Need the Best Twitter Followers? Focus on Awesome Quality!

Need the Best Twitter Followers? Focus on Awesome Quality!

Need the Best Twitter Followers? Focus on Awesome Quality!

One of the top ten questions I hear from new users on Twitter: how will I attract influencers to my new account? If you want the best followers, then your focus must be on the best quality content, find the best accounts to follow or list, and have a highly focused strategy.

Here are a few basics.

Know Your Audience

Know Your Audience

Know Your Audience

Someone was talking to me the other day and said to me that the chocolate I was buying was a “chick magnet.” Putting the dumb sexist comment aside, why would I be interested in a “chick magnet”? Now, had he been talking to one of his guy friends over a beer, that comment might be more appropriate. Maybe. Same goes for what you write: make sure it’s something your audience would want to know.

Share Great Content

Share Great Content

Share Great Content

If you’re creating your own content, fantastic! As Clement Lim says, creating quality content keeps your audience coming back for more. If you show your audience something valuable or solve a problem for them, they’ll keep coming back. And the same is true with the tweets you choose.

My audience wants to know how to save time. So something like Social Media in 60 Minutes a Day could help my them, if I’ve been listening carefully. And my clients always say they want to spend less time doing their social media.

Use Search and Save Your Searches

Use Search and Save Your Searches ©

Use Search and Save Your Searches

You can save your searches in Twitter, whether they’re for a hashtag, a keyword, or a combination. On desktop, search in the top search bar, then go to More Options–>>Save This Search.

Advanced Search

Advanced Search

Advanced Search

Did you know you can search for a topic, such as “Social Media” and then choose whether there’s an associated emotion with it? For the positive emotion, that would be a little smiley face “:)”. You can also search within a certain geographic area if you’re a brick and mortar. Use those saved searches to find people tweeting about what you’re interested in.

Create Lists!

Create Lists!

Create Lists!

If you get more than a couple of hundred followers, you will go insane if you don’t have lists! Find the best accounts and list them. For instance, you could create a list of locals, people who retweet you, or friends. Check in on them occasionally, especially when you’re looking for good content to retweet. You will save a ton of time, I promise!

Engage in Tweet Chats!

Engage in Tweet Chats!

Engage in Tweet Chats

People who want to engage come to tweetchats. Find one that includes topics that interest you. You’ll find new followers, the time passes quickly, and as a by-product, you’ll also find new friends. At least that’s what happened to me. If you don’t know how, here’s how to participate in a tweet chat.

How Do You Find Good Accounts to Follow?

Tell me your secret ways. I promise I won’t tell anyone! Pinkie swear!


Five Quick Ways to Boost Your Social Media Listening

Five Quick Ways to Boost Your Social Media Listening

Five Quick Ways to Boost Your Social Media Listening

People are always complaining about the amount of noise there is on social media. Clients want to know how to cut through the tremendous ruckus and hear the good stuff. Here are some surefire ways to listen better.

Twitter Lists for the Win

My number one piece of advice for new clients is to set up lists on Twitter. You can make them secret or public, but either way a list is how you can follow many people and listen to the best ones. For a deeper dive, here’s my post about lists for the power user.

Google Alerts

Did you know that you could set up a Google alert for any keyword you like and then add it to a column in Hootsuite? Each Google Alert has an RSS feed. So for instance, if you have a Google Alert for your own name, you can add that. You could set one up for all the people in your startup so you can monitor who’s talking about you. Then put them into columns using HootSuite Syndicator.

 downtown night photo

Facebook Groups

You can have different groups on Facebook. That is, you can create groups of friends, people who are restricted, or those you’d like to see less of in your newsfeed. It’s already built into Facebook. So if your coworker is meddlesome, put him in a group other than “friends.”

farming photo

Photo by Moyan_Brenn

Personal Hashtags

You can create your own hashtag by typing a pound sign (#) in front of any word. Use it to organize a search or any time you want to be found. Make sure your content matches your hashtag. For instance, my chat on Twitter is #DigiBlogChat. For a deeper dive into hashtags, read the excellent The Only Hashtag Guide You’ll Ever Need.

