3,000 Tweets, 592 Followers

by Tim Elliott on October 1, 2008

A couple months back I noticed that I was getting close to 3,000 tweets on Twitter, the popular micro-blogging-messaging service. It seemed like a good idea at the time to strive to get to this milestone at the beginning of September but also strive to increase my followers on Twitter to match my 3,000 Tweets. After all, Gary Vaynerchuk has over 15,000 followers so how hard could it be to get 3,000?

The answer is nearly impossible.

But it wasn’t for lack of trying. I setup Twitterfeed to retweet my Google Reader shared items and I also shared some wine news from Decanter magazine. I participated in the Twitter discussion of wine but didn’t go out of my way to create tweets for the sake of reaching my goals. I could have probably marginally improved my follower count by running a contest or two but I don’t think it would have made a signfianct difference in the final results.

So this blog post will be my 3,000th tweet — about a month behind my original schedule — but my follower count only modestly increased to 592 (+130 since my challenge began). This tells me a few things. First, there are a limited number of people now on Twitter interested in talking about wine. Gary has certainly crossed over into the mainstream and become an internet celebrity but it’s not because of his discussion of wine but how he uses Twitter to connect with his audience (which is several times larger than the Winecast audience). Second, the Wine Twitter group hangs as a fairly small pack and most of us are wine or winery bloggers. I think this might be another barrier for others to join the discussion.

So I’ve decided to open up the way I follow others on Twitter to include fans as well as those tweeting mostly about wine. I started out doing this to keep my Winecast feed easier to scan and I was also republishing the tweets here (later turned off due to technical issues). But I followed everyone back on my personal Twitter account to sort of abide by the norms of the service. This change will not raise my follower count but it will open up some interesting ways to use the service to connect with readers and listeners.

I’m hoping this change will encourage people to ask me more questions and ultimately lead to increasing my overall reach… and I’ll get some contests going, as well. Let’s see where I’m at on New Years Day with this new approach.

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  • http://twittermaven.com Warren Sukernek

    Tim,

    Congrats on the milestone. As a follower of Winecast, I really appreciate your content and advice. As an avid twitterer, I have also come to the realization that it is just as important who you follow as who follows you. But if you want to hit the follower milestone, I would recommend using http://search.twitter.com to find wine related comments and promoting your twitter account more on this blog since you only have a very small twittercounter badge here. Hopefully, those two will help get you there.

  • http://www.twittertastelive.com @binendswine

    Tim,

    Great post, and congrats on your 3,000th tweet, I’m currently less than 1/2 at 1492… I agree with your premise, the twitter wine community is a terrific source of knowledge, the folks up here are not just reflecting whats happening in the business, but are truly beginning to effect it as well. It’s a great thing!

    Twitter is really turning into small topic driven communities with a larger community, and that doesn’t always encourage cross-over between groups. The groups are incredibly tight knit… you’ve got the wine geeks, the foodies, the lifestyle folks, fashion, shopping, techies… but these groups tend to stick much to themselves, not venturing into other segments. Thats the missing link…

    I’ve recently begun following folks from other interests that follow me, and my number of followers has jumped quite a bit in recent months. I’ll encourage all the wine folk out there to surf through the tech community which surprisingly has the most cross over with us, but also hit the foodies and lifestyle folks as well. Doing this will in time mix it all up a bit.

    Here’s to @winecast hitting 3000! Keep up the great work!

  • http://www.ourwinestory.com Dylan

    Tim,

    592 Followers certainly puts my 27 to shame. Of course, those who follow me are mostly friends of mine whom I’ve met in real life–and I don’t really try that hard to gain followers.

    That aside when it comes to gaining followers, I say it’s the same as in real life. Do not concern yourself with the number of people you have and just focus on delivering the passion; numbers, awards, and the like will all come on their own.

    When you write passionately about something, when people can feel your ambition dripping from every word on the computer screen; you’ve gained a new follower right then and there.

    And remember, if you don’t hit your ultimate goal–quality over quantity.

    Best of luck for New Years.

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