Twitter: Give Them A Reason To Follow You

by Derick Schaefer on May 5, 2010

twitter invites

Whether it be 60 Minutes, NPR, or your local news, professional journalist provider their listeners and viewers with great content.  Many bloggers have equally compelling content.  Just because you have great content, however, does not mean that people will make the transition and follow you on Twitter.  For this reason, I am just amazed at the rash of quick blanket “outros” that say things like, “We are on Twitter and Facebook. . .until next time.”  Is there a way to be more effective?

Twitter and Facebook are “social” media sites.  Note the emphasis on the word SOCIAL!  If you take the concept socialization off the Internet, we really get back into the same semantics that drive verbal interaction and conversations.  Jerod dedicated an entire post to the topic of better blog conversations.  It wasn’t until I’ve heard this recent onslaught of “me too” statements blurting out “we are on Twitter and Facebook” that it dawned on me that we have yet to approach the topic of “inviting people into your conversation” from your blog or even mainstream media.

To explore, let’s take it offline and use a hypothetical cocktail party as a setting.  If I am introduced to a group of people at the entrance of a cocktail party and listen to someone voice an opinion, tell a story, or put forward some other form of one way narrative that would equate to a blog post, do you think I’ll be successful in starting a conversation by saying, “Great, I’m headed to the bar.”  Probably not.  So if I won’t be successful with this type of in person approach, why would I be successful in ending a newscast with “I’m on Twitter”?

Ok, maybe if you have celebrity status, just the pure mention that you are headed to the bar might draw the entire conversation to follow you.  Perhaps this is what news personalities who enjoy celebrity like status can do.  For bloggers, however, we need to entice our readers to come engage with us.

Let me offer a couple of news story outros that could work and then I’ll back this into a couple of tips for bloggers:

  • Anger Invoking News Story Outro – “Doesn’t that story make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.  I’ll be on our Facebook page after our broadcast and I’d love to hear your opinions.”
  • Positive Story About A Charity – “What a great example of people who truly make a difference.  If you know people doing equally great things, Tweet a link to their website to @xyznews as I’d love be aware of more in our community who do great things.”
  • Biography Story – “Our newscast doesn’t allow us the time to do justice for the accomplishments that Cheryl has given our community.  If you follow me on Twitter, I’ll share a few links to more information about her and her lifetime accomplishments.”

Do you see where I’m going with this?  It is the equivalent of, “I have got a great story about that topic.  I’m dying of thirst and need a glass of water.  Come with me to the bar as I’d love to talk more with you about it.”

Three Ways To Invite Your Blog Readers To Join You Outside Your Post

Take the Offshoot Story to Facebook

How many times have you started a blog post and came across a point that is a story of its own.  There is no reason why you can’t have that conversation on your Facebook page.  As a matter of fact, we have a few other blog posts in How-To-Blog.TV about engaging on Twitter and Facebook.  Instead of diverting this post, friend me on Facebook as I’ll be sharing those there this week.

Tweet the Links That Didn’t Make It

When you research a blog post, many times you will find multiple online articles and blog post that compliment your story.  Instead of burying your post with links, let your readers know that you will be tweeting several other helpful articles around this topic during the week.  Invite them to share information as well.  Consider making a hash tag that interested readers can rally around.

Provide an Alternative to Comments

Some readers get turned off when your post already has twenty comments by the time they read it.  It gives them the feeling that their are too many people in the room and that their voice might not be heard.  Encourage them to engage outside of your blog including Twitter and Facebook.


Don’t be a “me too” communicator when expressing your presence on mainstream social media.  Give your readers, viewers, and listeners a reason to engage!  Do you agree or disagree?  Do you have other advice to bloggers beyond my list of three?  Btw, I think I accidentally turned off the comments on this post but I’d love to hear from you on Twitter!  :)

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