I’ll be the first too admit it, I started using Twitter as a one-way communication tool, so that I could help promote my content. However I quickly learned that by doing that, I would not be able to build the following and relationships that I wanted on Twitter.
So I developed an excise, that I think will help everyone develop a larger following and better relationships online.
Step 1: Create Multiple Keyword Monitoring Columns
Monitor Keywords: Start monitoring keywords that are relevant to your industry. This will help you keep your finger on the pulse of your industry and also find new people in your industry that are outside your inner Twitter circle.
Look for People Asking Questions: Either using your twitter client or by using search.twitter.com you can monitor questions people are asking on Twitter. Just put your “keyword ?”, make sure you put a space between the keyword on the question mark.
Step 2: Reach Out to 10 New People a Day
After you have setup your columns in your Twitter client, you can start reaching out to new people that you have never engaged with. Spend 20 minutes a day and @ reply to people who tweet about things that interest you. Also monitor the questions people are asking and try to provide answers.
If you are able to engage with 10 new people a day, that will equal over 3,500 new people that you engaged with a year, broadening your circle of current twitter friends.
Step 3: 5:1 @Reply Ratio
Instead of always tweeting out your own content and what YOU are doing, try @replying or mentioning other people. Recently I have tried to make it an effort of keeping a ratio of mentioning or replying to someone 5:1. So for every time you tweet something about yourself of that promotes your content, tweet 5 times that mention other people in the Tweetersphere.
If you haven’t already checked it out, make sure you check out the 100 Twitter Follower you MUST follow post.
Thanks for the great tips. i didn't think of focusing on people who ask questions, or keeping track of a ratio. i'll have to try it out.
This is a good, non-spammy way to expand your network. By the way, you may wish to fix tiny typo in your title--excercise should be exercise without the extra "c"
Hi Mark, My business just started and I am new for twitter, I judged my performance on twitter with your 5 suggestions as the criteria and found: 1. I have already monitored keywords and tried to look for people asking questions, but never tried "keyword ?" 2. 10 new people is a big amount for me, I can get 2-4 per day now, so I think I should follow your instructions of step 2, 3. 5:1 @Reply Ratio is absolutely new to me, I have never tried @replying or mentioning other people, still less kept the ratio. This is really a good lesson to me, Mark, thanks so much, wish I could learn more from you in the future :o)
nice. gotta tell ya you didn't make this one of those huge "i'm so great at twitter and this is how you can be as great as me!!!" i'm going to try out some of your suggestions. oh btw maybe you'd like to follow me? @ephman
Hi Mark, What's great is if you lead your tweet with an @ message, the only people who see it in their feeds are the two of you and other people who are following both of you. This way if you are sending a large amount of @ replies in a row it doesn't spam all of your followers with 1 on 1 conversations they're probably not interested in.
Thanks for the twitter search tip using the ? mark. That's a great idea that I just never thought about. I love the site - keep up the good content guys!
Great article. I never thought of looking for people asking questions regarding my industry or keywords on Twitter. Definitely something to keep an eye on. I also like how you say to reach out to 10 new people per day. That is a great way to show more presence and get your name out there to others in the industry. @Michael - Thanks for the info about LinkedIn. I will have to look at that more as well.
Hey Mark, I like your suggestions for adding organic Twitter followers. Especially like your suggestion of monitoring for questions people are asking that you can answer. I use a similar strategy on LinkedIn to add expertise points to my LinkedIn profile and to make connections. I monitor the Q&A section of LinkedIn for questions to which I may be able to offer an answer based on my knowledge and experience. If my answer is selected as the best answer by the person who asked it, then I receive expertise points that enhance my profile. It also often results in at least one or two new connections.
Jerry, Yes, only reach out to as many people as your time allows. For some people, 10 may be too many, so 2-4 is always a great start. Also the ratio that I suggest, will force you to engage with people...building your network faster. Of course you don't have to follow that ratio to a T, but it can be a good rule of thumb.
Good point Brian, but isn't that the same for all of your Tweets? Only the people that are following you or who you mention will see your Tweet (unless they do a Twitter Search).
Thanks Liz. Yes, answering people's questions on Twitter is an outstanding way to gain instant credibility and a way to start the conversation with someone. I highly recommend trying it!
Michael, Excellent point about applying this strategy to Linkedin, I didn't even think of doing that. Again, I think that could be a great way of gaining recognition and connecting with other industry professionals. Awesome insights.