Why I #Followback on Twitter

Why I #FollowBack on Twitter #TeamFollowBack via KLWightman.com

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When I first started in social media marketing way back in 2010, I monitored a company’s Twitter account. The first thing told to me was this: Don’t follow everyone that follows you.

“Why not?” I asked.

How it was explained to me: “Our profile looks better when our follower count is significantly higher than our following count.”

Being a marketing noob, I absorbed this tidbit as fact and delivered as promised. When someone followed us, I simply did not click the Follow button.

Twitter Follow button

In case you forgot where the Follow button is…

As my career weaved from state to state, from industry to industry, I upheld this habit like a marketing commandment: Thou shalt not followeth back.

But a strange thing happened. I watched Twitter users follow us, then soon unfollow us. The accounts that followed us unrequited were mostly infrequent user accounts with high inactivity.

Twitter #followback on someecards.com

In other words, we were tweeting mostly to users that signed in once a month.

The funny thing is that I never followed this advice on my own Twitter account. Every time someone followed me on Twitter, I followed back. I didn’t even think twice about it.

And guess what? Most of those followers are still following me. We reply back and forth to each other and even share each other’s tweets.

The difference is that my goal is to form relationships.

As company social media representatives, we strive for engagement. But most of us are kidding ourselves when we think that we want to create dialogue with customers.

Because if you do not follow back, then your only engagement target is a steep follower-to-following ratio.

Customers and potential buyers are knocking on your door when they follow you. Not following them back is like slamming the door in their face.

Yes, companies often follow users that have proven themselves as loyal fans. But why do your customers have to prove their loyalty to you? It’s you who’s in business to sell something.

You must first prove your loyalty to your customers if you want it in return. 

Golden Twitter Bird

Credit: bashleyfc.com

Think of it as the Golden Twitter Rule.

Granted, those that do Twitter right will always have a follower-to-following gap. That’s because experienced social media users can recognize spam accounts. And it’s okay to not follow Twitter users that go against your values or interests.

In fact, I look at my Twitter account’s following number to get a better idea on how many people I really am reaching with my tweets.

I should not get excited when a big Twitter account follows me back. It really should be commonplace.

But that’s exactly what happened one fine day when Slack followed me back. But I wasn’t a unique situation. The last I checked, they were following 88.4K users.

That’s a lot of Twitter accounts!

Following back shows your customer that you truly want to form a relationship, that you want to start a conversation, that you are listening to them, that what they say matters to you.

Doesn’t it?

Loyal fans aren’t born with pom poms in their hands. They are loyal fans because your company took the time to create an experience that they value. And that could mean something simple as a Twitter follow back.

Do you #followback on Twitter? Share why you do (or why you don’t) below.

5 Ways to Make Your Personal Business Card Stand Out

Handing out a business card
Handing out a business card

Credit: hipsternomics.com

I recently wrote a guest blog post for GVSU Alumni’s blog about how graduates should format their business cards. Because content marketers and creative writers also carry business cards, I thought this post to also be helpful for you. Enjoy! 

gvsu alumni

Your personal business card is your call to action. For those not familiar with the term, a call to action is an invitation for your reader to make an immediate response. In marketing, a call to action can be “call now” or “find out more” or “visit our store today.”

You can provoke that response from a hiring manager through a well-designed business card that encourages employers to call you, to check out your portfolio and to see how you conduct yourself professionally online.

Even the most qualified candidates get lost in the shuffle. Instead of falling through the cracks, you can easily create a personal business card that gets you noticed. Try these five tips so that yours stand out.

Make It Easy to Read

Can your business card be read from a distance or at a glance? If not, how likely will you be called for a business…

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5 Ways To Get More Friends On Goodreads

5 Ways To Get More Friends On Goodreads

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Goodreads is the answer to all avid readers who love social media and reading. However, there isn’t much literature on the Internet about how to make the most of your Goodreads profile and on how to expand your virtual literary community.

So, how do you get more friends on Goodreads? This is where optimization and networking come into play.

