Write for the Followers, Not the Following

Think of social media as high school.  There are the popular folks, the readers, the jockies, the junkies and then there is you … a seeming outlier who is using social media responsibly as a marketing tool for your business or a soapbox to get your message to the masses.  But how do you get that conversation started.

Oftentimes the first thing new Twitter users do, after creating an awesome handle and loading up an amazing avi, are start following celebrities and people on television.  The worst thing they then precede at doing is attempting to interact with them, which in my opinion is absolutely preposterous.  As if a celebrity with 100k followers is going to respond back to your LOL tweet, with a “Tell me more about your business” – not gonna happen. (Especially when celebrities are being paid up to $1 million to tweet about brands to their followers, #mustbenice)

Don’t get me wrong, there are many ways you can broadcast your message without interacting.  Tweeting out commercialized links, asking people to “stop by”, or tweeting out daily deals is one thing, but tweeting to procure relationships within you target markets is an art form.

First things to remember:

Optimize Your Lists.  Following celebrities and industry notables is not taboo.  Their method of conversing and evenly mixing in commercial tweets with personal or product driven information could be a great inspiration for your own conversation plan.  Or maybe you look up to them professional and want to keep up with what they’re doing.  Creating Twitter Lists helps keeps them organized and may assist in putting you on their radar – as you create more and more subjected lists, you optimize the types of messages you are receiving and you’ll better be able to align your own message to those of industry standards.  As you become more of a Twitter user your lists will shrink, grow, disappear and split – you will also learn how to use what others are saying to mold your new ideas to help you stand out from the crowd.

Tweet for the folks that follow you.  They are people too, they have followers, they have made themselves open and available to your message – so interacting with them should be the most lucrative task in your social media to do list.  Remember, as a professional or a brand, your followers will be a mix of your consumer audience, your competitors and inquisitors.  Learning to reveal just enough information, stay drama free by not addressing your competitors directly, and then subliminally answering small questions takes the “Think before you Tweet” mantra to a new level of strategic communication.

There’s Power in a Good Rant.  I need to clarify this.  People ranting on Twitter and Facebook flood their followers timeline with their posts, that’s why they’ve become so popular.  You ranting over Facebook or Twitter may not be the best thing when the subject is your clients or a vendor you work with.  But staging a rant where you passionately proclaim just how hard you work, or how much you learned at a local seminar, or how great one of your products has become will definitely put a personal spin on your branded message.

When all else fails, Favorite It.  You’ve chatted it up some of your followers.  The conversation is drawing to a quick end, as it should, but how do you say “bye” on Twitter?  I mean, you fully intend to tweet with someone else, but you’ve spent enough time on one subject with someone else and you basically want to wrap it up, and keep it moving.  You do that with a Favorite, which is nothing but a LIKE on Twitter – it sends a subconscious, “You’re right, I have nothing more to say” to your converser … and you are free to move on.  Here’s a tip: Keep track of your Favorite tweets by adding them to their own Lists – reference those Twitter users often, they may be able to open more channels for your brand or business.