I'm not ready to talk about how Twitter has benefited me or my business yet--we have a complicated relationship. But I think it goes without saying that a lot of people (or should I say "peeps") would like to grow their Twitter following, and I think I've cracked the code. Whatever your social networking goals are, the following tactics will not only increase the number of people following you, but you will begin to experience that old fashioned thing called "community" right from your desktop:
- Habituate your twittering. If Twitter is your water cooler, then drink 8 glasses a day as consistently as possible. I generally let it slide on the weekends, but during the week you can find me tweeting fairly regularly. People will start to expect to see you there. That's a good thing because this encourages more interaction with your ... you guessed it, community. Which brings me to ...
- Engage your followers with meaningful tweets. It's kind of Facebook-y, but Twitterers like getting replies, and they arguably check for them often throughout the day. Just don't be the office chatterbox who has an answer for everything. So annoying. Helpful, witty, or informative is good. Giving people hives is bad.
- Personable is more important than profound. Much like water cooler chat, the point is to be a conversationalist who knows when to make small talk, when to shut up, and when to speak up. It's okay to tweet about your personal life, but don't bore people with the inane unless it is going to inform or entertain. And be careful with the latter. No one likes a clown after the party ends.
- Ask people to follow you at your Twitter URL. This one might seem obvious, but most people still aren't doing it. I admit, it was lost on me until about a month ago. Then I added the follow me request, hyperlinked to my Twitter profile, to (1) my email signature and (2) the byline under my blog posts. Next up is to change my byline for the articles I have plastered around the web.
- Market your microblog on other social networking sites. I hope I'm not going to get in ca-ca for this, but I added my Twitter profile to my LinkedIn profile. I put the URL in the "My Websites" section, right under my website URL and blog URL. I've no idea if this is even allowed on LinkedIn, so if any of you know of some fine print I need to read, please speak up now :)
- Add Twhirl to your desktop. I've tried other methods for keeping up with Twitter, and I always come back to this itty bitty application. It's not perfect but it's simple and present without being annoyingly obtuse like TweetDeck. (Why not just log right in to Twitter in your browser if you want to take up that much of your desktop with that much information?)
These are the tactics I've been using for the last month or so. My number of Twitter followers has enjoyed a nice uptick as a result. Like anything else in online marketing though, consistency is everything. Well, that and you have to actually market your Twitter profile
. Otherwise you're just tweeting into the wind now, aren't you?Click to follow Karri on Twitter
October 27, 2008
Karri Flatla is a business graduate of the University of Lethbridge and principal of snap! virtual associates inc., a virtual consulting firm providing business communications and Internet marketing services to the progressive entrepreneur. Karri also produces Outsmart, the email newsletter for small business with big purpose. Visit http://www.snap-va.com for more information. Click to follow Karri on Twitter.