How to get more REAL followers on Twitter

Do you want to find followers on Twitter?

Do you want to find real followers who actually want to hear what you have to say, engage with you and re-tweet what you say?

Read on if you want to learn how you can add more followers to your total on Twitter.

This blog is the result of me trying out something I have heard Gary Vaynerchuk talk about in a lot of his keynotes. Gary talks about how he built up his following on Twitter by answering people’s questions. That’s it. I have always advocated answering people’s questions in your blog and this applies equally to Twitter.

The big mistake a lot of people make is that they think social media is just another way for them to sell their stuff. I think the opposite, as does Gary.

I do not want followers for the sake of having followers. It is not a vanity thing. I do not think having lots of followers is any use to people if they do not follow you for the right reasons. If you have a million followers who don’t care what you say it isn’t as good as 100 who do care what you say.

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build trust - falling man caught by team

How to create a business case for a social selling

£20 note fanned outDo you work in sales?

Are you passionate about how social can help your organisation sell more?

Do you want to know what role content marketing and content creation will play in the future way you will  communicate with your potential customers?

This post explains how you can build a business case to help change the way your business sells it products and how your sales process works.

In my previous post on how to sell in a social era I explained some of the differences between a traditional sales person and person selling in the social era. I mentioned that up to two thirds of buying process is done before you speak with a salesperson. With this post I want to go into a bit more depth and help you demonstrate the return on investment to get buy in, so you can focus in this area. This post will give you some ideas how you can demonstrate the concept to the following people:

  • CEO
  • CMO
  • Managing directors
  • Sales directors
  • Sales managers

It will allow you to spend more time in your current role or create a new role so you can help your company do it better.

For the purpose of this post

I define social selling as using the social web to help you sell your products or services

I define content as information which conveys a message, such as a blog, video, podcast, ebook etc

Teaching vs selling

abc writing

There is a phrase which I learnt from a post called assignment selling. The higher the value item you sell –  the more relevant this is.

The concept works like this. When a salesperson goes to a sales appointment they spend a great deal of their time trying to inform the prospect what their product does and why they must have it. If the prospect doesn’t know this information before you visit then you risk wasting time your time with a prospect, who is never going to be a customer.

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i have a dream

I wish social was NOT in my job title

i have a dream

I have a dream……

I dream of a day when social is not in my job title

I dream of the day when social is not called social

I dream of a day when social becomes what it deserves to be

Let me explain….

As I explained in my previous post “What is social media?” social media is just a phrase to describe the current state of the internet. I do not think hardly anyone on the face of the planet realises how much impact social will have on the way we live our lives and the way we run our businesses.

trip advisor

Let’s look at Trip advisor as an example: Trip advisor totally changed the way people book holidays and hotels around the world. It was established in 2000, long before what came to be known as social networks. Continue reading

Why use social media?

why use social media

Are you considering using social media at work or in your professional life?

Are you trying to figure out what social media can help you achieve or see if it’s worth your while?

Read on to help you understand the value social media can bring to your career and some examples of how easy it is to start getting results.

Most people I talk to about social media fall into two categories: those who think it is important but don’t use it much if at all and those who don’t see the point because they don’t think they can get anything out of it.

I want to share some tips on what I have done to achieve a few milestones of success in a fairly short time frame. If you follow these tips you will be able to define what it is you want to achieve and get results a lot quicker than I did.

My social media goals

  • Establish credibility inside and outside my company
  • Build up my personal brand so people know who I am before I meet them
  • Communicate my thoughts and ideas to more people
  • Build up my industry knowledge so that I can be perceived by others as an expert
  • Connecting and conversing with like minded people

If you share any of these goals then read on and I will give you some tips to help you achieve them.

How can you achieve these goals? Continue reading

screwed up paper blog post

How to write your first blog

I have spent the past week sunning myself around a pool, high in the Italian hills of Giaole in Chainti, Tuscany.

tuscany chainti feet infinity pool

For the last 30 years I have been convinced that I cannot hold my breath under water with out holding my nose. During the first day around the pool I was embarrassingly trying to explain to my friends why I can’t hold my breath. Someone said just give it ago. So I did. After two attempts, surprise surprise, I managed to do it. The best thing was, I didn’t  drown! Seeing how happy I was at my new found skill, my friends jokingly said that I should blog about it! So here I am.

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top five graphic

Top 5 #socialmedia blog posts


I have been blogging for 8 months now and I thought I would do a quick recap of the most viewed posts on my site. It has been a great journey so far and I have loved every minute of it. I would recommend it to anyone. Thanks to Marcus Sheridan for your inspiration and to Michael Brenner for your help in giving me the platform to tell my story to a wider audience.

These 5 posts topped the lists for various reasons including controversy, thought leadership, good search engine optimisation and writing nice things about a bunch of people who retweeted the nice things that I had said.

1. Why @o2 failed with their promoted tweet about #blackberrysale

This post caused some controversy: it was a learning experience for me. I think it was a great idea but the execution probably could have been a little more refined. I want to describe this style of marketing as “Micro-marketing” and copyright the phrase . I think this could be the catalyst for people to change how they market to their customers. It takes marketing to a whole new level of personalisation. I hope you read this in 10 years and think, if I only I had listened to that crazy Chris Heffer guy!

2. Why should you write a blog and what can you achieve in 63 days?

This was one of my early posts which talks about why you should write a blog. It tells a story of how, in 63 days at my company and through writing a blog, I managed to get myself onto the same blogging platform as the CIO, the CMO and many senior leaders. The post performed very well in google which drove a lot of traffic to my site for answering the question “why should you write a blog?”

