The secret to being successful on Twitter – and I judge success on the network to mean building a large, positive and strong number of followers, and having the reach to be influential and significant within that group and beyond – is really incredibly simple.
In fact, you only need to be one of three things to make it on Twitter.
- Be famous
- Be useful
- Be interesting
That’s it. We’re done.
Still here? Want some more detail? I wasn’t kidding. Any one of those three states of being will lead to Twitter success – guaranteed. Everybody on the network who matters – and you can measure that by popularity or status (or both), or any which way you like – has one of these traits in abundance. Some lucky folks have two. The gifted and relative few encompass all three. But the good part is that everybody can be one.
The catch is, there’s a bit of a hierarchy here. Twitter is to some extent a level playing field, but there are definitely some advantages when it comes to who you are. If you’re fortunate enough to be a household name, then you won’t even have to work for success on the network. Failing this, be as useful as you possibly can – it’s that little bit harder to make it, but everybody likes a problem-solver. And if you’re not useful, then you better be interesting, and you better be interesting a lot.
So, which will you be?
1. Be Famous
You think @aplusk would have over a million followers if he wasn’t Ashton Kutcher? No, siree. And the same goes for every other famous person on the network, too. Brooke Burke has almost half a million followers. I mean, she’s a lovely-looking woman, but come on. These celebrities didn’t work for that follow count – they simply showed up, and the masses came with them. This also applies to a lesser degree to folk who are famous on the internet, too. If you’ve got a blog with a million readers, get on to Twitter. You’re gonna love the attention. And count your blessings, because you’ve got the easiest route to the top. It doesn’t even matter if you can string a sentence together – the people are gonna love you.
Pros: If you’re a celebrity, being successful on Twitter is simply a matter of signing up. The more famous you are, the more success you’ll have. But even if you’re just a little bit famous, it’ll pay off.
Cons: If you’re not a celebrity, it’s kind of hard to be famous. Move on to section #2.
2. Be Useful
Everybody is an expert on something. If you offer a product or service on Twitter that is fundamentally useful, others will follow you. People will listen to you, re-tweet your submissions and generally pay attention. You don’t even have to be useful all the time – just useful at the right time. Do this enough, and keep giving the people what they want, and you’ll be beating ’em off with sticks.
Pros: If you’re a red-hot blogger, particularly if you write about lifestyle tips, technology, social media or even blogging itself – you’re sorted on Twitter. You’re already probably quite well-known, can easily port across your RSS subscribers by sticking a ‘follow me!’ badge on your site, and it won’t be long before you’re knocking on the door of that exclusive top 100 list. For the moment, at least. In six months, it’ll be the top 500, as spots 1-499 will be occupied by those in category #1, above.