The short answer is: It depends on what you want to get out of your Twitter experience. I decided awhile ago to stop growing my Twitter following as rapidly as possible, for a few reasons which I will discuss below. I’ve been wondering if that was the right move for a couple of weeks. A conversation I had last weekend with Conrad of The Wine Wankers on one of my blogging threads convinces me that it is. I’ll explain.
If you’re looking to see a significant number of referrals to your blog every day through your tweeted links, I think you need 20,000+ followers. I know how to organically grow a Twitter account from 0 to 20K. I’ll tell you, it’s not that hard, but it will require quite a bit of your time even if you’re efficient about it.
If you’re just looking to have fun, you need as many followers as it takes to find a few people to Tweet with. That could mean 100, if it’s the right 100 people.
Here’s why I’m no longer growing my Twitter account at a rate of 25-50 per day. I have around 2400 followers and that gives me tons of people to Tweet with. If I don’t look at my account for a whole day, when I come back to it, I usually have 50 or more notifications and three or four new followers.
That’s not a very high level of activity for a Twitter account, but I’m happy with it. I find it useful to have a following that size, especially since it includes a ton of bloggers. But I don’t want to grow my account to 20k any time soon because I’m not sure how I’d manage it, even with Tweetdeck. And since I’m not trying to make it really big, I don’t see what an account with 5,000 followers will get me that my account with 2400 isn’t getting me already. So I am content for it to grow slowly.
This is not to say I’m about to stop giving followbacks, answering notifcations, looking at shoutouts and Follow Fridays, or following new bloggers when I run into them and have a good conversation. Just that I’m not following new accounts by the hundreds any more. I need to put the time and energy I’ve been spending on Twitter growth into other things for a while.
And here’s the great thing about it. I know how to grow a Twitter account. I can have another 1,000 followers anytime I want them. So, as long as I remain active enough to keep from losing large number of followers, and as long as I keep up with the people who actually tweet with me, I lose nothing at all by slowing it down for awhile.