How to spot real influencers on Twitter
Make no mistake, it’s very easy to get excited to get influencer marketing. After all, these people already have an inside track into the people you’re trying to reach. For some time, they have established a community around their content. These are people who are truly interested in what these influencers have to say. This did not come easy. This definitely did not happen overnight. They had to produce a lot of niche-specific content to draw these followers from all over Twitter.
When you reach out to these influencers and develop a working relationship with them, you get to leverage whatever brand they have managed to produce. That’s really what’s going on. This is tremendous because you don’t have to put in the time, effort, energy, and patience to build such an audience. These audiences already exist. These different influencers act as gatekeepers for these audiences.
The idea is to get a deal going with them, so they can share your content, you get a fresh set of eyeballs and you also end up further enhancing their credibility and authority. Done properly, this type of arrangement produces a win-win situation. Sounds good so far? It should. This saves you a significant amount of time and effort.
The problem is how do you know who is who? This is the big challenge with Twitter. You probably don’t need to me to remind you that there are a lot of fakes out there. There are a lot of seemingly influential accounts that don’t really have real credibility. This is because they are usually created by software that automatically publishes content. They also manage to follow and unfollow a wide range of random people.
This is going to be a problem because when people get followed, a significant percentage of them would follow back. Perhaps this is done out of courtesy, reciprocity or maybe they do this out of the kindness of their heart. Whatever the case may be, it complicates things for you. It really does. Why? You want to follow and possibly get followed back by people who are actually interested in your niche.
You’re not interested in random people. You couldn’t care less about people who would just essentially follow anything that follows them first. Those people are not going to buy from you. That’s just not going to happen. Sure, for time to time, you would get a random purchase from some sort of curiosity seeker, but it’s probably also equally likely that they would ask for a refund.
It’s rough. How do you tell who is who? Here are just some key points to look at when it comes to finding real influencers.
Good following to follower ratio
When you look at an account on Twitter, you can see how many people they’re following and how many people are following them. If you see that there is a very big difference between the number of accounts they follow and the people following them, there’s a good chance that you are looking at a real account.
This is the main proof you should be looking for. As the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. When you look at what the particular account is tweeting recurrently, then this should let you know whether they are actually interested in your niche. If they are, then there is a strong chance that people that follow them are interested in your niche as well.
Pay attention to the consistency of the topics they talk about. Look at all their tweets and see if you can pick out a niche pattern. If it turns out that they are basically tweeting about every subject under the sun, you probably would be better off not following them.
If it turns out that this account actually takes the time to respond to each and every tweet, you may be on to something. This may be a real account. After all, they’re investing a considerable amount of time and effort and actually engaging people who pay attention to their content.
Keep the three key indicators above in mind. If you’re serious about finding real influencers on Twitter, make sure you know what to look for. Otherwise, it’s going to be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
How to get leads using Twitter
Leads, of course, are email addresses. When a person gives you his or her email address, they’re essentially giving you permission to follow up. Maybe they would sign up on your mailing list or a special promo. Whatever the case may be, when they give you their email address, they are giving you permission to contact them and talk to them regarding a particular subject matter.
Sounds good so far, right? Well, here’s the problem. A lot of people think that they have to pay an arm and a leg to get leads using Twitter. They have resigned themselves to thinking that they basically have to spend a huge chunk of their money to get a decent amount of leads.
Now I wish I could tell you that once you get these leads, they will automatically translate into dollars in your bank account. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Just because you got a lead, doesn’t necessarily mean that this person would genuinely be interested in what you have to offer.
This is why you have to have a massive number of leads because only a relatively small fraction of them actually convert. Depending on how you play the game and the value of the product or service you are offering, that may be all you need. Even though only a tiny fraction converts, the profit margin is so high that it’s all worth it.
Believe it or not, you can get leads using Twitter. The big surprise? You don’t have to spend a cent. Here’s how you do it.
Target niche hashtags using niche third-party content
The first thing that you need to do is to reverse engineer your competitors on Twitter. These are people and businesses that are trying to attract the same audience as you are. Pay attention to the kind of content they share and the hashtags that they use. Copy these. I’m not suggesting that you just copy and paste these and that would be that. I’m talking about copying and pasting hashtags and pairing them up with third-party content that is similar in subject matter and theme.
Reverse engineer high authority Tweets
Have you noticed that a lot of your Twitter click-throughs involve one particular type of content? Pay attention to this pattern. Look for similar content and come up with your own version. You don’t have to do things by hand and write this stuff yourself. You can outsource using excellent services like ozki.org or similar services.
Whatever the case may be, get a good idea of what is in most demand among your actual Twitter followers and then give them more of that stuff. The big difference here, of course, is you are going to come up with your own stuff, so when they click through, they end up on your website.
Mix in links to squeeze pages
It’s a great thing to have a lot of clicks going to your website. That is beyond dispute. However, if you really want to make money, you can’t just focus on drawing traffic to your site because a lot of them probably won’t convert. You need a more direct approach.
