Posted in Twitter, tagged Twitter on September 24, 2008|
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Before I kick off this post, let me preface this by saying that I am not the Chris Brogan of Twitter. I have right around 160 followers. But learning how to obtain this group of followers, most of whom are strategic, has been a fun project for me. I’d like to share how I have increased my followers from 60-160 in just about 3 weeks.
When I first started Tweeting, I really wasn’t sure what it was all about. I, like many Twitter newbies, tweeted things like (and including):
- IKEA is the devil. But damn my room is looking good; and
- My parents used to turn back the clocks and then lie to us about why it was still light outside and send us to bed. I get that now.
And then I wondered, why didn’t I have 200 followers? Why didn’t anyone care about every single detail of MY amusing life?
I quickly learned that when others shared every minute detail of their day, no matter how funny they were (with the exception of Heather Armstrong of Dooce), I didn’t really care either.
About a month ago, I completely changed the way I was Tweeting. Anyone who is a Twitter pundit already knows these tricks, but for those who are new, maybe you will find these tips helpful.
- Listen. Spend some time just watching what people say and how they say it. Who do you admire in the Twittesphere? What kinds of posts do you appreciate? What kinds do you wish would go away? Listen and learn.
- Decide what your Twitter persona will be. What kinds of messages do you want to deliver? Will you be political? A mommy twitterer? A social media pundit? Have direction and meaning and stick with it.
- Follow, follow, follow. Don’t follow just anyone. Only follow those who inspire you, are like-minded and in a relevant industry or have relevant interests. But ALWAYS follow. Individuals who don’t follow others look like spammers. And no one likes a spammer.
- Don’t be offended if those you are following don’t follow you back. Keep following more people. Over time, as you become more relevant yourself, many of those people will follow you in return. And many won’t. Who cares?
- Start Tweeting! Tweet interesting articles that you think your readers would appreciate. “Re-Tweet” interesting things your followers have talked about that day. Be relevant to your message and try to say something people could learn from.
- Don’t forget- you are a person, and sometimes your Tweets SHOULD be whimsical. It’s finding the mix of informative and entertaining that will help you hold onto an audience.
Finding People to Follow:
I found it overwhelming at first finding people to follow. The search function under “finding people” gave me a slew of “PR” professionals, but who was really an influencer? There are a few basic tricks I have learned about following, most of which are intuitive, and some of which require a bit of research.
- Follow http://www.twitter.com/grader. I promise you won’t start with a great score. But @grader has a suggestion tool for people they believe you should follow as well as the “Top Twitter Users” list. These are the real pundits of Twitter. Follow the folks on this list that are most relevant to your industry.
- Borrow followers from your most influential friends. Seriously. Always read a page before following them, though.
- If you’re a member of Linkedin, join the Tweeple or Twitter group. You can find many relevant contacts via this avenue, but it does take a bit of research.
- Join groups that are relevant to you. Last week a great new site launched called TwitterMoms. Yes, I am a PR practitioner, but I am also a mother. I took the opportunity to sign up for this new Twitter Group and look forward to the new connections I will make with this professional bunch of moms. I mention groups because I think we will start seeing an influx of Twitter groups for all kinds of interests in the future. Jump on when you see them! Connections are on their way!
- Finally, if you live somewhere wherein there is a local Tweetup group, attend. Twitter is fun, but it’s amazing how much impact these Twitter connections have when you can place screen names to faces.
I’d love to hear from YOU. What do you think about when creating a Tweet? How do you find followers?
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