By Frances Caballo
What can you do with social media?
Clint Watts, a cyber-security expert and author of Messing with the Enemy, used Twitter for his counter terrorism work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
On Twitter, he met communities of people he could talk to about counter terrorism as well as terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. For example, he might pose a question about where Al Qaeda was going and terrorists would provide feedback.
In his blog posts, he would sometimes purposely write inaccurate information so that the terrorists would correct what he said and provide additional information he couldn’t find otherwise.
By using Twitter he built a community, sought comments, and learned a lot.
Authors can learn from his example. No, we won’t solve terrorism, but we can connect more deeply with our readers and colleagues.
Build Your Community on Twitter
So how do you build a community? Ask questions, answer questions, leave comments, and share people’s content.
I put this graphic on Twitter and asked my followers to ask me any question that I could answer in 280 characters.
I received this question and answered it.
I posted a fun image and received a number of responses.
I also received this response:
And this one.
Or leave someone a compliment. In this case I referred to Louise Myers as the “visual queen” since she’s a phenomenal graphic artist.
I even shared information about my sleep apnea.
Then there was another comment on this topic.
After Sandra Beckwith thanked me for sharing a post she wrote in my Indie Author WeeklyUpdate, I expressed how much I enjoy her blog posts, which happen to be great.
Or just give someone a shout out for posting a great quote image.
And, of course, thank others when they share your posts, as I did in this tweet to Brant Forseng.
Similar to Jeff Goins, don’t forget to ask a question to start a conversation. Jeff asked this question and at last count he received 78 answers. I’m sure he accumulated many more answers after I took this screenshot. He’s also developing a community by asking people to share links to their content.
When people praise you, thank them. And as you thank them, don’t hesitate to point out a colleague.
10 Ways to Build a Community on Twitter
Wanted to get started on building your community? Follow these tips:
- Ask questions.
- Answer questions.
- Praise other people.
- Don’t hesitate to share something about yourself.
- Thank others for sharing your content.
- Share people’s content.
- Remember that you’re never too popular or have too many followers to help other people along.
- Always use visuals when you send a tweet.
- Create and post images and images with quotes.
- Share your best content.