Tag Archives: twitter influence

Adding Reach on Social Networks Takes Work, Tedious Work

So what’s your Twitter growth strategy?

  • Post great content.
  • Tweet great tweets.
  • Occupy a great hashtag with authority.
  • Ask for followers.
  • Buy followers.
  • Use your Twitter link in your email signature.

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Well, I can tell you, after years and years of working Twitter hard, the organic growth strategy will not produce 14 followers in one day, no matter how badass your tweet is. (Public speaking and conferences with solid #hashtags are an exception.) If you want to grow your reach, you’re going to have to reach out first. It’s a grind and it’s not very interesting, but the results are worth it.

Today, Twitter drives 1/3 of my overall traffic to this website. (1/3 organic search, 1/3 direct) And in the course of a week, that’s a lot of traffic. And it’s ALMOST free. The wear and tear on my fingers and keyboard notwithstanding. Here’s a recent snapshot of my referrers.

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And there you have it. Want more Twitter referrals you need to grow your Twitter following. Here’s how you do it.

  • Follow quality people in your segment of business. (In my case, digital marketing, social media, analytics, small and medium business)
  • Thank everyone who RT’s or responds to any of your tweets. (Good etiquette goes a long way.)
  • RT others quality content. (I’m amazed by how few people do anything but toot their own horn.)
  • Engage in conversations on Twitter when they are about a topic you care about.
  • Use hashtags randomly. (I’d say sparingly, but I think more is better. As long as they are on target with the tweet.)

Remember this a long-term growth strategy. You can’t add 2,000 twitter followers in a week. First Twitter will hit you with a speed limit violation and second, you’d be verging on spammy growth. So go gradually and steady. Follow other great tweeters. And keep following small pockets of people until you hit your Twitter limit.

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That is not a failure, it means pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Then comes the ugly part. This is the part that your friends and followers will abhor, but you simply apologize and move along. Are you in this to make your friends happy or win over more influencers?

Unfollow your non-followers. Don’t take it personally when you unfollow Scoble for the 20th time. I’m sure he doesn’t mind or notice. Some of your friend and colleagues will ask, complain, and whine. “You keep following and unfollowing me? What’s up?”

Here’s my actual response. “I’m sorry if that bums you out. I occasionally purge all people who are not following me back. It’s not personal.”

And this local journalist said, “Oh, well, I try to keep my tweetstream very focused on topics I’m interested in.”


Of course it would’ve done no good to ask her, “Um, why after all these years of knowing each other are you still not following me on Twitter?” Because we shouldn’t really care who’s following us on Twitter, only that we’re growing our following base in a very strategic and targeted way.

Segmenting your Twitter accounts.

One other learning I’ve had over the years is about segmenting your audience. This account @jmacofearth is my main social media and marketing account. 90% of these people are interested in digital marketing. Period. I used to throw subjects in from my other blogs, and soon realized I was polluting the stream for the marketing-focused people. So I started a few other Twitter accounts for other blogs and other topics. Using a tool like Tweetdeck I can tweet, listen, and respond to all four of my main accounts at once. I really know I’m hitting a home run with a post when I can see how it stretches across all four accounts. (grin)

Follow to be followed. Unfollow to open up some more following slots. If you’re not reaching them on Twitter they might never hear about you.

Last tip. Use LISTS to keep updated on your REAL INFLUENCERS. I have a “trust” LIST that has all of my 100 Proof sources. I never miss their tweets, even if I no longer follow them.

And while this post is primarily about Twitter, the growth strategy works on most other networks. (Facebook, Pinterest, and G+ included.)

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

6 Step Twitter Growth Process: Results of my #SXSW Uber-Follow Plan +753

I put my 6-step Twitter Growth Process in action at the beginning of SXSW this year. Grow my followers by following, following, following. It’s a boring and tedious process. But it’s one of the ways to build your networks of influence. Let’s look at the results and a few of the consequences of my evil plan(tm).

After 3 days I’ve added 562 followers to my flock. And the 13th was really the wrap on the SXSW conference.My #sxsw Twitter Growth Plans

Of course as attendees got back to their hometowns and regular jobs their business of cleaning up their Twitter accounts would begin. So let’s see what’s happened by Sunday morning, March 18.

So almost 200 adds after the end of the conference, even after I had ended my aggressive following campaign.

You can check my LIVE RESULTS if you want to see the interactive version: Twittercounter-jmacofearth

Here’s the recap of the SIX STEP PROCESS for building your Twitter influence.

1. Find and Follow Influencers. (I started my SXSW Intensive Follow Yesterday)

2. Find and Follow pockets of like-minded Tweeters. (I used SXSW as my like-minded target group)

3. Provide consistent content in your tweets.

4. Hit your following limit every day.

5. Unfollow methodically using a tool. Keep the Tweeps you like, discard the uninteresting.

I will do this later today and report my results tomorrow. The tool ManageFlitter can help you unfollow large groups of people at a time. What you want to do, however is sort the influencers OUT of your UNFOLLOW LIST. While I have not paid for ManageFlitter yet, I am considering it. A PRO version allows you to White List certain followers to keep from unfollowing them accidentally.

6. Rinse and Repeat.

The only downside to this program is I end up following a lot of people I don’t have any interest in listening to. Now begins the process of the selective Unfollow. When I had my following down to 3oo people I really enjoyed a good signal-to-noise ratio. I found I was much more interested in checking in.

