So you’ve decided to become influential, eh? Your latest mission statement proclaims that you will be the King of Twitter, with a Klout score of 75 bajillion, and Starbucks will name a new drink after you. You’re deconstructing each tweet and how it affects your target audience, testing it, agonizing over each word, and tracking who retweets it based on complex algorithms and spreadsheets in order to attract the “appropriate” audience with the perfect hashtags. Is that the best route to take to become an influencer, though? Here’s my take. If you want to learn how to get more followers, that’s a whole other blog post.
Don’t Be That Guy
Have you ever been talking to someone at a party and had them look over your shoulder scanning the room to see if someone “better” had just entered? How did that make you feel? Then, when they realized that you were the the best friend of the mayor, they suddenly became your best friend? Gary Vaynerchuk says it really well in his video! Everybody is relevant.
You Don’t Know Who They Know
So here’s a for instance. Let’s take me as an example. Because I’ve done lots of work for people in the trades, I know a million people in construction. Well, maybe a billion, actually. There’s a construction company, who will remain nameless, who refuses to follow me back because he believes I’m not part of his target audience. And yet, I live within 10 miles of his company, have many connections to people in construction, and ghost tweet for three companies in the trades. But none of my social media profiles says that I’m in construction. If he made the least effort to reach out, he could make connections to many more people. But since he won’t follow or engage with me, I’m not inclined to retweet his material or lift a finger to help him.
People Have Multiple Profiles
That “little account” that you refuse to take seriously may be responsible for an account with a million followers. They could know someone who works at the exact place where you’d like to apply for a job. They could be best friends with your mom, for all you know. So why not be respectful to everyone?
The Second Chess Move in Life
As Gary Vee says, if you open yourself up to people who are not your exact target audience, if you reach out and say hello to people and stop “strategizing” and act like a human being, you’ll find your exact right audience.
Instead of following someone based on their Klout score, how many followers they have, or whether they have the best hashtag, how about this? Follow based on conversations with others, whether they have interesting opinions, or if you have something in common. And then how about feeling grateful for the followers you do have? And by the way, here is my very favorite TedxSF talk: Louis Schwartzberg on gratitude.
How Do You Decide Who to Follow?
Is engaging with the “right” people important to you? How has that helped your cause?