Category Archives: Building a social Media Community

M. Matheson

August 8, 2016

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If you are reading this, you already know it’s true. M. Matheson has gone from the land of UNDEAD Blogger page (no offense, it served me mediocre-like for years). Thank you, Google, but WordPress is better. I feel like a real… something. Let me pause to celebrate.

WhooHoo!!

WhooHoo!!

While you are here, pour a beverage of your choice, download a free story, read my last post, and Preorder Flatline. If you like anything you see send me a note. If something bugs you and sticks in your craw, do likewise.

WordPress made this chore a snap, my hat (if I wore one) is off in solemn salute.

Thank you, to all my loyal readers and fans. May your life be filled with peace and good things.

M. Matheson

Okay, I’ll admit it; this may be a bit of a rant, but if you will take the time to read it, you may get a laugh or two along with some tips on Twitter.
And, like the commands in God’s book, if you will follow them your Twitter-life will get better. So, whether you are a believer or not, strap your seatbelt tight and let’s go.

ONE

Thou shalt use a profile pic

Eggy??? Who are you?
Show some respect for yourself and your own dignity, if you have any.
Am I the only person whose nerves chafe at the sight of that pathetic looking egg?
Would you take anyone serious if your only image of them was a white two-dimensional egg hemmed in by a colored box?
Think – why are you on Twitter in the first place?
At the bare minimum, you want to share trashy tweets with your old college pals. In that case, do you really want them seeing you without your yolk? Take five minutes and show them what a badass you are (if you are a guy). Steal some pics off the internet like I did these.
If you are a girl make it sweet, sexy or both, just not trashy.
You have something to promote or share. Everyone does. Out of the 974 million existing Twitter accounts, there is someone interested in what you are selling or giving away, even if it’s only your opinion.
If you want a better than 1:974,000,000 chance of gaining followers that are interested in you or your product, 
GET A DAMN PROFILE PIC.
When I am sorting through the people that have followed me and deciding whether they are interesting enough to follow back,
I immediately exclude profiles with no pic.
Even if it just has to be a picture of your cat, dog, or giraffe in the newest sweater you knit for them,
I will consider following you
But if there is no profile pic, your race is over. You never made it out of the gate.


TWO

Thou shalt show your Bio

Write a Bio.
Write a Bio.
Oh, did I repeat myself?
Make yourself or your product sound interesting even if it’s concrete railroad ties. You only have 160 characters to do it.
No profanity. Put it in your posts, seeing it in your bio makes me wince and pass you by. I am not alone.
Tell the truth. Stretch the hell out of it all you want to, just don’t break it.
Tell us who you are. My Bio says more than it says. I’ve worked a long time on it and am still tweaking it to perfection.
I have lived as an Outlaw, but also a missionary.
Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, I was a motorcycle outlaw living on the fringes of society. From 1990 up until a few years ago, I was a missionary to the inner city and I traveled to other countries as an evangelist.
Today, I have published one book and write stories, all fictional tales that draw pictures of truth.
I am a social media curator guru. I currently curate twelve accounts. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
GURU is a stretch, but I have done well.
Include relevant well-known hashtags.
Use only hashtags that you deserve or have a right to.
Include a link or two pointing to your blog, website, Facebook, Smashwords, a link to your product.


THREE

Thou shalt make a discernable header pic

Make it sharp, make it fit. Make me sit up and take notice.
Don’t cut off people or animal’s heads and other body parts, unless, of course, it is relevant to your genre. I.e. horror or zombie stuff.
Use a high-resolution photo or graphic. No pornography or anything close. No profanity. It’s a turn off even for people that use lots of it. Seeing expletives in a header or bio makes us wince and pass you by.
This template is 730 x 205, but I’ve found the using a 3:1 ratio on a higher resolution image and respecting the invisible areas will give you better results.


FOUR

Thou shalt Tweet MORE of your own stuff.

Leave more than a breadcrumb trail of original posts.
Here’s the deal. You have been kind enough to follow or retweet my post, so I go to your timeline looking for something of yours to retweet. In your last 100 posts, all I see is retweets of other posts. I really would like to promote your stuff. Really.
Don’t make me work so hard to find your original tweets.


