If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me lately talk about the importance of having conversations with people on Twitter. This is really a no-brainer and people always agree, but I don’t think it happens much. There are a lot of tweets and retweets, but fewer replies and real conversations.
Scott Stratten (a.k.a @UnMarketing), has said numerous times that replies on Twitter are so important. In a recent interview by Andy Beal, Scott said that his reply rate is 78%. That means that 78% of his tweets are replies. That’s crazy! Or is it?
Over the past few weeks, I’ve challenged myself to talk more with people, not to people.
It takes more effort than hitting retweet or tweeting out a link you like, but it’s worth it.
There are two (probably more) tangible benefits from replying more on Twitter:
This should always be the motivation as opposed to something more on the surface like increasing likes or promoting your business. These will come naturally.
The mere fact that you are replying to people changes the light that people see you in. They see you as someone who is less about pushing their own wares and more as someone they can learn from. As the increase in followers begins, it begins to snowball (as shown below).
The chart above was created using TwitterCounter.com and shows the follower trends (dark line) with the tweet trends (light line). As you can see, my follower count seem quite stagnant for the last 2 months or so. It isn’t until my tweets increased (which by the way includes an increase in replies), that my follower count has begun to grow dramatically.
In addition to replying more to people, I also shared thoughts from a webinar on February 21 that Scott Stratten delivered. Sharing thoughts of an event (virtual or in-person) using the event’s hash tag, also greatly increases your exposure and opportunity to connect with new and interesting people on Twitter.
Increasing your follower count should not be a goal. It is a positive by-product of being intrinsically good on Twitter and using it what it was meant for – connecting people.