I got an email one morning from a networking contact I met on LinkedIn asking about getting followers on Twitter.

He asked:

I have a question. Currently I have about 15k twitter followers adding about 250 per day, how the heck did you get to 50k+?  Have you been able to monetize your followers in anyway?  Connect in multiple ways?

That’s actually 3 questions.. so I thought I should answer them all here to help others who ask. 6450147095_8d2354099e_b[1]

My reply:

Funny you asked about Twitter in an email after I reached out to you on Twitter yesterday with didn’t get a response there. No worries. I’ve found it’s best to listen to my market wherever they want to talk and respond to help if I can. I’d say you are in Stage 2 the Three Stages or Twitter Acceptance Your question about monetizing was a dead giveaway. I took a quick look at your profile and it’s obvious that you are trying to broadcast on Twitter. Not a single conversation on the first page.

The secret to Get Followers on Twitter (or anywhere) is to LISTEN and LOVE.

  • LISTEN: Read others Tweets. Learn what your market wants and get it for them.
  • LOVE: Respond to questions, refer people to resources.. especially ones that aren’t your own sales process and say thank you whenever you can.

Stage 3 conversations are where the fun lies. Have fun helping people and you will be attractive or “Follow Worthy” as we talk about in Twitter Revolution You may be getting advice that some system will get you more followers and automate marketing on Twitter. Many of them don’t work, even the ones that do will make you look like a 20th century marketer and could get you labeled as a spammer. The “followers” number posted on a profile is not the best indicator of whether someone is helping other. It is one indicator of activity. Other indicators would be

  • The number of conversations you have
  • The time you have recommended a good link that doesn’t point to a self serving sales page
  • How often someone says “thanks for the help”
  • The use of the retweet functions (RT) to share others tweets.

A few “famous off Twitter” people build up a following regardless of whether they engage the public. Most of use won’t see any value from Twitter until we engage in listening and love (caring). “People don’t care how much you know until the know how much you care” — Stephen R Covey There are many examples of sales through Twitter. Dell attributes $6.5 million to posting deals. Dell can do that, they are a multi billion dollar company. tony_CEO[1]Zappos is a better example of a company that gets “listen and love” The CEO tweets as @Zappos and most of the office staff does too. You may see a special offer, but mostly they are listening to their customers talk about shoes and joining conversations to add value, help and spread love and good energy.

The Secret of High Follower Counts

They don’t do much for click through results. More connection give you more opportunities to listen and love and more conversations result in real people, real relationships and real business. However, when I post a link with tracking data.. the results are about the same as when I had 1/10 the followers. Twitter is not a broadcast medium. The revolution in sales and marketing is just starting. With the technology we have now, there is no reason to ever try to pitch someone that is not anxious to hear from you. Rather, we teach our clients monitor the Tweet stream for conversations and questions of those that are looking for a solution (Listen), then where appropriate, join in the conversation answer a question give advice without any expectation of making a sales pitch (LOVE). You can focus on helping people in your target market, or just help in general. People will be attracted to you when you GIVE.. it’s the Law of Reciprocity (you can get anything you want if you help enough others get what they want).. we want to do business with givers.. people that we know, like and trust. Asking for a sale too soon kills that process. Fortunately, the technology today allows us to meet and network, get to know people and build a trust relationship fast. A good salesman knows that marketing is a process and hones his skill. Today, the skill that we all need to learn is “listen and love” .. it’s a lot more fun than cold calling, much more productive and will transform us into better people. Why waste time selling to someone that doesn’t want to buy.. there are millions looking for whatever you have.. just go help them!

Follow People Who Are Doing Social Media Right

My Twitter Radio show has guests with news and tips.. but our primary goal is to allow Twitter users to meet and mingle with leaders in social media. Listen live to Social Media Radio or use iTunes to get all the past episode free Book Marketing Strategist Warren Whitlock @WarrenWhitlock