FIVE

Thou shalt not automate your timeline

If it’s too easy or too cheap…
Sure it’s easy to turn over your account to a bot that retweets the tweets of people who interact with you, but it’s phony. It looks phony, and it smells phony.
Don’t use automated services such as Round Team. Everyone knows it and if they don’t, every so often there is a tweet that says, “So and so is sitting home watching TV while our computer tweets all the stuff you’re responding to. So and so is a big phony.”
What kind of friends do you want? Ones that have no choice because you hired them or people genuinely interested in you?
I have a high respect for the people I meet on Twitter.
My profile has a high percentage of organic followers that I grew by my own actions. They are appreciated and in turn I am valued by them.


SIX

Thou shalt not buy followers

Need I explain? See Commandment Five.


SEVEN

Thou shalt respond and do it quickly

This is the surest way to grow your account. As your account grows upwards of 10,000 followers it becomes a lot of work to follow up and reply to them all. Every day I set aside time to get to as many as possible. I also have tricks I use to make the chore easier.
I have been rewarded by over 10,000 followers and a Klout score of 61. 63 puts a person in the top 5%. Klout is the measure of how well people interact with your account.


EIGHT

Thou shalt keep your posts fresh

If you are selling something, intersperse your promotional tweets with items of interest, quotes, news, photos, and special events. The pros say to use a ratio of 80 interesting posts and 20 promotional posts. The 80 can include retweets.


NINE

Thou shalt utilize the ‘Pinned Tweet’ for your own damned good

Promote your best stuff at the top of your timeline. On your tweet, click the three dots to open up a menu and select pin tweet.
Change it regularly.
Not using this feature is the same as shooting yourself in the foot.


Ten

Thou shalt use images in your posts and format them correctly

Any image as long as it’s sized to the correct ratio of 2:1will show up in its entirety in the timeline. Any other size looks stupid and only shows a partial picture.
The best size image is 1024 x 512.
I make sure that after my text in the post I have 31 characters remaining; 24 for the image and a seven-character margin so when the post is retweeted the post won’t be truncated.


Finally

These are all things I learned along the way. They are what I consider the big ones. Profiles that violate these commands appear like …


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The 3 Stages of Building a Social Media Community

Hootsuite continues to be not only an invaluable tool for managing social media, they provide education on so many different levels. From the basic how to use the program to more in-depth articles on engaging customers, building a brand and how build a terrific following.

I just finished reading and watching a presentation, ‘The 3 Stages of Building a Social Media Community’ by Evan LePage a Hootsuite Author.

Stage 1: Building a Foundation for Social Media Community A foundation is critical to any enterprise whether you are building a life, a house or an online presence. This could be easy to miss for someone building a social media presence. The temptation could be to just put posts and pictures and leave it to marinate.

But, Evan pointed out that, ‘The foundation of social media community is built on two-way communication.”

One-way communication is no communication at all. 
All interactions such as follows and retweets on Twitter or comments in Facebook need to be acted on swift and positively. That is a key to building any relationship and is the backbone of a strong community.


Stage 2: A Growing Social Media Community is what everyone wants, but less of those are willing to do the work, often signing the elbow grease away to strange computers for $29.95 a month. That may gain you a truckload of uninvolved followers, but what we want is engagement.

The reality is, not all followers are created equal. The reason you shouldn’t simply go buy 100 followers is because they likely won’t be engaged or get involved in your community, and they might not even be real. Earning 10 engaged followers yourself is a far more valuable use of your time.

You build an online community the same way you build a flesh and blood community, one heart, one handshake and one good deed at a time. Not only acknowledge what people do for you, but do them similar good deeds.

But it’s not enough just to grow a community, you must maintain them and keep them engaged.



Stage 3: Leveraging Your Social Media Community
Ultimately we’re all in business to make a profit, and we must leverage (not a bad word) the community to achieve our goals, but Evan reminds us,

…never ignore the principles on which you built this community. You don’t want to throw everything you’ve built out the window for a quick sale.

Collect feedback: You want people’s honest opinions This can only help us grow. Whether it’s my wife’s honest opinion about my haircut and shirt choice or a customer’s distaste for our slogan. We need to know whether we look like a doofus or not.

Crowdsourced Content: Answers to polls, photo contests and other user-generated content is one of the greatest benefits to your social media community.

Amplify your content: Let your crowd tell the good news. Ask them for help and tell them what you need them to do. This is what a true community does, a good one anyway.

