HERE THEY ARE:
In the beginning I gained around 300 per week until I hit 5000 followers. Between 5,000 and 15,000 followers, I gained around 1,000 per week. Between 15,000 and 40,000, I gained around 2,000 per week. And now I’m gaining 3,000 new followers each week and all because I follow back.
So, how do these numbers steadily grow? As I alluded to before, my name pops up more regularly on those “who to follow” twitter lists which are located on our main twitter page. When I follow back it shows I share the same interests as many other followers. Isn’t that cool! Twitter now tells people to follow me, and more often than I can just about keep up with. Thank you twitter. I’m feeling the twitter-love.
Now, for the secret that isn’t a secret, that’s how I gained 85,000 followers in less than a year. It’s also how I make sure I connect with other readers and writers, and you got it, dog owners, actors and their wonderful Kiwi flatmates, and let’s not forget reviewers. Yep, because you never know just who you’re going to “meet with one tweet.”
You know I love hearing from you, so drop me a comment and share. Perhaps you’ve had a fabulous experience which led to something amazing on twitter? Or, and let’s not forget there are the odd bad cookies out there on twitter too. All up I’ve had to “blacklist” seven out of that 85,000 for inappropriate comments. But the good thing is it’s in our hands, and we can make sure our experience remains enjoyable and clean.
So, roll on tomorrow. I’m certainly looking forward to the new connections I’ll make.
Right, now it’s time to announce the winner of the offer I made last week. For those who left a comment asking for a critique, they had their name put into a draw. What could they win? Yours truly will be their second set of eyes to go over the FIRST FOUR PAGES (or 1500 words thereabouts) of their novel. So, for this fabulous critique, the winner chosen by random.org is:
*** R L Sharpe ***
Hey, congratulations, Rochelle. Please email me the first four pages of your novel as a word document attachment so I can insert “review bubbles” for personalized editing advice. My email address is located under the “Contact tab” on my website, or of course it’s firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll be making this offer again in the near future. I’m all for writers supporting writers, and you guys rock with the way you support me on my website.
Have a wonderful week. Catch ya all later.
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