It is not who is following, it is who is listening.
If I make a post on twitter and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
The whole point of saying something is to make a difference in some way, shape or form.
There are many approaches to the social media environment. Personally, I feel most comfortable in the role of teacher. It is a role I learned as a child while being a student, for learning is just one side of the coin of knowledge with teaching being the other. Micro-blogging I suppose, is the newspeak from George Orwell’s 1984. I am happy that my mentor’s prepared me for the future by reminding me of the lessons of the past.
As I always say to my students these days, we are constantly learning how to be social within the social media environment in 140 characters or less. Unless of course, you can do it in 120 characters or less so you can get re-tweeted.
1. Have something to say.
Idle gossip is for the idle.
If you want people to re-tweet you then you really should say something unique. There are times that I may see a quote that I like that I will re-tweet, but more than likely I will not. People are constantly broadcasting and everyone is an internet rock star. If you want people to re-tweet you, then you need your voice.
2. Keep it to 120 characters or less.
Less is always more.
Most systems that allow you to re-tweet will place text before the line of text you are about to re-tweet. This is so it can identify to the system that it is a re-tweet, who re-tweeted it and then who said it, you. If you take the time to craft this amazing 139 character tweet and you want it re-tweeted, what does the individual who is re-tweeting you going to have to do? They are going to have to choose what, of your original message should be removed.
First, I don’t like to edit anything anyone else says. Second, I don’t want anyone editing anything I say. Third, if it is that much hassle I am not even going to click on the button to re-tweet it in the first place. I honestly believe that is how most twitter users think when they approach sending out a re-tweet. Unless of course they are just sending out random re-tweets hoping to get some followers to stick to their account.
3. Re-Tweet what others say.
If you want people to pass your message, you are going to need to pass theirs.
I often teach people that the day my twitter following exploded was the day I started advertising my followers to each other. I learned from the first 50, the very first 50 people I ever established a relationship with on twitter, many things that I have always tried to remember. I approach followers and what they have to say as if they were me and I wanted to be heard. I think this is how most people want to interact and are more likely to help you pass your message along if you are passing theirs.
I have a wide diversity of people on my list and yet my list is very small. How can places like klout and twittergrader say I am influential when I am so small? The answer is quite simply that people in my lists are real people who actually engage. I find them engaging, find their individual stories motivating and feel that they should get to know each other. That is what I have always called The Circle of Reciprocity in the Social Media Environment. If you want to be heard for what you really have to say, you are going to have to start listening to what others are saying and learn to decide if they have a message or not.
4. Stay Current.
Keep your content fresh and develop a set of protocols for handling it.
One of the metrics I am tracking is how many unique hits I get when I publish an article. I am also seeing how long that article is viable for traffic. I am playing with the number of articles in the slider on my news magazine. When an article revolves out of the slider I put it in the tweet once a week category. That way, my content in my twitter timeline is always fresh. Another metric I am tracking is only making a single post about each article in my personal Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and finally in my LinkedIn.
Since Google is really the judge, jury and keeper of the keys to the kingdom, it would make sense that we think about what they want. That is fresh, constant, consistent content at whatever level you can deliver and maintain. Why? Because that is what people want. It is called the transitive property of equality. For those of you that got thrown out of high school a lot like I did, let me refresh your memory.
If A = B and B = C then A = C
It is, I believe, another one of those immutable laws of the universe I am always talking about that affect our lives each day. People are telling Google what they want so making Google happy will put money in our pocket. Making people happy expands our circle of influence and the depth of penetration of everything we say. In Short, keep people happy, stay current.
5. Do not over automate
There is no such thing as a free lunch.
This old adage was taught to me by my first great mentor and probably the man that all mentors would be forever measured against. I talk about my mentors by I have not mentioned their names simply because they have not asked me to. Like many people, they simply want to live a quiet life and not be disturbed. If one of them tapped me on the shoulder, I would definitely start giving out props. Until then, I am sure they are content to just watch to see what will happen with this intellectual exercise.
I can understand the desire to automate your system. I am a programmer and I suffer from the terminal need to pick apart everything. As a child my parents would find me with television sets, console radios and whatever else I could get a screwdriver into in pieces around me. I suppose it is one of the reasons my love affair with armed forces was so strong. Let me reverse engineer a system for you, theoretically, for a moment.
You have a system with 100,000 twitter followers in it. You have spent a year to build this system or to have this system built for you by ‘Social Media Experts’. It has been automated. Every day they perform certain tasks. They probably include a list that looks like this:
- 10 tweets a day
- 10 Facebook posts a day
- 10 LinkedIn posts a day
- auto-follow everyone who follows you
- follow people who are in your area
- follow people in your interest list
- build your followers exponentially
In order to make the ten tweets a day that contain links to your website, they have to post something else – or two something else’s – in between each post with a link to keep Twitter from saying they are doing nothing but spamming. Who are these people who are auto-following you? What do they want? Do they just want a big following list so they can then sell their ‘Expert Social Media Service’ to someone else? Twitter went so far as to remove the ability to auto-unfollow from the terms of service. If you are using a service that is auto-following, then they have to auto-unfollow to keep within the Twitter 1 to 1.1 ratio rules.
It is not who is following, it is who is listening that counts.
If you want to be re-tweeted, be yourself in 120 characters or less. Grow your audience, not your numbers. Until next time, I look forward to your thoughts and your comments.
Interested in joining Team TweetClean? Join up and leave a comment and I will send you email through the system.