A Better Approach To Connecting on Twitter

When I started on Twitter, I reached out to people by finding a person in a conversation with my friends and then clicking on the follow button.

That never seemed like enough.. almost immediately I decided to go one step further.

The get to know a new twitter friend process goes like this:

  1. Click on the name of a person I don’t know from an interesting thread
  2. Read their profile page and look for a  link to their blog or anything that they care about
  3. Read till I find something interesting, copy the URL and Tweet about it
  4. Include the @ handle at the end saying “thanks” and then the handle
  5. Leave a comment if possible on the person’s blog

It wasn’t always blogs, but in the early days, I was there to connect with bloggers, so that was my favorite. I also connected on Facebook or LinkedIn when I could.

It didn’t take long and I had tweets thanking me. Even when I didn’t, I felt great sharing new finds with my friends.

Interspersed with this, and the conversations I had, I’d  often say “Follow @coachdeb. She’s cool” or something like that  (NOTE: that’s pretty close to the first tweet between my future co-author and I).

In January 2009, @micah noticed how many people weren’t spotlighting other like this and suggested we tell others about our friend on Friday. The #FollowFriday (also called #FF for short) hashtag and phenomena was born.

While I often quipped how this was what I did everyday.. I thought it was great that we were sharing that ethos with all the new people coming on Twitter. Trouble was, pretty soon it got very hard to see messages through all the #FollowFriday

In Fall 2009, Twitter added LISTS and @Scobleizer suggested we put our “Tweeps to follow” on lists. I tweeted this several times, and noticed that the fad has died down some, but every Friday, we see plenty of  the tags.

No one wants to complain about the clutter. After all, each tweet is an endorsement. I sincerely appreciate all the people who take time to tell other about me.

An even better alternative…

“Use Follow Friday to Get More Blog Traffic”

In an excellent post, @ChrisBrogan shared an idea that you see used on this post. He suggests that instead of #FollowFriday list tweets, we take a few minutes to write about the people we are suggesting in a blog post, and then tweet the link.

@coachdeb (my co-author for “Twitter Revolution: How Social Media and Mobile Marketing is Changing the Way We Do Business & Market Online”) and I saw bloggers talking about bloggers and it was a staple here back in 2008. When I saw @ChrisBrogan’s post, I dropped what I was doing and wrote this article.

I like the style Chris used to with a list and reasons to follow. I like bullet points and numbered lists because they are easy to read and people reading tend to use them as a checklist and are more apt to follow up.

My own style is usually more narrative. So you are seeing my list as I tell this story.

Please, if you haven’t already.. GO BACK and follow all the  people in this list. While you’re at it, try the process I described above.. leave a comment, say something nice, be creative and get in a conversation.

Then, use this on your own blog. Write up who you would like to recommend, and tweet about it.

Extra credit. Pus a Twitter friend and brief description as a COMMENT here. I usually don’t recommend putting URL’s in comments (the exception being when the blogger asks for them) … but TODAY, I WANT YOUR URL COMMENTS.

Tweet about this post so others can try this.

And by the say.. this method isn’t just for Fridays… it works everyday, and works better the more you do it..

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • iHelpEarth December 23, 2011, 7:31 am

    I’ve been a follower of yours on my other twitter account for several years, and even did some web design work for an author who benefited from your help in a book launch process.
    I can trace the twitter strategies I use without thought everyday – directly back to the course that you did with CoachDeb. Awesome to see how well you nailed it, and how well your strategies have withstood the test of time.
    About two weeks ago I was day-dreaming, and I wrote my dream-idea, created a blog that I’m marketing almost exclusively by using your twitter strategies. I use a variation of the #ff strategy almost every day to connect with the people in the ultra-specific niche I’m targeting.
    First, I created lists as you recommend above, then I imported those lists into Klout so I could focus my efforts on connecting with those with the highest Klout scores. Then I lurk and wait for them to create a blog post… and, because I’m interested in the topic, it’s easy for me to write something that adds to the conversation – then, when the comment is approved, I tweet about the post and include their twitter name.
    It’s a slow process, but good, personal communication is the only thing that cuts through the massive clutter these days.
    Thanks for providing these strategies so clearly Warren – a person could base a career around providing just this twitter service to clients!!

    Reply
  • krissyknox April 6, 2012, 12:30 pm

    hi warren. great post! it’s so funny, i just did 1 -5 that you wrote about a few minutes ago, today. it just came to me to do it a few minutes ago, LOL. it wasn’t so much that i wanted the traffic, but i wanted to help the person (@davidrisley). he has been so kind to me in the past, and so mentoring, and i wanted to do him a favor. not that he isn’t popular enough, LOL, but i have friends in the blogging world who don’t know him (they have lifestyle blogs and need to get to know probloggers, so i wanted to introduce them to him). anyway, i did exactly the steps you mentioned!

