Leveling the playing field: How to be ‘popular’ on Twitter

I realize that folks are concerned about another leaderboard as a gaming mechanism, and while it stroked my ego for a while, I’m equalizing the field by giving away what I’ve learned. After having dinner with Shel last night, I realize I need to give and stay humble, and focus on community, so this is the right thing to do.

I ran into tweeterboard yesterday, and found it valuable, when I first saw it, I was in 8th place, then moved to 1st. Now I’m going to relinquish control to the community, I’m going to give away my secrets in how I was able to attract a large following, in the spirit of sharing because it’s the right thing to do.

1) Figure out why you want to use this tool. Is there a reason, an objective? For me it was to have greater reach in listening and in talking to others, and to really, really know Micromedia and how to use it. Being popular really isn’t a great objective, but being meaningful to your specific network is much more important.

2) Integrate it throughout your online experience. You’ll notice that I ask people to add me from various posts, have it listed in my side role and on my facebook account. It’s available for anyone that’s looking.

3) Add people back. I follow everyone that follows me, I’m following more people than are following me, and that’s a sign that you want to listen to what others have to say. Sadly, it’s a lot to digest so I end up scanning conversations. Go back to number 1, and figure out what your objective is first.

4) Add value when you tweet. I’ve given up on my google reader link blog, instead, I leave links to what I think is interesting during the day. Since I consume a lot of content, I’m acting like a filter. Most who know me know that my focus is on social media + marketing. Last week’s twitter storm was a rare opportunity to connect folks, keep listening to find an opportunity to help the larger group.

5) Ask questions. I didn’t realize this was going to be one of the largest attributes on tweeterboard, so I got lucky. I find Twitter a useful tool to get information back from people, so I like to ask a lot of questions. I learn a lot this way, in many ways, this is an example of social search.

I’ll remind you again, focus on your objectives, what is it that you’re trying to accomplish, if you’re just trying to keep track of your friends or immediate contacts, this is not the strategy for you. This strategy only works if you are trying to gain a large following, it’s not recommended for everyone.

So there you have it, that’s what I learned over the past 9 months of using the tool, hope that helps.