Do you follow your favorite industry influencer on Twitter? Would you like them to follow you back?
Whether you’re an individual or a brand, receiving a followback from your favorite industry influencer can do wonders in boosting your social proof, self-esteem and Twitter street cred. However, for the average Jane or Joe, getting that valuable follow is no easy task.
Now I’ve had some success in this area, and I’m pretty average myself but here’s a few tricks I’ve used to get followed back by the biggest names in the industry.
Choose The Right Influencer On Twitter
I’d hate to be that guy who says, “I just wrote a blog article on xyz.”, but I totally did just write an article about using social proof to gain targeted twitter followbacks. In brief, I describe my process of picking a target, in this case @isocialfanz, how to make friends with his friends, and setting up your Twitter profile with social proof.
Use the information and example I provide in the article to first research and choose realistic influencers you’d like to be followed back by. Sometimes this means building relationships with their second or third degree social connections first.
Amplify Their Content
Amplifying your favorite influencers’ content whether their newest blog or latest webinar can be a great way to get their attention especially if done continually over a prolonged period of time. Think of it as a brand awareness campaign except every time you mention them and your face appears in their notifications stream its an ad impression.
One tool I’ve used to automate this form of amplification is twitterfeed.com. Using this tool I can set my Twitter account to automatically Tweet out their latest blog whenever my favorite influencer hits publish.
Take note, I suggest taking full advantage of the advanced settings when creating a new feed to set up your desired frequency or keyword filters. For example, I only Tweet out the title of the blog and have added “via @RayHiltz” to the Post Prefix field to help humanize the automated tweets as much as possible. Mentioning the user in your tweet will not only show up in their notifications feed, but will set your Tweet apart from other shares from automated users. Over time you should get their attention.
I mentioned attending and sharing webinars, here’s an example of securing @IanCleary’s follow after his free webinar.
Protip: Take conversations a bit further making them memorable and valuable is crucial during your first influencer engagement.
The best part about engaging with influencers on Twitter is that more often than not they or their community manager is operating the account — basically a real person. The best part about real people is that you can ask them questions!
In coldcall sales, the saying, “A closed mouth doesn’t eat” basically means when trying to get something you want, what’s the worst thing that could happen from simply asking for it.
Take this example and my first engagement with @JayBaer during a twitter chat he was the guest off. A good point here being try to put yourself in the same room as the influencer you’re trying to be followed by — I knew he’d actively be there during the Twitter chat.
Next, I made sure to tweet my best answers and questions during that chat that Jay was vibing with and began to retweet. Finally, the last thing I did before asking Jay to follow me was unfollow him and then re-follow him. Jay didn’t notice a thing until a new follow notification from me came up followed by this tweet:
After that, how could he NOT follow me back!?
But does it work for brands too? Well that’s why I mentioned that more often than not a community manager will be running that page. My biggest tip in getting the attention of a brand’s community manager is to post a positive customer service experience. Believe me those tweets stand amongst the noise. Here’s how it worked with @Moz:
Now these are all just examples of ways I’ve gotten the biggest names in the industry to follow me back and while there are many factors that will determine your likelihood of getting followed back by an influencer, be realistic in who you choose and how you choose to engage with them as sometimes they just don’t follow back.
What are some ways you’ve gotten your favorite influencers to follow you on Twitter? Let me know in the comments below!
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An early advocate of digital media, Jacob has observed and participated in the evolution and adoption of social media in connecting people online. Find out more about Jacob on his website.