Be kind to your Twitter followers
I had a discussion on Twitter the other day about increasing the number of followers. I’ve written about that many times on this blog and other sites.
One idea I haven’t talked about is being nice to your followers. It’s a simple gesture that shows you really value them, not just as a statistic but as human beings. I’d rather see better interactions online than huge numbers. I know I have room to improve when it comes to responding to people on the Internet.
I find it easier sometimes in real life. I like to bake, so bringing cookies to friends and strangers is my favorite way to spread happiness.
I find it easier with others than with myself. My ongoing challenge is to be kinder to me.
I have a regular opportunity to exercise this kindness on the Y’all Connect Twitter account, @YallConnect. One of my favorite ways to recognize fans is to give shout outs to every attendee. I’ll spend a couple of days listing hundreds of Twitter followers in tweets with funny compliments. I tend to be reserved in my compliments, so I had some help from the Emergency Compliment site.
(At the end of the movie “Clerks II,” director Kevin Smith used 12 minutes of credits to list 10,000 MySpace friends as part of a promotional stunt.)
I’ve also recognized great tweeps on my account with “Recommend you follow” tweets. I had planned to make it a regular scheduled feature, but it has slipped through my fingers time and again.
Our Y’all Connect speaker Ramon De Leon recognized Twitter fans in a very popular way. As a Domino’s Pizza franchise owner in Chicago, he’d compile a list of Twitter followers with whom he’d interacted recently. He’d print the list on the coupon sheet taped to the top of every pizza box. Customers were ordering pies just to see their Twitter names on this flyer!
The most basic way to be kind is to respond to and retweet others. I’ve got the responding down easily, but the retweeting needs work. For me, I can set a goal of retweeting three people a day (after this year’s conference) to get started. I’m already following them and reading their tweets in Tweetdeck and the Twitter app, so hitting the Retweet button shouldn’t be that much of a strain.
I find being of service to be a great help to Twitter followers. I share useful and interesting things, and leave out the poorly written, poorly informed and poorly intentioned items. But basic kindness matters. Reaching out matters. Recognition matters.
I’ll still make jokes and stand up for what I believe. But I’ll also make a stronger effort to be kind on Twitter. I hope you’ll try as well.
• • •
See my weekly newsletter for more
helpful advice on social media for business …