Twitter Relationship Tips - Marketing on Twitter

As I trapse around the net, I see that tons of people don’t think there is any value in Twitter and I see that many of those who do see the value think it’s all about jumping in and mass following people to get thousands of people following them.

There is value in Twitter, for practically any and everyone and we’ll certainly delve into that, but for the moment let’s talk about this mass following myth.

The only time I ever rushed out to follow a bunch of people was in the very beginning (well, in the very beginning I think I signed up to review the site for a client) but once I decided to actually use it, I sat in on a phone call about Twitter and that evening, and for the next couple of days, I logged on to Twitter and followed a bunch of people to start to get some followers back.

BUT, I didn’t just follow random people.

I followed people that had similar interests as me and were in the same loops as me.  You need to have something in common with your Tweeple, something, whether it’s personal interests, business interests, or whatever relates to your purpose for being on Twitter.   And I still don’t just follow random people.

So what I only have almost 700 followers, for the most part I believe those followers share interests with me, and I actually communiciate with many of them and read a lot of Tweets from them.

Yes, it’s impossible for me to read every Tweet of over 500 people that I follow but I almost always have my Twhirl open and I scan it daily, often frequently throughout the day, to see what’s being talked about and what links are out there.  And I peek at the corner of my screen when my little bubble pops up to show my latest incoming Tweets.  I also sometimes check the profiles of my fav Tweeters to see what they’re up to.  I do that because I am involved in my Twitter world and I find a lot of valuable stuff there.  And I share, I share business stuff as well as personal stuff - why,

because it’s about Relationship Building, just like it is offline.

I don’t automatically follow everyone that follows me, although @GuyKawasaki makes a great point that he follows everyone who follows him so that they can direct message him - something to be considered and a practice I’m thinking about.

But what does generally prompt me to follow someone is if they start a conversation with me.

That’s what peaks my interest. Otherwise, I assume you’re just following me so that I’ll follow you back and you can build your numbers.  Personally, I don’t care about numbers unless they’re the numbers that are in my bank account.  I’ve never cared about any other numbers, even offline.  In my offline life, I’ve never been in a race to try to have as many friends as possible, I prefer value over numbers.

And that’s what I do - start conversations with people.  Whether it be people already in my Tworld or whether it be that I did a search on Twitter to find people talking about a specific topic and I decided to @ those people to expand the conversation.

If I cared about numbers, as long as I’ve been on Twitter, I could certainly, and would certainly, have followers in the tens of thousands from following people, not because we had anything in common or because they found any liking or value in what I have to say.

Admittedly, I should have been focusing on a bigger, valuable, base, but I spend a lot of my time working on my clients’ social media stuff so mine does often fall to the wayside.  And I’m okay with that because I know that

a) I’m delivering value to my clients and

b) that my base is valuable to me, no matter how small or large it is.

So, you spent hours and hours and hours following hundreds and hundreds of people so that you can have a big follower figure - are those people listening to you at all?  Is there any value in that number at all or is it like an empty bank account where you wrote an false figure in your bankbook just so that when you open it in front of someone, they think you have a bunch of money that you really don’t have?

Okay so you have the numbers but:

Where’s The Beef?

Hey, I’m all about “fake it til you make it”, don’t get me wrong but can you really make it if

a) you don’t deliver value and build real relationships and

b) none of your tens of thousands of followers really even see your link much less tell others about it because they have no connection to  you at all and you’re just another number in their fake bankbook too?

I’d rather have close to 700 people with many of them actually looking at my Tweets because they want to know what I’m talking about than 50k scanning right past my Tweet because they’re looking for the Tweets from the people they have some sort of connection with, or real interest in.  In the latter, I’m just the invisible person at the party who everyone was nice to but who no one really cares about and who no one listens to.

Offline, let’s say you go to a party and you hand out your business card to everyone, but that’s all you really do.

