Twitter is fast becoming my favorite social media network.
I am finding it to be a fabulous tool – if you “get it”.
Don’t worry, if you don’t “get it”, I completely understand. I have been on Twitter since it first started but never had much use for it, until I started this website.
For years I had an account. I followed some people. Some people followed me. It was all a lot of noise.
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I found many of the conversations to be one way and I really didn’t care what someone that I didn’t know ate for lunch.
So, when I started Almost Practical, I set up a Twitter account for two reasons: to figure Twitter out, and obviously to have a social media presence.
Lucky for me, I met an awesome Twitterer right from the very start – Peggy Pardo at The Casa Collective – and I finally started to “get it”.
Done right, Twitter is about building relationships.
I can hear you : “How can you build relationships in 140 words or less?”
I used to ask the same question.
You build relationships on Twitter just as you would in any other situation.
- You talk to each other.
- You introduce each other to your own Twitter followings.
- You share new and valuable content.
- You promote each others content.
It’s simple really.
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Finding Like Minded Twitterers
In the beginning, the hard part is finding other Twitterers that have the same mind set as you do.
This is where I always got stuck. Not because I didn’t have good intentions but because I did not really know how to go about it. And without results, I would give up.
So, back to Peggy. Somewhere along the line – I started following @DecoratingFiles and she followed me back.
Maybe I re-tweeted an article of hers. I can’t recall.
But suddenly, I was getting regular “TY’s” (thank you’s) from Peggy for my RT’s (retweets).
In addition, Peggy would also retweet my tweets and promote my content.
At the end of the day/week etc she would regularly give a shout out via tweet to several other Twitterers – thanking them, encouraging others to follow them, and just generally getting the word out that hey, these are good people to follow.
The underlying message to me is that if Peggy likes them, then they must interact and share in the spirit as she does – so, if she mentions someone, I am likely to check them out and follow them as well.
The result on my own approach to Twitter was eye opening for me. I started consistently sharing and promoting other people’s content and a funny thing happened: I started to really meet other Twitterers.
And they started to mention me and promote my content.
Give and you shall receive.
So how do you make it work?
Starting out is tough. Without any followers and without any tweets, it is hard to attract new followers.
Must do: change the generic profile picture immediately or no one will take you seriously. Use your own picture or logo or something personal.
Start following people that you would like to meet or that tweet about things that are interesting to you. The important thing here is not to follow a thousand random people. Carefully select a few and expand who you follow as your conversations develop.
Include in this category bloggers in your niche that seem to be quite social with other Twitterers.
You can figure this out by looking at their profiles. Read through their past tweets and see if they are actually having conversations with other people on Twitter.
If the only thing that you see in their profiles are automated tweets promoting their own content, then they likely won’t converse with you.
You should also follow some authority sites in your niche. They may not follow you back, but you can keep up to date with interesting developments and retweet relevant articles to your own followers.
Start tweeting. A brand new Twitter profile with no tweets is a turn off. Start tweeting, start promoting other people’s content, and make it a point to respond to as many mentions and retweets of your own content as possible.
Lower Your Expectations
It can be discouraging to come across Twitter accounts with tens of thousands of followers when your own followers number in the tens or hundreds.
It is a fact, if you have more followers, you look more popular. Quantity talks when it comes to reeling in advertisers to your own website. Everything is in the stats.
But as a new blogger or at least as someone that is new to Twitter, building a foundation of QUALITY followers will get you much further faster. It will snowball.
What Is Your Twitter Strategy?
Obviously, everyone will take a different approach to social media. What strategy works for you on twitter? Tell us about it!
Leave a comment below or start a conversation with me on Twitter (@AlmostPractical).
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