If you want to increase your Twitter following -- but you aren't Lady Gaga (9.4 million) or Justin Bieber (8.9 million) and you aren't willing to channel your inner Charlie Sheen to get attention -- look no farther than Calvin Lee, the founder of Mayhem Studios and self-styled spiky haired graphic designer with a Twitter addiction.
Calvin's Twitter popularity has not only benefited his award-winning design firm but has also resulted in mainstream media exposure and opportunities like a LG Mobile-sponsored trip to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Here's how Calvin built his Twitter following:
- I'm just being me, engaging with my community. I try to be a resource for them. I'm a designer, so I retweet lots of design articles for beginners.
- Know your audience. Many of my followers are small biz to medium size. Many can't afford a designer like me. Articles on web design, color, inspiration and basics of design really helps them. Novice articles are the best -- my audience doesn't benefit from intermediate or advanced design topics.
- Answer questions. If it's not in my area of expertise, I try to find an answer for them.
- Make sure to retweet others and share great content. Retweeting is a great way to build your network. That's how I've become friends with people like Chris Brogan, Guy Kawasaki, and key persons in small and large companies.
- Be transparent. I share what I enjoy in my life and I'm very transparent about everything I do. I tweet photos and check in on foursquare. People feel that I am a real person.
- Take online connections to the next level. Attend tweetups and conferences. You build a stronger bond after In Real Life (#IRL) meetings. It's just like hanging with old friends.
- It's all about them. Be nice and courteous. Help your followers any way you can. Building a following is like providing great customer service.
- Always give value. My followers know I like trying things out. Many brands and companies have offered me trips, products, etc. Often I'm already using the products or schwag I get, but either way I'm honest and fair about how I feel. I always stay true to myself. If I am given a product to review, I trust my community to know they won't have to doubt my choices. I focus on giving my followers real value; when you do, you'll always stay on the straight and narrow.