This is where tweeting more of your squeeze page as your number of followers increases is a good idea. The key here is time timing. You can’t do this right off the bat. It wouldn’t be advisable to do this just as you are starting. Instead, you have to wait until you have a decent number of followers. That’s when you can start tweeting the direct link to your squeeze page.
I’m sure you can figure out why this has to be done this way. It only makes sense that you should do this after you’ve established credibility.
How to engage influencers on Twitter
If you’ve gone through the very difficult process of figuring out who’s who in your niche on Twitter, the next step is engagement. I cannot emphasize looking for the right people enough. If you engage the wrong people, you will be wasting your time. It doesn’t matter how positive their reception of you is. If they’re the wrong people, then they’re not going to do you any good. You have to make sure that you truly grasp this.
Next, once you are in front of the right eyeballs, what do you do? How do you engage influencers on Twitter for maximum benefits? Here’s how you do it.
Post high quality niche content first
Before you engage in highly influential people on Twitter in your niche, establish credibility. This is non-negotiable. This has to be done. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a veteran or you just started, you have to go through this. You have to earn their trust.
When you post high-quality niche content on Twitter, you’re letting them know in no uncertain terms that you know what you’re talking about. You make them aware that you’re directly interested in a particular topic and you enough about it to keep producing content about it. This will qualify you in their eyes. At the very least, this will separate you from some random spammer that is just trying to use them.
Engage them based on their content
It’s very tempting to engage influential people on Twitter by simply saying, “Good post,” or “You’re a genius,” or somehow trying to kiss their butts. A lot of people think that this is a shortcut, but what they don’t realize is how much a waste of time it is. How come? All these people get their butts kissed all day, every day. What else is new if you try to do it?
Do something different. Engage them based on the actual content that they share. These people are mature adults. They’re not looking to get flattered. Instead, they’re looking to get called out and engage with people. Maybe they did something wrong or presented an idea that is half-baked. Whatever the case may be, they actually appreciate it when people call them out.
They like being challenged. That’s how you know you’re dealing with the real deal, not just somebody who is just faking it. Engage them based on their content because they know when they are participating in a real conversation about their material, eventually their material’s quality increases.
Get on the radar, then ask for benefits
The more you engage with influence leaders based on their tweets, the more they respect you. Of course, this has to be the right type of engagement. You can’t just flatter your way to the top. Once you have done this enough, you get on their radar, and then that’s when you can ask for benefits.
What kind of benefits are we talking about here? Well, you can ask for a guest post. You can ask to get an interview or to interview them. You can ask to be a part of some sort of blog alliance. You can ask them to tweet your stuff. There are just so many ways you can go forward with this. All it takes it you committing to putting in the time, effort, and energy to make this happen.
This means you have to truly engage with these accounts and that you have to wait. This can’t happen overnight. This also means that you must deliver solid value as far as they are concerned. You have to remember that the best deals are win-win deals. Everybody has to walk away with sort kind of advantage.
Unfortunately, for too many people on Twitter, they always think of Twitter as a one-way street. They think of it as just this place on the internet where they can get free traffic. In other words, for you to win, you’d think other people have to lose. This is a bad deal. You have to always think of how everybody can benefit. That’s how you play the game.
The worst way to engage on Twitter
What is the worst way to engage influential users on Twitter? You may be surprised. A lot of people think that when you praise somebody or flatter them in some way, they would look at this as a positive thing. In reality, the opposite is true because when you do that, you’re not really separating yourself from the crowd.
If you think about it, if you were in a highly competitive niche, people who have managed to build a massive brand probably get messaged all day, every day. The vast majority of those messages are garbage. They’re basically being told how much of a genius they are or how awesome their posts were.
Well, here’s the problem. Since everybody else is doing that, what do you think will happen when you do the same? Your stuff won’t stand out because it will be the exact same thing as every other flattering message. Nothing is going to happen. You have to be distinctive and stand out from the crowd. You have to engage with these influential people in a different way.
At the very least, you should avoid engaging with them in such a way as to turn them off. Here are three ways to engage on Twitter that are guaranteed to turn anybody off.
Some people are more sensitive to this than others. The bigger the personality that you’re trying to reach out to, the less tolerant they will be. Think about it, they have a lot of offers and opportunities on the table. Their time is very precious. They really do not have the time to screw around with worthless engagement. Avoid these if you want to make a favorable impression with these individuals.
Pitch for guest posts immediately
If the first thing that you would tweet about is for this online personality to do something for you, then you are mistaken. You have gotten off on the wrong foot. You must understand that these people are not amateurs. They know how the game works. They’ve been around the block a few times and they know who’s the real deal and who’s a fake.
