Monday, 20 May 2013

Six Ways To Ensure People will Follow You

So I posted a message a little while ago about why not to send a DM about buying your book. What I didn’t mention were people sending direct messages about following them is also wrong. I don’t see why people demand that if they follow someone they must be followed back and I feel that those apps that monitor your account to see who is not following you back are wrong. You wouldn’t expect a news channel or a pop star to follow you back would you? A great example is Justin Beiber, who has the most followers at time of writing, is followed by 39 million users, but only follows 122,000 people. That is 0.3% of his following are possibly followed back. Another excellent example is the BBC Breaking News team; they are followed by 6 million users but only follow themselves 2! I know these are extreme cases, but the principle is same.

In my own experiences I was following a company called Bublish, but it wasn’t for several months afterwards that they started to follow me. Am I mad / disappointed / reaching for the unfollow button? No! I hadn’t earned their trust at the time for them to invest in my messages, so they didn’t feel my messages were worth their precious time. But after a few months of me continuing to do what I do: promote good author behaviour, writing and marketing – the company decided to invest in following me. I didn’t even seek them out to follow me. That company has 1184 followers and follows 359. They’ve qualified who they want to listen to and seek messages from and I am proud to be a part of that group.

I know some people use apps that automatically unfollow people that aren’t following them. But I think that is wrong. You should have to do more than just follow a person to gain a follower and apps that do this for you are contaminating the system and playing on our selfish wants. Yes we all want to have our message heard and our books promoted – but at the cost of integrity? That is cost that is too high for me.

So how can you ensure that someone will follow you back on twitter or on facebook? Well let’s look at six things you can do:

1.       Don’t make your posts all about you
One of the most annoying things and the biggest reason why I don’t follow is tweet after tweet and message after message of your books, your events, your... well you get the message. People want to have intelligent conversation; not a hundred and one door sales men knock. How can they tell what you post – I always look at your recent posts. If you are posting solely about your book, then I am not going to listen to you.
2.       Don’t lie when requesting follows
I had one person promise they retweet. But when looking through their recent history they had 2 retweets and 30 tweets requesting followers. The person also had 13,000 followers and followed 11,000. If the average person tweets twice a day, how would they determine which to retweet. It was essentially an empty promise to gain my ear.
3.       Engage in conversation
A simple retweet before they are following you, telling them that you agree with a tweet or even a mention from time to time is more than likely encourage favour with a user. Do this and you’ll grab their attention and their follow in time. But be careful, to end it as soon as they are following you will result in a quick unfollow – why? Because it shows a hidden agenda. Social media is about being social. Be social throughout your relationship with a reader.
4.       Don’t be offensive
You probably don’t know how many people still do this on social media. I see messages at times posting the nastiest things over twitter and facebook. The digital world has made it easier for people to send inappropriate messages. But would more than half of those nasty messages be sent across the table in a face to face meeting? Probably not. If you wouldn't say it to their face, don't say it on the internet. People are not here to listen to nasty comments. If you are posting those, readers won’t be listening.
5.       Be consistent
Don’t say one thing only to refute it the next. It destroys trust and your chances of that valuable reader.
6.       Give quality varied content
This one is rather debatable on what is quality content. But consider what people want to hear from you and keep your content varied. Not everyone likes to know what you had for dinner, though some do. Also some people don’t want to know how your writing / reading is going – but others do. By keeping your content varied you will appeal to a larger audience and by making it quality will gain readers’ ears.

I hope that some of this has been helpful to you. Have you any more tips on how to make sure someone will follow you? Or even tips on what not to do to get followers. I love to hear comments.

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