Passing 2,500 Followers on Twitter

In the two months since Randstad’s Social Media Director, Mr. Scott Graham (, gave an outstanding guest lecture in my MBA course on Information Management (MGMT 6610), I’ve followed just a few of his many tips and insights, and it’s paid off measurably. I’ve been active in social media for more than a decade, but I first began to use social media in earnest back in the fall of 2005 when Prof. Chuck Robinson and I prepared a Learning Community course at North Georgia that mixed PSYC 1001 and CSCI 1100 (intro to psychology and intro to information technologies).

I’ve had a couple of Twitter accounts over that time, first as @professorpayne, then as my “rebranded” @brysonpayne, but I always loomed in the low several hundred followers. I never saw the value of having several thousand followers – and, to be honest, I had no idea how to engage that many followers in the first place. That changed for the better when Scott delivered the most popular guest lecture of my Spring 2013 MBA course.

Scott talked about the three legs of social media, social content and search engine optimization, with great real-life examples from his work at a couple of highly respected organizations, most recently Randstad, the second-largest staffing organization in the world with over $25 billion in annual revenues. My MBA students are all working professionals representing organizations from as few as seven employees to over 70,000. Scott provided advice and direction for organizations large and small, and employees/entrepreneurs at every level – even for an old professor and IT guy like me…

In shorthand (I need to turn this into a longer post), I started sharing and creating content regularly, actively following people who followed me, engaging a bit more – all in all, I spent a few minutes a couple of times a day consciously focusing on my small corner of the social media universe for a few weeks, and I legitimately grew my follower base to more than 3,000 real, live people (no twitter-bots, scams, “buy-more-followers”, etc.) using Scott’s ideas.

I’ll update this post as I have time to note my progress, and I’ll work on a separate post delineating Scott’s great advice for small and large businesses, mixing it with a bit of what I’ve learned along the way.

Update: It’s been a couple of months since my original post, and the total’s now over 3,500 followers. I admit I haven’t been giving it the same level of attention over the busy summer, teaching two courses and running the CS department at UNG, but having 3,500 people receive my content via tweets feels pretty cool. No tricks, just steady plodding and creating and sharing great content.

About Bryson Payne

Author of Teach Your Kids to Code, Speaker, and Professor of Computer Science at the University of North Georgia.

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