Saturday, July 9, 2011

Growth of my Twitter empire

Seven weeks ago, I began an experiment to see if you can build a Twitter audience without writing anything. I set up a set of six new Twitter accounts that were fed automatically with news updates from Google and Yahoo! news searches. Every hour or so, each account tweeted links and headlines relating to one of six tech companies - without me having to do anything.

Somehow, right from the start, they managed to acquire some followers - mostly between ten and twenty each. I don't know how those people found the accounts: perhaps they were 'suggested' to them by Twitter if they'd mentioned the company names in their own tweets?

I tracked the numbers of followers every day, waiting to see whether they were going to rise, or dwindle away. Seven weeks later, I still don't really know: there's a generally upward curve in the weekly totals (above), but nothing decisive.

A couple of weeks in, I added to the accounts with four new ones: following news of the London Olympics, Facebook's IPO, East Sheen (in West London) and one which combined news of all six tech companies, under the name Tech_Biz_Today.

The last had far more tweets than the others because it was getting all six of the original feeds, and it is now the most popular (26 followers, acquired in a shorter time than the original six). The least popular is the one about the Facebook IPO. Its only follower has been me, even though I have retweeted its messages to some of the other accounts, hoping to interest someone in following it. I can't understand why it has sat there so unloved when even my obscure East Sheen account, mostly full of irrelevant news about Wimbledon tennis, has found four followers. I have now changed its name from FB_IPO to FacebookIPOnews, but I don't suppose that will help.

This is still a work in progress. I'm going to have to keep following what happens because I want to know the end of the story.

And there are always little tweeks to be made. So this morning I realised that I might as well have the various accounts follow each other - because if someone takes an interest in one of them, they may look at who it is following and find one of the other accounts. Also, I wonder whether Twitter promotes accounts that seem to be acquiring new followers fast?

This process took the total followers of all the accounts up to 222. (But I will discount the ones that are really just me from future calculations.)

If Tech_Biz_Today is the most popular accounts (because it does so much tweeting?), I may start a Bank_Biz_Today, or something like that. Learn from what works...

Links to all the Twitter accounts are here.

My previous update about this is here.

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