 farming photo

Pinterest Guided Search

If you’re on Pinterest, use the guided search. You can pin from the feed, but a better way is to use the guided search. Listen to what people are pinning on a particular topic relevant to your business. Start with the highest-level (for instance, a hair dresser might search on “short hair,” then let Pinterest guide your search.

baseball photo

Local Search by Keyword

If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, you could search by hashtag to see what people in your area are saying. For instance #SF or #SanFrancisco. I search on #SantaCruz in Twitter quite a bit. Then retweet, repost, or comment on those posts. Brainstorm other keywords your ideal audience might be using.

Make Listening a Habit

Julian Treasure, in his wonderful TED Talk about listening better, recommends trying to listen to different channels to deepen one’s connection to the world around us. If you have a chance to listen to his video, please do.


How to Lose All Your Followers on Social Media

How to Lose All Your Followers on Social Media

How to Lose All Your Followers on Social Media

I almost called this “The Wonderful Art of Subtraction on Social Media,” because sometimes the best thing to do is to subtract. That is: unfollow, unfriend, and mute. After all, everyone wants more, more, more followers on social media. Isn’t that the whole point? Not always! Sometimes less is more.

Same Old, Same Old

Lately I’ve grown tired of seeing the same stuff day after day, month after month. On Twitter, the accounts that spew quotes are the worst. My friends Mitch Mitchell and Terri Nakamura have been tweeting about it. How do those accounts get so many followers when all they do is broadcast quotes all day long?

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Spew quotes all day long.

Unfriending on Facebook

On Facebook, if I don’t remember where the heck we met, or if we haven’t had a conversation for a couple of years, off you go! I’ll bet they don’t remember me, either (even if to me, I’m the queen of the universe!). Wiki has a great list of reasons you might have been unfriended on Facebook and how to get over it.

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Being offensive and way too personal is a good way to be unfriended. Right now, the political rant is also a great way to lose friends.

mall crowd photo

Photo by abodftyh

Unfollowing on Twitter

On Twitter, if there’s too much salesy stuff, and too many boring tweets, same thing: they get muted or unfollowed. Muted if the volume is too high and unfollowed if the tweets are tasteless. Partly the fault is mine. I may not have taken a good, hard look at the account when I first followed or followed back. But sometimes accounts change, too. Here are some Twitter Best Practices, by the way.

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Drunk tweeting off topic is a fast way to lose followers. Also, sending direct messages asking for money is a fast path to being unfollowed.

Disconnecting on Pinterest

Sometimes people post about too much of one thing, and it gets boring. Or, as in the case of someone I unfollowed this week–too many “sexy ladies dressed as animals.” Yeah, I know. Weird. I kept unfollowing one board after another, until finally–no boards at all! What a great day that was. If you want a primer on Pinterest, you might like this one: Pinterest: Top Ten Tasks and Power Tips.

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Pin only photos of sunglasses. Or stuffed animals. And you’ll lose followers. Try it!

Getting Unlinked on LinkedIn

Like Direct Messages on Twitter, sending salesy messages before getting to know someone is a no-no on LinkedIn, and a great way to lose followers. Today I got an email from someone I’d never had contact with asking me to buy their IT services. See ya! If you want to know how to prune the rose buds on LinkedIn, here you go.

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Send a lot of salesy stuff, before getting to know someone.

Insta-Unfollowed on Instagram

On Instagram, a really great way to be blocked is to leave a comment on someone else’s post saying “follow me.” Don’t you hate that?

Fast Path to Losing Followers: Say you sell followers in a message on someone else’s post.

 freeway photo

Who Have You Unfollowed Today?

If you’ve unfriended, unfollowed, or blocked someone today, why? I’d love to hear from you!



Social Media Worst Practices

Social Media Worst Practices

Social Media Worst Practices

You’ve probably gotten tons of fabulous great advice about how to do social media, but what about bad advice? Bad advice is rare right? Just joking! Sometimes bad advice is so bad that it can be good. Or at least, good for a big laugh! Here are some social media worst practices suggested by a few social media manager friends.

