By Dexter Patterson
My last blog post entitled; “The Rhyme and Reason of Twitter”, generated a lot more traction online than I expected. To my delight, the post sparked a lot of positive debate amongst my peers online. The post also allowed me to actively engage with my target audience in a way that has never happened before.
Mark W. Schaefer’s book The Tao of Twitter, was the inspiration for my initial post. This book has not only changed how I view Twitter, but how I view my entire online experience. After reading Mark’s book, I have gained almost 400 new Twitter followers on my professional Twitter page. In addition, I have connected with so many thought leaders that my own skills get better on a daily basis. I’m learning from the best and I now have the confidence I need to be a leader in the music industry.
How you can get the most out of your Twitter experience
Before you start worrying about gaining new followers, you need to focus on how to get the most out of your own Twitter experience. Focus on your strategy and determine what people you want to connect with the most on Twitter. Don’t forget Twitter always works best if you are actually networking! Appreciate the fact that you can easily learn from some of the best in your industry. No matter how good you think you are, no one makes it to the top alone. So swallow your pride, learn from the best, and start to enjoy your Twitter experience.
Let’s get your Twitter game tight!
I had a tons of people ask me; “How can I get more followers?” First of all, if you want more followers, you need to make a good first impression. If you want to be treated like a professional then you need to carry yourself like a professional. Make sure your profile picture and Twitter background are of industry quality. Make sure your personal bio actually tells people some valuable information about you and your brand. Your image is everything when you’re promoting online so please don’t take any shortcuts.
We also need to become choosier with the people we engage with online. Before you follow someone it might be a good idea to actually check out his or her profile. According to Mark Schaefer, “More relevant connections = more opportunities for business benefits.” Are they even a real person? Pay attention to their posts and whether or not they have a habit of sharing other people’s content. If they actually share other people’s content, then it’s probably a good idea to add that person to your network. Constantly evaluate whether or not you think you can gain anything from each connection you make.
Spend most of your time on Twitter trying to network with people that can actually make you better. Pay attention to what makes these individuals successful. Is their content better than yours? Is their marketing approach more creative than yours? Do they post to their sites on a more consistent basis? Do they genuinely seem to appreciate their fans? These are the questions you need to be asking yourself if you expect to have success on Twitter.
Building trust with your target audience
Building trust with your target audience should always be your top priority. We need to open our ears and start listening to the needs of our fans. Provide them quality content and show them you know how to deliver. When you start to deliver you will start to build trust, and that trust is what matters the most online.
Make your most loyal fans a part of the team
We really need to allow our fans to help us more often. They have the ability to spread your brand much faster than the typical email blast sent to a bunch of random people without an actual connection. Taking good care of your current fans will always help you get new ones. Remember, word of mouth advertising will always be one of the most powerful marketing tools we have. Here is a great way you can put some of your loyal fans to work. Develop online street teams made up of some of your biggest supporters. Give them a mission and allow them to work their magic. Offer them free music downloads, exclusive access to new videos, or even some custom merchandise. If you have an event coming up, put their name on the guest list and don’t ever forget to thank them for their hard work.
Trust me if you’re willing to put in the work Twitter will eventually pay off. Stay patient and believe in the process. I highly recommend that you pick up Mark’s book The Tao of Twitter so you can have your own “a-ha moment”.
This post was inspired by my recent coursework at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I highly recommend you grab a copy of Mark’s book if you want to take your social media marketing to the next level. You can buy The Tao of Twitter on Amazon today.