If you’d like to leave a comment and find the form tedious you can comment on my twitter feed @mikeyznsacto or Facebook M. Matheson

The Proof in the Pudding

This post was originally posted back in September 2014. Many people found it useful, at least those indie authors and others that are serial tweeters and marketers of their words.
I’m reposting because of its usefulness and also as the cliche, idiom or saying goes.
The proof is in the pudding. 
When I originally wrote this I talked about how I was hovering around 1800 followers. At the time I kept getting stuck at Twitter’s glass ceiling for follows/follower ratios. That’s no longer a problem and my best guess is that my account is legitimized not only by quantity of followers but the quality of activity and interaction… That’s my guess.
Anyway, I have gone from 1800 followers then to 4400 now (7,750 by 9/8/2015 – 9,020 by 10/31/2015).  Call it bragging if you want, it’s taken a lot of work and 90% of those followers are good organically grown follows. I feel pretty good about that. If you have any questions get in touch with me and I’d be happy to answer them. I have learned a lot since then, but the basics are the same.
Happy Tweeting and I hope this post helps.
~~~~0~~~~

Yeah! If you thought the title was corny, so did I,, but it’s all I got. This is a follow-up to a blog post titled, Tweet Tweet which had a much nicer ring. If you skip over and check it out you’ll find it was about my experience gaining Twitter followers. I reread it and it almost seems ridiculous now. The methods are solid and I never changed except for the scale got larger and I had to figure a way to cut down the time it took to keep up good relationships with an ever increasing crowd. Good relationships is what it is all about.
In that post I was all excited about gaining a hundred followers in ten days, good stuff. Since then I’ve seen steady gains of up to 50 a day. Like I said, same method. I’m now hovering around at 1800 followers and most of these are good home-grown followers (real people). The reason I’m hovering: Twitter has a rule that if you follow 2000 people they won’t let you follow any more till you get a lot more followers and that number seems mysterious and arbitrary. Without being able to follow everyone who follows me, my growth is much slower.
Still, I thought I’d share a couple things I learned to make the work less time consuming. I know that I could pay a monthly fee for a company to do all my posting, but somehow that just felt disingenuous. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. For a while, I let JustUnFollow send auto DM messages thanking new followers but after getting a bunch from other people, I couldn’t stomach it any longer.
My biggest help is the Hootsuite platform which allows me to schedule up to 350 Tweets or Facebook posts. I can put all the info in a correctly formatted Excel spreadsheet (simple they even give you an example to copy) and voila I have the next weeks Tweets all set to go. I set all my posts at half past the hour so if I want to post anything else, I insert it at the hour or fifteen or forty-five after so it won’t get crowded.
I value all my followers old and new and some of those I schedule their book links several times in my bulk uploads. As for my new followers: after the initial nice thank you Tweet and a retweet of something for them, I wait a few days or a week and gang up all the new ones in messages thanking them again. They get a mention and I usually get a retweet with more exposure.
Ganging them up in Tweets got time-consuming when they were coming in hot and heavy 100-220 in a  three to four-day span.
Thank you Mighty Google! I went searching for a program that might do it for me… I didn’t find one that would do it all for me without relinquishing my sovereignty, but I did find an excel spreadsheet that you can register as an app with Twitter and it will feed you all your followers in a neat little list, newest at top. Martin Hawksey God bless him has made it fairly easy for the average Joe to accomplish. Now I run this spreadsheet every few days and give all my new followers a mention.

The Tweets get thrown all around multiple times which is good for everyone. All I had to do was paste that list into a notepad and put little @ symbols in front of each screen name. Way better than before but tedious. So, I gained a follower @tianyuxu1 who is an Excel Guru Data Cruncher and I DM’d him and asked if he would help me with the formula to add text(the @ symbol before each name) to the contents of a cell. He was only too happy to help. Wango Tango it’s now as easy as 1-2-3 to put together the thank you tweets.
I could go on but it’s getting late. If anyone has something to add or comment please do. I’m no expert but I am good at learning.
Peace All,
Mike
If you’d like to leave a comment and find the form tedious you can comment on my twitter feed @mikeyznsacto or Facebook/M. Matheson

Hootsuite Certified Professional

Hootsuite Certified Professional I’m happy to announce that I recently completed the very educational HootSuite University Pro Certification course – and now am a HootSuite Certified Professional! I have used HootSuite for quite a while and thought I was already well versed. I discovered many new great features that I was unaware of – such as search, keywords, geolocation tools and analytics. I wasn’t even close! If you are a serious social media marketer, consider Hootsuite University. It will up your social media marketing game. You do have to be a Pro level member ($9.99 per month) to access the advanced features that are discussed in the course. Click here to learn more. If you’d like to leave a comment and find the form tedious you can comment on my twitter feed @mikeyznsacto or Facebook M. Matheson