Wednesday, September 5, 2012

10,000 Followers On Twitter, But Zero Influence

Some people have huge Twitter followings. This looks good for appearance sakes when you are a celebrity, well-known company brand, or a marketer – but what does such a large following really translate into?

If you cannot commoditize something, it means little in the world of sales and marketing. Sure you want to build up your brand, etc. but nothing means anything without some money in the end. Having lots of followers should mean more product sales, more ad sales, a better career – some kind of pay-offs.

So once you build a pool of followers (legitimately and not because you bought them) and the people following you have a certain number of followers in the world that you care about (if they love gardening but you write about paranormal romance, there is no connection here), here is what you can do to wield some influence over the influencers.

·         Pay a compliment to some of your followers, directly. Ask them a question. Offer unsolicited advice. Engage them.
·         Retweet content of those who are of value to you.
·         Comment on the blogs of Twitter followers.
·         Respond to or comment on their tweets.
·         Find something you have in common with your followers and tweet about it.
·         When followers ask for help, give them some.

Before you can ask others to do something for them, figure out what they would find of value for you to do for them. You may not trade in the same currency, but you can help one another. For instance, someone with a bigger following may be fine with each of you retweeting something of the other’s. Or someone who has followers of a specific kind may value that you have followers of another kind. Or someone may trade a tweet of your blog post for a Linked In introduction, to someone you know. Online bartering is a great way to build your social media footprint.

Other ways to get followers to be more helpful to you is to let them know you know some of the same people or that you’d support their charity or that you would love to meet for a lunch (if in the same city). Don’t feel limited by anything. Depending on what you want to give or share to get what you want, the sky’s the limit. Maybe some celebrity tweeting about you is worth $5000 to you – and him or her. Do it. Or maybe just reposting the blog of a stranger can net you a favor in return that makes it all worthwhile.

It comes down to numbers – time and money. How much time and money can or will you invest to get what you believe you need to get you to the next step that will yield a payoff of consequence? Ask yourself that question every day.

The world of online marketing is no different than what takes place on ebay, at antique shows, in pawn shops, and on Main Street everywhere. Your digital transactions could lead to real money but it takes a certain amount of research, creativity, negotiation, timing, and luck.

Take a look at your followers and figure out what you want from them and then try to ascertain how to get more from giving less. It is like the buy low, sell high adage of Wall Street and real estate. Your mantra should be: Climbing the mobile food chain one tweet at a time.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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