Becoming a Twitter power user has it's benefits (more on that below) and, like many things in life, it is deceptively simple, but extremely time consuming. If there's one key takeaway from this blog post, it's consistency. This is important for any type of community building activity. If you're not consistent, then you're wasting your time.
How to Become a Twitter Power User
- Your first step is to figure out what you want to focus on. You don't necessarily have to have a focus, but most people follow certain people, blogs, newsletters, or brands, because those sources share a specific type of content they're interested in. If you want to build a following that is focused, engaged, and values you as a trusted source, you should probably choose a topic to focus on.
- Next, you'll need to curate (and if you're particularly ambitious, create) great content that your audience will appreciate. This will take some time and analysis to figure out what your particular audience enjoys, and even more time and analysis if you're producing your own content and you've never done that before. :) You can use a tool like Buffer to make it easier to share content as you see it. I like Buffer because it's easy to use, has a nice interface, it bugs you if you leave the scheduled post feed empty, and I appreciate the browser plug-in to make it super easy to share stuff. If you answer a boatload of Quora questions like me, you can setup Quora to automatically tweet when you answer a question as well.
- This step is probably the hardest step of all. You have to keep curating/producing content consistently. You can't stop, you have to be a content machine. It has to be good stuff too, otherwise why should anyone else care? You don't have to go crazy with it. Share 5 good tweets a day if that's all you have time for, but you do have to be consistent.
- Now that you're consistently sharing content, engage with your followers. Thank people for following you. If you see something interesting that they've shared that's up to your standards, retweet it. If they comment on something, you damn well better reply to them in a timely manner (within the day, ideally). If people interact with you but you ignore them or just don't notice, they'll get bored with you and go away. Also, you'll never meet new and interesting people or build a network if you just broadcast but never actually talk to anyone.
- Profit! Just kidding. Five feels like a good number for a list, so I'm making an executive decision that this list will have 5 steps. You will get to enjoy all of those benefits that I cited above though, so there's that. Just remember to keep it up and be consistent with all of those steps (that's the real step 5), otherwise your audience will lose interest. Consistency is key!
Why Would I Want to Be a Twitter Power User?
- Personal branding. It makes you look good to have X amount of Twitter followers. Even better if you can show that those followers are active and engaging with your content. Having an audience, especially an engaged one, demonstrates credibility.
- Thought Leadership. Power users with a large following can also establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry or a topic that interests them by creating their own content and mixing it with content from other sources when pushing it out to their community. Your audience provides you with a convenient avenue for distributing your content to people who will be interested in it and receptive to sharing it.
- Networking. Power users can also meet a lot of interesting people. If they engage with these other power users often enough, they can make new connections with those interesting people. You should always be looking for opportunities to expand your personal and professional networks. Who doesn't love to make a new friend?
- Free swag. If you're active and other people are engaging with you, it's going to increase your Klout score. I don't find Klout to be an accurate measure of influence; however, Klout is a great measure of how active you are on social networks and how often other people engage with what you share. If you're a power user, you're going to get a high Klout score, which means you might qualify for some cool perks.
This isn't something you can accomplish overnight. It will take a long time, a lot of commitment, and plenty of work, but if you see it through then there's nothing to stop you from reaping the benefits!