"Pay it Forward Day" is coming April 25, 2013. The phrase has an interesting history and was tearfully illustrated in the 2000 movie of the same name. Our culture values promoting others, and social media is a great example of that. Instead of picking a certain day of the week (#FollowFriday), we should have a regular habit of promoting our Twitter followers. Adding value to our followers is the best way to create not just a following, but a loyal following. Here are three un-cheesy ways to promote your Twitter community.
- Acknowledge new followers. I always try and send a personal message to new followers. Some days this can be labor intensive as a blog piece published on a national board will create a host of new followers. However, after a while I get pretty good at recognizing who is following for a follow-back, or who really wants the information I have to give. As a rule, I don't do this with brands or bots. I find out where the follower is from and what their sector is and craft a short and simple message thanking them. I prioritize this by making sure I thank people that have retweeted me as an initial gateway to following. I don't get to everyone, but I try and get to as many as I can. I do this mostly because I don't follow back as a way of thanking people. I list people so I can guard my direct message input.
- 2. Thank people for retweeting your stuff. People who retweet you are your gold. I do this selectively. They may be a new follower or an old friend-it doesn't matter to me. I like to do this a couple times a day, and I @reply them personally so it doesn't go out to my general Twitter feed. Just remember to start the message with the @reply if you don't want to clutter your followers' timeline.
- 3. Retweet other people's stuff. When I switched to using Sprout Social as a dashboard, I tended to look at Hootsuite less often. One downfall of Sprout Social is that it doesn't offer a column by column Twitter feed on one screen, making it inconvenient to see everything at a glance. I found myself tracking my retweets but neglecting my newsfeeds. Now, I also keep Hootsuite up on my desktop and check my lists regularly. I always leave room in my daily tweeting schedule for retweeting. Besides tweeting links I find in my RSS reader and Inbox, I like to pick up good information from my Twitter followers to pass on as well. As a personal note, I only retweet information that I think will add value to my followers. Remember, spread the curating wealth around.
So there you have it-three easy ways to pay it forward on Twitter. And you don't have to wait for #FollowFriday.
(image from thewwwblog.com)