    A number of those people will throw your card away.
    A number of those people may put it somewhere but forget all about it.
    A number of those people will go with a competitor because they have a connection with that competitor or because that competitor made their interaction personal so they remember them, not you.
    A number of those people will see you as one of those annoying people who knock on their door at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday morning trying to sell them something they have absolutely no interest in.

So, you spent all night, and hundreds of business cards accomplishing nothing.

I’d rather be the girl at the party who established some sort of connection so that next time they see me they’re like “hayyy”!  The girl who spent her time connecting with an interested audience rather than someone just being polite long enough to get me out of their hair because they really don’t care.  The girl who if these people want something that I know about or am involved in, they think of me because I made a personal connection with them.

And the formula is so simple - Build Relationships.

Hello Relationship Marketing/Relationship Networking.

Instead of spending 2 hours per day just following people, spend those 2 hours talking to people.

Start a conversation.

    Ask questions - using @xxx, not just necessarily out loud to no one
    Compliment people on something - whether it be something they’re doing, an announcement they made about something they accomplished, their site, whatever
    Help people - direct them where they can find info about something they just asked about; provide directions for something they need help on - not only as it relates to whatever you’re selling - provide Real Value

Target people that will care about whatever  your purpose it.  If you’re on Twitter to help promote something, find people who might care about whatever that is or find value in it.  And start conversations with them.  Pay attention to what they’re talking about and get in the conversation.

Not only will this help you find and get value from your Tworld but if people like you, they will want to help you and support you.  I’m 10x as likely to retweet something from someone I have a connection with; although I will retweet something I really like that I catch from someone who I don’t have a connection with; but, it’s more likely that I’ll catch your Tweet if I have a connection with you, or if you’ve made our Tworld at least a little personal in some way.

Once you connect with someone, when they see your Tweet pop up, they just might take a peek at is because they have some idea of who you are.

Sure, unless you’re already someone big, it will take you a little longer to build your following, but you will have a valuable following; not just an empty one that you wasted tons of hours building.

This is exactly how I handle my own Tweeting as well as my clients’.  It does my clients no good if I just follow 1k people who have no idea who they are and don’t really care.  I’m delivering ZERO value to my client.  But, if I engage with people who share similar interests, I deliver value.

I utilize this practice on the other social platforms as well.

Instead of spending all my time following and friending people,

I build relationships, I create interaction.

So, now you’re asking, just how personal is it if I’m doing the relationship building for a client, rather than them doing it themselves?  Good question.

Answer: For one, I take a personal interest in my clients’ business.  I’m not a robot for them, I’m actually involved, I’m part of their business, I represent them so it’s not just cold convo - it’s as if their profile was actually mine.  I interact with people as part of the company.

I bring people together with my clients’ interests.  If I’m representing a client who is a VA firm, I connect with others in that world, or others who might be looking for that type of service and I do it as ‘part of the company’, not as their robotic, cold seller.  It’s personal.

It’s unrealistic for a business to handle everything.  Just like they need a secretary because they can’t take all of the incoming calls and messages and run their business, they need people to support the other aspects of their business, and social media is one of those aspects.

And I deliver value over numbers.

That’s Where My Beef Is At.

I guarantee if you shift your focus to relationships, rather than just numbers, you will see a greater return in your efforts.

Social Media & Your Business

I read an article today that I couldn’t agree with more, and raises points that I recently addressed with a client so I wanted to talk about it a bit more.

To start, my story w/recent client:

    Client hires me to set up his social networks (there is more to it than just registering and putting up a profile). He provides me with a list of sites he wants a presence on; I make suggestions on his presence and start gathering & requesting information and content (including website location).  Client says he is having the site built and asks for any feedback/suggestions on site info he presented.  I learn that the site is actually a ‘page’ where only a signup form for a newsletter will live.

I quickly started discussing with him why he needs to have an actual website/blog and not just a signup page.  For one, you have to give visitors an f’in good reason to sign up - people are extremely protective of their inbox and don’t just sign up to any and everything just because you want them to.  You need to be delivering value and you can’t very well do that with nothing more than a signup page.

