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How to be an Alpha Wolf: Lynda's Now Doing Twitter Right

Posted: 2017-01-17 11:07:49

Photo Credit: International Wolf Center - Don Gossett

Note: Originally posted on Dec 13th, 2016

Lynda Spiegel commented on a previous post. She said that Twitter doesn't do much for her. I asked if she would be a Guinea Pig for a Case Study. Lynda agreed, but I don't think she thought I was serious.

I was serious.

I was serious as a heart attack.

After some back-and-forth in LinkedIn messaging, we spoke. Lynda repeated often that she didn't want me to waste my time.

I took that as meaning she didn't want to waste hers. Lynda insists that wasn’t the case. I believe her. She's a straight-shooter. But, she was skeptical about Twitter. After all, Twitter is a useless, noisy place that doesn’t do much for anybody, right?


I just love changing a skeptic's mind.

About Lynda

For those of you who don't know Lynda Spiegel, here’s some background. Lynda is a renowned expert on Resumes and what it takes to get hired. She is the founder of Rising Star Resumes and writes careers and HR practices as a member of The Wall Street Journal’s Experts Panel.

Yes, The Wall Street Journal. It doesn’t get much more prestigious than that.

Lynda’s at the top of her game. She’s a definite Alpha She-Wolf.

Lynda has a good-sized, well-targeted, LinkedIn following, and is well-known and respected in her community.

So, how many followers does this Alpha She-Wolf have on Twitter?





When we started yesterday, Lynda had only 545 Tweeps following her. I’m not sure just how well-targeted they were.

Oh well, it’s a start.

Lynda only had 2895 impressions of her tweets over the last 28 days.

I average about 20,000 a day.

We have our work cut out for us.

This is Day One

Lynda agreed to be the test subject. I set her up on That's the web app that used to be known as the Web-App-With-No-Name. Yes, the Web-App-With-No-Name now has a name. It has a permanent home too.

I wanted this test to be as close to what anyone would experience as possible. I didn’t give Lynda access to my much bigger account. I didn’t push her tweets. Lynda will get the results she digs up on her own. We already know Twitter works for me. We need to see if we can make it work for Lynda.

Step One: House Cleaning

Not surprising given the size of the account, there wasn’t much house cleaning to do. Lynda was only following a handful that weren’t following back. I decided to hold off on cleaning them out. When you first set you account up and Refresh Relationships, the system pulls in all your followers and friends (that's what the Twitter API calls people you follow). The system considers that they all started following you on that instant. The suggested practice is to set Your Unfollow Grace Period to 1 day, and refresh. The next day, process your unfollows then set the Grace period to something reasonable, 3 - 5 days.

There was no reason to do that with the few people Lynda was following.

Step Two: Establishing a Strategy

When we build a targeted Twitter following, we want two things. We want active people. We want people interested in our stuff.

The TweetPacks don’t approach that in the “normal” way.

Most apps ask you to follow someone else’s followers. Unfollow whoever doesn’t follow back. Or, they ask you to follow people who use a specific hashtag and unfollow whoever doesn’t follow back in time.

There's a problem with both approaches. . . Anyone can follow anyone. Anyone can use any hashtag. That’s no way to target.

We use a multi-pronged approach. We want people who are active and interested. We insist they prove their activity and interest before following them. I'll show you what I mean in a minute.

I asked Lynda for up to five Twitter accounts that would likely have the type of followings she would like to emulate. Think affinity not just size. Yes, they should be big busy accounts, but that's not enough. Do they cater to the type of thing you offer?

I entered those accounts in the system and went to work. (Side Note: Today, we swapped one account out because it wasn’t active enough to do the job.)

First, I pulled out anyone who added Lynda to a Twitter List. Then I pulled out everyone who added those key accounts (we call them Alphas, they're like Lynda's personal influencers) to a list. All those names went into a potential follows list.

It took six key clicks.

Next, I pulled out everyone those key accounts retweeted or mentioned. The logic is that if a key account mentions or retweets someone, then that person is likely active and interested. Players usually retweet and mention other Players. We add them to the potential follows list as well.

That’s another key click.

Next, I pulled out anyone who retweeted or mentioned Lynda or her Alphas. These people proved their interest and activity by actually engaging. Into the potential follows list they went.

That was another key click.

At this point, I had far more potential follows than I needed. Note that I keep saying "potential" WE DO NOT FOLLOW AUTOMATICALLY. That's against Twitter Rules. All those potential follows are not yet targeted. I think of them as a first draft.

I filtered the potential follows list to ignore overly large accounts, accounts who don’t follow others, and itsy-bitsy accounts. That’s a web-form thing that takes a minute to do.

We scheduled a few days of follows based on what Lynda wanted.

Step Three: Bringing Lynda’s posts into the system

This took a little longer. I know where I keep my posts, but finding and storing someone else’s took some time. Since then, we added bulk upload capability via a Google Sheet. Soon, we will have the ability to automatically upload from RSS 2.0 or ATOM feeds.

I stored 11 LinkedIn posts and all Lynda’s Wall Street Journal articles. I also stored a type of ad showing off Lynda’s eBook on Amazon.

That was it for day one. All in all, and excluding the fun phone call with Lynda, the process took about an hour or so. A lot of that was spent surfing the web while the system was doing its stuff. Even then, most of that time was in finding and storing the posts. That’s a one-and-done thing. Going forward, we just add them as we write them, or, later, let RSS/ATOM do it for us.

Today, we start in earnest. I will schedule tweets from those I stored. I also added a share to a Paul Drury post.

The day after, we'll start weeding out unfollowers.

I’ll report back weekly.

I'm curious to see how fast Lynda's account will turn around.

Can we make this Twitter account worthy of its owner?

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