This question was brought to me today.
By an advocate of list building.
Rather than providing a quick 140-character response, I felt that it deserved a more thorough response.
Hence, this article.
My Answer in A Nut Shell
That’s only 7 characters which leaves a whopping 133 remaining.
Why couldn’t I answer that directly within a tweet response?
Glad you asked.
Uncovering Deeper Details of my Answer
First, I’m not a strong advocate of traditional list building.
That’s not because lists don’t work. I’ve got 6 lists that I’m currently actively building. More on this in a moment.
Let’s try an experiment.
Take out a piece of paper and a pen. Yes, those items do still exist in the digital world we live in.
Write down the first thing that comes to mind when you read the next words.
Here, let me help.
And yes, that little birdie that can only tweet 140 characters at a time called Twitter.
Quickly, social media becomes a tremendous nightmare of confusion as your trying to keep everything straight. I’m not an advocate of that being a healthy way to build a business.
So, if eMail’s out and social media’s a no go, what’s left?
Or at least that was my answer until about 10 days ago.
What made the change?
Out with Your Answer
So, what is my answer?
I know, I know, that is a social media site. It’s just not a whole lot of social media activity. One platform, one place.
I wrote a book about this site years ago.
And then, life happened and I moved toward SEO leaving social media in the dust.
That was my mistake, but I have returned.
Kinda feels like coming home, digitally.
Why Am I Hooked on Twitter?
You ask such great questions.
It could be because of the power of their lists.
This is my exact process. Scanning through my stream, which is quite long I open all the people that have liked something I have posted.
Then I like them and add them to my “Likeable Likers” list. I’ve made a list for each of the major actions that are possible and repeat this process when people add me to a list, RT, commenting (well, comments get special attention which I’ll explain in a moment.)
Each day I go through all the list liking and RT’ing at least 5 things and maybe more depending on time.
HOT TIP: If people unfollow me they are removed from the list and miss my social engagement with their accounts. I know, I tweet a lot, there is reason for that.
Most people would stop this process at this point, but I don’t. So much momentum is lost.
Instead, I now reply to each of the people that have performed a specific task thanking them for helping me. However, my reply is not what I believe to be typical.
Inquisitive Minds Need to Know
While replying, I ask them a question.
Will you buy my widget?
That’s a terrible question.
Imagine going out on a first date with someone, you both have a great time driving to your destination and then as you exit the auto your suiter propositions you with a marriage proposal.
How do you think that story will end?
HINT: Not good.
Yet we do it all the time with our social media accounts.
Equally, not good.
Your new Tweeper has already given you plenty of clues as to what to ask them in their bio, banner, profile image and pinned tweet if they have one.
Ask a direct question about one of these elements.
Get them talking.
Speaking of Comment Engagement
While I certainly love receiving likes and retweets, I believe comments are weighted heavier by Twitter. After all, they take more initiative to create.
I’m not sure I’m right. If you can shed light on this, please leave a comment below that clears this up.
Just makes sense that such would be the case.
However, whatever the case, what I do know is that there is something that almost everyone if not everyone loves to talk about.
If you ask a meaningful targeted comment about what someone has written in their bio, what do you think the possibility is that you will receive a reply?
You receive more than a reply.
Try this experiment.
Go to a mall.
Put a paper bag (without eyes) over your head.
Try talking to total strangers.
See how many people respond before security escorts you out of the building.
People like to know who they are talking to.
Which means they will visit your profile and check you out.
Your profile image and banner.
Your bio and pinned tweet.
When someone comments back I will reply to them unless I find reason not to which is hardly ever the case.
This starts a comment stream and guess who’s coming for dinner, I mean paying attention.
You got it.
Twitter, not to mention Google.
Twitter likes these comment streams and your account moves into an even better position thus.
However, good is not good enough for me.
Not only will I reply to comments, but I will also retweet them.
Ain’t that special?
Unlike the reply which is direct the retweet is designed to be for the world to see so I go there. I’ll make the retweet a question, or poll or though provoking in some way and ask for opinions.
I get them.
We’ve Got Company
I haven’t even spoken about how hashtags fit into all this momentum, but they do.
However, let’s talk about that company.
Let’s say I’m conversing with someone that has 1000 followers. We are having an engaged discussion between just the two of us, right?
Their audience is watching, reading, liking and even RT’ing.
We established that above.
That means that all my activity is not just being seen by the person I’m sending the message to which is what happens when you send an eMail.
It’s also being seen by all their followers.
1001 eyes in this example.
But what if they had 5000 followers?
Done right, you can take a dormant account that has been neglected for years and cause 200 niche targeted people to want to follow it almost overnight.
I know, because that is what I almost did.
It took 24 hours instead of just overnight but I’m not complaining.
Concluding Thoughts About Twitter
So, there you have it.
My secrets out in the open.
Or at least a good portion thereof.
Exactly how I make everything happen at Web speed is still a mystery.
A mystery to you that is, but clear as crystal to me.
That’s why I offer my coaching and or speaking services which you can find out more about by referencing the nav bar above.
For me, after 20 years in the field, it’s about Twitter.
Yes, I know tons about SEO, social media and other organic traffic methods to having success on the Web. I also believe that as time allows you should pursue an integrated approach.
However, before we conclude could you do me a favor?
Simply share in the comments below what your own opinion is eMail, Twitter, SEO, social media or something else. In my mind, I’ve been very convincing, but I’m certainly open to hearing other perspectives.