Check in tomorrow for the unfollow report, as I start dropping the majority of followers from our mutual follow relationship. My guess is about 40% will unfollow me back for unfollowing them.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

3 Rules of Twitter Business; Lesson Learned: Influence + Distribution = Money

What I am going to outline for you is Twitter Building 101. Most of it you probably know, the process of it you probably don’t. It’s not a scam, but it is a game. You like games right? Gaming? All I can say is don’t hate the playa, hate the game.

What I’m about to show you will change your life. It’s not illegal, it’s not BLACK HAT, it’s not fun or even very interesting. There are people in India who will do it for your very inexpensively. There are Twitter-Bot networks that will sell you 10,000 twitter followers for $100. But that’s not really what we are talking about here.

RULE #1: You have to have followers to wield influence.
• Corollary: Not all followers are the same.

RULE #2: You can gain followers by following others. (This is called the follow-back theory: I follow you, you follow me back. It can sometimes be referred to as “Team-Follow-Back” meaning the person with that in their bio or in their tweets, will follow you back if you follow them. Any one remember FFA websites?)
• Corollary: Following spammy Tweeters might drive your numbers up, but your “influence” will not rise accordingly.
Axiom: Spammy tweeters, pornsters, MLM tweeters, Tweet Dealers, and Coupon Magnets will all start a cascade of follows to your account. It’s like a spam waterfall. The scammers are sharing information about you that looks like this: “We found another sucker who followed our PAMELA_AND account. Alert all other spammers we have acquired a TARGET.”

RULE #3: You can find other REAL TWEETERS and INFLUENCERS by spending a little time exploring your categories of interest, or “influence” when you become an influencer yourself.
• Corollary: Following and following back is a process. It takes time. Don’t be impatient. Don’t get discouraged. The real people don’t always work from the “team follow back” playbook. But over time, if you yourself begin providing quality information into your Tweetstream, the audience on Twitter will notice you. The influencers always follow other influencers. It’s how we work the network, it’s how we communicate, it’s how we build our network of influence.

Okay so let’s get down the SIX STEP PROCESS for building your Twitter influence.

1. Find and Follow Influencers. (I started my SXSW Intensive Follow Yesterday)

Twitter Following is hard business

And my Follower count has tracked nicely. (Since these are mainly SXSW attendees there is a high likelihood that they are NOT spammers and that they will be interested in my #socialmedia and #marketing tweets.

Twitter Followers Increase as Following Increases

2. Find and Follow pockets of like-minded Tweeters.

3. Provide consistent content in your tweets. Pick your subject matter and stay focused. Funny LOL cats are fine once in a while, but people actively follow me because I tweet about social media, social media marketing, and online business strategies.

Tweeting for fun is fun, but TWEETing for Business is WORK

4. Hit your following limit every day.

If you are aggressively working to build your following, you must push Twitter to the wall. Initially there is a 2000 follow limit. After that you will be able to follow others in some Twitter-Knows ratio of Followers to Following. When you  hit your limit you will get a nasty message from Twitter.com saying, You May Not Follow Any More People at This Time. We call that Twitter Jail.

5. Unfollow methodically using a tool. Keep the Tweeps you like, discard the uninteresting.

The tool ManageFlitter can help you unfollow large groups of people at a time. What you want to do, however is sort the influencers OUT of your UNFOLLOW LIST. While I have not paid for ManageFlitter yet, I am considering it. A PRO version allows you to White List certain followers to keep from unfollowing them accidentally.

6. Rinse and Repeat.

I would welcome other ideas for making this process easier or more effective. The endless amount of Click: Follow, Click: Follow, Click: Follow is tiresome. And it is gamey. But if you’re going to play the game you have to learn the rules and use them to your advantage. I hope you agree. And if you don’t, let me know about that too. I’m always listening.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

@Tweetsmarter’s Influential Followers; How a Twitter Influencer Shows Appreciation

Thank you @tweetsmarter. Today, my little corner of the web had its own little viral happening. Not *huge* but in terms of excitement in blogging this is about as good as it gets.

a large flux of tweeters give me some hits

They’ve got a ton of followers. And my post was a few weeks old. But when @tweetsmarter says “pay attention” a lot of tweeter do. And unlike the twitter-bots I outline in the post they mentioned (Twitter Bot Network Invades Social Media for Business: How BotNets Work) these tweeters wield some link love.

How a Twitter influencer works

Update on today’s rise:

Thanks fo @tweetsmarter for the big rise today

Unlike a Twitter Spammer, @tweetsmarter is a Twitter Influencer. Their influence is fast and furious. And clearly a lot of tweeters are following them to pass their wisdom on to their flocks.

From the image above you can see how the @tweetsmarter cascade began. And it out flanks any activity I can encourage with my small network and facebook friends. Often in the social media world it is important to do all the socializing you can, without being spammy or rude, but when a single tweet can quadruple any of your other efforts, it’s a fun thing to see.

151 views on a Sunday is a pretty big turnout. Especially for an aging post.

Thank you @tweetsmarter. I’m doing my part to make Twitter a better place for everyone. And the biggest kudos I can get for what I do is a bit of social love from a group like you. So, again, THANK YOU.


@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)