Twitter Follower Strategies

A couple years ago if you had asked me what the best high level strategies were for Twitter followers I would have given you two examples.

John Doe is following 4 people / 1,002 people are following John Doe

On one hand you have celebrities, who follow only their close friends, if any, perhaps a business associate as well. While they’ll interact with their audience they won’t follow them back. This is also a popular trend among people who have signed up for Twitter to chat with friends, or some other personal reason, and are not seeking to leverage it for business, though their followings tend to be celebrities, news or entertainment.

Jane Doe is following 2,876 people / 2,893 are following John Doe

The other side is people who have an affinity to be social online or perhaps are marketing and public relations professionals who desire to connect with everyone they meet. While there is arguably more interaction on these accounts, they don’t boast the clout that celebrities or the one way street folk seem to have.

But lately I’ve discovered a third.

A while back, before Twitter updated its policies to fix this, there was this desire and belief that if someone followed a lot of users they in turn would get followed back. This was somewhat true and it led to the creation of many tools that automatically do this for you. From a viewers standpoint it also gave the appearance that the account was spam, regardless of what was posted. Ultimately the rule has become that one never wants to follow more people than are following them.

I’ve found an exception that I think works.

Over the last few months I’ve been working with my city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, the organization responsible for helping to bring in shows, conferences, exhibits etc. to our city. One of the many things they do is also connect visitors to local businesses and from a social media standpoint, promote local businesses to visitors and locals.

The way we did this was to ensure that any restaurant, bar, nightclub, attraction, cultural venue, etc. was followed by our CVB’s Twitter account. But we didn’t stop there; we also decided to follow as many local San Jose folks as we could too. The purpose for this was so we would have a stream of information coming in on our side that we could spot check to see if there were any trends developing in the dialogue of both locals and businesses that we could bring together.

The ultimate goal here is that we will be able to connect locals and visitors with businesses who have something that will interest or benefit them. The result is that we have used our Twitter as more of a data-mining and connection tool than a content distribution tool.

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