I received this question from a gal in my network we’ll call Sonia who’s wondering how she can increase the interaction and response from her Twitter followers:
“I really appreciate your down-to-earth personality. It’s no wonder you have so many followers and have become so successful… now to emulate you 🙂
“…Back to my twitter question, “How would you advise people to get to know the people they follow or that follow them? I have followers I would like to know but many don’t post or don’t always reply to my posts. Makes me wonder if they see my posts or what is going on??”
“I know there are times when I just like to read posts and don’t always reply myself… so maybe that is what they are doing? I don’t know… but I would like to have more interaction with my followers and am not sure how to get it? Any tips? Maybe I’m not posting personal enough stuff? “
Sonia raises a very good point here. I see many others faced with the same challenge.
Here’s the thing: everyone is super busy with our attention pulled in all directions. Often people simply do not have enough time to respond to everyone. So, for sure never take it personally. (Some members of my community tell me they stop following people on Twitter if they don’t follow back or respond. I say don’t be too hasty!)
Add on top of that the fact many people are still very new to both Facebook and Twitter and are not sure yet of all the features and protocol.
Here’s what I recommend:
- Friends on both Twitter and Facebook. Make sure when you’re following someone on Twitter you really admire and want to get to know that you also add them as a Facebook friend. And vice versa of course. (I look for the Twitter app on the person’s Facebook profile. I like this app as it displays the recognizable Twitter colors and logo. If the person doesn’t have that app installed, I search for them using Twitter Search or Twellow.)
- Include blogs. Go read that person’s blog and subscribe. Come back often and post intelligent comments.
- Monitor other feeds. Subscribe to their other feeds (Twitter, Facebook Status Update, FriendFeed, etc.) to monitor their activities and get to know the person a bit better.
- Send @ tweets. Along with posting blog comments when you read something that resonates with you, send an @message to the person on Twitter including a shortened link to their post. (I like http://is.gd for shortening URLs).
- Write on Facebook walls. Make a point of writing on their Facebook wall when appropriate. Not too often, always relevant and never with a big fat signature block. 😉
- Add Facebook comments.Take advantage of the new Facebook design and comment on Photos, Videos, Posted Items (links) and Notes the person posts on Facebook.
- Ask for an interview.If you have a teleseminar series, podcast, radio show or you’re making a product or you write a column – send a direct message on Facebook asking if you can interview that person (and maybe a ping about it by Twitter DM as well). Be concise, be clear. Make sure you state the WIIFM.
All of these activities need to be spaced out over time. Don’t come off like a stalker! Be clear on who you want in your professional network and why.
I share in-depth many other rapport and relationship building strategies in my Facebook for Professionals multi-media program.
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Much of what I’m describing here is what my friend and mentor Kevin Nations calls “intellectual voyeurism.” Because of the vast amount of information we’re all sharing online these days, it’s very easy to find out a ton about a person without them ever knowing you…. yet. You can then appropriately and respectfully inch your way into relationship with that person.
I recommend always coming from win:win, no agenda, kind, helpful and, in fact, show others you’re willing to help promote them.
As for other people you just want to network with, the same suggestions apply however you can keep it a bit more casual and join in conversations where appropriate.
What’s your experience? Is it easy to get your followers to respond on Twitter? Are you developing the relationships you want on Facebook? Do you think personality style affects our experience of social networking?