I got an email recently from someone who was quite put out by my communications style, letting me know in no uncertain terms that they were unsubscribing from everything and anything I had to publish. In the past, that email might have gotten me worked up a bit, but all it inspired in me was a gentle nod of understanding and a reply wishing them well.
Here’s why such stuff isn’t important to me any more: I recognize that I have a worldview and style that is unique, different, and most certainly not for everyone. At best, how I see the world work and how I choose to communicate with the world is appropriate only for a very tiny minority of people, a very rare and special kind of person. (that’s probably you if you’re reading this)
Consider this simple number. As of this writing, I have about 24,000 followers on Twitter. You may express some sense of wonder at an audience of that size, but now consider this: Twitter is on track to very soon hit 200,000,000 users. The people who choose to follow me represent 0.012% of Twitter. In the grand scheme of things, that’s completely insignificant, and I’m okay with that.
Now consider this: the top followed celebrity on Twitter, the person with the greatest audience is Lady Gaga, with 7.086 million followers. Think about that. Gaga, for all of her appeal and star power, merits only 3.5% of Twitter’s userbase as a following. That means 96.5% of Twitter doesn’t care about what she has to say enough to follow her.
If you think Twitter is still all about followers, you’re really barking up the wrong tree. Twitter’s top performer by the numbers is rejected 96.5% of the time. If your success in your regular employment met with a 96.5% failure rate, how quickly do you think you’d get fired?
So what matters? Findability. You see, everyone has a viewpoint, a worldview, a way of communicating that will appeal to some small portion of the human race as a whole. Everyone has an audience willing to listen, but virtually all of the time, our ability to find and be found by that audience is non-existent. If there’s a secret sauce of social media, it’s the ability to find and be found by the people who want to find you but don’t know you exist.
Do you want to grow your audience on Twitter quickly and effectively? Do you want that audience to be people to whom you are perceived as influential? Here’s the recipe to find them.
1. Tweet stuff of value that’s worth sharing. All of this will be useless if you’re posting bullshit. Sorry, but true.
2. Build up your audience of people you know and who like you already. The easiest way to do this? Email your friends and colleagues letting them know about your Twitter account. Ask them to follow you. If you’re active on other networks like Facebook, let them know as well.
3. Keep proving value by doing step 1 over and over again. You cannot skip by these steps or the rest of this recipe will not work for you.
4. After about 30 days of seeding your audience and sharing good stuff, go to TweetReach.com and type in your Twitter handle with the @ sign. Here’s an example. If you have access to other social CRM tools like Radian6, JitterJam, etc., feel free to use them for this step instead. Those paid tools will do this step much more effectively, but TweetReach will get you started for free.
5. Find the list of people who have retweeted you to their audiences. Remember, these are the people who think you are so much value that not only do they follow along, but they share with their audiences. There is some likelihood that the people who follow them will have some part of their worldview in common, which means they might have something in common with you as well.
6. Follow everyone who follows them. Ideally start with the people who retweet you the most, because their audiences will have heard about you the most. This is advertising 101: you’re directly contacting people who have been exposed to your brand. Instead of billboards advertising a soft drink, you’re reaching out with considerably greater accuracy to people who have heard about you from someone they follow.
7. Repeat step 1 daily.
8. After you get through the list from steps 5 and 6, wait a couple of weeks while repeating step 1. Once you’ve had a few weeks to get in front of the new friends you’ve probably picked up and proven your value to them, repeat this exercise to see who is new in your audience that’s retweeting you. Begin the exercise over again.
Be findable by the audience you want by tweeting stuff that you consider to be of value. If others agree, they’ll become a part of your audience. Find more people who may think you offer something of value based on who is retweeting you already.
And for those of you who appreciate my unique, occasionally abrasive, definitely not normal worldview, thank you for being part of it and for listening to what I have to share. I appreciate your attention so very much.
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