Ok, So you have probably read my rant about narcissism and social media but here I am about to tell you a few of my thoughts on how to build your social media presence to gain influence in your field. I know, shame!
But let’s face it, having a strong and influential social media presence serves as a necessary foundation for your blogging endeavors.
Let’s talk Twitter today. Specifically, let me share with you some of the unorthodox strategies that I have used to build one of the most influential travel related accounts on Twitter. Thats not to say these are the only ways to accomplish your Twitter goals, but these are a couple that worked for me personally.
First off, I built my account from scratch. No purchased followers, no use of automated bots, scheduled tweets, third party management programs, etc. I place an emphasis on providing quality content. Content that real people want to share. Early on, I realized that my photos from my travels were very popular and received the majority of my interactions. So I stuck to what worked and now tweet photos exclusively. Note in the above screenshot that I only sent out 24 Tweets this month but generated 470K impressions. This goes against most guidance that says you should blast the Twitter universe with as many tweets as possible. I don’t know…(Shrugs shoulders). Limiting my tweets just seems to work for me. Lesson one, do what works.
Additionally, I follow people proactively who demonstrate a habit of sharing. The thought process here being, if they are into travel and retweet or like other people’s photos, they will do the same for my content. To do this, I look for travel related photos that have been tweeted, click on the list of who retweeted it, and follow these accounts. In theory, these people will follow me back and interact with my content. Lesson two, proactively build a following composed of people who demonstrate their willingness to interact.
Be human. I often look at other ‘popular’ travel related accounts and am amazed by how robotic they appear. I guess this works for them in terms of driving up their numbers but for me, as a real human who seeks more than just numbers, I prefer to maintain a personalized presence. I want my audience of followers to feel a connection with me, to view my photos and feel like I am sharing with the intent of inspiring as opposed to selling them something.
Here are a couple more quick tips (taken randomly from my eBook):
- Pictures generate more interactions. Consider adding a picture to your tweet. I built an entire account off of nothing but…pictures! Be sure that your picture content is relatable to your goal. Do you want your picture to be shared (and drive up your interaction stats)? Or is your goal to inspire people to navigate to your blog, article, webcast or YouTube video. Make sure that when using pictures, you either are the owner of the picture or that you give credit to the photographer. An additional tip: If possible, try and utilize pictures that are orientated to landscape formatting and 2:1 dimension. I have found (the hard way) that some of my photos were presented on Twitter feeds with partial cropping of the main picture and well, that certainly is not the best way to present my content to followers.
- Keep tweets short. (Like this bullet point, unlike this blog post 😉 )
- Pinning Tweets: Twitter allows you to ‘pin’ a tweet to the top of your account. You can only pin one tweet at a time however this is a great way to drive up the interactions for any particular tweets that you seek to promote. You can also choose to pin a targeted tweet that markets your end goal strategy. In other words, pin a tweet that has a graphic that lists and links to your YouTube channel, blog, website, sale promotion, etc. Your pinned tweet will show up at the top of your Twitter feed when people view your account.
- When crafting tweets, consider using discoverable keywords that are relevant to your content and goal. Think of these keywords as words that you would expect someone to search for. By including them in your tweets, you will ensure that if anyone searches for the word, your tweet will be returned in their search results.
- Everyone hates auto-DMs. Don’t send auto-DMs. No really, DON’T SEND AUTO-DMs! With that said, if someone takes the time to send you a personalized, non-automated message, take the time to respond to them. I have found that the simple gesture of returning someone’s message provides value in building trust, loyalty and a positive relationship with your followers.
- #Hashtags: A useful tool but don’t overuse them. I will sometimes look at what hashtags are trending (click on search and the list of top hashtags comes up) and if they apply to my content, I will add one into my tweet. People may search on a particular hashtag but if you have the keyword in your tweet it really doesn’t matter as your tweet will come up anyway. As your tweets gain popularity (which they totally will after you start using all these awesome tips!) there is benefit as your tweet will be listed as ’popular’ and help drive viewers to your content. If you get super popular, you can also invent your own hashtag for use in promotions or marketing. If you do use hashtags, limit the use to 1-2 hashtags per tweet (the analytical people say this is the optimal number of hashtags and can impreove your interactions by 21%. Really, theses metrics exist). Bottom line, hashtags are useful but don’t overuse them. #winning
Interested in more? Here is the link to an eBook I wrote (shameless promotion, sorry. Ha!):
Have a tip or suggestion that has worked for you? Feel free to leave a comment