Are you wondering what Twitter life is going to be like as you gain an increasing number of followers? Here’s what to expect at each major Twitter follower milestone.
You just opened your Twitter account and things are pretty quiet because you have exactly 0 followers. This is an intimidating position to be in because no one is going to see anything you tweet, and you’re not going to be able to read and interact with anyone’s tweets. However, chill out for a second before you go into your Twitter recommended suggested followers list. The first thing you need to do is fill out your profile. This means you need to say a few words about what you do. You also need to hashtag. For authors, a good Twitter profile might say #author of #fantasy, #sciencefiction and #adultfiction #Writingcommunity #amwriting. That’s a decent author profile. Next, you need to add your author image. You should add that in the small circle. Then, add your background image. You can make your background image anything you like, but if you’re published, I recommend uploading a banner image of all your books. Don’t forget to list your author website or amazon author profile somewhere.
Once you’ve completed your profile, add a few tweets. They can be anything from what you are working on to what you had for lunch, but you need to add a few Tweets to prove you are active and not a robot.
Next, follow some people. Twitter makes this extremely easy. If you are on a laptop or desktop, look at the right-hand column. You’ll see Who to Follow. Click on View All. Follow everyone. You can unfollow the people that don’t follow you back later. Twitter allows you to follow up to 400 people a day, and you can follow 400 people a day every day until you hit 5,000. However, if you are following 5,000 with only a few hundred following you back, you are going to look like a spam bot or scammer, so make sure to moderate how many people you follow each day with however many follow you back. I recommend at this stage that you keep your following/follower lists within 200 of each other.
Five-hundred followers is a major milestone. Don’t let anyone tell you any differently, but you are going to notice some changes. Up until this point, you’ve been able to read and respond to everyone on your lists from your Home feed. It feels like a small community or part of your extended family. At 500 followers, most authors start to feel overwhelmed. There is a lot of activity on the feed, and you may start to feel that you cannot keep up. This is entirely normal. Keep following more people. If your lists are extremely lopsided, unfollow anyone who hasn’t followed you back after 7 to 10 days. You may want to start keeping lists to keep track of which people you followed on which days. Make sure if you create these lists that they are private. (No one wants to be added to lists like this. They’re solely for tracking purposes.) I recommend it because you’re going to have to start doing this anyway. You might as well start early.
Art 1,500 followers, you are no longer seeing every post that comes through from everyone on your list. Your favorite authors or favorite people you are following may even start to get buried. The knee-jerk reaction is to unfollow everyone you don’t know and leave the people you absolutely love. STOP. This This follow for an unfollow account behavior, and if you do it, you may see the number of people following you dramatically drop as everyone with more than 5,000 followers starts cleaning out their not followers. The best-case scenario is that they simply unfollow you, but an increasing number of account owners are blocking follow for an unfollow accounts so that they don’t have to deal with the same behavior from the same account twice. Instead of unfollowing 1,200 accounts so that you can view your favorite 300, go to your Lists menu. Create a list with your favorite accounts. You can even name it Favorite Authors if you want. It’s up to you as to whether you want to make this list private or keep it public, but it is for sure that you will now be able to see all the tweets from your favorite accounts.
If you get here, you should feel very accomplished. You’ve put a lot of hard work into your Twitter account. You’ve followed other accounts, and they’ve followed you back. You’ve interacted with accounts by leaving comments, liking and retweeting, and your hard work is paying off. At this point, you need to make sure there is steady content streaming through your account. You can do this manually by logging into Twitter once or twice a day and posting tweets, your you can schedule them. It’s up to you, but at 3,000 followers you need to start ensuring that your account is active.
5, 000 Followers
At 5,000 followers, I recommend that all your basic tweets are scheduled. This includes content posts, curated content and book posts. At this point in time, you want to have at least 1 tweet going out every 60 minutes, preferably every 30 minutes, but that can get tedious. At this point, you should be watching your comments closely. If you do not have “send notifications for every tweet” set to yes, you need to do this now. At this stage, you’re going to start spending more time communicating in your own feed than you are on other people’s posts, but you still want to maintain some activity on your main feed. This is a great way to stay up to date with the writing community, and it’s a great way to attract new potential followers. At this point, you shouldn’t expect to be able to stay up-to-date with all your followers. It’s just not possible. Just remember, you still have your favorite followers list and you can add to it. You can even create new lists for specific groups of authors, like thriller, romance, erotica and LGBT.
Another thing that happens at 5,000 followers, Twitter institutes controls on how many people you can follow total. Up until you hit 5,000, you were free to follow up to 400 people a day. At 5,000 followers, you’ll still be able to follow up to 400 people a day. However, if your lists differ by more than 10 percent, Twitter will stop you from following more people. To solve this, you will have to unfollow accounts that are not following you back. This is why I said it’s a good idea to get those follow lists going early. You’re going to have to keep track of who you follow and who doesn’t follow you so that you don’t hit this Twitter wall.
7,500 to 8,500 Followers
If you’ve been primarily using the “Who to follow” function, you’re going to notice that Twitter has ran out of recommendations for you. It’s just going to be very difficult to find new followers using that function. This means that you’ll have to use the people search. If you write a specific genre, try searching authors for that genre. If you know your readers are also interested in X, search for X. This will bring up a shortlist of people you can follow. As an absolute last resort, you can go through your own follower list and pull up accounts and find new authors to follow using that method. In other words, you're going to raid your followers' followers. There's nothing technically wrong with this, and many authors will suggest that if you need new followers, to go down their lists, but you're going to feel like a thief.
Between 7,500 and 8,500, you are also going to notice an increase in activity on your feed. Your likes, retweets and comments are going to increase. If people tag you in follow lists, you’re going to feel overwhelmed. Thrilled, but overwhelmed. Every time you are tagged in a follow list in a tweet, you can expect anything from 12 to 24 hours of increased notifications. This is normal, and it’s a good thing. Your name is getting out there. Just a note, I've woken up to 99+ notifications before. It happens. It's just part of the process of growing your account.
Congratulations. You’re amazing. You made it to 10,000 followers. Now, get ready for the roller coaster. At 10,000 followers, your account is going to go apeshit, or at least, it’s going to feel like it until you get used to the new activity levels. Your retweets, likes, comments and new people following you will feel like it’s increasing exponentially, especially if you are still following new accounts. At this stage, you need to be ready to respond to comments on your posts. You need to be ready to like comments on your posts. At this stage, you’ll probably have some free time to spend on your main feed, but it’s going to be greatly reduced because you’ll be tied up with commenting and answering questions on your own posts. Don’t worry, this is a good thing. It means people are engaging with you!