Twitter has quickly become one of the most popular social networks. Its has revolutionized the way we communicate with like-minded people in ways we never could have predicted. Unfortunately, the notion of having ‘followers’ is lost on many people. Today we are going to look at practical ways to build lasting business relationships on this network.
Twitter Follower Count Is Not Important
The original purpose of ‘follower-count’ was to give Twitter users a quick and simple way to gauge their audience. It allows you to see how many people you are following, and how many people are following you back. Unfortunately, something terrible happened. People learned how to game the system to inflate their follower-counts.
Users started taking advantage of auto-follow services to rapidly form false relationships. The basic idea is: if you follow someone, they will auto-follow you back as long as you continue to follow them. This works for a while, as long as both participants maintain a reasonable number of relationships.
Unfortunately, both parties repeat this process until they are following so many people that they cannot reasonably keep up. Everybody is in it solely to get their own message out. Its like entering a stadium packed with shouting people, in an attempt to have your message heard.
Participants Are Not Fooling Anyone But Themselves
Now, clearly people that use this tactic feel their is some motivation for doing so. Here are two potential reasons why they may think this strategy pays off. First, they may think Twitter is just all about the numbers. If they get thousands of followers, maybe a few will actually listen to what they have to say. Second, they may think that having a high follower count acts a social proof to make them appear important. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.
People that use Twitter to form real business relationships can instantly spot this phony be
havior. These are people that actually want to network, and would make excellent business contacts. However, they instantly lose all respect for auto-followers when they spot their follow-stats.
In other words, the people make the best business contacts ignore users engaging in this behavior. Nothing screams networking-amateur louder than someone trying to take advantage the system for personal gain. And, in a world where respect is hard to come by, this is a big reputation killer.
How To Build Real Twitter Relationships
If you want to build relationships with like-minded people, you need to focus on quality over quantity. Ignore your follower stats for a while, and focus on connecting with people that share your business goals. You may not have a massive audience, but you will have greater influence within your network of true followers.
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