Power users on Twitter, and on any other social network, are the ones with great influence measured by the number of their followers, the engagement of their followers and the overall impact of their words – or tweets. They can be industry leaders in your niche, maybe (probably) your competitors, but also people who aren’t directly involved with the industry but have the power to spread the word.
The tool that most marketers use to identify power users on Twitter is FolowerWonk, a great free app that shows and compares all kinds of stats on Twitter; but finding power users is the easy part. Your further behavior will decide on whether they will notice you and help in your efforts to promote your content, blog or otherwise. Now, there’s no guarantee, but you can influence this if you take some, or all, of the steps listed below.
1. Set up your profile
Be prepared for them, once they come to your profile to check it out: get a nice picture (pro tip: use the same picture for all of your social accounts, if you want people to become to recognize you faster), fill in your bio, include a link to your website or blog, say something meaningful. Well, don’t go overboard with this and overdo with proverbs and Zen stuff; there’ll be plenty of time to play with it later. Now you’re introducing yourself, so keep it professional.
2. Follow them
You can’t just look at their TLs and pray that your telepathic skills will get them to notice you exist; you have to follow them first, it’s kind of basic introduction on Twitter. Many power users have set up automatic direct messaging to welcome new followers – use it and reply nicely. Don’t write a novel, a simple “thank you for the welcome” or something will be enough.
3. RT them
People who know how to use Twitter have set up all kinds of notifications and analytics mentioning them or their keywords – and yes, they monitor who retweets and mentions them. Doing this will quickly get you on their radar, but you have to be persistent, and pay attention not to be perceived as a stalker. There’s a thin line between getting someone to notice you, and getting them to hate you – don’t cross it!
4. Engage with them
Ask questions, answer when you can, but again follow #3: be nice and be tasteful.
5. Follow their blog
They usually have a blog; find it and follow it, get on their email list and try to establish contact through replying to their emails and commenting on their blog posts. The more your name and your face show up in front of them, the sooner they will begin to notice you. And oh, tweet their blog posts and accompany them by great comment (remember when we said that they have set up all kinds of analytics and tracking? Yep, this too).
6. Mix your tweets
You do want to share their content, but you also want to share yours. If all they see when they visit your profile are RTs and mentions, they may think that you have nothing of value to offer to people following you (including them). They also look at the number of your followers and the ways you engage with them, so keep the balance right.
7. Build a relationship before asking a favor
There’s nothing wrong with asking someone, even a power user, to share your content, but you have to handle this like a real life situation: before direct messaging them, ask yourself if you are comfortable enough with your relationship with them to ask for a favor. If you’re not sure, then it’s probably best to wait a bit and to work on deepening the relationship.
This should do it; be smart and patient, and you may get yourself some powerful connections. Twitter is a fantastic place to connect with people, and there’s absolutely no reason not to use it – heck, you can even become a power user yourself; all of them have once been where you are now!
Being a responsible SEO, Jeff Gross is well aware of the importance of social signals and building relationships; Twitter is the perfect platform for it, but it has its rules, especially if you’re serious about making your name there.
Jeff contributes to many blogs and websites and is also a CEO at nPromote.com.