Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Catch That Twitter Love!

It’s February and hearts have turned to thoughts of... Twitter? Okay, maybe that’s a stretch. However, gaining a Twitter following can be a lot like dating -- it's fun, frustrating and often confusing. So let’s look at how you

can use your magical Mojo to attract some Twitter love.

Yeah, baby...

Lesson #1 You Got to Give Love to Get Love.

One of the best ways to grow your list of followers is by following others. In particular, you want to follow people who have the same message or genre as you. Start conversations with them. Tell them how much you liked their last tweet or last book. Retweet their tweets and add a fun comment.

Just like in the real world, if you truly like and respect these people, then it will show in your tweets and they will respond by following you back. So don’t just advertise your blog posts or tweet about personal moments. Instead, earn respect from others through informative and entertaining tweets that revolve around the topics you write about. This is your time to shine as a writer. Use your words. Intrigue. Inspire. Connect.

Note: Some people have a huge number of followers but don’t follow very many people back. If it is someone you truly want to follow, then go ahead and follow them, but know that they may never follow you back. When you are trying to build a following, it works better to follow those who follow others back.

Lesson #2 Get List Fever.

The next step after building a few twitter friendships is to get a peek at their lists. Lists help to focus the Twitter experience. People create lists to follow the tweets of particular groups, tweeps or topics. Explore those lists to see if there are any other people with similar interests who you can follow. Pick out a few and strike up a conversation with them. Let them know that you found them on a friend’s list and you have common interests. Start lists of your own and send out tweets letting people know how to join your lists. A good rule of thumb is to tell people to follow your list and you'll follow them back.

Lesson #3 The Bigger The “Listed” The Better The Love.

As you could see from Lesson #2, it is good to be on lists. So how do you get added to people’s lists? Start by following people who have created lists about your genre or topic. Say you write mysteries about a chef in the deep South. You’d want to follow people who create lists of Southern food, Southern writers or mystery writers. Tweet with the owners of these lists about those topics and pretty soon you’ll find your way on to their list.

How do you find lists? One way is to use They are the yellow pages of Twitter Lists. Another way is to look up someone famous who writes about similar topics. Click on their “Listed” number. You’ll see a list of all the people who listed that person in one of their lists.

Lesson #4 Enjoy Twitter Matchmaking Services.

Recently, Twitter has become much more helpful in finding people to follow. They now have a button called “Who to Follow.” It uses an algorithm based on the people you’ve already followed and produces a list of people who are similar. Go through that list, and follow all the people who are a good fit for you and who appear to readily follow back.

Lesson #5 Spread The Love Around.

One of the best ways to endear yourself to your followers, and gain new followers, is to spread the love during Follow Friday or #FF. You just put #FF in your tweets and then list tweeps that you think are wonderful. You will find that after a few weeks of recommending people, many of them will return the favor and recommend you to their followers. (Hint: you can #FF people who aren’t following you yet.)

Lesson #6 The BEST Way to Build a Following -- Give Good Tweet!

By far the best way to build a following is to write interesting tweets and connect with your followers. They will recommend you to friends and that is what social networking is all about.

The above steps will not get you a following overnight. However, it will build a following that will be much more interested in you and what you have to say and be more willing to re-tweet your information and recommend you to others.

Next week we’ll look at how to funnel people from your social networks to your blog.

Posted by Tamela Buhrke


Nathan Lowell said...

Some excellent tips!!

Here are a couple more.

Be careful of the #ff tag. People who spam out lists of @s are getting to be a problem. I know more than a few people who have stopped following those folks and I'm not sure how useful that practice is.

A better approach is to make several #ff with ONE name and a reason why you think others should follow.


#ff @tameladesign - very cool author and member of RMFW #followfriday

You can do this several times thru the day with up to three or four people you think your followers would like following.

For writers looking to connect to writers, participating in chats like #litchat or #scifichat or #amwriting is a good way to find other people who share you love of writing.

If you're looking to connect to readers (a GOOD thing) look for genre specific hashtags and follow a couple of those for a few days to see who's talking about reading.

Tweetdeck is a terrific way to make that whole process easier and clearer. With multiple streams of content flowing, you *need* something to help manage it or it becomes overwhelming much faster than you might believe.

Also? You need to find at least 50 active people to follow. If your "friends timeline" doesn't refresh completely every few minutes, you're not following enough. That seems odd, but it makes a huge difference in your participation if there's more and different stuff that might make sense for you to participate with.

have fun and see you on the 'stream :)

Tamela Buhrke said...

Fantastic tips, Nathan! I didn't know about the 50 active people. Thank you so much for sharing!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Excellent post, Tamela. I think Twitter is awesome, and I've made some wonderful efriends there. I like the extra tips from you and from Nathan, too.

I need to do more with the lists I started, because that's helpful to my followers as well as me (especially my list of literary agents on Twitter).

If anyone wants to find me on Twitter, I'm @PStoltey

Conda V. Douglas said...

Good twitters and tweets suggestions! Thanks!

Nathan Lowell said...

The 50 people thing?

One of the issues that comes up a lot with newcomers is that they don't get it. If you look at those folks, almost universally they're following a dozen people and have a few followers in return.

It makes no sense to them because nothing much is happening and the reason for that is that their friends time stream lacks sufficient volume.

If you follow about fifty that'll give you a good pool to draw from so that when you look, something has happened. If your friends time stream takes longer than five minutes to refresh (have the top tweet scroll off the bottom), then there's not really enough happening for you to get a feel for what's going on in the world.

See you on the timeline!