How to get more Twitter follower

I came across this question about 5 million times. But just recently with the enormous growth of Twitter I thought I rewrite my old list a bit:

1) Ask yourself WHY you want the followers.
You can use tools to get a large number but it is like going to a junk yard to get a lot of things for “free” just to have it? Clearly you want connections and sell your things and what have you but if you spend just a tiny bit of time and think – you get a great network at the end. If not you will do so in 2 years and hate yourself for wasting time and resources.

Now the good stuff:

2) Be approachable
One of the most valuable suggestions from all experienced Twitterer: Let everybody and his dog know where you are. That is actually not only Twitter but LinkedIn, Facebook and the rest: You find me at
Have your social footprint on any feedback, any comment, any email signature, business card… absolutely anywhere. The rest is gravy.

3) Follow interesting conversations
If you find stupid stuff on Twitter it is ONLY because you follow stupid people. Great topics lead to great conversations, lead to more great people… you get the idea. Following interesting conversations means following interesting people.

The toughest part for a business person is not to sell. Even the most experience fall back into the sales trap. I started in 2007 and now over 2 years later I still find myself in the trap once in a while.

5) Be YOU
You are an individual with a personal and a business side, with a family and a hobby side. All those different topics catch different people and that way you grow your network.

6) Be controversial
Through in stuff people like to discuss – not just consume. Gets you around, forwarded (retweeted) and in the talk – more connections.

7) There are tools like Twollow
It helps to listen to interesting topics while you are not online and follows those people. If your previous conversations is interesting to them as well, they may follow you too. So you get some followers automatically – but you need to review as many twitter spammer just through in key words like ROI, CEO or so to get people to their porn pages. Yeph already spam here too.

8) Conversation Mix
Create a good mix of your own opinion (tweets) and retweets from other interesting people – try to always provide links to the respective sites.

9) Use Search
You can search for topics, names, titles and just connect and converse. A good way to grow your network.

10) Don’t trust any tips (not even mine)
You will want to create your own identity. So all the great tips from great people are those they felt OK for themselves. Tweeple are individuals and we like individuals – so forget all the good advice and tweet away :-)

Ohh you hoped to get tips for tools that just adds up followers over night? So sorry. You may look at or so.

And here is the “advanced version for business people” on Customer Think



Tele Sales versus Social Sales – first performance comparison

Social media is all OVER – BUT still not IN the sales departments. While there is a lot of noise around social media there were just not enough data points that prove the effectiveness of social media.

The top telesales guys can do 100 call outs – touch base with 10 and get to their goals with three – every day. Compared to chit chat on Twitter – a few nice words on Facebook or some discussions on LinkedIn groups.

But that is changing
As we started to develop a new product we tested an all new social sales process and a new product in an alpha version. Two points of view:
1) Social selling processes
2) Technology
The social sales person was able to reach out to 200+ people a day on a consistent basis, had interactions with 50 and drove results with 15. In other words the social sales organization was twice as efficient and 5 times as effective – or 5 times more successful.

Processes and Technology
New processes to actually engage socially in an efficient way was a big part of this result. Also the underlying technology. A shift in skills is also important to note: Social sales teams need verbal / writing skills versus tele sales teams need oral skills. Implications here are that prepared written quotes can be easier provided and applied than spoken word phrases.

Behavioral Change
A supporting factor for the substantial difference however lays in the behavioral changes in the market:
1) The Likelihood of a customer to take a phone call is simply much lower than responding to any kind of online social interaction
2) The ability to quickly grasp the customers profile, interests and desires and instantly respond to those is much faster than trying to explore the persons personal profile on the phone.
3) The high degree of attractiveness of the new social web furthermore indicates a new sense of social interest to the customer while the call only indicates “I want to sell you something”.

Organizational Implications
A first review indicated that a social sales organization is easier to manage and outsource than a tele sales organization. However tele sales people are widely available versus social sales people are basically an all new job category with a different skill set and a different process flow.

The superior results and the better customer experience however suggest that it is at least worth exploring this new method.

Happy to share more insight.



Building a personal brand – how to achieve a happy medium between being personal and professional

Catherine Sherwood  posted this discussion in the Channel of the Future group on Linkedin. The balance between personal and professional branding is a very hot  topic I like to share also here on the blog.

With 20+ years of marketing experience, I know that consistency – in messaging and with visual images – is important to brand building. I also know that – often – you are marketing to multiple audiences, so developing an overarching message that can speak to many is important. However, building a personal brand to support my consulting practice in an environment where I am also connecting with personal friends was a real challenge. How to strike that happy medium took some work.

IMAGE: In the social media, a photo needs to be your logo. I didn’t want a family photo cropped to fit the small square space allotted, but I also did not want an overly-posed business picture. I found a young photographer ( ) who used social media a lot himself and who was used to doing multiple shots for aspiring models and actors. He set up the lighting and told me to keep in a contained area, but we just talked, then he’d say “hey, look over here” and take some shots. At the end of an hour – there were lots of proofs to choose from.

WEB / BLOG DESIGN: I used WordPress ( ) so that I could combine my blog and my website and easily keep my site fresh and updated. I also like WordPress because there are a host of free plug-ins that let you provide links to your other social sites, embed your Twitter feed, embed slide shows from SildeShare, and let others share your blog posts, etc. I worked with a designer ( ) to create a warm, open, but professional look. I chose a vibrant color palette and bought a nice image to provide some interest. For me, the guiding principle was making sure that my site was not overdesigned, but that basic graphic design rules were followed and that it didn’t look “home made”.

SPREADING THE MESSAGE: Once my website was up, I went to every site that had my profile and an image of me and updated the photo and made my bio as consistent as possible.(There were more sites than I had realized!) For sites that were primarily personal, I added some of my interests in addition to my professional description. I also used to build a background for my Twitter account. It was very quick and easy. I then Tweeted about my new site, posted to Facebook. created a Status Update on LinkedIn, and continue to publicly thank those that helped me

I’d like to hear from others about what they have done to create that balance between the personal and professional.


Social Media Academy establishes global consulting network, Black Diamonds

Just want to share our latest press release which went out today:

Social Media Academy announces its Black Diamond global social media consultant network. Certified social media consultants from the US, Europe, Singapore and Australia are set to collaborate on a global scale to help small, medium and large businesses create social media programs that are specifically tailored to their social media ecosystems. The group engages based on unified methodologies from the Social Media Academy, including the Four-Quadrant Social Media Assessment model, the Strategy Hexagon for developing a robust social media plan, and five other standardized methodologies.

Social Media Academy founder Axel Schultze said: “Business leaders have a hard time to select a social media consultant that is right for them. Too many self proclaimed social media experts only confuse customers. We conquer this problem by creating a worldwide standard for methodologies, strategy development and social media execution plans. The Black Diamond Network consists of a worldwide network of certified social media consultants with a very transparent and unified experience profile.”

“Mark Moore, from Atlanta, GA, one of the founding members said: “One of our big advantages is our globally standardized methodology approach. Any member can jump into any project and knows exactly how we all work. This provides a great project security for small and large customers”. Boughty Canton, another founding member, from Singapore commented: “Businesses begin to understand that social media is not just a marketing tool but a general business strategy. As Black Diamonds members, we help companies to think and execute strategically”. Wendy Soucie from Wisconsin said: “An important aspect of the Black Diamond Network is our ability to provide very cost efficient social media packages to small businesses. Even though we are connected in a global network – the individual Black Diamonds operate locally. Each Black Diamond brings to the engagement an understanding of a particular regional area or even a vertical market dynamic.” Rick Speciale from Sydney, Australia and Catherine Sherwood from Albuquerque, NM see another advantage of the Black Diamond group in the collaboration of different subject matter experts. “We both focus on the financial services industry. Collaborating with other experts while maintaining a standardized operating method gives customers the breadth and depth in expertise they expect”. Barbara Daniels from Mesa, AZ, also one of the founding members stated: “We collaborate on projects and strategic engagements as a group, each bringing our unique talents and backgrounds to create a synergy in the fast-paced world of social media that is the first of its kind. We take social media far beyond the marketing aspect, assisting companies in building mindshare and market share by imploring the proven principles and standardized methodologies of the Social Media Academy.”

The Black Diamond group is orchestrated by the Social Media Academy and organizes knowledge webinars in the US, Europe and Asia helping businesses to better comprehend the impact social media has to their business, their market and their ecosystem. The Knowledge webinar series starts in September and is free of charge. A Black Diamond reception is established to help companies find the best social media strategist for their respective needs. The next leadership class, which is the base education to become a black diamond, starts September 16.

More details are available at This Link

# # #

More corresponding links:
Social Media Academy
This Link
Social Media Leadership class
This Link
Social Media Academy Methodology overview
This Link

Social sites from people mentioned in this press release:
Axel Schultze This Link
Barbara Daniels This Link
Boughton Canton This Link
Catherine Sherwood This Link
Mark Moore This Link
Rick Speciale This Link
Walter Adamson This Link
Wendy Soucie This Link

Key words: Social media, consulting, small medium business, methodology, network, customer experience, assessment, strategy, media plan, Black Diamond, Social Media Academy

Marita Roebkes Marita Roebkes MyXeeSM


Why should you consider Twitter?

Reasons how why you should consider using Twitter
There are an estimated 25,000 posts and comments how you can use Twitter, how you get more followers and some even claim to teach you becoming an instant millionaire just by using twitter. On the other hand you heard it loud and clear: Twitter is just a fad, 40% of twitter conversations are just random blah blah blah, all you read is somebody walking their dog, eating pizza, being bored…

I guess it is time to answer the question WHY should you going through the exercise in the first place. The answer may surprise you. So why on earth are some business managers and executive still using it? Why is the number of users growing from about 8 million in 2008 to about 40 million in 2009? And why should YOU, a successful and very busy manager waste your time with Twitter?

For the same reason why only 1% of companies are really successful, only 1% of executives make a ton of money, only 1% of products are a hit, only 1% of twitterer understand to make a difference using those tools right.

If you are bored by the silly conversations – you follow the wrong people.
If you just browse around – and hope to get something out of it – keep dreaming.
If you hope to tweet about your stuff and people will buy – keep playing in the lottery.

Do an assessment and you will probably find more than 20% of your customers are in Twitter. Maybe not the person that processes the order but the thousands of people that use your product and influence others more than your TV commercial and bill board on Times Square.

Now WHY should you consider Twitter?
Assume you have one of the following six challenges:
1) You want to provide a better customer experience
– Listening to your customers will give you ideas how you can serve them better
– Connecting with your customers will create a stronger bond between you and your customer
– News that are important to your customers (not marketing BS) will get there much faster
– You may want to get direct feedback – here and now – not through an agency or research institute

2) You like to get market feedback
– You may want to track and follow customers, prospects and competitors customer to see trends
– You may want to have conversations about their experience
– You may want to chat about things you like to know
– Your Customers may tell you stories that you didn’t even ask for

3) You like to connect with your customers
– You may want to create a better social connection with your customers
– If you really care about them you may want to know more about them
– You may want to use this tool to have very short conversations and therefor touch more people
– You may want to get easily introduced to other interesting people

4) You like to find new customers
– You may want to connect with people that have problems you can solve
– You may just chime into conversations from people you like to connect
– You may discover it is much easier to chat that to cold call
– You may realize that a social connection gives you twice as much depth than a phone call

5) You want to better / faster support your customers
– You will find product complains in Twitter before your customers even reach your hotline
– You may use Twitter to dispatch issues faster than on the phone
– You may want to leverage other expert users to help less experienced customers
– You will learn about product issues faster in Twitter than anywhere else

6) You want to introduce a new product
– Twitterer are a group of very open minded people who love new things
– This is by far the best place to get early adopters and early feedback
– If your product is well received in the Twitter verse you find more advocates than anywhere else
– People to to an average of another 100 people in their network. So talking to 1,000 accelerates the conversation to 100,000.

Now here is the single answer for any of the above challenges
Because you can perform the job in a fraction of the time compared to other methods. And as such you can touch base with more people than in your traditional way.

Efficiency is the single most important reason why you should consider Twitter.

No I’m neither a share holder nor an employee – just a social media practitioner sharing experience – like 400 Million others every day to the benefit of products and companies who deserve it. You may become one of them.

(connect with me via XeeSM)


Social Media Time Management

Stop thinking in “spending” time for or in social media – elevate your view and think “investing” your time. Stop messing with tweets that talk about some stranger ordering pizza – be able to tune into business relevant conversations. Stop being satisfied with your LinkedIn profile, it is static – instead understand to leverage business groups. Don’t wait until somebody sends you to a class – by then you are out.

Presentation and audio of the Webinar 09/04/09