Some thoughts about building 7 blocks or “pillars”. A new way of looking at your Twitter presence.
But first why the pic of Britney?
Now into their 5th year the Shorty Awards are becoming increasingly relevant and even Britney is chasing one this year. Luckily she is not campaigning in #green but I am up against other celebrities! You should try it out in your favorite category and see how you go. Its a fun thing and I also hope to use it to make a difference for the planet.
I know some of you struggle to keep your twitter accounts growing and want to do better so I’m giving out 7 clear tips here by the way of building blocks or pillars that will make it a more meaningful experience for you. Twitter is fantastic fun so please stick with it!
My reason for using twitter is not to make money but 3 major things. To connect people in the environmental space so that they co-ordinate their projects, to help them get their wonderful messages out in a more effective manner and to inspire the use Twitter and Social Media in general by environmentalists. You see nearly all of them remain unfortunately sceptical of the return on time and energy spent online.
I believe that together we can alter that mindset by inspiration and I discuss this lower down. In particular I like dolphins and am highly active in groups concerned with their well being.
So before we even get started I would like you to stop and consider the reason YOU log into Twitter. What is your why? The bigger this is and the more it resonates with you the more effective you will become.
All these pillars are essential building blocks and should be consistently refined. For example I spent 2 hours yesterday rebuilding my list @mqtodd/retweeters-communicative to include my recently most supportive and engaging people. Not only on just Twitter but on Facebook and Empire Avenue too. I see the social web as one big open space you see. Twitter is simply a network or a tool.
The Pillars work on the premise that you must be firstly known, then liked, followed and promoted before you are bought from. Know me (niche, location), Like me (content), Follow Me (social networking), Promote Me (Be shareable) and Buy from me (Have a product or a reason).
1st Pillar. Niche? What is your account about?
How do people see it? I suggest this be 2 or 3 things and be kept relatively narrow. If for example you want to connect with bloggers then tweet about blogging and social media. With maybe a local twist so that people can distinguish you. 10% or so of your tweets about London for example will mean that your followers remember that you are Steven the blogging coach from London and set you apart from other bloggers. Resist the temptation to tweet about health or say motor racing even if you are passionate about these things. Maybe make another account to tweet about them from.
It is increasingly important to be added to lists by the top people in your niche you see. Then they will become your advocates. Be a specialist.I for example watch and share primarily from 3 lists and I presume that others do the same. Mine are @mqtodd/mediatechnology (best news and views), @mqtodd/green (eco news), @mqtodd/retweeters-communicative )people who share my content), and @mqtodd/people-i-look-for (the people doing twitter the best who I either have a relationship with or want to).
2nd Pillar. Get the best tools working for you.
Buffer App, Twitter lists inside twitter.com (at least 4 really good ones as I explain just above), Twylah, Hootsuite, Manage Flitter and Tweetadder (see the link to get a seven day free trial just to your right and down a bit). These are just a few I am using every day.
3rd Pillar. Content.
Your tweets have to be highly readable and it will help immeasurably if you also blog in your niche regularly and well. Be an authority and give massive value for free. Enough said! This the age of content marketing. Insanely great content in your niche will drive everything for you. Give out everything for free like I am doing here.
4th Pillar. Be social.
My Twitter experience exploded after I joined Empire Avenue in April 2011. Before that I was literally unknown and I was struggling to form relationships with the top tweeters. I was not being social enough on social media! There is absolutely zero way I would have been able to do this without Empire Avenue.
Now I am hanging out socially with key Twitter collaborators in Empire Avenue-related Facebook groups and this has spun off into involvement in Facebook groups of other communities such as 12 Most, Triberr, Connect.me and more.
Constantly invite your followers to connect with you on different platforms so as to deepen relationships. 140 characters is not always enough and conversation not always easy in Twitter. For example use a Xeeme profile which has links to all your main places ( to which my twitter account has sent over 40,000 vists). Regularly promote that profile.
Join Twitter parties called Tweetchats. Search the hashtags #pinchat (if you like Pinterest) #toolschat #getrealchat #mediachat #linkedinchat #smmanners and #eavchat for example. If you are really daring join #slumberparty. Come have fun.
5th Pillar. Be shared.
Making your content readily shareable is key. Have your blog or website set up for sharing (like I have the sliding share buttons out to the right and the bar below). This will lead to you getting followers.
On Twitter itself keep tweets short and sharp and informative to get retweeted.
However you have to do more. Be active and visible for example in communities like Triberr, Empire Avenue, Scoopit, Klout and Stumble Upon. These places alone “drive” around 200 tweets a day as @ mentions into @mqtodd. From there I can see who is sharing for me and I can thank and reciprocate.
6th Pillar. Be real
People like people. People especially like people like themselves.
Share photos with twitpic, foursquare checkins (with a photo as well), quirky real life experiences. Not all the time but regularly. Have a photo not a logo, even if you are a cause or a company. People like communicating with people. Be fun and engaging. Twitter is an open, random and supportive place. Be open, random and supportive.
7th Pillar. Playing small serves no-one. Least of all yourself.
Twitter is a very public space. In fact it is the only truly public social network. At some time you have to step up and become a leader. Begin communities, be the best in your niche and do not be scared to say so.Write a book, promote your achievements and successes from time to time. If the lower 7 pillars are all in order this should presumably happen naturally. Once you allow it. You have no right to play small.
If you have had any value from this or any of my other posts or tweets I would like a small favour please. I am at present involved in competition called the Shorty Awards. These are by far the most established and important social media awards. There are several categories and mine is #green.
I would like to get your vote in the #green category please. You can either do that by going to the awards website here and vote from there or you can vote with a tweet you make up. The tweet must be original, must contain the words @mqtodd #green and shorty awards and give a short reason. Use only the hashtag green or you will confuse their search robot!
Some examples of tweets I have had in the awards so far are…
I nominate @mqtodd for a Shorty Award in #green because because his heart and action are as Green as his Hair!
I nominate @mqtodd for a Shorty Award in #green because of work with water, dolphins and sustainability
I nominate @mqtodd for a Shorty Award in #green because he connects people in the green space.
I nominate @mqtodd for a Shorty Award in #green because he is a real supporter of the issue.
So anything like this will do.
This means a lot to me. I desperately want to use Twitter to make a difference for the environment and especially inspire others to do the same. Winning or even just becoming a finalist in these awards will help me take a massive step towards achieving this. I will need around 1000 votes I imagine. I am excited about the chance I have to inspire people. Vote for Britney as well if she rocks your boat. You can vote for as many people in as many categories as you like.
So please vote. It will take you 30 seconds or so and I will be massively grateful. Please also share this post with your friends on Twitter in the hope that they will learn from it. The better they get the better they will be at sharing and promoting you!
Thank you so much