First, add me as a friend. Then, read how I continue to grow my friends list on Goodreads.

Optimize Your Profile

How to get more friends on Goodreads Step 1

This is how the editing My Account should look. More criteria to help you get more friends on Goodreads when you scroll further down the page.

Think of your Goodreads profile as the handshake that starts your virtual friendship. By filling out your profile in full, you are more likely to gain the trust of the Goodreads community.

  • Tap the drop-down arrow in the top right corner of the screen next to you profile pictures.
  • Select Edit Profile.
  • Within the Profile tab, fill out all tabs that will help current friends or those with like reading interests find your profile, including:
    • First and last name
    • Username
    • My Website
    • My Interests
    • What Kind of Books Do You Like to Read?
    • About Me
  • Make sure to select an option for the following:
    • Show my last name to
    • Location Viewable By
  • Don’t forget to upload a photo of yourself. This will assure future friends that your profile isn’t a fake account and that you’re a regular user of Goodreads.

Remember: When filling out My Interests, What Kind of Books Do You Like to Read? and About Me, try weaving in words that users would use to search for friends. For example, if you are an avid reader of science fiction, make sure to add keywords like “science fiction” and “sci-fi” as well as key science fiction authors and book titles to these sections.

Invite Your Own Friends

How to get more friends on Goodreads Step 2

Before searching for new friends on Goodreads, connect with your current group of friends on this social media platform.

  • Tap the drop-down arrow in the top right corner of the screen next to you profile pictures.
  • Select Friends.
  • Underneath Find Friends From, you can find your existing friends by selecting the following social media or email account for Goodreads to search:
    • Gmail
    • Yahoo
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Friends of friends (on Goodreads)
  • Fill in the search box with your friend’s name or email address found below Find Friends From to find friends you’re not connected with in the above way. Then, click search members.

Add Books to Your Bookshelves

A bookshelf is Goodreads’ equivalent to a book list. To get more friends on Goodreads, you must show that you’re an avid reader. Not having any books on your lists gives a warning that your profile may not be active or that it’s not managed by a real person. Start by filling out the default bookshelves:

  • Read: What books have you read in the past?
  • Currently Reading: What books are you reading now?
  • To-Read: What books are on your bucket list?

I chose not to add books to my Read bookshelf until I finished the book from my Currently Reading list because I wanted to keep track of how much I was reading since I created my Goodreads profile. Many of my Goodreads friends chose to update their Read bookshelf with books they’ve read years before they created their Goodreads account. It’s all about preference.

You can also create a bookshelf that best fits your profile style or brand.

Promote Your Goodreads Profile On Your Websites

How to get more friends on Goodreads Step 4

Here’s how my Goodreads widget looks on my website.

Give a shoutout to your Goodreads profile on your other social media websites. Send a tweet, post your Goodreads profile link in a Facebook post, or mention it in a blog post.

Have a website? You can add widget that previews the books you’ve recently finished reading. This encourages your website readers to be your friend on Goodreads.

  • Tap the dropdown arrow in the top right corner of the screen next to you profile pictures.
  • Select Edit Profile.
  • Within the Widgets tab, a preview of what you widget will look like appears. You can customize what shows on your widget by updating the information below Customize Your Widget
  • Copy the HTML code and paste it onto your website. For WordPress users, there is a Goodreads widget that allows you to enter your profile information without the need to copy and paste the HTML code.

Join Groups and Book Talk Discussions

How to get more friends on Goodreads Step 5

You can choose which Book Talk discussions to join.

Want to talk about your latest read? Simply have a question to ask about your current novel?

Welcome to your virtual book club. A variety of conversations, from authors and specific books to genres and book events, can be easily found within Groups and Book Talk Discussions. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Start your own group or discussion.

Groups and Book Talk Discussions are a great way to introduce yourself to this literary community. Once you have a presence and engaged in thoughtful conversation, you can add friends you have made through these outlets.

There’s even a discussion about getting more friends on Goodreads!

How do you get more friends on Goodreads? Share your strategies below.