“I nod to a passing stranger, and the stranger nods back, and two human beings go off, feeling a little less anonymous.” —Robert Brault
This feature film stars Robert. He captures the potential for human beings to connect in a paradoxical world, where we have increasingly broad ways to connect with our fellow men and women, yet many of us feel disconnected in the online world. We yearn for ways to engage with our tweeple, bloggers and customers.
Freeze frame, in comes @letsconnect. She is following 4,500 people, with 3,550 following her. She wonders who to create a dialogue with and how to shed the veil of anonymity.
Cut to a scene starring @socialmediautopia, our protagonist. He carefully selects those people who form the background of his Twitter community. Flowers are pollinated and birds chirp incessantly. Welcome to the land of retweets, @ mentions, plus ones and blog comments.
Who you choose to nurture will vary from person-to-person depending on your product / service and goals, whether personal or professional. I give extra attention to my fellow Triberrs and people I interact with on Third Tribe Marketing and retweet at least one of a batch of my new follower’s tweets.
Next scene, @cynic. He is our antagonist. He wonders who has enough time to fly around Twitter sprinkling fairy dust on their tweeple when corporate strategies need to be developed and two year old Mary has needs her diaper changed.
How will this story end? Will followers trip over each other, trying to unfollow aggressive sellers that push out guerrilla sales tactics right before their horse has left his gate? Whoa horsey. Create value for your Twitter community. Some days “value” will translate into a 30-second investment, other days 20 minutes will be spent sharing the love. The point is that there are options.
Lets toss out the no brainers right from the get go, so we can broaden your knowledge and flex your higher brain functions.
1. Retweet, retweet, retweet. You expand your followers reach and give their post your personal stamp of approval.
2. Thank people who follow you and retweet their tweets. There are different school of thought considering Twitter etiquette here. How responsive have you been to said tweets? Get a feel for what works for you. You are letting your new followers know that they are on your radar.
Okay, lets kick things up a notch.
3. Use Klout to +K someone in their area of expertise. You’re allowed five +K’s per day, so choose them wisely. It only takes a second and improve their Klout score. For example, you could type @socialmouths in the search box and +K Francisco for his social media prowess.
4. Let others know why you are following certain key folk. This may inspire others to follow said folk, thus broadening his or her reach. For example, “I follow @lorirtaylor for her entertaining, quality and informed tweets. She is a thought leader in social media and could be your secret weapon.” Done.
5. Let others know something specific you have learned from them. Again, this promotes your tweeple and gives their voice a larger audience. Such a declaration can take this form: “Awesome post about relationship marketing: URL from @monmorong.
6. If they have a blog, take time to comment on their blog. Don’t shy away from promoting your product if it helps others meet their needs.
7. Share their blog posts / website(s). If you only have time to use one social bookmarking site, choose StumbleUpon. This will likely bring the most amount of traffic to their site. I also use Digg and Reddit on occasion. Promote the blog article on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social media tools / sites, such as BizSugar where appropriate.
8. Think outside the box. I run a monthly “10 Awesome Tweets From My Followers in [insert month]” and more recently, “10 Awesome Tweets From People I Follow in [insert month]” on my blog. This results in a win-win situation. Your blog gets lots of traffic and tweeple get recognition / greater bang for their tweet bucks, meaning access to a larger audience. Use Refynr to sift through tweets using keywords, which will save you loads of time.
9. Add tweeple to your Circles. This says ‘your important to me’. Enough said.
10. Offer to give something they value. For example, you can ask your tweeple to tweet you key links that they want to promote (do you have any you want me to promote?). Offer early access to invite-only sites, such as Google+. Btw, if you need an invite to join Google+, give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do you nurture you Twitter community?