For two, where are you going to send your visitors via these social networks - just to another social network where you can only provide a certain amount of value and information about yourself/services/etc.?

That’s just the tip of the iceberg on why you need a site/blog.

He did take my advice and decide to set up a website rather than just a ‘page’.  I believe his success will be far greater since he has done so and the options for his business are multiplied.

You can be on social networks all day but you need to have a place for visitors to really see what you’re about and what you deliver, and engage them via various resources and content.  It doesn’t have to compete with giants like Microsoft or anything; it just needs to be a place for your visitors to “visit” you.

Social networks are an avenue for you to connect with people and vice-versa, you can create awareness and drive traffic through them, but you need to have a place to drive it!

As a sidenote to that: it’s as simple as just setting up a WP blog.  [oh yeah, I'm for hire for that, I don't do just 'social networks/media', blogs are social too =)]

Now, take a look at the article that prompted this post which discusses 5 Easy Social Media Wins for Your Small Business.  (errr, but don’t forget all about my little post here after you venture over there!)

If you’re not yet utilizing Social Media for your business, what are you waiting for?  Would love to hear why you haven’t made the implementation yet?

I would also love to hear the successes those of you using it have had, big or small - no matter the size, all success is SUCCESS!  Are you getting more traffic; are you  making more sales; has  your reputation grown; are you making connections; gaining partners?  What’s your success?

Why Social Media is So Effective

Let’s take a look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:

You will notice that after the first 2 levels of basic needs (safety & physiological needs -sex) are met, the following 3 levels can be supported and nurtured by “social” interaction.
Read the following about Maslow’s theory (via Wikipedia) -


Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is predetermined in order of importance.[5] It is often depicted as a pyramid consisting of five levels: the lowest level is associated with physiological needs, while the uppermost level is associated with psychological needs, particularly those related to identity and purpose. Deficiency needs must be met first. Once these are met, seeking to satisfy growth needs drives personal growth. The higher needs in this hierarchy only come into focus when the lower needs in the pyramid are met. Once an individual has moved upwards to the next level, needs in the lower level will no longer be prioritized. If a lower set of needs is no longer being met, the individual will temporarily re-prioritize those needs by focusing attention on the unfulfilled needs, but will not permanently regress to the lower level. For instance, a businessman at the esteem level who is diagnosed with cancer will spend a great deal of time concentrating on his health (physiological needs), but will continue to value his work performance (esteem needs) and will likely return to work during periods of remission. [6]

Deficiency needs

The lower four layers of the pyramid are what Maslow called “deficiency needs” or “D-needs”: physiological, safety and security, love and belonging, and esteem. With the exception of the lowest (physiological) needs, if these “deficiency needs” are not met, the body gives no physical indication but the individual feels anxious and tense.
Physiological needs
For the most part, physiological needs are obvious - they are the literal requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met (with the exception of sex), the human body simply cannot continue to function.
Physiological needs include:
Safety needs
With their physical needs relatively satisfied, the individual’s safety needs take over and dominate their behavior. These needs have to do with people’s yearning for a predictable, orderly world in which injustice and inconsistency are under control, the familiar frequent and the unfamiliar rare. In the world of work, these safety needs manifest themselves in such things as a preference for job security, grievance procedures for protecting the individual from unilateral authority, savings accounts, insurance policies, and the like.
For the most part, physiological and safety needs are reasonably well satisfied in the “First World.” The obvious exceptions, of course, are people outside the mainstream — the poor and the disadvantaged. If frustration has not led to apathy and weakness, such people still struggle to satisfy the basic physiological and safety needs. They are primarily concerned with survival: obtaining adequate food, clothing, shelter, and seeking justice from the dominant societal groups.
Safety and Security needs include:
  • Personal security
  • Financial security
  • Health and well-being
  • Safety net against accidents/illness and the adverse impacts
Social needs
After physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third layer of human needs is social. This psychological aspect of Maslow’s hierarchy involves emotionally-based relationships in general, such as:
Humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, whether it comes from a large social group, such as clubs, office culture, religious groups, professional organizations, sports teams, gangs (”Safety in numbers“), or small social connections (family members, intimate partners, mentors, close colleagues, confidants). They need to love and be loved (sexually and non-sexually) by others. In the absence of these elements, many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and clinical depression. This need for belonging can often overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure; an anorexic, for example, ignores the need to eat and the security of health for a feeling of control and belonging.
All humans have a need to be respected, to have self-esteem, self-respect. Also known as the belonging need, esteem presents the normal human desire to be accepted and valued by others. People need to engage themselves to gain recognition and have an activity or activities that give the person a sense of contribution, to feel accepted and self-valued, be it in a profession or hobby. Imbalances at this level can result in low self-esteem or an inferiority complex. People with low self-esteem need respect from others. They may seek fame or glory, which again depends on others. It may be noted, however, that many people with low self-esteem will not be able to improve their view of themselves simply by receiving fame, respect, and glory externally, but must first accept themselves internally. Psychological imbalances such as depression can also prevent one from obtaining self-esteem on both levels.