    what made me do them? i had a little bit of an epiphany last night when i was reading a social media mag, about networking. they said one of the most important things in social is that it is two sided, and not to forget reciprocation. there are some out there that just want to take. they want to be mentored, be given great articles and posts through twitter, be given heads up on jobs or ideas for new ways to make money through blogs, etc. But when it comes to their turn to help or pass on information they DON’T. it may not occur to them even to do it. like in twitter. they may never have seriously thought they should put out important enough links to others as they want to get. i think you know what i mean… and they don’t give great content blog posts. we want to do good blog posts to make money, but we also want to do it to help others…

    actually i have always known this. i used to work VERY hard to help others. when i blogged on AOL blogs my blog used to be number one most of the time (maybe 95% of the time) in content, and for the most comments. there were millions of bloggers. daily they mentioned the number one blog. and it was almost always mine. i spent hours a day blogging, HOURS a day helping others, doing SEO (which i didn’t know existed, LOL, so i was using my own system and making it up, until i learned easier ways to do it, i thought i was the only one online to do it, LOL), i also spent hours a day commenting. but mostly helping others learn how to blog, and even doing some SEO and HTML and graphics and anything they needed to know. my sister valerie was the same way, as was my husband. they usually placed in the top 10 in AOL. we LOVED blogging. we weren’t doing it for a living back then.

    i am still not blogging for a living much now bc my husband just came into remission from NHL, MDS, and AML (leukemia) — that’s 3 cancers — and he had almost 100 rounds of chemo, a bone marrow transplant, over 100 bags of blood, almost died so many times, has been in the hospital for about the past 6 yrs, and is only now starting to be ok, so i haven’t been able to work much in the blogging world. but now that he is getting a lot better i hope to blog soon. and i plan on making money at it. i do have my fears, but i want to overcome them. and i WILL overcome them. one is that i get overwhelmed so i stop for awhile and do nothing, LOL. if you have any suggestions for me, pleast let me know, warren. thanks! :)

    so why did i tell you about my blogging experiences w AOL? bc i wanted to tell you that i used to REALLY network. people used to help me, and i REALLY gave back. ferociously! it was my heart to give back. others were helping me, and i wanted to pay it forward. NOT to get traffic. althought don’t get me wrong, traffic is very nice, LOL. and i am VERY competive. not only is traffic necessary for a paycheck, but to get comments, and to get well known for a blog, and do be able to sell products bc of your blog, is a PURE ADRENALIN rush, lol. make no mistake about it, it’s thrilling and i love it. i’m very competitive. but back then, when i was blogging at AOL and then moved to blogger (bc that is where AOL moved everyone’s blog) it was equally as important for to me to help others make their blogs work well as wanting to make my blog work well. i worked w others for maybe 6 or more hours a day, at no charge… because i wanted to help people. wow, and then the TRAFFIC really started to follow and my google rating went up — maybe 5? — (well, and then after awhile google messed that up and i am only a PR 3 now — long story, LOL — but i’ll get it back up!). anyway, i am going to start a new blog here soon, now that john’s feeling a lot better physically. and try blogging for a living at least part time.

    so what i am trying to say here is, i have been getting out of paying it forward a little lately, and not tweeting or blogging as helpfully as i could lately. not how i did it years ago (i started blogging in 2004). i realized i wasn’t returning enough to my network that they were giving to me, last night, when i read the article in the social media mag, when they explained what a social media was for. and when i read your list of 1 – 5, it brought it all back. actually i was thinking of it b4 i saw your list actually, when i tweeted for dave, and then i came to your page, bc i was about to #ff #followfriday your name (i will go do that in a few minutes!) and realized you had the same idea as me! how ultimately cool!

    now as far as the rest of your ideas. i will try them!

    so i will do my shout out to @davidrisley. his blog is http://www.davidrisley.com/

    sorry this is so long — krissy knox :)

    Reply
    • Warren Whitlock April 6, 2012, 12:53 pm

      More than “paying forward” or some scheme.. it’s just what good people do.

      Thanks for sharing here

      Reply
  • krissyknox April 6, 2012, 4:36 pm

    yes warren, i shouldn’t have used the words “paying it forward”, as it rubs some people the wrong way at times, and could be perceived as a “scheme”, which is certainly not the way i meant it. :) i merely meant, as you stated, just doing what good people do. :) thanks for allowing me to clear that up. :)

    and thank you, warren, for allowing me to share on your blog. i absolutely love it, and subscribed to it in my google reader about 15 minutes ago. :)

    Reply
    • Warren Whitlock April 6, 2012, 7:01 pm

      Ha! No need to apologize..

      I wear a “Pay It Forward” wrist band at all times. It’s my default attitude toward life. In the movie, the kid did not serve with the expectation of return, rather he knew it would pay off in good ways.

      When we plan marketing and promotion, it’s easy to confuse “reciprocity” with “quid pro quo” … We have to be aware of ROI, (ie. Hand out 100 samples, get a sale that pays more than the cost) but we often gravitate toward “I’ll scratch your back in you scratch mine”… The later is great for deal making, but doesn’t have the power of “reciprocity” as described by Dr. Robert Cialdini (http://yes50book.com)

      Reply

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