I saw a post that David Meerman Scott wrote Monday and I felt compelled to share my answer to the same question – “How did you get so many followers on Twitter?!”
I get asked this question at least twice a week. Either people expect me to say “I sprinkled my patented Good Idea Fairy Dust (patent pending) and BAM,” or they don’t get how social media works. Here’s to hoping that writing this will result in no one ever asking me this again, because there’s obviously no quick solution – it takes a LOT of work (no, you’re not as funny as @ShitMyDadSays) – and you need to know why you even CARE how many people follow you. Ya dig?
I mean, I could get 50,000 followers by Friday if I wanted to– there are plenty of services out there that help you game the system by following a bunch of robots and other people trying to game the system. If that number means that much to you, go for it. I don’t care if you have more followers than me. At all. I promise. And your feed is going to be riddled with crap, and no one is going to be paying attention to a damn thing you say, but you’ll look REALLY COOL to other idiots. But I don’t like crap, and I like when people listen to me. So fuck that.
So how did I get close to 7,000 followers?
- I became active on Twitter in early 2008. No, I wasn’t the first person in Columbus to join Twitter, but I was a part of what I like to think of as the not-quite-as-early adopters.
- I’ve posted more than 32,000 messages to Twitter since then.
- I’ve posted a lot of INTERESTING messages to Twitter. Resourceful links. Funny shit. Relevant news. I subscribe to over 100 sources of quality content, and I curate the best on Twitter. (I’ve posted a lot of garbage, too. And a few mental breakdowns.)
- I’ve posted a lot more @replies to people. I have Twitter up at my office, my home, when I’m waiting for people at the bar, when I’m stopped at a red light (and then, of course, I immediately drop it when the light turns green – uh-huh), and I engage with people all day e’ryday.
- I’ve written almost 200 blog posts on beingcheryl.com, and several dozen on tappedin.tv and greatestcityofall.com
- I’ve been extremely active on OTHER social networking sites, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Yelp.
- I’ve volunteered hundreds of hours of my time to companies, conferences and contacts
- I’ve been interviewed in more than a dozen traditional media outlets and on several dozen blogs and podcasts
- I’ve spoken at around 20 conferences and professional groups
- I’ve traveled to social media conferences in Boston, Detroit, Toledo, Las Vegas and Atlanta
- I’ve attended at least one local networking event a week for over two years. Some weeks, more than 10.
- I’ve taken time to individually meet folks from Twitter via #FastFriends and on an on-going basis
- I’ve manually found and followed interesting people, either through searches for topics and hashtags that interest me, or by seeing who my peers are talking to and following, or by using tools like Twellow.
This isn’t a “look how fucking awesome I am” post.
This is a “this is what you have to do to get yourself a bunch of followers” post.
So go do some stuff.