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Twitter success demands both top influencers and everyone else

Too many colleagues, organizations, and companies are keeping their circles of influencers small, believing it is better to invest limited time and resources on the most influential, the most popular, and the most celebrated. Happens in DC all the time. I’m rocking the latest dinner party, parlaying attendees with my wit and banter, when someone snazzier and trendier enters. Immediately I’ve lost my audience’s attention. The idea easily transfers to Twitter.

Others users focus exclusively on networking within their own space, effectively limiting scope and reach by preaching to the choir. If you’ve invested in running with the A-list, fine; however, that’s an old model reminiscent of old PR, of the golf club, the lodge, and the private club.

The Internet created something that not enough social media consultants and coaches support and advise: the ability to expand circles of influencers, to engage with anyone and everyone. Only recently has the Internet become ubiquitous and global in a real way. Previously, the digital divide was a barrier to not just many Americans but quite a few developing nations becoming part of the global conversation.

The value of the Internet is proportional to the number of connected users. It’s also living proof of Rule 34. No matter how obscure, vertical, or arcane your material may be– there’s an audience for it. Someone will show it love and attention. Online social networks have made all of this even easier to the point where it is becoming less of a potential and more of a promise, an eventuality. In short, there is real value associated with connecting to as many followers and collecting as many “Likes” as is humanly possible. For real effect.

There’s also a psychological benefit of large numbers. I have won contracts and business on the power of five-digit followers on Twitter, which is modest compared to most of my peers. However, for someone who only has a couple-hundred followers, 38,000 is a lot and suggests mastery. To be honest, I wonder how long it will take these “less is more” social media consultants to realize that it’s not good business to dismiss what the client wants out of hand.

A wider and more open-minded audience has more positive effects than we can realize. Quantity and quality can exist together in this town, but if you’re just going to pick one–go with quantity. For some reason, many of my social media and digital PR folks disagree. Gerris digital is almost five years old, just a few months younger than Twitter itself, and my experience is that it’s not as simple as all that. While it is possibly essential to have the attention of the top-100 A-list influencers in your space, it is also essential to attract everyone else as well — and I’ll do my best to tell you why.

The network effect is a lot like chaos theory, but instead of butterfly wings, they’re Twitterbird wings. Every cannon-bomb splash that a Twitter account makes in a tweet in a small network might as well not exist. If a tweet falls in the forest and there’s no one around, does a it make a ripple?

Well, when you reach the whales of Twitter, the celebrities and politicians who have followers in the millions, every single decibel is amplified, considered, scrutinized. It’s the playground from which TMZ and even the nightly news chooses its evening victims. These large networks attract both eyeballs and robots. The spiders from Klout and from Google and Bing as well as from the Twitter top lists are constantly spending their limited resources paying attention, retweeting, auto-tweeting, and indexing the biggest prey on the prairie. And the only people and brands who can do this effortlessly are the folks and companies who already bring worldwide fame and fortune to the party.

In a perfect world, you’d target these folks by the millions, increasing your amplitude and maintaining your authenticity because of your popular connections. Because the world is far from perfect, be open-minded about any and all Twitter connections. It’s impossible to gauge all that they bring to the table at face level. But it’s possible to assume that they came to you because they share a scope of interest. It’s possible to assume that their followers share that scope of interest.

When you initiate a theory of anyone and everyone, you really must embrace the chaos.  In social media on social networks, you cannot choose your fan — at least you shouldn’t.  I am sure the makers of My Little Pony never thought that they would garner a galloping herd of adult men, Bronies, who are superfans of the child’s show. Who could have guessed.

You might engage in a strict narrow cast of your net, pre-filtering your target demographic; however, you really need to let go and let God. Your product, service, book, tool, experience, and catalog may find deep appeal amongst an entirely new fanbase that you never considered or imagine before. How deep are you willing to go?

You very well may have a primary, secondary, and tertiary target market — well done.  However, this is the Internet, this is the long-tail! Don’t forget Rule 34. Engage in the thousands and even the millions, if possible, and allow your quaternary, quinary, senary, septenary, octonary, nonary, and denary markets define themselves.

It works, it really does. Give it a go, give it a test, and let me know.

Feel free to email me at chris@gerr.is or call me at +1 202-351-1235

Learn more about Chris Abraham at Gerris digital.

Chris Abraham

Chris Abraham

Chris Abraham, digital strategist and technologist, is a leading expert in digital: search engine optimization (SEO), online relationship management (ORM), Internet privacy, Wikipedia curationsocial media strategy, and online public relations with a focus on blogger outreachinfluencer engagement, and Internet crisis response, with the digital PR and social media marketing agency Gerris digital. [Feel free to self-schedule a 15-minute call, a 30-minute call, or a 60-minute call with me] A pioneer in online social networks and publishing, with a natural facility for anticipating the next big thing, Chris is an Internet analyst, web strategy consultant and adviser to the industries' leading firms. Chris Abraham specializes in web technologies, including content marketing, online collaboration, blogging, and consumer generated media.  Chris Abraham was named a Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer by Forbes, #1 PR2.0 Influencer by Traackr, and top-10 social media influencers by Marketwire; and, for what it’s worth, Chris has a Klout of 79 the last time he looked. Chris Abraham started doing web development back in 1994, SEO in 1998, blogging in 1999, influencer engagement in 2003, social media strategy in 2005, blogger outreach in 2006, and Wikipedia curation in 2007. Feel free to self-schedule a 15-minute call, a 30-minute call, or a 60-minute call. If you want to know the services that Chris offers check out Services If you want to work with Chris use the Contact Form You're welcome to follow me via Social Media You can learn more about Chris over in About Chris writes a lot so check out the Blog Chris offers webinars so check Events

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Discussion

  1. Avatar ghbrett

    Well done article that reminds me of Chapter 3 in Kevin Kelly’s “New Rules for the New Economy” — Value Flows from Abundance [ See: http://www.kk.org/newrules/newrules-3.html ]

    1. Chris Abraham Chris Abraham

      Thanks, George! Long time. I have not read this but I am going to take a look at it and then share it around the office. Much obliged!

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  4. Avatar jazardiente

    Everywhere I turn my head to, I see and hear people talking about twitter and that what makes me real interested in that. Presto! my friends are just one mouse click away

  5. […] Biznology.Chris Abraham is a partner in Socialmedia.biz and co-founder and principal of Abraham Harrison LLC, […]

  6. […] Biznology.Chris Abraham is a partner in Socialmedia.biz and co-founder and principal of Abraham Harrison LLC, […]

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