No, this blog has not been taken over by spammers, but I have used some best practices that has so far doubled my number of twitter followers. I know most Social Media “Experts” wait until they’re making $100,000 a month or have a million followers to reveal their secrets, but I can’t be bothered wait that long. I want to make sure this works for other people first. So here’s my “social media strategy” in 6 easy steps:
1. Organize your current followers into lists using TwitListManager.com
If people aren’t reciprocating your fake social media points, it’s time to unfollow them. But what if you’re desperate to keep up with various celebrities you’ll never meet? Just put them into a handy twitter list. Twitlistmanager.com makes this really easy, and you can make sure that everyone’s in their proper lists. The lists will fall into 3 categories: People you actually want to talk to, people you admire, and Spammers/bots/ foreign language accounts you can use to boost your twitter score.
2. Unfollow the non-followers using JustUnfollow.com
Once every user is in his/her/its proper list, you can easily unfollow the non-followers with JustUnFollow.com. The Free version gives you a limited number of unfollows, but with just $10 a year, you can unfollow as many people as you want on your account.
3. Follow Back using JustUnfollow.com
It’s just common courtesy. Following people doesn’t cost anything, so quit acting like it does. Accept that many of your followers will either be spammers or Brazilian.
4, Find some real people using Twitter Local Search
It’s fun to see your follower count go up, but eventually you should use twitter the way it’s meant to be used: To talk to people. It’s best if you do this with people who share your interests. Twitter search can help you find key words, like “Canucks” or “Rihanna”, but to find really meaningful conversation, it’s best to talk to people in the same city as you. Hootsuite does this really well by providing a button in its search bar that allows you to search using your latitude/longitude coordinates.
5. No Lurking!
Nothing kills an online community like lurkers. You can only get as much out of a community as you put into it. If you have something to say about a tweet, say it. Twitter was meant for speed and brevity, not crafted retorts in iambic pentameter. If you’re wondering what to tweet about, sending link-free tweets is a good start. I find I get the most replies by making progress on a clearly stated goal. This can be anything from housework to Gundam models. Consider your account an on-line pokemon battle…against life!
6. Rinse, and Repeat.
Give new follows a 72-hour window to follow you back. After that, fit them into the list, and let them run free in cyberspace. Your time and attention is limited, so don’t feel bad about unfollowing. If you meet them again in real life and you exchange twitter ids, then just follow them again.
So that’s how I play the Twitter game. Software is more of an art than a science, and Twitter, like Facebook, is just another way we try to make communication more efficient. If we lay out expectations instead expecting people to “just get it”, we put more people on the network and we make it more effective.