If you haven’t updated your status on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter lately, consider using one of these ideas.
Ask a question related to your project, business venture, or book. As we were writing our Social Media Design For Dummies book, we asked our followers to send links to social media profiles they thought were especially well designed. Asking questions gives you a great opportunity to interact with your followers, and it can be a powerful way to do research and collect ideas.
Let people know about the cool events you are attending – status updates make it easy to reach out to people and let them know where you’re headed so you can connect IRL (yes, the most important part of network building is still done ‘In Real Life’)
Share a favorite link or hot news item in your specialty area – odds are, many of the people in your networks on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn share your interests. As you read websites and publications be on the lookout for useful tips, studies, and other valuable information that you can share.
Be personable, but not too personal. By that, we mean, it’s great to be authentic and to share something that has meaning to you, but your most deeply personal thoughts and experiences are generally best kept, well, to yourself.
Like them back. We all post content with the hope that others will like, share, retweet, and otherwise approve of our contributions. Make sure you take the time to return the favor by liking, sharing, and retweeting posts from other people.
Make updating your status at least a weekly habit. Updating less than that can leave your social sites looking stale and make followers think you don’t care. That said, you don’t want to post too often, either. Updating social media sites multiple times a day, can be annoying to some of your followers. It’s all about finding the right balance.
For those who feel they don’t have time to update social media regularly, consider using a social media management tool, such as the wildly popular Hootsuite www.hootsuite.com, which enables you to check and post to multiple social media sites from one interface.
With Hootsuite you can update Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn at once. You can even preprogram posts, which means you can spend an hour on a Sunday or Monday afternoon setting up posts that will update automatically throughout the week – a great way to keep your social profiles up to date, even when you’re busy or traveling.
More than anything, keep your tweets relevant and interesting and you’re sure to attract more followers (and keep the ones you have).
And finally, here’s a warning for those guilty of ‘oversharing’ on the web:
The New Oxford English Dictionary includes this official definition of the word: unfriend.
That is not as Orwellian as it sounds – it means that a Facebook/MySpace user has thought better of having you as a connection, and quietly pushed the “Delete” button. (Okay, now that I’ve described it that way, it does sound a little Orwellian – with all the overtones of being an “Unperson.” At least when it happens to you, you’ll never know it, because none of these sites send a notification when someone is “Unfriended.” You just won’t appear in their list of ‘friends’ any more…
Keep your tweets relevant and interesting and you’re sure to attract more followers (and keep the ones you have).