Why Follow People – Can’t I Just Spread My Messages?
Twitter works best when there is two-way communication
Remember earlier when we said Twitter is a distribution AND discussion platform. You need to be following people so you can listen to what they are saying and converse.
When you follow people – many will follow you back
Just the simple act of following someone prompts them to check out your Twitter page. About half of the people you follow will follow you back. So this is a great way to build your own following.
The secret power of Twitter is in listening – not speaking
You will hear us hit upon this theme over and over in this book. Listening on Twitter is the key. How can you be a leader if all you do is speak?
Twitter is a network
New followers will often find you through other people. The more people you follow, the bigger you are building your network.
What Kind Of People You Should Follow
When you first sign up with Twitter you are going to want to begin following people. The biggest question most people ask is who do I follow?
The best place to start is with a few searches.
Begin by searching keywords and terms used by your customers and prospects. For example, when I initially worked to build up the Maryl.and Z00 Twitter followers, I targeted people who used the terms “M.aryland Z00,” “Z00,” “animals,” “Baltimore,” “safari,” etc. I began following these people. Most of them followed back because the Z00 was of interest to them.
Another useful tool you can use to search businesses and professionals who are using Twitter is Twellow. This is a yellow page listing of all the Twitter users. Be sure to add yourself and your business to this listing.
Visit ExecTweets for a listing of all the executives using Twitter. Scan down through the profiles and see which executives are either competition to your business or would most likely be a great prospect. Follow them. By strategically following key people and businesses – you will be exercising your most critical social media skill…listening.
Super connectors are people who already have massive Twitter followings. These people are usually business leaders, A-list bloggers, media moguls, high profile professionals, etc. By following them and genuinely engaging with them, you are exposed to their networks.
Another technique you can use to find people to follow is to watch the trending list. If there is a topic that is closely related to your products, services, or industry click on it. You will be presented with a list of people discussing this particular topic.
Once you start following these people you will get a better sense of who you should be following. Many will follow you back.
Thoughts about “spam” and “flooding”
- Grow your following gradually, rapid growth with uneven following will get noticed and possibly banned from Twitter.
- Personalize your Twitter posts. Don’t just flood the timeline with a bunch of facts and links to your own stuff.
- Do not add a link to every tweet.
- At first you are only limited to following 2000, don’t follow all of them immediately – you could get suspended.
How To Follow People
Basic step-by-step process of following someone:
- Click on the username of the person you are thinking about following.
- Double check to be certain they are not a spammer.
- Click the follow button.
Joel Mark Witt is the Publisher of Folk Media and author of 21 Days To Twitter Leadership. He is a producer, author, and speaker who consults with businesses and nonprofits on how to use social media in marketing and communications. Get more from Joel on Twitter.
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*Photo By jdeeringdavis