Tweeting effect on follower growth


Spoiler alert: I still have no idea. It did get me curious though on what other things impact follower growth, e.g. signups from blog links, re-tweets, etc.
The last few weeks I've been experimenting with tweeting more and its effect on my follower growth. For the record, I don't care that much about my follower count. I was both curious about what would happen and also wanted to experience what it was like to tweet more as I've always been a very rare tweeter. I figured it could be fun, increase engagement, solidify thinking, and possibly have a number of other side benefits (including increases in followers because of re-tweets/off-line recommendations).

Here's what happened:

I started tweeting more (3/day) on Jun 3. I've had a pretty consistent background rate of follower growth for a long time.

The first week I did this experiment my follower growth became essentially completely flat, which means that people must have been un-following me as I didn't change anything that would otherwise effect the background rate.

I found this pretty surprising because I wasn't tweeting that much and it was spaced out (~6am, 12pm, 6pm eastern time). I tried to only tweet interesting things, but they did vary outside startups, which I gather is the main focus of my audience.

In response the second week I stuck to 3 tweets a day but kept it business related. I also tried to stay away from links. The rate of growth picked up, though certainly not a ton. The big jumps correlate with my last blog posts.

Over the past few days I cut it down to 1 per day and focused on interesting links (non-business). My plan was to do that for a week and then do a week of 1 a day business links, but I'm cutting the whole thing short.

My main takeaway is tweeting doesn't impact my follower growth that much. Maybe it is completely different for other people, but for me the above graph didn't dramatically shift. If anything, from the first week you could say it has a negative effect unless you try really hard to stay on "message" and go for re-tweets, which I'm not particularly interested in doing. For the record, during this period there were 116 re-tweets.

Secondly, it was decently distracting to keep a constant tweet stream. I used a service where I could queue them up, but still I had to accumulate them over time. I ended up keeping a list on my phone that I'd add to over time.

Third, it wasn't that much fun to tweet more and I don't think it had much effect on my thinking. I did get more engagement with people, which I like, but it also feels like an obligation to reply quickly to people, which I don't like.

I'm going back to tweeting rarely, and mainly my blog posts and re-tweeting other blog posts I find particularly compelling. I'd be curious if anyone noticed any difference in my tweet patterns over the past few weeks and what (if anything) you thought about them?

Update: just glancing back at the stats, one other interesting data point is links I post seem to get 50-300 clicks. FWIW, that's sub 2% of the follower count.
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