“Social media is a waste of time”

Haven’t heard this one since 2009, but there may be some who still believe it. My friend Heather Baker Steele (of Blue Steel Solutions) suggested this one.

“Automate Direct Messages in Twitter”

Send an auto DM to people right after they follow you thanking them–or asking them to “like” you on Facebook. Maybe back in the day people were able to pull this off successfully, but I haven’t seen anyone do a good job with an auto DM recently. This is one that I’ve heard personally.

“Just connect all your networks to Facebook, and schedule, and it will all get cross-posted. #FACEPALM

A beauty of a piece of bad advice, via Kirti Dwivedi, of Diya Marketing. What some people don’t know is that you can see when you cross-post. On Twitter, those posts show up with a shortened Facebook link. People know you’re not there, so they’re not very likely to follow you.

“Automate posts on Facebook (via 3rd party app) especially if you are strapped for time”

Ruby Rusine of Social Success Marketing sent that one. Did you know that it’s pretty easy to schedule from right within Facebook? No need to use a scheduler!

“Cross-Posting Can Save You a Lot of Time”

Yes, it can. You can save even more time if everyone unfollows you because your cross-posting annoys them! Because then you’ll only have a few followers, and fewer conversations.

Social Media Worst Practices: ROI on Every Tweet

Social Media Worst Practices: ROI on Every Tweet

“You Need a ROI on Every Tweet”

This one was submitted by friend Amy Donohue (@TheFabulousOne on Twitter). And yes, social media managers hear this one a lot. Some even try to micromanage Twitter by asking their social media managers to justify each tweet. See my post on how to demotivate employees for more information!

“We don’t need Twitter”

This one is pretty common, although most people then admit that they don’t understand Twitter. Another good one that Amy Donohue heard. And if you think Twitter is a waste of time…did you know that Amy donated her kidney because of a tweet? Take a look at the trailer for her movie, “Social Media Stole My Kidney.”

 “Buy followers to get your clients started.”

Another wonderful and terrible piece of advice heard by Kirti Dwivedi of Diya Marketing. If you want to know about reasons not to do this, see my previous post about buying fake followers and why it’s a bad idea.

Did you get any really good bad advice?

Was there any bad advice that made you laugh out loud? I’d love to hear it!

And thank you to all my social media manager friends for the bad advice!

The Perfect Retweet: Seven Ways

The Perfect Retweet: Seven Ways

The Perfect Retweet: Seven Ways

A blog post about how to retweet might seem like Twitter 101 (and here’s my blogpost on Twitter 101 for Baby Boomers). But before you pull out that “been there, done that, bought the t-shirt” line, give me a minute to explain. Because lately I’ve seen a lot of bad retweets.

Don’t Hit That Retweet Button!

My good friend, Bridget Willard, of You Too Can Be A Guru says it best:

There are lots of reasons not to use the retweet button. For one, people often don’t see your retweet. For another, when you use the classic retweet, you use your own branding, instead of having a bunch of other people’s logos all over your Twitter account. For a third, you can add a comment more easily. The fourth reason is that using the retweet button can be a conversation killer. Do you need more reasons? I did a Google search and my bud Bridget Willard’s post on why she doesn’t use the retweet button was right there on page one. Seriously.

Use the Classic Retweet

To use the “Classic” retweet, hit reply, then cut and paste the tweet. Check that the tweet will fit. Put a “.” or RT or MT (for “Modified Tweet) in front of the tweet. Note: If you start a tweet with an @ sign, it’s a reply and only you plus the person in the @ sign will see it. More details about using the @ sign, plus other newbie hints here.

Check the Link

If you’re retweeting with a link, check the link. Even if you don’t read the entire article at the link, at least scan it. Make sure the link is still alive, and that the article isn’t spammy. Yes, sometimes you may tweet out a dead link (and please tell your friends if they do!).

