Life Beyond The Twitter Circle Jerk

Updated on | By | Under the Category Social Media Marketing

Twitter explodes your online message. You have probably heard this before. Maybe you’re even sick of hearing it. Well, people are only repeating it because there is a lot of truth to that statement. If you ever need proof of Twitter’s ability to turn an otherwise obscure message into a very popular message that takes countries or even the world by storm, you only need to look into the history of the Arab Spring uprisings. All that social change and tumult courtesy of social media.

While traditional media outlets might be under the thumb of local authorities, social media is uncensored. Just as importantly, dissenting messages on Twitter and Facebook can explode simply by the fact that they can spread from one social circle of friends to an exponential number of other people. How? Your Twitter followers have their own followers-and those people have followers of their own. So on and so forth. So if you have a very interesting message that you tweet out, one of your followers might retweet it. One or more of their followers might retweet in turn.

All of a sudden, even if you only have ten followers, your otherwise obscure message ends up reaching potentially millions of people. That’s the power of Twitter! It automates word of mouth. It makes sharing the word regarding a hot trending topic very easy and effortless. Instead of having to pick up a phone to spread word of mouth, you only need to click the retweet button. Twitter’s viral power is explosive!

The Problem of the Standard Twitter ‘Circle Jerk’

As appealing as Twitter’s automated viral messaging power may be there’s one serious problem that keeps many Twitter marketers from getting the results they want from this 140 character messaging platform: the Twitter Circle Jerk. The Circle Jerk on Twitter involves you following me and me following you in return. This way, we build up our list of followers. Why would people want to increase their followers this way? The more followers you get, the more other people would want to follow you. You become more ‘credible’ or authoritative. The problem with the Circle Jerk is that you’re just basically padding your follower list. Those people following you don’t really care about your tweets. The vast majority of the tweets you send out won’t be read by your ‘followers.’

The Shotgun Approach DOESN’T Work

The reason the typical Twitter Circle Jerk approach doesn’t work is that more is not necessarily better. I know this sounds like heresy but just because you have a lot of followers don’t necessarily mean those followers actually read what you are tweeting. Chances are they don’t even see what you’re tweeting because they only added you because you added them in return. The Circle Jerk approach is a shotgun approach-it is all about hitting as many different people at one time. Such approaches yield little, if any, results. This is especially frustrating if you are promoting a particular product that is specific to the needs of a specific community.

In short, you are promoting a niche product. In such a situation, the shotgun approach is not going to work because you are simply trying to market to a general audience. Sure, you might get a stray sale or visitor or two but this random result hardly justifies the time and effort needed to build a large general following. Instead of taking shotgun shots, you should focus on a more targeted, or rifle shot, approach. Considering the huge amount of competition on Twitter, this is the only way to market niche products without getting drowned out by the large amount of background noise on the microblogging site.

Niche Specialization is the Key

Now that I have burst your ‘the more the merrier’ marketing bubble, here is another key lesson: you need to specialize in your niche. The more specialized you are, the more credible you will be to people who are actually interested in your niche. Your twitter presence must be specialized. For example, you can’t have a Twitter account focused on Gold IRA packages and you tweet about Lady Gaga. You have to have a targeted and specialized Twitter account that is ‘all business’ regarding your niche. In short, if people are interested in a particular specialized body of information, you are the ‘go to’ Twitter account they follow. They are assured of getting only relevant, on target, and highly specific information.

Niche Focus Builds Trust

To become a ‘go to’ authority on Twitter, every tweet you send out must be on message. This means you should tweet links to specialized content you wrote yourself or, at the very least, send out tweets to blog posts, news items, or articles written by others that is specific to the niche you are covering. Sure, you might only get a few followers. Still, those who follow you are assured that you only send out high quality, highly filtered, and highly targeted content. The more targeted your Twitter account, the more trustworthy your account. The more people who review your tweets will think you are the real deal and you mean business when it comes to your niche.

Focus on Authority Accounts

Once you have established a solid history of only tweeting only high quality content links, you should then compile a list of authority figures in your niche. How do you spot these people? First, they tweet about the stuff you specialize in. They must have a long history of tweeting only stuff you talk about. Second, they don’t engage in Circle Jerks-they follow very few people but a lot of people follow them. This is the key sign you are looking for. Look for authorities that follow few people but have a strong following. Third, they get retweeted a lot. Search for the number of retweets they get. You can easily see the retweet stats on their feed. The more retweets, the better. Focus on these people. Follow them.

Let your Authority-Focused Content make your Case

Once you have a long list of established leaders in your niche on Twitter, send them @ messages that answer their concerns but include high value links. Don’t expect them to respond or even notice at first. The key is to not get discouraged and to keep sending @ messages. Keep at it. It will all be worth it when you start getting @ messages from the leaders you message. Why? First, by broadcasting your twitter name, they draw attention to your account. You might get lots of new followers this way because the opinion leaders’ credibility rubs off on you when these opinion leaders mention you. Second, the opinion leaders might retweet your @ message to them. Make sure you send out only quality @ messages with quality links. If you do this long enough, you become a ‘recognized authority’ in your niche on Twitter.

The Payoff

When you become an opinion leader, you attract followers who trust you and more willing to buy what you’re selling. Also, when you send out messages, your messages have a high chance of getting retweeted by authorities in your niche. If those messages have links, you get more visitors and, if the visitors already trust you on Twitter, such visitors have a high chance of buying from your link.

About the Author: Lewis Crutch

As the administrator of Marketing Bees, Lewis Crutch manages all of the free advice and tips available here on the Marketing Bees blog as well as spending time putting together in-depth marketing related courses covering a wide range of topics including email, content and social media marketing.

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