3. Can social media replace email?

This post talks about how an evangelist at IBM has started a trend of working towards a day where email no longer exists. A quest for a more productive way of working. If you are a senior exec and want to understand more about how blogging and social networks can help you be a better, more productive leader then your should read this post.

4. How do I motivate people to buy?

This post talks about the great ideas and theories of Simon Sinek. I am not a religious man but Simon is the nearest I can get to totally believing in a set of believes from one person. His thoughts, ideas and values deserve the highest level of respect. This post may change the way you look at the world and the way you operate in it.

5. Crowd sourced summary of #SBSS12 in 60 tweets!

In many ways, this was one of the best conferences I have ever attended. It started my popular series of crowd sourced summary posts, showcasing the most insightful messages from the day. This article was retweeted to over 90,000 people within 1 hour of posting, which is one of the reasons it got into the top five posts.

How to use twitter at a conference

This article follows on my from my post about how an event organiser can use social media to enhance their event. I thought that I would give the other side of the story and help people who attend conferences, to get the most out of them using twitter.

Twitter is a great tool to use at an event. If used successfully it can help to increase your personal brand and indirectly, promote what you do.

Be sure to follow the event hashtag while the people are speaking, if you can. You can retweet any  good tweets from other people also listening to the speaker.

How to increase your visibility at the event

One of the things I usually do to increase my visibility at events is to tweet some of the key facts or ideas from the speakers.  Tweet about the ideas, concepts and facts that people will want to retweet because it is interesting, insightful or useful. A lot of people can’t be bothered to tweet but it’s easy to retweet.

Example tweet

The format I generally use for this kind of thing is below. I usually copy and paste the start and the end of the message, then add the insight in the middle. See the example below

.@speaker-twitter-name says (insert your message) #event-hashtag

Be sure to put the full stop at the start if you use the @mention. If you don’t do this, it will limit the number of people who see the message. See this Twitter’s support page for more information about why.

If you do this, you will get people who are following the hashtag retweeting you and often the speakers will retweet you as well when they finish their presentation.

Do not forgot to tweet pictures

I often tweet pictures of the event and @mention people in the pictures if they are on stage.  Almost always get people retweeting it.

Continue on after the event

After the event I usually write a crowd sourced blog post with all the key information from the event.

Crowd sourced summary of #SBSS12 in 60 tweets!

Crowd sourced summary of #SBS2012 in 63 tweets!

Crowd sourced summary of #CSMB2B in 42 tweets!

I then tweet the blog out and @mention people who I have quoted and most people retweet it. For one of these articles, I was retweeted to over 90,000 people within 1 hour. This resulted in a spike in traffic to my blog.

Your turn

How have you used to twitter or any other social network to promote yourself at a conference? Do you think twitter can help enhance the experience or distract people from the content? What tips have I missed that could help you use twitter at an event?

religious leadership vs business leadership

How does religious leadership compare to business leadership?

I have spent a fair amount of time over the last few months “preaching” about the benefits of social media. Some people get it and some people don’t. It got me thinking about the remarkable similarities between a religious leader and a great business leader.

One of the definitions of religion is:

“body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices”

If somebody described your business in this way would it be a bad thing? As a business leader you should be able to inspire your employees to want to be part of building something and to want to be a part of achieving the company’s main goals or objectives.

I will share an example I borrowed from Simon Sinek’s book. There are two stone masons working on a construction site for a new religious building.

The first guy says: I come to work to build a wall, I have been building this wall for the last few years, it will take me the rest of my life and I will probably will never see the end of this project.

The second guy says: I have been building this wall for as long as I can remember, I may never see the end of this project BUT I am building a cathedral.

The second guy understands that he plays a small part in the project but he knows that it is an important project and he loves the fact that he is part of something far greater than he could ever achieve on his own.

What the work the second guy does stands as proof of what he believes in. If he got offered more money to go and build a house then he probably wouldn’t take it. However the first guy would jump at the chance of earning more money. To him whether it is the wall of a cathedral or the wall of a house he doesn’t care.

A great CEO or business leader should be able to inspire the employees of the organisation to want to be part of something far greater than they could ever achieve alone. They should be able to share their beliefs and vision for the company’s future. The great employees around the business will share the same beliefs as the CEO and will want to be part of that mission. They will want to share the message with everyone they come across because what they do serves as a proof of who they are.

Your turn

So what do you think? Do you feel the comparison of business and religion is a good comparison? Do you go to work with passion because you share the same beliefs as your leaders? Are you a leader who thinks these ideas could make a difference in your ability to inspire. Have you found a better way to inspire people into action?

Other posts you might be interested in

Things that inspire me

How do I motivate people to buy?

The only thing EVERYONE on line has in common………

How can I become an expert?

To become an expert I think you need two things. You actually need to know enough about your field to be an expert, and then you need to prove it to people.

This article will show you some of the ways of using social media so you can become an expert.

The first thing you need to do is figure out who you want to be and how you want people to perceive you. Think about what you want to be an expert in, what are your skills and where is your niche? Think about how you describe yourself in your Twitter bio and on your LinkedIn profile. Do not just think about what you want to tell someone, think about what do they want to know about you. Continue reading

Is an employee the same as a customer?

A strange question you may think. If you are the leader within an organisation you should read on.

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