Posting things on Twitter is quick and easy. But is anyone listening? In my case, mostly no. But I still end up with my own scrapbook of things that interested me at one time, in one way or another, a collection of dragon legends. If I want to find them later, it might be easier to look on my own Twitter feed than start over with a Google search.
It's exciting to post something that gets retweeted, a rare red letter day for me. And so far this always comes as something as a surprise to me. At other times I will post something, expecting others will pick up on it, and nothing at all happens. Oh well, try again later.
Sometimes I wonder how some people have so many followers! I looked for Patti Smith on Twitter, as her music, her writing, and her ideas are all very interesting to me. I found her as @pattismith with only 500 followers and one tweet, which promoted her album, Banga. Perhaps she then had second thoughts about this whole twitter thing and went off in another direction.
So someone else came along and started sending out tweets of things Patti Smith has written or said. Whoever came up with that idea has accumulated over 24,000 followers! Wow, those are some long coat tails! And an interesting strategy.
Tips & Tricks to Get More Followers
Before I had ever done much at all on Twitter, I read a long article about a very detailed system that resulted in over 10,000 followers in just one year. Easy and nearly foolproof! But if you read carefully through the labyrinthine steps it suggests, you find it works given that you're starting with 1,000 followers. So I asked him how you get those first 1,000 followers. He didn't have a system for that. Ha ha. He suggested I tweet about things on which I have some expertise, some authority, like Bob Dylan. Well I'm over eighty followers now, many months later. BUT, I've accumulated a lot of dragon legends on my twitter feed in the meantime, so that's something.
Do a Google search for "how to increase engagement on twitter" or "how to increase your followers on twitter" and you get lots of tips & tricks to try out. It occurs to me that a number of these articles were written as part of a strategy for those writers to get more followers on Twitter. I hope I don't sound too skeptical or jaded.
Or make it easy on yourself and just buy a few thousand followers!
Even Twitter itself has recently written its own article on how to get more engagement, which amounts to using more photos, videos, quotes, numbers and hashtags in tweets. If new users get no engagement with their tweets, they're more likely to give up on Twitter, something that does not please Wall Street.
And Then There's Amanda Palmer
She probably has the most followers of anyone I read on Twitter, having recently gone over one million, after a little over five years of using the system. Which makes me One in a Million! She has this all in perspective, saying, "I don't feel like I have one million 'followers'. I feel like I am profoundly connected to one million people, and that's different."
What did she do to hit one million? Did she follow these tips and tricks? Did she carefully follow a system with Tweet Adder? Did she game the system? I don't think so. From what I have seen in scanning her tweets (and she is verrrry prolific in her tweeting) the main thing she seems to be doing is communicating with her fans, other people. Like they're in the same room with her, ignoring any barriers of distance, country boundaries, or limitations of any kind. She is connecting with people and communicating with them and that seems to me to be what social networks are for. Right?
She recognizes the power of Twitter and the responsibility in having one million followers. She wrote about this when she went over the one million mark, writing about the recently departed Pete Seeger, who had a voice and a message, but a limited audience, especially during the time when he was black listed. She had recently learned a lot about Woodie Guthrie too, discovering there was a lot more there than she had ever known. "in short: i knew he was pinko, but didn’t know how fundamentally punko he was. pete seeger, too." Her eyes were opened.
Read her article, it is long but perceptive and moving, as she recognized through her twitter feed that she had a strong connection with the folk world after all.
". . . turn on my twitter feed with a sense of absolute reverence.
reverence for the fact that you, me, and the rest the world are not disconnected.
that neither CBS, NBC, MTV nor the NSA get to decide whether or when we talk to each other, or what we talk about.
reverence and awe for the fact that “the news” is no longer “they’re all saying…”, but rather “we’re all saying.”
that the deep things and the messages we care about are shared,
to him to her
and through the whole wide world,
giving no fuck about what “the authorities” have to say about it.
that is folk.
that is punk.
there are lots of people trying to steer the boat of information-sharing in different directions.
wikileaks. the recent twitter-ban in turkey. snowden. the RIAA. the DMCA.
we cannot, should not, MUST NOT take our freedom to be connected with and to each other for granted."