A good way to gain followers on any Social Media venue…is to join or create a conversation thread (within an active LinkedIn group) designed to exchange twitter handles, Facebook friends or Likes, blog shares, etc. Many groups already have threads that you can just join in. This is preferable to starting a new thread of your own because your joining will be announced to all of those who were already active. No sense in reinventing the spoked torus.
Here are 7 easy tips to follow when sharing digital addresses:
1) Always, always, always provide clickable links!!! And test them before sharing. Why make such a big deal of this? Because 50-75% of your potential followers will pass you over if they have to do more than click. You are asking them to do you a favor, not giving them some special opportunity follow you! Remember, these are some of the most important individuals you can connect with. They are interested in the same thing you are, they may may be able to supply something you need or vice versa. They may be able to answer your questions, or in answering theirs, bring a new client to your doorstep. They are a window to your field of interest, and deserve respect and a little reverence.
2) Twitter has difficulty resolving the /#! character combination as in https://twitter.com/#!/jimdittmer This URL will often take your potential follower to a Page Not Found screen. This is worse than having them skip over you for being too lazy to put a clickable link… Now they may think you’re a phony account. The proper syntax is as follows: https://twitter.com/jimdittmer or http://twitter.com/jimdittmer. (the difference is that one is https and the other is http) both will take them quickly to your page.
3) Unless you have a great number of Likes, Friends, or contacts, Facebook and LinkedIn addresses can be quite long. I suggest using a URL shortener like bitly (http://bitly.com/) to create short links.
4) If you are sending an email or sharing in a blog post or comment, use Anchor Text if you can. Anchor Text is a clickable link to a URL. That can be a website, email address (using the mailto: syntax), or a social media address. For example my email header has them for twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and email
5) Remember, you are in a conversation thread where everyone is looking for more followers. You are asking them to follow you. It is the height of arrogance and rudeness not to follow back those that have graciously chosen to follow you.
6) Never, never, never SPAM this group. You shouldn’t be spamming anyway, but it can really do you damage here. Save it for twitter DMs… nobody reads those anyway.
7) Finally, if you are really serious about using Social Media in your marketing efforts (and you should be!), Don’t restricted access to your account. Why make people jump thru hoops to follow you? Restricting who can see your posts and who can follow you (either thru twitter privacy selections or by using one of the third party twitter screening services) is fine for a personal account that you wish to just use to talk to close friends, but when I see these features on a business oriented account, I always wonder just how professional the account holder is. Face it, if you are doing business on the web, your information will be out there. If you hold back information like an email address, website URL, your physical address, phone number, and your real name, people wonder if you have some reason to hide it. You wouldn’t open a shop and not put the name on the door. Or paint the display windows of your dress shop black. You wouldn’t put a listing in the Yellow pages that didn’t include your phone# and address. It’s OK to be paranoid about usernames and passwords… in fact you should be, but any business oriented information you would put in print or openly give to an interested stranger on the street, should be shared online. Make your customers lives easier not harder.
OK, that’s it. If you follow these simple guidelines, your twitter followers will grow and people will love you in your groups. Good Luck!!