So here’s the thing, I’m into social media. I read blogs, I write this one, I’m active on Twitter and Facebook, I have an about.me and accounts with a bunch of other social networking sites. I use twitter to network with people, get a lot of news and find interesting (and funny) stuff to read/watch. I have a few followers, sure, and I follow a few people (that list grows bigger everyday). Thing is I use social media, not for some personal gain, and I don’t have anything against people who do, but the point remains that I USE it! I’m sick of people wanting to have thousands of followers and a vibrant and responsive twitter community 3 minutes after they create an account. Now any twitter user that has a sizeable number of followers will tell you that there are 3 primary things you need to have to get a high follower-ship.
Content, interaction and patience.
No. 1: Now content is pretty self explanatory. Provide value for your followers! Don’t post rubbish, don’t advertise (Kim Kardashian I’m looking at you here!), and don’t go on it for just 5 mins a day. Now lets address each of those individually. It’s pretty self explanatory, no one is gonna want to read your tweets if their rubbish. Now if your unsure as to what kind of tweets are referred to as ‘bullshit tweets’ this is a great post to read. Avoid these and your well on your way! Once again, don’t, for the love of god, DON’T advertise things on twitter, its the surest way to get unfollowed. Recommend something you like ofcourse, that’s always welcome, but don’t advertise. Now self promotion is different, for example I will be telling my followers about this post, but I’m not gonna be posting it every 10 minutes for 3 days. So take this as a guideline, if you have something to recommend or show to people, post it once, and maybe post it again in a few days, but not regularly and definitely not multiple times a day!
No. 2: Interaction is very important within twitter. It can be as simple as retweeting someone else’s tweet that you find interesting. People on twitter want to get to know you, they’re people too and they are on a social networking site, so the 2 things they want to do is be social and network! If you never interact, just post stuff then your no different than a news websites twitter that just posts news. ‘But they have lots of followers!’ you might say. Yes, that’s because they are a trusted source of news, they have journalists gathering the news. Even if you do the same thing they do, post the same news, nobody cares because your not doing the work. Talk to people, reply to them, retweet them, add them on other social networking sites. When some people say network, they mean in the strict professional sense, when I say network I mean it in the most casual sense. Make friends! Be social!
No. 3: Ok, this is the thing that so many people don’t have. They might follow the other 2 rules pretty damn well, but they don’t have patience. They want followers and they want them NOW! Well it’s not gonna work, many have tried and many will keep trying but without time your network can’t grow! It’s like a living thing, because its made of living people, it needs time and curating to grow.
But here’s what I think, I personally don’t care how many followers I have. When I first joined twitter about 2 years ago in 2009 I never intended to use it to become famous. My intention was to use it to network and keep in touch with my friends. My goal hasn’t changed, and for about a year I had only about 60 followers, but then I actually started using it, starting interacting and following the 3 rules and even though I’m not huge on twitter, I have over 1000 followers, which isn’t bad. But like I said, I don’t care, if more people want to hear what I have to say, great! But I’m not gonna force them! And until recently you couldn’t force someone to follow you, unfortunately that’s changed now. There are so many people offering to ‘sell’ you followers that it’s shameful!
My next post will be on why ‘buying’ twitter followers is a TERRIBLE idea!