I accidentally unfollowed all my followers.
I was testing out the unfollow all feature on my site, SocialToo.com, and just happened to hit the “delete all friends” button by mistake without realizing it. For that, I apologize. I learned something valuable from it though – out of the 23,000 people I unfollowed on accident, I was very surprised at the number of people that have auto-unfollow on by default. About 6,000 to be exact. So out of the 23,000 people following me 1/4th of those probably still have no clue I unfollowed them – 6,000 people following me had a meaningless relationship with me!
There’s more though – I post a lot of links to my profile. A lot of those promote other people. Some promote blog posts I write. In general, for the blog posts I write, I generally only get about 20-50 of you on Twitter that actually click on the links! That’s a depressing number coming from a follower base of 23,000 people.
This got me thinking about how I can build stronger relationships with the people I follow. How do I get people to add me to their whitelist? How can I get to know you better, and how can I get you to know me better at the same time? Twitter is very difficult to nurture this type of relationship – it was built as a broadcasting platform that happened to evolve to become a communications and is trying to be a relationships platform. It also degraded to the point that most of the people that follow you now aren’t even real people! I would venture to say that a good portion (1/4th?) of Twitter’s populace are there with the sole intent to gain a larger follower base.
This isn’t why I use Twitter. I came here to share something. I came here to learn something from others. The connections we gain from learning from each other are what matter to me. Some times we entertain each other. Some times we teach each other. I’m here to strengthen others’ knowledge and learn from others at the same time, not inflate a number for anyone, especially myself. IMO the whole “numbers thing” should happen naturally. That’s how we engage. That’s how we build real relationships – that’s what true marketing is, or should be about.
So starting today I’m starting something new with my Twitter account. I want to strengthen my relationships with each and every one of you. I want to build a community, and I’m starting with Twitter.
Starting today I’m now using 3 Twitter accounts. The first one, which you are already familiar with, @Jesse, is about me. The second one, which I’m starting today, @JessesLinks, is about YOU. The third one, @JesseStay, is where the community happens – it’s about WE. Here’s a little more explanation:
This account is about me. It’s not your typical Twitter “me” account any more. Starting today, I’m only posting content here. Pure content – no links, no replies. Just 140 character morsels of knowledge as I feel like sharing. Its intent is to be informative, entertaining, and educational. I may also share a link to a blog post or two of my own where I feel I need to elaborate. I won’t be replying to anyone publicly on this account any more. I won’t be auto following at the moment. The purpose of this account is pure content, for those that want to consume it. This is a public account for all to see and follow.
This account is about YOU. This is where I share your stuff. If you have something cool you want to share with me, let me know there. I may retweet a few good Tweets here. I’ll even auto follow on this account. While I won’t be @replying to anyone publicly on this account, this is where I get to share your content. Maybe I’ll do a couple #followfridays to promote specific people as well. You can DM me here. This is a public account about you – those that follow this account will learn more about other people and the content they share.
This is actually my old account – I thought I’d put it to good use. This account is all about US. Those that request access to this account will be followed rigorously by me. Depending on how big it gets I may even follow your updates via SMS to ensure I get them. This will become my “favorites list”. I’ll actively interact with you through this account. I’ll respond to your tweets. I’ll import all the best posts from @Jesse and @JessesLinks here. I’m going to manually (yes, manually) follow every person that is real and requests access to this account. This is where I want to build true relationships.
I want to try a little experiment with this account though. I’m going to make it private. This is so our conversation remains intimate. This is also so you have to do a little something to join the community. It makes each person in the community a little more real. As I said earlier, I plan to follow every real person that requests access to this community. There’s one caveat though – I’m going to ask each individual that joins this community to introduce themselves. I want you and me to get to know each other better. I want all of us to get to know each other better through this community.
If you have to pick one account to follow I would recommend joining the @JesseStay community. This is where I want to empower relationships between us. This is where I want our conversation to become one-on-one, and real. Will you join me here?
This is all just an experiment for now. I’m curious if I might be able to strengthen the relationships of those that follow me through this method. I want to build real-life relationships with each of you – let’s work to do this together. Maybe I’ll post a follow up later on how it all goes.
Let me know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments.