I hear this from my husband far too often: "Ugh ... you're one of those people, always on Twitter. You're turning into your father!"
I bristle at that comment every time I hear it. There is a big difference between my dad and me. For one, my father is always on Facebook. That's not Twitter, dear hubby! But second, my dad is a 67 year old retiree, and the family generally admits that Facebook is a good thing because it keeps him out of the pub. Whereas I, indie author, am struggling to build a platform and a voice.
So yes, I'm always on Twitter. There is a reason I'm always on Twitter.
But even I have to admit that platform building, for me at least, has come at a price. I realized this when I spent most of my son's basketball game last night on Twitter for mobile. It was then that I decided I had to find a smarter way of building my all-important platform.
Enter Nat Russo's Platform Building blog series. I came across this on ... yep, you guessed it: Twitter. With my hubby's lamentations ringing in my ears, I spent some time reading up on what Mr. Russo had to say.
Well hot dog, he's got a bunch of pretty good suggestions, and I'd be a fool not to implement them. I'll let you know how I do over the course of ... however long it takes me to implement them. But for now, here's the first step:
I've seen this before on Twitter, where authors post stats on who followed and who unfollowed them each week. Personally, this has always rankled my feathers. I'd always gone into the Twittersphere with the mindset that if people unfollow me, it's because I'm not sharing something they find valuable. And that's alright. Likewise, I follow people who provide information I find valuable, so if I unfollow, or don't follow, I hope that they don't take it personally. I don't need to see who these people are. It's not a popularity contest, after all.
I've changed my tune a bit. Because I didn't want to be peppering my Twitter account with these stats, I avoided signing up with sites like JustUnfollow.com and Unfollowers.me. I didn't know that you don't have to choose to post those stats.
Neither did I know that these Twitter tracking sites are pretty useful. I discovered that I was following 31 people who weren't following me back. No big deal on the surface, except that for many of them, I'm not sure why I was following them in the first place. Perhaps I clicked "Follow" in haste and en masse when I first started my account. I don't know.
Another thing I discovered was that I wasn't following most of my followers. Eeek ... whaaa?! Smack me over the head, I thought I was! Most of my followers are like-minded individuals, involved on some level in the publishing and writing industry. I'm darn well interested in what they have to say.
So that was my first step accomplished today. Via JustUnfollow.com, I've followed back all of my followers because, well heck, they're all interesting, valuable people. I've sloughed off some of the accounts that I was following which weren't adding anything to my sphere of interest. No offence intended to any of them, this was simply a non-personal executive decision.
And finally, I whitelisted a few accounts I was following. Whitelisting, apparently, is for those followers who aren't following you, but who you never want to unfollow. For me, these are:
Ross McCall & Barry Pepper - fantastic actors (and cute as all getup)
Neil Oliver & Andy Robertshaw - historians, love their documentaries
Giles Coren & Sue Perkins - love their Supersizers and The Good Life series (and like Messrs McCall and Pepper, these two are both cute as all getup, too)
Mr. Nat Russo suggests that by following those who follow you back, you build up valuable relationships. I certainly hope so, because that's why I'm on Twitter. I'm excited to see the results. I'll keep you posted with how I get on with this little field-testing experiment. My fingers are crossed!