Ask Yourself if Your Followers Will Like the Tweet

Try to retweet articles of interest to your followers. Who are your followers? What would interest them? For instance, if you tweet for a bank, your tweets could be about rising interest rates, banking history, events in your bank’s home town, etc. If your followers love the outdoors, tweet about hiking and mountaineering. And so on.

Don’t Retweet a Bunch of @ Names

Here comes the analogy. Ready? I’m sitting at one end of a long bench. John is sitting at the other end. I say hello to John and we start talking. But our conversation has nothing to do with anyone else on the bench. That’s how it is when you retweet those long chains of names. It adds to the noise. It’s also like a “reply all” in email. Remove all the @ signs if you’re talking to just one person. Everyone else will thank you for the peace and quiet.

Add an Image

For extra credit, add an image

For extra credit, add an image

If you really want extra credit, add an image. Since about Halloween of 2013 and its IPO, Twitter has allowed the addition of multimedia, as outlined by the New York Times. You may need a little time to find something appropriate (Creative Commons is good for this purpose), or you can use one of your own pictures to steer clear of copyright infringement. One of my friends, @TheSoulfulEmu on Twitter, sometimes adds an image to my tweets. How cool is that?

Ask for a Retweet

If the tweet is very important to you, add the words “Please retweet” at the end. Just make sure that you’re also retweeting other people’s tweets, too, not just asking for favors all the time. Yes, there’s that whole thing about being social again. Strange, I know.

What Else Do You Love in a Retweet?

Please leave me a comment! I appreciate it.

Twitter: Get More Followers

Twitter: Get More Followers

Twitter: Get More Followers

You’ve read about this topic a gazillion times and it’s the first thing people always ask. How do I find  people to follow? And how do I get them to follow me back? My method is not foolproof, but it’s pretty damn good (not bragging). You will get followers, and they won’t be fake followers. It is work, however. You might not like that part. Then again, it’s not rocket science!

See Who Your Friends Are Talking to

Start by looking at who your friends talk to. Look at their profiles and their top ten tweets. If you like what you see on their profile and what they’re tweeting about, chat with them. Follow them if you like the way the conversation is going.

Say Something Directly to That Person

This could be anything. “Where are you from? Your profile doesn’t say.” “I like what you said on your profile about rapscallions.” “It looks like we went to the same school.” Start with something easy, just like you would in a real-life conversation. Start there. LifeHacker has some good, simple conversation starters that work in real life or online.

Retweet Them

Find a tweet that would be important to them. This requires a little more work. Preferably find something about their business or something you think they’d like you to retweet. If they have a small following, they’ll probably notice right away. If not, you may need to retweet a few to get noticed. If their tweet is short, you may have space to add a comment. And I recommend that you use an “old-school retweet,” for many reasons.

Comment on Their Blog

A blog comment is even better than a retweet, and is much more likely to get you noticed if you’re trying to establish a relationship. Bloggers love love love comments! And most will write back to you, I’ve found. And be happy to follow you.

Follow, Retweet and Comment

Be Generous First to Gain Followers

Be Generous First to Gain Followers

This is the trifecta of engagement. If you do all three of these things, then your new friend may be oblivious or a snob. And if they don’t want to engage with you, then why are you following them? Some accounts may give you really good content, but most people aren’t Katie Couric (and need to converse with others).

Have Good Content

Think of your followers (or your potential followers) as friends. What cool and interesting stuff would you like to share with them? It doesn’t always have to be related to your business, but you’ll be more likely to attract the right crowd if it is. Don’t trick people by saying, “Hey guys, I liked this” and then a spammy link. Share things you do truly love if you want to make friends either online or in real life.

Is This Approach Too Much Work?

Let me know what works for you in the comments! Thanks!



Unfollow on Pinterest: 3 Best Ways

Unfollow on Pinterest: 3 Best Ways

Unfollow on Pinterest: 3 Best Ways

My previous post on how to unfollow on Pinterest continues to get comments about how complicated this process is, so I am writing this to outline the best solutions to unfollow on Pinterest, thanks to the super-helpful Austin Geraci, and blog reader “Dani,” both of whom I’ve paraphrased.

