As this morning saw me attract my 8,000th ‘follower’ on Twitter, I thought it was a good time to share with you, how I have built my network of Twitter Associates thus far, (I don’t like the word ‘followers’.)
Whilst a few social media / marketing people have more followers than me, I have attracted almost all of my followers in just 14 weeks – NOT 12 months or 2 years! I also did this without the benefit of thousands of blog readers, legions of ‘fans’ or famous blogging friends.
I have also managed to build a targeted network of Twitter Associates, not just NUMBERS! My network on twitter is composed primarily of; business owners, entrepreneurs, bloggers and those linked to marketing, PR or social media. (The exact same people who use my marketing services.)
I believe building a network of Twitter Associates is not just about attracting numbers! It’s about attracting people, who are in your target group and then earning their trust.
The three key words here are people, attract and trust.
The people I associate with on Twitter are NOT my followers; they are my equals. We are part of the same online network. I refer to them as my Twitter Associates, because we associate with each other on a level playing field, using Twitter. The only time I use the term ‘follower’ is (like in the title of this post), when I need to give people a quick point of reference.
You see, this is a two way deal with me, I follow all those who follow me, unless they are spamming me of course. With me there’s no tribes and no leaders – just people who want to connect!
Does an equality-focused approach actually work on Twitter? Well, there’s anywhere between 1 and 3 million people using Twitter, (apparently). As I write this, I am high in the top 1% of all Twitter users, based on ‘followers.’ I don’t say this to impress you, but to impress upon you the effectiveness of treating people as equals and with respect!
This means communicating rather than dictating. It means engaging people and listening to what they say. It means taking time to help people no matter how many followers they have, just because you like their work. It means becoming part of a network or community, without feeling the need to lead it!
Think of the people YOU buy from, enjoy the company of and recommend to people. These will tend to be people you trust, people you like and people you value – NOT people who treat you like some dumb ass follower!
There’s been a lot said about the power of attraction, with some referring to it as the law of attraction. Whatever your thoughts on the subject, we know that cause and effect play a major role in every area of our lives.
If we want to attract people, we first need to make ourselves attractive to them!
On Twitter, the most attractive people are those who share – rather than just self-promote. They are the people who take time to answer questions and engage people in dialogue. They are the people who look for ways to connect others and help them thrive.
One of the fastest ways to attract the interest of another human being, is to show your interest in them first! We all like to feel valued and when another person takes time to notice us, it makes US feel good! Don’t wait for people to follow you – develop your network of Twitter Associates by looking for great people and FOLLOW THEM FIRST!
This means that you not only attract more people, you ALSO get to develop a network of associates who are the kind of people most suited to you and your business.
Use the Twitter Search facility to identify people who ‘tweet’ about things you are interested in, and follow them. Then, introduce yourself and add something of value to the conversation!
We live in an age where; diets promise we can lose 20lbs in a month, we can have rock-hard abs with just 3 minutes exercise a day and where we can become rich in weeks (if we just buy that $29 ebook!)
We expect results immediately, yet developing trust takes time!
Paradoxically, I believe one of the reasons my network grew quickly, is because I took my time! I am simply not influential enough to develop a network that big, that quick, all by myself! I rely massively on the help and co-operation of others and that only comes after people trust me enough to recommend me to their Twitter Associates.
I see people using auto-responders when I follow them, with links to sales pitches – because they come to twitter expecting immediate results! Who is going to recommend someone like that to their Twitter Associates?
I get people I have never heard of, telling me to send a message to my Twitter Associates, recommending they follow them or visit their website/blog! Who is going to recommend a person like that to their Twitter Associates?
I mentioned earlier, the importance of treating people with respect, as equals. This is a great way to earn people’s trust and their good will.
When this happens:
- People will recommend you to their Twitter Associates.
- People will go and visit your site or blog.
- People will enquire about your products or services.
- And people will buy from you. I’ve recently sold over $30,000 in services / products via people I met on twitter.
Your tips, ideas and suggestions!
This post is based on my experiences and observations as a twitter user. I’m certain there are many, many more ways to develop a valuable network via twitter…
AND this is where YOU come in!
What kind of things make you more, (or less), inclined to press someone’s follow button? Share them here and please feel free to include your twitter username, if you would like new people to discover you!
…. and if you found this useful, don’t forget to subscribe to my RSS feed!
Latest posts by Jim Connolly (see all)
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