You know, it took long enough for the traditional marketing industry to figure out just how to develop e-mail lists effectively (not that there aren’t new techniques left to be discovered). Now, with Twitter becoming an increasingly powerful communications medium–an actual element in people’s marketing strategies–now we’re having to come up with an entirely new set of rules for list development, unlike those from e-mail marketing or even snail-mail direct marketing.
This has become particularly important now that major brands like H&R Block, JetBlue, Best Buy, Intel and Comcast (to name just a scant few) are making appearances on Twitter. Not only do they have to figure out just how to communicate in this new and unique medium, they also have to figure out how to attract the right audience to hear it. Despite their billion-dollar might, these brands could tarnish their rep for some time to come if they make big mistakes on Twitter, to date still a small community which has proven decidedly gossipy.
My methods for developing Twitter follower lists
To date, my methods for developing a follower list, both on my own behalf and on behalf of clients, have been quite simple. I’m well aware that some people will villify me no matter what I say–did I mention Twitterers are touchy?–but the following seems to work:
* Begin by following just a few people who interests seem to be a great fit for you or your company’s brand or personal focus
* Just as you might do when joining an e-mail discussion list, sit and “listen” to the tweets posted by the people you’re following
* Comment on what the followers are saying, if that’s appropriate, or just introduce yourself and say what your goals are (people will find it by tweetscan)
* Make sure you connect to a few friends, not just to have a friendly audience, but also to attract followers from their list of friends. People will also find you through Twitter Friend Adder or similar apps.
* Use Tweetscan to scan for mentions of your company, name or issues you’re following closely. Then respond, though carefully. Be helpful, and be present, but don’t intrude if possible.
* Make sure you Twitter ID (with a link to an explanation of Twitter for those who don’t “get it” yet)
* I haven’t tried this yet, but what about an anouncement on the Web site promising coupons and such to those who subscribe, as well as mentioning that you can solve problems?
Now folks, I’d love to hear how you build follower lists, as I know that what I’ve suggested is pretty elementary. What’s worked for you? — Anne
P.S. Since writing this, I’ve been reminded that some people have feel they have too many followers, which is a subject for another post entirely. More to come on the techniques that are emerging to cull your Twitter list and increase its overall value.
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