This is a post I have been meaning to write for a while now but never really thought it deserved its own space on my blog, mainly because it’s just the way I happen to use Twitter and it’s not really anything special, but after explaining the process to numerous blog friends on various comment threads, and then seeing a great series of posts on the usefulness (or not) of Twitter from my good friend and Social Media hound Sam over at Ithnk.com I finally decided that you know what, 2500 Followers from an account I only started in February is not a bad effort and is surely a strategy that perhaps I should share with others. Now I know I’m no CopyBlogger or Problogger, or even theInfoPreneur for that matter, and I don’t even know if getting 2000 followers in under 3 months is something to brag about?! But for the record, I think it’s pretty good going, so here is the process I follow, why I believe in Twitter, and the three free resources I use to manage the process.
I am not here to debate whether or not Twitter is effective as a marketing tool, I am simply outlining the processes I follow and how I managed to get over 2000 followers in under 3 months – because if Marketing is indeed a numbers game then you know what, I just figured out how to make Twitter effective.
I have spoken at length about Social Media vs. Google, and being the advocate for Keyword Research you are probably wondering why I even bother with Twitter, but for me it’s all about building my online presence, and that starts with relationships. I think the greatest tool in the land of social media is the ReTweet and when used with Effective Blog Commenting it is the most effective way to get noticed in the crowded blogosphere. This combined with the fact that Twitter is so blogger friendly make it a definite must in the bloggers arsenal.
Twuality or Twuantity?
First and foremost let me state that my goal here is quantity over quality. This is probably the only forum in which this would be the case and it’s because trying to decipher quality on Twitter is like trying to get a straight answer from a politician, so Twitter becomes a numbers game. Apart from the obvious fact that the more followers the more chance of getting ReTweeted, there are some additional benefits..
Social Proof Anyone?
You know Twitter followers are a lot like Ants (thanks Anna for the reference )in that individually they are kind of useless (ummm, not you guys who RT my posts all the time of course) but together they are a force to be reckoned with. The force I am talking about is of course Social Proof. The Probloggers talk at length about the importance of Social Proof and the importance of showing people that others are interested too. It’s like the old adage the if a few people are looking up at something then soon others will look up to, and this perpetuates too! Now even though we really want that number in our RSS feed, at least having it somewhere can only be a good thing. I have over 2500 followers and I only really value maybe 100 of them at best, but to the uninitiated it looks like Alex Whalley has 2500 people interested in what he has to say, so maybe the uninitiated suddenly feel they need to be interested to.
How to Use Twitter with free twitter tools -Simplified
Twitter Tools – SocialOomph
This is where I manage the auto follow and welcome messages. I Click on Direct Messages and Edit Welcome Message and from there I can edit the message that people receive when they follow me as well as tick the option to automatically follow people back who follow me –which I always have ticked. Why do I follow people back automatically? Because it’s a two way street and what reason do I have to not follow someone? The beauty of Twitter is that you don’t ever have to hear someone speak unless they speak @ you. (VISIT SOCIALOOMPH)
What’s the perfect ‘thanks for the follow’ message?
There is none really, it truly is one of those things where it’s such a diverse forum that anything goes, but I have had at least 5 different thank you messages and the one I use now seems to be the most effective because it tells people what that I follow back and that I love to ReTweet. This is something I actually do AND it is something that appeals to all Twitter users. It’s quite a tactful move if I don’t say so myself and I would strongly recommend you add it to your welcome message (so long as you will actually do those things)
Twitter Tools – Tweepi
OK This is the bees knees in Free Twitter Tools and does everything I need and then some. This is where I follow and unfollow pretty much everyone and is almost used exclusively to manage my account. Within Tweepi you can Follow those who are following someone you specify, but more importantly you can flush those who are not following you back. The process I follow is to go and look for an interesting blogger who is in a similar niche to me and then follow as many of their high RTing followers as I can until the computer says no. A few days later, usually at least 5 to be fair, I go back to Tweepi and using the ‘Geeky Flush’ I unfollow all those who are not following me back (except those whom I choose to follow of course). Once I have unfollowed I then repeat the process again. (VISIT TWEEPI)
Who Wants to be ReTweeted?
The search feature within Tweepi allows you to filter the results via a range of options including high RT rate. I like this option because I want to only follow those who have a tendency to RT (just like me!) so it increases the chances that I’ll inevitably get ReTweeted more. It may be about numbers but if I can control at least one aspect of the way I pick who to follow then a high ReTweet rate is definitely my quality score!
Twitter Tools – Twellow
I Don’t tend to utilise ‘the yellow pages of twitter’ as much as I used to but the reason this site is so good is because you can register your Twitter ID there under various keyphrases and categories so that others using the directory will find you, besides it is the biggest Twitter directory in existence and therefore you definitely want to register there if anywhere. On the flip side of this great feature is obviously the benefit that you can search for and follow people under categories, keywords, you name it. (VISIT TWELLOW)
Be Smart about Who you Follow
It’s OK to be a sheep when it comes to Twitter because well, that’s how it works but who you follow is important in the long run so you need to start thinking outside the box and stop following the leader, so to speak. For example I talk about on page optimisation and Keyword research so I tend to follow those interested in blogging and MMO in general. If I was to target those interested in SEO surely that would be a waste of time as I could not offer them my services at any point. Too many people just follow people interested in the same thing as they themselves are. Think one step ahead. If you sell baby clothes then follow people in pregnancy groups. If you sell Dentures, follow people who love chocolate or smoke. You get the picture – Just be more clevererer.
Well that’s how I use twitter. No secret really, just some real world marketing thinking and consistent action at least once a week has seen these results and I honestly believe you can easily do the same or better using the same system. Granted Twitter is not going to make you (much) money, but the exposure you can get, and the social proof that comes with the numbers is surely worth the trouble.
For a more detailed list of Twitter resources, including sites where you can register your Twitter ID check out Brandon Connell’s recent post on building massive twitter followers where he gies a good summary of some the better tools available. Also be sure to check out What Ithnk aka Social Sammy has to say on the subject, especially seeing as he recently surpassed 4000 Tweets. That’s just insane!
If you are really serious about taking advantage of the Twitosphere then you really should start by following me and Retweeting this post!
- What tools do you use to manage you Twitter Account?
- Have I just embarrassed myself by talking up 2500 followers?