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.