When you pitch for a guest post immediately, you’re basically telling that person, “Hey, what can you do for me? Do something for me. Deliver some sort of value to my life.” Of course, the natural response to this is, “Who are you? I don’t owe you anything.” Do you see the problem here? You haven’t even proven yourself. The thing you have to do is make sure you earn people’s trust.
Unfortunately, insisting that they somehow benefit you right off the bat is definitely a bad move. Let’s put it this way. You would not want that done to you, so why would you want to do it to someone else?
You come off as a spammer or a scammer
Another screwed up way to engage with people on Twitter and by extension, the internet is to come off as a spammer or a scammer. Basically, you’re offering all sorts of quick benefits right off the bat. It has to be clear to you that people don’t think that way. They think sequentially.
First, they’re going to ask who you are, why they should trust you and what you have to offer and if it’s the best compared to the other ones that they normally use. I hope you’re catching on to how this train of thought proceeds. If you don’t, then you’re probably leaving a lot of important details out and it’s no surprise that these influential people on Twitter don’t trust you.
You have to understand that people are sick and tired of spammers and scammers. They’re all over the place. They waste a tremendous amount of time, effort, and energy. It’s not shocking to see big personalities on Twitter expending a lot of effort trying to avoid spammers and scammers. These people do not like wasting their time and being misled.
Unfortunately, if you conduct yourself in such a way that you can easily be confused for a scammer or a spammer, then you brought it on yourself. Be aware that you have to, not only look legit, but you have to act like it as well.
Get on the radar first and engage
So what is the best way forward when it comes to proper engagement with highly influential people on Twitter? Well, it all boils down to paying your dues. I wish could say that it was otherwise, but this is the way it is. In fact, a lot of people are trying to run away from this. They are trying to look for some sort of quick, easy solution.
Unfortunately, the more you look for shortcuts, the worse you make things for yourself. The sad reality is that there really is no shortcut. You just have to do things the hard way. This means that you have to get on the radar first by sharing quality content that is directly related to your niche. It means truly engaging with highly influential people on Twitter until they end up liking you. That’s how you play the game. Otherwise, if you’re just looking for a shortcut, then you’ll probably end up failing.
Not all hashtags are created equal
A lot of people are under the impression that just because they reverse-engineered their competitors’ hashtags on twitter that they’ve got it made. I can understand why people think this way. It is definitely so much easier if things worked out this way. Can you imagine just looking for your competitors, finding their tweets, paying attention to their hashtags, and copying and pasting the same tags to your stuff?
It would be great if things actually worked that way. Unfortunately, things that look so simple on paper are actually quite complicated when the time comes for you to implement them. Hashtags are one of these things. You have to understand that hashtags help stuff gets found on Twitter. It’s kind of like a categorization tool.
For example, if you post a tweet about Donald Trump, it helps tremendously if you put: #Trump, #Presidentoftheunitedstates, #Unitedstates, and other similar hashtags. These hashtags provide context. They enable people to search for content with context in mind.
With that said, there are also trending hashtags. These are hashtags that are basically popular for a few hours and then they fizzle out. However, for the few hours that they are popular, a lot of people search for them. A lot of people click through and it’s quite possible to get a tremendous amount of traffic using trending hashtags.
The problem is that trending hashtags may not be niche specific. This is a serious problem. Why? If you use these trending hashtags to promote content that you know is not related to the hashtag, you’re essentially spamming. This is called Hashtag Spamming. What you’re doing is you are trying to piggyback on the hashtag that trending and trying to exploit the huge amount of attention a particular hashtag is getting in order to get a lot of traffic to your content.
This is not exactly a new idea. People have been doing this for quite some time. In fact, a lot of people have developed coping mechanisms to avoid this kind of thing. They don’t want to waste their time clicking on the wrong link that takes them to something that’s completely unrelated to the hashtag they’re following.
The name of the game is to play it safe
So, what is the secret to success when it comes to hashtags? Well, first of all, you should not play the trending hashtag game. Seriously. If you are really concerned about the quality of the brand you’re building online, you really cannot afford to screw around with Hashtag Jacking. That’s what you’re really doing. You are jacking the hashtag for your interests. You’re basically just trying to drum up traffic by jacking a hashtag.
Instead, you should focus on really targeted hashtags. These really cut to the bone of your niche. They are very specific. Now, the great thing about this type of hashtag strategy is you fine-tune your content focus. You make it clear to people on Twitter that you are genuinely interested in one particular type of content and it doesn’t really matter if the hashtag gets a lot of traffic or not. You’re just focused on specificity.
Believe it or not, if you do this, you end up doing your brand a big favor. Not only is it easier for people who are truly interested in your niche to find you, but they start regarding your brand as credible and trustworthy. Why? You’re not playing games. You’re not distracting people. You’re not playing a bait and switch game. Instead, you look very transparent.
The more you establish a “what you see is what you get” image, the more people will trust you and the more clicks you get on your links. Again, this doesn’t happen overnight, but a little bit of trust can definitely go a long way.