Note: None of these procedures is very simple, and I’m still open to hearing about any alternatives.

For Mac or Windows: Excel

This idea comes from Blog reader Dani. Dani explains that you can copy the entire page (either your followers or who you’re following) and past either into notepad.

Then you copy from notepad, paste into Excel and organize the data alphabetically and you can delete all the “following” notes.

For Windows: Notepad++

As explained by Austin G, Notepad++ is an easy-to-use tool that lets you compare data (among a lot of other tasks). You can open multiple text docs in it, just like you can in modern browsers using tabs.

Open up the two docs, go to plugins –> Compare –> Pick your options (align, ignore spacing, detect moves, or navigation bar) –>Click compare and Poof! both docs show up side by side and the differences will be highlighted.

For Mac or Windows: Word

Unfollowing on Pinterest can be complicated

Unfollowing on Pinterest can be complicated

Open a blank Word file. From Pinterest, copy your Pinterest followers. Then go to Edit–>Paste Special–>Unformatted Text. Then Find and Replace “Unfollow” with an empty space. (Find and replace “Unfollow” first or this process won’t work.)

Why Isn’t This Easier?

Everybody wants to know how to do this. When I talk about it anywhere on social media, people go a little bit crazy. Twitter makes it pretty simple. By the way, if you want to know why I’m not following you on Pinterest, here are some possible reasons.

What’s Your Favorite?

If you have figured out a good way to unfollow on Pinterest, I’d love to talk to you! Really. I will buy you coffee. Or even a really good beer. Or you can leave a comment here.


Pinterest: 6 Reasons I’m Not Following You

Why I'm Not Following You on Pinterest

Why I’m Not Following You on Pinterest

You’re following a million people a day on Pinterest in the hopes that a few of them will follow you back. However, some of your practices make me instantly not want to follow you. Here are a few!

You Don’t Consider Your Audience

If you have women as part of your audience, consider not pinning images that are demeaning to women. And if you are trying to gain business from Pinterest, that goes triple for you. You might not get reported for porn, but you certainly won’t get followed, even if 99% of your pins are of good quality. Considering your niche and what they want to see should be part of your pinning strategy.

You Pin Too Much

Even if I like your pins, if my entire stream is filled with stuff from you, I might decide not to follow. While one or two Hello Kitty products are ok, seeing 100 of them all at once will probably make me want to unfollow. However, a thousand of them would be the best thing ever! (Joking!)

Subject Matter Doesn’t Interest Me

If you only pin ballet shoes, snow removal equipment, or feather dusters, I probably won’t follow you. But if you make those subjects interesting, I might follow you after all. Having a sense of humor about a subject matter that’s dry would probably make me admire you for the creative effort.

Too Many Boards with One Pin Each

Two Cats

If you have 150 boards with only one pin on each, that looks like you’re a newbie, or worse, a spammer. Fewer boards with more content on each board looks better. For one thing, your followers won’t have to scroll as much.

You Steal Content

If you steal content and claim it as your own, I’ll definitely unfollow you. Right after asking you to remove those pins, that is. Nobody likes a thief.

No Pins, No Followers, and No Boards

If there is nothing on your account, I won’t follow you. How will anyone know what to expect if there’s nothing there? There has to be some “there there!” Here are some ideas on how to unfollow on Pinterest.

What Makes You Unfollow?

Did I leave anything out? Please let me know in the comments! Thanks!




Social Media: Overposter or Underposter?

How Often Should You Post on Social Media?

How Often Should You Post on Social Media?

If your business is just getting started on social media, you may wonder about how often to post. Once a day? Once an hour? Several times a month? Every other month? Unfortunately, there is no easy formula to discover the perfect number of posts on a platform. Each brand uses social media differently, but here’s what I consider appropriate.

