Hacking Engagement:

The Journey of a Follower*

My goal is to provide a Q & A that walks you through the journey a follower travels after receiving a Twitter notification that a brand, such as yours, has begun to follow their account — Let’s get started

As a brand, what are some things that can cause people to follow my account which they’ve never heard of before? More importantly, how can I make a good first impression with these people on Social Media, enhancing the possibility of gaining them as an engaging follower for my brand?

First off, I’m a big proponent of “attacking the ball!!” What is attacking the ball, you might ask? Well, aside from being the most commonly used phrase by any sports coach I had growing up, it’s a metaphorical life lesson. Waiting for the ball to come to you leaves too much opportunity for it to catch a bad bounce or be intercepted by the other team. Taking this advice figuratively and applying it to social media literally, will provide you with an advantage over any uninformed competition.

So how do we go after the ball, and more importantly, what is the ball in reference to?

Well, the ball, for the sake of this article, will be a potentially engaging follower for your brand on Twitter. Let’s start by taking into consideration the exciting journey one travels down upon receiving a notification.

The types of notifications you can receive on Twitter are

  • Mentions- where anyone tag’s your account by using your @TwitterHandle
  • Likes- where people can choose to acknowledge your tweet
  • Retweets- where they share your content on their own timeline
  • Quote- where someone can quote what you said and offer a rebuttal to their audience
  • Follow- requests/confirmations

To Millennials, notifications are a sign of acceptance and inclusion. When a brand acknowledges a potential followers account first, it provides social currency, which can validate the point of view their account embodies to their peers. Being that follower ratios are “the scoreboards” of popularity among today’s generation, you’ll really need to earn that role in their everyday life.

Lucky you ;)

Look who just noticed you on Twitter!

Now before you hyperventilate over the devilishly handsome gentleman that just subscribed for updates from your account, consider what actions you just went through.

“What actions,” you may ask? (I only looked at it for a few seconds)

Let me help you, as you probably didn’t even realize you were doing it — You immediately judged my avatar and after assessing how interesting, attractive or informative my profile pic and screen name “I.Tweet.N.stuff” (Different from my @TwitterHandle) represented my account to be, you decided whether my profile was worth looking into or not.

Whatever your conclusion, I’m fairly confident you tapped on that gorgeous avatar and checked my bio because:

  1. Curiosity is in our nature
  2. You’ll need to ensure my content is inline with your interests before I’m awarded your attention

Sometimes a bio is boring, I mean, vague or not informative, because of that, you will make your own deductions about that accounts character. So making sure to have content related to your overall mission will yield a higher return.

The next step in the potentially engaging followers’ journey will be scrolling through your pictures. Since visual content is more expressive and amusing, consuming it will certainly be a lot easier to digest. The old saying, “a picture is worth 1,000 words,” is really worth it’s weight in gold here. After all, if you have nothing in common or don’t serve the purpose to either entertain or keep this person informed on a specific niche, then why should they follow you back? Furthermore, what would even prompt them to engage with you? Maintaining consistency, parallel with the message your bio conveys via your tweets, will result in a higher conversion rate.

How do I combine all of this information to result in achieving engaging followers for my brand? Is there a process that works best?

In my opinion: yes, there is. Designate a specific time, a couple of days a week, to plan ahead and go on a “follow spree” where the above insight is taken into consideration and strategically implemented. Assuming you already know what prompts your account’s target audience to be the most engaged, casting a large net with a follower spree would be your next move.

As a brand, how do I find a potentially target rich environment for me to cast my net on and pull in engaging followers?

That’s the easy part. At this point, you should have already:

  1. Posted an avatar that is catchy to the eye
  2. A bio in line with your brand’s goals, showing its accomplishments
  3. Produced a slew of engaging content for your particular audience.

Once you have nailed these basics, the next steps are to:

  1. Find an account similar to yours
  2. Research their followers
  3. Identify the best targets according to Avi’s, Bio’s and content (must be inline with your business’ mission!)
  4. Follow these accounts!

Doing this correctly will give you the best bet for Return on Investment, or ROI, for contribution of the time it will take to actually be effective.

Reminder: 1,000,000 disengaged lurkers will not be as powerful as 1 active and engaged follower validating your brand to their peers via daily interactions.

— Good luck & happy hacking ;)

The above article was a paraphrased, conversation I had with a good friend last Friday over a meal. If you’d care for our conversation to be the inspiration for my next piece:

Please e-mail AnthonyLopez02113@Gmail.com or follow me on Twitter @BigToeKneeTone

Let’s do lunch ;)

*This article specifically targeted Twitter, but could easily be applied to any social media platform.