How to rock the social media party

Digital Mums know how to party. We should do we’ve been to enough. We’re always invited to the after party (when we aren’t hosting it) so we must be pretty good at it too. Maybe that’s why we’re so good at Twitter.

If social media was a party how do you think you’d be getting on? Would you be holding court, a ring of admirers hanging on your every word? Leaving with the cool crowd at the end of the night, back to yours to greet the sunrise? Or would you be the deflated guy glued to a corner, being skillfully maneuvered into a taxi going in the opposite direction when the music stops?

What makes you popular at parties and what makes you popular on Twitter have more in common than you might think. After all social media is all about social behaviour. To be successful on Twitter you have to behave online in the way that you would behave offline. It’s just the same.

Know you may think this is obvious but you’d be surprised by the number of people out there making some classic mistakes. And you might not have even realised that you’re one of them.

If you were at a Twitter party which guest would you be?

1. the wallflower

We’ve all spotted a wallflower or two despite their best efforts to blend into the background. They are most often found in a corner, clutching a cup, coveting the popularity of pretty much everyone else in the room. Secretly dying to get involved they’re held back by the sheer panic that they’re not funny enough, not charming enough, not clever enough, They arrive alone. They leave alone. No one remembers their name.

If you’ve clocked 2 tweets and have 0 followers then this is you. You’ll never get any followers if you’re too scared to get involved.

Get out of that corner and have a go. Start off by finding some common ground with other tweeters. Share stuff you find interesting. Reply to people who share stuff you find interesting. Before you know it you’ll build an engaged following of like minded people.

2. the narcissist

The narcissist is the guy at the party who bores you to death by ranting loudly about themselves for as long as you’ll let them. One long stream of me, me, me with a side of me. They are most often found in the toilet queue, making suspiciously frequent trips to the loo (which might explain their self absorption) and lingering on the way out because guests desperate to go make easy prey as they can’t leave, much as they’d like to

Now you and I both know that talking at people about yourself is not the way to win friends. It’s also not the way to win followers. If your Twitter feed is one long stream of tweets about you then I’m afraid you’re that guy that everyone’s avoiding.

So what do you do? Well what would you do at a party? You’d listen to people when they talk. Do this on Twitter by following people, see what they are tweeting about and share their content with others. Make them feel valued. You’d ask people questions. Do this on Twitter by @mentioning and replying directly to people when you find their content interesting and you’d like to hear more. Above all limit tweets about you or your business to no more than 25% of your total activity.

3. the salesman

There’s always someone with a hidden agenda at a party. Maybe one of the guests is in a band and they’ve just launched their first album. Everyone they talk to they see as a potential sale. They work the room and flit between kitchen, toilet and dancefloor looking out for new victims. Their attention feels shallows and it is. They have no interest in what you have to say — only what you can do for them.

Are you always approaching people for a retweet even if you’ve no relationship with them whatsoever? Do you follow people just to get them to follow you then unfollow them later? Are you constantly tweeting links to whatever it is you’re selling? Are you @mentioning people to hassle them into doing something for you? If the answer to any of these is yes then I’m afraid you are this guy, butting into conversations and interrupting the flow to tell people about your new album. It’s no wonder people are hiding in the Twitter toilet from you.

Now sometimes we all need to sell things. We just need to do it smartly. To successfully sell that debut album what should that guy do? Join a conversation a few people are having. Engage in some banter, laugh at their jokes. Put them at ease — an arm stroke here, a playful nudge there. He should try and find out more about them. Learn what they like. Find a topic they have in common and chat about that. Then once they’ve built a rapport he can start talking about his band and then maybe — if that person seems interested — mention his album.

On Twitter this means being genuinely interested in your customers and what they are doing there. Follow them. Learn what they like and who they are. Start with the Twitter equivalent of laughing at someone’s joke — give their tweet a favourite. Then later when they share some great content, retweet that to your followers — now you’ve got to playful nudge. Next start a conversation around something they are interested in by replying to them about something they have shared. Once you’ve built a trusted relationship you can approach them with what you sell if they seem interested in whatever that is.

4. the sugar daddy

He’s 70 and surrounded by beautiful young women but don’t be envious — you and I both know if he lost all his money those women would be the first to dump him. He swaggers about the place, acting like he’s the king but it’s all a pathetic show. Deep down he’s racked with insecurities and despite being surrounded by people hoping to pick up some free champagne he’s lonely as hell.

There are lots of this guy on Twitter. They have thousands of followers but their Twitter feeds are either tumbleweed, full of self promotion or deeply unengaging. How did they get so popular? Like the sugar daddy they bought their popularity. Clickfarmtastic. You know it.

If this is you then you’re spoiling it for the rest of us. And what are you really achieving? You may have loads of followers but they aren’t paying any attention to you. If you’re thinking about buying followers don’t do it. Don’t be that guy. It will just leave your Twitter life as empty and lonely as his real one.

5. the life and soul

This is the guy we’re jealous of. Surrounded by admirers he’s got everyone eating out of his hand. But it’s not for show. He really cares. He makes everyone feel special because he thinks they are special. He’s generous with his time and money. Yes he’s funny but he’s not all about the jokes, he can chat politics too. He helps people out with their problems, always there for them. That’s why they love him.

If this is you on Twitter you’ll know it. Not only will you have a healthy number of followers but you’ll be getting loads of engagement — people sharing your tweets, replying to you, getting involved. We all want to be you. And we definitely want to be invited back to your Twitter after party.

So there you go. Hopefully you’ve learned a thing or two about how to rock the Twitter party. If you need any more help get in touch and we can have a chat about what we can do for you.