“Your success is not predicated on your zip code.” – says venture capitalist and CEO of Vaynermedia, Gary Vaynerchuk. When he says something like this, you can take it for granted that he is not bluffing, for if anyone knows how to tweak social networking to one’s advantage, it’s him. So arm yourselves with a pair of magnifying glasses and a Sherlock-esque hat to explore the art of ‘tweeting’.
(Fun Fact:The OED has traced the word ‘tweet’ back to 2007, nearly a year after the launch of the social networking phenomenon, where it originated among Twitter users to refer to the act of writing a message on Twitter, as well as the messages themselves.)
Engage on Twitter. Canvass and follow like-minded individuals. Use that glorious search option. Twitter has algorithms designed to locate your areas of interest and attracting similar netizens to your suggestions list. Decide on what sort of content you will tweet specifically and work on it creatively. Provide value to your audience. Listen. Be generous with mentioning other people in your tweets, and respond swiftly when you are tweeted to. Experiment, study and delineate what appeals to people. Be a great host as well as a great guest in this virtual party.
“Your success is not predicated on your zip code.”
- Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of Vaynermedia
An extension to the first heading; for busy individuals. Be active! Or at least seem active. It is all about the perception you create. If your day is packed, create a tweet schedule that posts regularly on your behalf. This convinces your community that you are actively participating. Share your handle on your other networks. Pay attention to your own profile and keep updating it. Use Twitter directories (e.g. Wefollow) to connect with people have influence. Monitor your follower growth through a service like TwitterCounter.com. Describing your interests in your bio ensures that similar people will get to know you, so please don’t leave it empty, ‘Nature abhors a vacuum!’
A casual Google search will enlighten you on the most popular tags and current trends. Understand hashtags (rummage hashtags.org). Including them in your tweets draws people searching for them. But do not overdo it. Five to six hyperlinks within a 140-character limit only overwhelm people. Hashtags are your key to outreach, so cradle them inside an interesting and descriptive tweet. Live Q&A sessions called Twitter chats can be organized around #hashtags, either on the go or pre-decided times.
Building a following (even a Chanakya or a Machiavelli would agree) ultimately boils down to psychology. Knowledge and advertising are your keywords here. Twitter is not just about giving a crisp opinion and sharing other people’s content. Including multimedia in your tweets shows that your content is diverse amidst a jungle of barren links staring at a random twitter-user’s face as he sifts through the endless scroll. It will buy you attention.
Never start your tweet with ‘@’. It limits your audience to only those people who are following both you and the handle you tagged. Any bit of text, even a ‘.’ before the ‘@’ symbol will remove that limit. This is the biggest mistake one can make.
If your lead a flexible lifestyle, invest time in watching when your followers are most active. Execute devotedly at that time. Schedule (a tool like Hootsuite will be useful here) and send out relevant content. At least fifty targeted tweets a day, if you believe Twitter is your realm, will shoot your following to the sky.