How A Twitter Glitch Took Away Over 300 Followers From My Account
For a long time, I have told people again and again about the benefits of leveraging Twitter for your business. Last year, my blog got over 100,000 visitors from Twitter alone and I am very grateful for the social network’s impact on my business.
However, I have started to notice the lack of control I have over my Twitter audience. My Twitter audience is filled with awesome people, but if Twitter wants to take away my ability to interact with my audience, they technically can. They can even take people out of my audience.
Today, Twitter did just that.
I used the ManageFlitter app to follow people. I paid for a remote account management (RAM) software which allows a ManageFlitter assistant to follow people for my account based on what I have requested. In the past, Twitter had no problems with this approach.
Then Twitter locked my account. I could no longer send tweets. Unlocking the account was as easy as getting an SMS verification code, but that’s not what angered me.
I was angered because for some reason, Twitter decided it would be cool for my account to mass unfollow all of the people I was following.
Just like that I look like one of those celebrities who doesn’t need to follow people to have a big audience. When I created my Twitter account, this was my dream. Have millions of followers and follow nobody.
But I never wanted it like this.
I felt like I had undermined all of the relationships I had built on Twitter over the years. All of a sudden, I was no longer following my most loyal readers all because of a Twitter glitch.
So I lost a lot of people in my audience. At the beginning of the day, I had 294,685 followers. Now I have 294,335 followers and the bleeding is continuing (although at this point it is easing). If nothing happened to my account, I’d easily have more than 294,800 followers because of how many I gain in a given day. I might have even exceeded 295,000 Twitter followers. I’ll never know now.
The worst part is that I did nothing wrong. I’d understand losing that many people if I posted something offensive, but I don’t post that kind of stuff.
I could have kept this issue a secret. My Twitter account looks fine now as I am following over 200K people again. Losing over 300 Twitter followers resulted in my account going from 294.7K followers to 294.3K followers, so I only lost .1% of my audience.
But I didn’t. Here is why.
#1: I could have easily lost thousands of followers if Twitter didn’t respond quickly. While I am happy that they responded quickly and got my account to mass follow all of the people it mass unfollowed, why should I have to worry about this problem?
#2: I felt as if I had double-crossed my audience even though I had no control over the glitch. I take my audience very seriously because they make my success possible. If you think this is made up, look at how I interact with my audience on my blog and on Twitter. In addition, I didn’t want to be seen as someone who grew his audience by following just so he could unfollow people to have an awesome ratio. I take criticism very well but don’t like it when criticism is unfairly given. Most importantly, I understand that my audience makes my success possible and would never intend on undercutting them.
#3: These things can’t happen as they discourage people from using the platform. I will continue to recommend Twitter to other people. It’s impact on my business has been phenomenal. My activity on Twitter took my blog from an unknown place on the web to a site bustling with activity.
Even if I had only lost 10 followers, I’d still write this article just for the reason that these followers were unfairly lost. These people probably thought I was unfollowing everyone to make my social proof look better and then decided to unfollow me because they no longer wanted to be with me.
A Glimpse Into My Future
In 1–2 days, my account will be back to where it was at before the glitch took place (add an extra day or two depending on how long the bleeding lasts). I will inevitably surpass 300,000 Twitter followers in August which I see as a big milestone.
August is an exciting month for me. I go on a vacation, have my first practice as a college athlete (cross country), and celebrate my dad’s birthday. I’m hoping to reach the milestone during one of those three timeframes.
I will continue using Twitter each day for my business because I love being on the platform and engaging with my audience. This is just a sour patch on an incredible journey.
I’m not going to focus on the fact that I unfairly lost 0.1% of my Twitter audience. I choose to focus on the fact that I have 99.9% of my Twitter audience left and that Twitter helped me get that audience in the first place.
I felt that writing this out in an article was important. It helped ease my stress about losing Twitter followers and has allowed me to tell my audience what happened. Sometimes if you feel stressed about something, writing it out can relieve that stress and make a big difference in how you view a situation.