Human beings are creatures of habit, as such once we getting into a routine it is incredibly hard to break out of it. A person will drive the same path home everyday, even if the traffic is horrendous, rather than search for an alternate path. It’s just easier to stick to the script.
In recent months I’ve been reexamining my Twitter strategy, questioning the way I interact with people and how they respond to me. I’ve come to the realization that of my 16K followers I only converse with a handful of them (couple hundred). This is partly due to the fact that their aren’t enough hours in a day, but mostly because I tend to chat with the same group of friends everyday.
This led me to question why do I have so many followers to begin with. It can’t be for bragging rights, my wife is not impressed. Also the majority of the links I post to Twitter are to sites other than my own, so I’m not benefiting from the traffic. If the whole point of social media is to be ‘social’ then how did I end up conversing in the same finite group of followers.
I got comfortable that’s how. When you see all those familiar faces it’s tempting to jump right into the conversation, you feel at home. While being a part of the informal ‘socialmedia tech tribe’ has it’s merits, I tend to feel that I’m doing myself a disservice by not engaging the followers I spent so much time building.
This is why I’ve decided to shake up my Twitter routine, throughout the day I constantly remind myself to reach out to new people. Even going as far as consciously ignoring my closest Twitter friends in favor of chatting to new followers.
My iPhone has proven to be the best tool for reconnecting with my followers, when you strip away all the functionality of Hootsuite and the realtime stream from Tweetdeck your left with a more intimate Twitter experience. Because I have to manual update my stream in Echofon it forces me to read more tweets and discover the people behind them.
Another trap I’ve fallen into is creating multiple Twitter lists only to spend all my time following one of them. Looking back at my earlier lists I’ve discovered a treasure trove of old acquaintances that got misplaced overtime.
Perhaps this is due to growing pains and mismanagement, nonetheless I’ve learned my lesson and I’m making every effort to improve my engagement on Twitter. The results of my changes have been quite positive, I’m back in touch with old friends, made many new ones, been added to new Twitter lists and my follower count is spiking week over week. Engagement pays off big time.
What about you, do find that you’ve settled into a Twitter routine that needs some shaking up?
You can follow me here: @KevinMinott