Monday, October 17, 2011

How to increase your Twitter Followers - Top 10 ways

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Twitter has been a terrific place to share information and links to information. But to have your content read, you need to have a large pool of followers.The greater the number of followers, the more influential your content is.

Today I shall list down few steps that have helped me to increase the number of followers:

#0. No one likes an egg- head (yes, I have deliberately number it 0 as this is the most important step)

Egg-head is the default image that Twitter give. Maybe you have liked it & would not want to change, but we would like to know the person sharing content. No pets, no monuments and no scenic locales. We would like to know YOU.

#1. Get a short bio
Give a brief description of yourself, your interest/passion. Potential followers do read the bio besides reading your content.


#2. Share your internet footprint

Provide like of your blog or company URL or Facebook Page. They should know what else to follow. Also, these turns out to be a good SEO exercise. Ensure that you put up the "tweet" button or "Follow me on Twitter" button on those sites

#3. Follow the leaders and build connections

Whatever your choice of subject, follow the leaders & get an understanding of what they share. This will give you a fair idea of what the acceptable norms of content sharing is within that domain. But do not stop yourself at just following the leaders, build connections with other users whose content you find interesting

#4. Start sharing content

In a given day, you would be reading a lot and gathering information on your choice of subject. Share all these meaningful content. Preferably, it should be links, because given the 140 char limit of Twitter, you might not be able to convey the entire message. So, lead your followers to information. Use the URL shortening services like bit.ly, ow.ly or goo.gl and many others. Twitter has recently started shortening the URLs using its own t.co service too

#5. Tweet Regularly

This step should in fact be high up the order. Remember, your followers are expecting information from you. Keep sharing, and once you share regularly, they will know where to look out for any new happenings or get information on the subject. You can use services of Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule your tweets

#6. Repeat your Tweets

Something that I learnt very late, and this was while listening to Guy Kawasaki. Do repeat you tweet, as you would never know which part of the world is following you. A tweet in the US day time would hardly be seen in the timeline of someone in India, unless it is repeated in their day time.

#7. Engage within the domain

Try to get yourself heard. Engage in the various conversations happening over Twitter & share your point of view. Chances are, few of the readers will like it & start following you.


#8. Do not SPAM

Whatever your reason of joining Twitter, make sure you do not SPAM the followers. This is a strict No-no.


#9. Ask questions

Another form of engagement is to ask your followers some questions or set up a poll. You can then share the results over your blog.


#10. Thank followers, re-tweeters

But make sure these are done as direct message. Other followers are not interested in whom you have thanked & once you reach a certain number of users, your timeline shall be filled with these messages instead of the content incase they are public messages.

Thanks for reading through. I can be reached on Twitter @malharbarai

Do leave your comments & I would be happy to engage.


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Sunday, October 09, 2011

How To Get Over The Social Media Noise

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With plethora of Social Media Platforms do you find yourself lost?? It seems so often that with an unprecedented rush by enterprise to implement marketing strategies unheard of till now and grab your share of attention thereby adding to the "noise" in the social space. With millions of users across Facebook, Twitter & add to it the latest entry of Google+, the "noise" created is overwhelming.


Take this, it took Google+ only 16 days to notch up 10 million users since its launch whereas Twitter took almost 780 days and Facebook 852 days to have the same number of users. And, the "noise" created by these platforms with its multiple information feeds, ads is just increasing which might shadow over the real information (a reason you went social)

But as enterprise, with growth in number of social platforms, you ought to master the art of getting the users attention to the platform of choice & span several minutes to get over the other "noise". You need to be able to connect with the audience, talk about the topic they are interested in and be able to share it without inhibition.

Here are few tips to get over the Social Media Noise:

1. Enchant readers with the right titles


How many times have you given a pass to one of you Twitter update or a Facebook update, because you  didn't find the message interesting. The trick is, have a subtle message & do not oversell. No one likes to be told to act in a certain way. One of the great post by Jeff Bullas explains it.

2. Spread message across multiple platforms

I have been following Guy Kawasaki, Pete Cashmore (Mashable) - you name a platform and these guys are already there. They are the best in business and have ensured to ride over the Social Media wave and get their message heard. They were amongst the first few users on Google+, and ensured that their posts continued on the new platform thereby increasing their fan base.
 
3. Post regularly & multiple times in a day

Have a schedule, make sure you post regularly. Coke Studio by MTV India makes sure to post regular music updates on their Facebook page. This ensures that the massive fan base they generated during the first season remains glued and when they go into the second season, they'll have a certain number of fans increasing their TRP ratings.

The other lesson that I learnt from Guy was to post multiple times in a day & the simple reason we tend to overlook is - you never know which part of the world is reading your message. Posting the same message multiple times ensures that fans in any geographical location will have it in their timeline/feed.


4. Reply to comments and engage readers 

Once you have posted, expect people to comment. These comments could be good, bad or ugly at times, but then readers have the right to share their point of view. In the same vein, it would be good that you reply to each of these message & help readers to understand your point of view. The more you engage, readers will tend to love your post. They will also help in having you make an informed decision on certain subjects. Engagement will ensure stickiness to your page as the readers are comfortable that you understand them.

And how to ensure you get comments, read this. One of the best I have come across so far.



5. Be Concise

This is the age of fast-food. With the kind of attention span we have these days, no one will read a 100 line post. I have been a huge fan of Seth Godin's posts. For me, they are the perfect examples of how your posts should be. "precisely concise". It ensures that your posts are read & you invoke the readers to think. If they want to know more, comment are left & then there could be further engagement.

So what do you think - hopefully the above will help you stay above the "noise". Do comment, I do engage with my readers :-) 

You can leave your comment either here on the blog or my Facebook Page or Google+ or just Tweet me.



(Image Courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net - Renjith Krishnan, Danilo Rizzuti)

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Sunday, October 02, 2011

Social Media - A Discontinuous Innovation

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At one of the meetings recently, I was suggested to read a book "Inside The Tornado" written by Geoffrey Moore and it did challenge my intellect with all the real-life scenarios. 

While going through the second chapter, I came across a rather interesting term "Discontinuous Innovation" & I could immediately relate it to the present day Social Media.

The term as defined in the book - "Discontinuous Innovations are new products or services that require the end user and the marketplace to dramatically change their past behavior, with the promise of gaining equally dramatic new benefits"

Social Media has indeed provided us an opportunity to challenge the established norms of communication and marketing. It has rewarded innovators - internet companies, mobile devices and similarly marketing companies who could ride the social media wave. And with the advent of newer platforms like Google+ or tablets and other devices, there is a definite opportunity for further new benefits.

Till the end of the 20th century and until email became popular means of communication, we were content with the telephone & snail mails. And by the end of the century we saw a paradigm shift in the means of communication with massive influx of newer  channels like fax machines, cell phones, email. This was until we felt the need staying connected with news or happening over the world or sharing information at lesser clicks.

Photo Courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos
The sequence of the events, saw evolution of Social channels, a medium which allows content or information to be shared over the internet. Starting from a forum to exchange ideas to 140 character limit of Twitter to the recent unveiling of Google+ social media platform.

The new service has indeed required us (the end users) to change our past behavior of exchanging content and has also helped multiple industries to gain dramatic newer benefits.

Thanks for reading through. I would be glad to hear your comments &/or exchange thoughts. We can share them through Twitter (@malharbarai), Facebook or even Google+.

And if you enjoyed reading, do "Tweet" or "Like" or "+1" it.