Aesthetic needs

The motivation to realize one’s own maximum potential and possibilities is considered to be the master motive or the only real motive, all other motives being its various forms. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the need for self-actualization is the final need that manifests when lower level needs have been satisfied.
Social Media can foster those needs of levels 3, 4 & 5 whether you’re utilizing it for only making friends, networking for various reasons, or to connect people to your brand.
However, keep in mind when utilizing it for networking and connecting others with your brand, that it must be used “socially”.  So what if you throw up a page on a site somewhere, who cares; people have been doing that for years - so Web 1.0.  What will generate interest, word-of-mouth recommendations and interaction with your brand is by you catering to these social needs.
  • Create friends and even family-like relationships and atmospheres
  • Boost others’ self esteem and confidence, contributing to your achievements as well as the achievements of others
  • Respect others to gain respect
  • Contribute to conversations, creativity and problem solving
Did you notice that entire list came from the social needs we’re talking about?
By connecting to natural human needs, you will:
  • Gain reciprocal actions and respect
  • Encourage people to tell others about you whether it be by direct verbal or written recommendation or in the form of a ReTweet, link to your site/information, etc. - because now you’re a participant in their lives not just a bystander
  • Gain interest of not only your product but of you/your company because you aren’t just a product anymore; you’re a person who socially connects, cares, and contributes
  • Establish yourself as a leader
  • Open and encourage the doors of communication
  • Obviously, because of the above-mentioned gain a wider audience
If you look at any currently successful online marketer, whatever their niche and whether or not their brand can also be bought offline or not,  you’ll find that they’re likely leveraging success from these exact methods.
Of course, content is King but social is Queen; because you can have all the friends you want, if you don’t have content, good content, well you’ll just have friends.  And vice-versa, if you don’t have a social opening, particularly these days, well you’ll just have a site.  They work amazingly well together and utilizing them hand-in-hand will create offspring of fortunes (term used lightly to contribute to King and Queen metaphor).
Businesses and brands can utilize social platforms to connect to these very basic human needs.  Simple as that!
Long gone are the days of just sitting on the web hoping to be found.  Enter the era of reaching out and connecting, not only to people but to their social needs.
Be Social.
Thoughts?  Do you think it’s really more complicated than this?

Types of Linkbait and How to Utilize Each

Linkbait is one of the most often talked about SEO techniques on the web; however, what isn’t talked about are the specific types of linkbait.
From Problogger: The term linkbaiting is a one that seems to have surfaced over the past 12 or so months and that is used by webmasters to describe a variety of practices - all of which seek to generate incoming links to a website or blog from other sites.

Techniques and Utilizing Linkbait

  1. The one site technique - You write something to encourage backlinks from a specific site. This can be anything from a review to a trackback (agreeing or disagreeing with the article). This technique is usually generates ’surprise’ linking, but with enough know-how it is quite successful.
  2. Baiting a specific group - This technique was made famous by the many abuses of Digg. A while back, whenever anyone wrote an article/blog post about Digg it would be frontpaged immidiately. Why didn’t you do that? Alright, I didn’t either, our loss. Today, the most common group baiting is to political groups and celebrity followers. An great example is the photoshopped image of Sarah Palin’s head on the bikini body holding a gun. Other examples are LoLCats and “Fail!” photos.