Each Platform is Different

If you’re talking about LinkedIn, then you probably don’t need to post that often. A good rule of thumb would be a couple of times a week. The same with GooglePlus. However, on Facebook, most businesses post more often, in comparison. I post once a day on my business page–twice if there’s a big announcement or something I can’t wait to share. On Twitter, if you only posted once a week, people would probably never see your tweet. On Twitter, I post 11 times daily, plus engagement, for a total of 30 or 35 tweets daily. Each platform also has its own language.

Who is Your Audience?

If your audience is primarily younger, say, under 30 years old, you can probably post more often. If they’re a bit older, they may not respond well to frequent posting. That’s a huge generalization. And if your audience is  Gen C, you might want to post more often, too. You might also ask your audience what they would like.

How Big is Your Audience?

How big is your audience?

How big is your audience?

If you have a larger audience, you may need to post (and engage) more often. Since social media is social, if you are asked questions, people will be looking for answers and responses from you. So for instance, if you only have 30 followers on Twitter, you will have fewer conversations than if you have 300 or 3,000. On Facebook, you might only post once, but interact multiple times throughout the day. Consider how often you’ll check in and put that in your social media strategy.

What is Your Brand Promise?

If you’re big on customer service, you may want to check in and post more often. Bigger brands often have an entire team of people who make posts. Consider that your needs may change as your audience grows.

Do You Consider Yourself Someone Who Posts Too Little?

How often do you post and how do you think you compare to others? I’d love to hear from you!


Pinterest: Five Newbie Mistakes You’re Making

Pinterest: Five Newbie Mistakes You're Making

Pinterest: Five Newbie Mistakes You’re Making

Since Pinterest showed up on the social media scene, people have been flocking to it like ducks to water, or maybe like addicts to a new video game. People who weren’t that visual became more visual, and those who didn’t know they were visual, are suddenly spending hours on this visual site. So what are a few things to avoid and what should you be doing to have fun for yourself or your brand on Pinterest? Here are some simple fixes to common errors.

Keeping Default Boards

Fix: decide on the boards you really want. Say you are a small business selling hand knitted leg warmers and other trendy items for chihuahuas. You might want to create boards such as Tiny Dogs, SPCA, Local Doggy Events, and of course a board for your own homemade doggy outfits. You might also want to create boards for different types of outfits, such as hats, vests, paw warmers, etc. Keep in mind that you can change the names of boards later if you like. To change the board name, click on the board, go to “Edit Board” –>Title (don’t forget to save your changes!).

Ugly Board Covers

Fix: Make Each Board Beautiful! To entice people to see the contents of a board, pin the most visually beautiful cover you can. To change a board cover, simply hover with your mouse over the board. Click on “Edit Board Cover” to choose a photo. You can position the photo if you like, at this point. Then click “Set Cover.”

Following Nobody

Choose the Best Covers for Your Boards

Choose the Best Covers for Your Boards

Fix: Follow people you already know or whose pins you enjoy. Although unfollowing people who don’t follow you isn’t easy, you can unfollow people later. Note: like other forms of social media, there is spam out there! So beware of people who have 40 boards with just one photo on each board, or who don’t appear to be real people, or who only sell things like wrist watches.

Not Commenting

Like other forms of social media, Pinterest is social. So “like,” repin, and especially comment on others’ pins! People will appreciate you, and they will be more likely to reciprocate!

Not Having Your Business Name in Your Profile

Fix: Along with your business name and logo, you might want to include a few things about you. A photo of you or a logo also legitimizes your account. People want to know a little about you! To make changes, click “Edit Profile.” You can use the First Name line for your business name. Don’t forget to click “Save Profile” when you’re done. Note: Pinterest has recently partnered with brands to add information to pins, which is very useful for brands.

Not Pinning on Sundays

Fix: Take Saturday off and pin on Sundays! Sundays are the busiest days on Pinterest. So even just pinning a few pins will really help you with traffic and getting more eyes on your content.

What Have You Learned About Pinterest?

Have you changed your strategy along the way with Pinterest? What has helped you the most? Please leave a comment below! Thank you!

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed