How do you usually use Twitter? Are you an active part of your community, or are you more of a lay-back-and-retweet-now-and-then type of person?  Personally, I started off using Twitter a couple months ago not really knowing the best approach. But all it really took were a couple of marketing minds, some great reading and some practice to set our Twitter wheels in motion for our clients.

Here’s how I use Twitter to connect with and get re-tweeted by authoritative people.

First, we set up some goals. Our objective was to gain a certain number of followers per week by sharing enough relevant content to become authoritative sharers within our niche. To do this, we used Prismatic and Topsy as recent news sources and set up Google Alerts for certain keywords to stay informed.

However, sharing the right content and following the right people were not enough. We needed to connect.

Thank you, Followerwonk

Followerwonk – a really nifty Moz tool – steered me in the right direction. If you’re not familiar with the app just yet, it is a great way to help you explore and grow your social graph. With a little guidance from this creative link-building blog post (the blurb from Chris Countey) and analytics from Followerwonk, I was able to approach Twitter with more connective tactics in mind.

To start, I use the “analyze followers” tab and plugged in the Twitter handle of the client I want to evaluate. Let’s use Oshman Law’s Twitter feed as an example. After pressing “do it,” the users that @oshmanlaw follows are broken down into actionable segments. Focus on the analysis of social authority scores. The social authority score is a rating, from 1-100, that Moz gives a user based on influence and engagement. The higher the score, the greater the influence of their activity.

Social Authority FollowerWonk

I browse through the highest authority users, looking at their profiles and evaluating with one basic question in mind: How can I connect with them? Where is there a way for me to unite and bond? When I can establish some sort of ground for outreach, I go ahead and compose a tweet.

Writing a good outreach tweet: some basics

People loved to be loved. And, if you give them the right sort of ego-stroke, you have a greater chance of being valued, considered a favorite, retweeted and mentioned in a tweet back.

In my @oshmanlaw endeavors, I found a couple ways to engage with other Twitter users, both organizations and people alike. In the tweet below, I was able to connect Oshman Law, a personal injury law firm that helps people affected by birth defects, with the upcoming U.S. Paralympic games for athletes with disabilities. The common ground? Helping the vulnerable gain their strength back. Boom.

And some other tweets that were re-tweeted by…you guessed it…the organizations that were mentioned:

 

For the Brain Injury Law Center, a Virginia firm that represents the victims of traumatic brain injury, I have had success on numerous occasions. Here, I assist in the promotion of The Head Games Film. Focused on the global concussion crisis, it helps bring brain injury awareness to athletes everywhere before harm strikes. The common ground? Brain injury prevention and awareness. Boom.

 

Perey Law was able to connect with the SBTS Foundation on a level beyond just high-fives. I was able to assist in finding them an article from a pregnancy and newborn magazine they hadn’t read. It was outreach that turned out to be helpful and productive outside the initial recognition, and it was rewarding to be a part of.

 

Because this approach on Twitter has proven successful for me, I’m trying to use the same mindset for Google+ and Facebook outreach.  Jessica Pride, a San Diego-based sexual assault victim lawyer, has had success in community forums within Google+ by reaching out to victims recovering from horrible sexual assault trauma. Continuing this outreach is an important goal.

jessica pride Google+

What are you getting out of RT’s, mentions and favorites, anyway?

The more you put yourself out there, the more you will get in return. Positive brand recognition is important to establish a good name and voice for your company. Even if these favorites and retweets aren’t necessarily generating leads, you are (hopefully) gaining followers, reaching a wider audience, achieving authority in your field and standing behind your already-awesome product.

The next time you are looking to expand your Twitter engagement, I would think about Followerwonk and influential users. Aim high, take the right risks, get noticed. Good things will come of it.

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