  3. Using gadgets - Creating badges or WordPress plugins isn’t all about helping others; it’s also about helping yourself. You better believe that 99% of the time a badge or plugin is created the author is hoping for a linkback.
  4. General baits - This is generally the most common, but can also the hardest to bait. General humor, lists, interviews, and rants are among the many within this category. Most baiting will occur within your own niche and may move outward to StumbleUpon, Reddit, Digg, or one of the other social media sites.
If all else fails, porn it up! Pornography is always a well viewed subject, only people are more discrete about it. Don’t expect tons of comments, but do expect great StumbleUpon traffic and reddit traffic from the NSFW category.

Make It Simple for Visitors to Tweet Your Content to Twitter

Web cruisers are pretty ADD.  We don’t like sites that are complicated to navigate and we like things that make our time online simple.

Making it simple for your site visitors to Tweet your content will increase the likelihood of them sharing your information via Twitter; and, giving them a “hey, Twitter me please” reminder in the form of a button doesn’t hurt either!

Have you ever cruised blogs and saw a little button that said “Tweet/Retweet This”?  Were you deciding if you were going to click that little button before you even really dug into the content?  That’s a subliminal message of sorts, and you should have those messages on your page too!

Tweet This gives you that mind power!  It also does the URL shortening, so your visitors click twice and voila, they’ve spread your word.  You can also edit some of the settings - I love to be able to choose!

TwitMe also gives you this functionality but it further allows you to notify your Twitter followers of new post.  You can also interact with your Twitter account.

TwitThis is another service that gives your readers easy access to posting your content on Twitter.
I think Tweet This is my fav and the one I’ll be utilizing here (sending mind power to my own mind…this has been on your to-do list for a while, stop and do it!)

I use Twitter Tools to show my Tweets in my sidebar so I’m not really in need of the extra functionality of TwitMe.

You can use Twitter’s widget to show off your Twitter  on other social sites.  I’ve been installing it on some of my clients’ pages and I can stick it on most social profiles so I love that.
So, long story short, it’s important that you not only show off your Tweets via using tools such as Twitter Tools and Widgets everywhere possible but it’s also important to make it simple for your visitors to share your content with their own followers.

Linkbait vs SEO: What’s the difference?

Blogging is an amazing science. One must be able to accomplish many feats at the same time to grow readership. Two ways to accomplish readership goals are SEO and linkbait. Both have similarities and likewise, differences.

Definitions from the glossary:
Link baiting is a technique used to create links by creating content that appeals to social networks and/or bloggers.
Search engine optimization
SEO is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a way to increase rankings within search engine results.


Linkbait and SEO are quite similar in many aspects.
  • Both are a form of internet marketing.
  • Both have the main priorities of gaining links.
  • Both are best accomplished when having contacts in your own niche.
  • Both are for the outcome of traffic.


However, there are also many differences. Lets go over what they are:

Titles:Clickable titlesOptimized titles for SEs
Content:Anything controversial or interesting.Pages with 200+ words = best result.
Traffic type:One time only.Sustained.
Chance of accidental success?YesNo
Difficulty level (scale of 1-10):84

In case there is any confusion, ‘chance of accidental’ means the chance which people can accidentally create it. Many times the best linkbait is from something sources you never dreamed of becoming linkbait. As for SEO, it is rarely, if ever, accidental.
As for the difficulty level, SEO is one of the easiest marketing techniques to learn and implement, at least at the basic level. Linkbait however, is one of the hardest.

Which to choose?

There is no need to choose. Both can be accomplished (and sometimes are with the same article). The real choose is when to post one over the other. A general rule is to keep linkbait to a minimum, otherwise visitors might tend to grow angry. However, there are sites out there which live on linkbait alone.