It's not a secret that on social media sites like Twitter, a popular way to build an audience is to follow others in the hopes they will connect in return. At first, this idea sounded extremely off-putting and selfish to me. Until I met someone that had successfully done this, and I started to form a new perspective on the technique.
A few simple words completely turned around my opinion of Twitter and the way people use it. I was talking to a fellow artist about his massive audience (1.5 Million and growing) and he said "How else are they going to know you're out there?"
Wow. That was a very valid point, I thought. I soon realized that there's another side to that as well: "How else am I going to know who's out there?"
He recommended (and I would recommend it too) using the app Crowdfire to help build my audience. At first, I was still hesitant to use it but tried anyway. Just like many others, I just rapidly hit follow on everyone I could find.
Soon after, using Twitter became a nightmare. Not only were very few people following me back, they weren't engaging in any way. (They just wanted a higher follower count too). To make matters worse, my main feed was flooded with spam and things I didn't care about.
I quickly unfollowed the nearly 800 random people (and spam accounts) I was following and started from scratch.
This time, I took that a step further and have used the app to find the exact type of people I want to follow, and that I want following me. By using the app's Copy Followers function with a popular film blog or political writer, I was able to find thousands of fellow filmmakers or people with similar political ideologies.
The difference is amazing. I've been utterly shocked at how many other filmmakers and artists there are out there that are working on really interesting projects. My main feed is now full of posts I actually want to read and interact with. The people following me are people I want to be connected with and much more likely to take an interest in what I'm working on.
So there it is. The simple missing factor in a lot of people's Twitter strategy: following the right people.
This is nothing new for those of you that might be marketing experts, but it was a new part of the puzzle that I happily stumbled upon.
None of this discounts the value of creating meaningful and real content for your followers to enjoy and share. You'll still gain the most interested followers by them coming to you after seeing your work. In a world where engagement is key, targeting followers and great content is the best way to stay relevant.
I'd love to hear what you think about using this method to build a larger network within your field. Do you do anything else that works well for you?