Before you can play, you need to know what the game is, and who the players are. More importantly, you need to ask yourself why you want to embark on this adventure. Building an audience on Social Media is not a numbers game. I have seen people buy followers, try to steal friends, and awkwardly insert themselves into conversations without asking what, who or why.
Don’t join the party if you don’t understand the topics that will be discussed. Show respect for the members of the club by doing your research. Influencers may be nice, but they are busy, so don’t waste their time. Know before you go.
Find the clusters of credibility. These are the handful of people who are at the center of every conversation.
#DataScience = @KirkDBorne
#AnimalRights = @LeoAnselmi
#Politics = @jk_rowling (Yes, that J.K. Rowling. If you don’t understand why, check her tweets and read “Harry Potter”)
This is tricky, but it’s never too late. You can only truly get a taste of the global conversations around a topic if you are multilingual. This is how I started my Twitter adventure. I didn’t just follow librarians, I also followed bibliotecarios, bibliotecari, Bibliothekare; etc.
Technology allows you to make friends around the world. Understanding words leads to understanding ideas, history, and passion, all of which will make you a better writer and conversationalist. So, either stay in school, or renew your commitment to lifelong education. Learn a new language. I’m currently working on my German.
Once you’ve found the right people, and mastered the topics of interest, add your personal touch. There are plenty of bots and lists. What makes you different? Why should people subscribe to your content?
Here’s a secret: Inside jokes go a long way. Be brief, be funny, and never ever automate your tweets. Why? Because comedy is all about timing. You can’t be funny if you’re not there to seize the moment, and enjoy the laughter. As in “real life”, you have to be present and alert if you want people to remember you.
Being a bystander won’t bring you any satisfaction. Once you’ve found the right people, topics, and style, join the party.
Don’t wait for people to come to you, go to them and introduce yourself.
“Hello, I’m (your name here). This is why you’re awesome, and this is why I’m awesome.”
Making friends online works the same as making friends offline. You have to take risks.
You don’t have to share all of you, but however much of you gets posted has to be real. This is where you can have fun with pictures, video, and personal stories. Show what only you have access to. Bring your audience into your celebrations. If you make every member of your audience feel special, you have built a tight network, even as it continues to expand.
If you don’t know it yet you should check out the book ‘Working Out Loud‘ by John Stepper which is now available as announced last year on our article here.
Photo credit: NRK P3 / Stanley Yeo