Thursday, September 24, 2009

Social Media – how to grow your following and friends!

Social Media – how to grow your following/friends!

I have gotten many questions especially on twitter about how do you build a big following. The answer is simple – know why you are using the form of social media. While this material is applicable to most any form of social media this particular post focuses on twitter.

People often get frustrated because they start out and do not have hundred of people following them and as a result some quit, some get frustrated and others become negative and yet the answer is sort of simple – looking are your material – would you follow yourself?

So you want a big following – here is the first thing you here?

Is it
  • To learn about different people and cultures around the world?
  • To promote your business or personal brand?
  • To share what is going on in your life with your friends?
  • To problem solve with your peers?
  • To keep track of the news and politics?
  • Other?

Once that question is answered you can build a simple strategy around it
Lets assume you are here to build your business brand.
  • What is your business?
  • Who is talking about the things of interest to you?
  • Are you tweeting them?
  • Are you following them?
  • When they share something profound are you retweeting them?
  • Do you share new and current events that you find interesting and that impact your business?
  • What would other people gain by following you?
  • Are you communicating well?

A dynamic to consider is twitter is global and fully democratic – people can opt to or not to follow you based on if they personally feel you bring them value. This value is determined by the follower be it your style, conversation or information you share. Next combine that with the fact that you have 100s of countries and thus different cultures and languages. While Tweetdeck and others programs allow you to translate you should still have a working understanding of that language and as well as the culture to ensure you what you communicate is received as intended.

So, here is a simple step by step
  1. sign up for the social networking site – like twitter
  2. search for people who have similar interests and engage them
  3. Follow or connect with those people
  4. Retweet or share information that they provide that you find interesting because others may also
  5. Respond to those who make a direct quest of you
  6. Use tools to like or what ever works for you to cut down on robots and spam followers
  7. Listen and pay attention to what the people communicating with you are saying
  8. Conduct yourself in a manner to respect those you interact with
  9. Repeat steps 2-8

Granted they are people who simply say follow or indicate these people but the question is why would anyone want to. On twitter I would tell anyone feel free to follow 99% of my followers because each has something unique to offer ranging from business insights, cultural insights, food, motivation, wellness and health, community development, poetry, spoken word – it all depends on what you are looking for.

Here are some tools that will help you along with some background on my stream to help you along - Twitter search - Seemeic - Tweet Deck - blackberry twitter clients - iPhone twitter clients

Here are some sample search results – Social Media - Health - Relationships - Marketing – Business – Poetry - Movies

As for what I base this post on or if I am even qualified to offer suggestions – simply review my stats and decide for yourself these suggestion have merit

Here is a link to various tools to help - - Twittermania: 140+ More Twitter Tools!

On Dec 20, 2008 I had 149 followers and I think I can safely say I consistently have more than 1000 now. Each followed me for different reasons – reasons as unique as they are and I respect each one of then. Also I learn a little something everyday from each of them so it is not

Granted could have posted trick and other strategies to build a large following but that is not a secure one – you want people who have a genuine interest in you. In summary – you have to answer why you are doing what you are doing and then set a plan in motion and your following will grow.

As for my followers - I recommend 99% of them - they discuss topics ranging from community development, poety, technology, business, politics, law, ethics, motivation, spoken word and a myrid of other interesting topis.

If you have any questions or need further detail feel free to contact me directly

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