I think I’m starting to see why people think it’s important to gain Twitter followers. They think you can use Twitter in ways that you actually can’t. I touched on this in “Shilling Away Your Social Capital”, but I think we need to think about this a little more deeply.
Begging on Twitter will net you diminished returns, and quickly. First of all, if you’re begging people to come to your site, event or live stream, that means NOBODY’S THERE to begin with. That’s YOUR fault. You didn’t pub it correctly. You didn’t let people know what was happening. You didn’t inform them WHY they should show up, which is the most important thing.
If nobody showed up to your live stream, take that as a hint that nobody cares. Instead of making yourself look even worse by begging and then STILL nobody shows up, accept the situation and roll with it. Also.. Do not alienate the few people that decided to check out your show by acting like they don’t matter. If you wanted more people than you got?… Keep. It. To. YourSELF and keep broadcasting. If there are more people in the room than on your live stream, that’s the way the cookie crumbled. The show must go on. Live with it.
If you insist on begging, understand that nobody’s going to click ANYWHERE just because you asked them to. Your task is to provide them INCENTIVE in the format of text which explains what they’re going to see, hear or receive if they show up. If you can’t do that, don’t expect any viewers, AND retain whatever integrity you have left by not begging at all. Inform people about what’s happening, and if they show up, they show up.
Stop promising people that you’re going to provide them with an audience when you publicize them. Nobody cares about YOU. They care about the content that you’re providing them. If you’re streaming the UFC fights, fans of the UFC are going to show up. Do not regard this as any form of Social Media Clout that you personally have. They came for the content.
This is what people don’t understand about having Twitter followers. It doesn’t give you any actual influence over the people that are following you because you’re not an AUTHORITY in ANYTHING. I know about video editing, music, beer and chicks. If I Twitter something about an antique auction, NOBODY’S GOING TO SHOW UP!
Knowing that, I’m not going to promise an antique dealer that I can get ANY decent percentage of my 2,300 Twitter followers to view a stream about his or her business. I’ve seen people with TEN TIMES the number of Twitter followers that I have beg and plead for people to show up somewhere and have fewer than 30 viewers at any given time during the broadcast.
So promise people and companies what you can provide… A Stream. Period. Don’t promise them that you have 20,000 Twitter followers in your pocket, because you don’t. ‘Matter of fact, if you aren’t any good at providing the video stream, don’t even promise them that. Call it a day.
Stop lying about what the topic is going to be if people show up to your show. Stop lying about who’s going to be on your show. Stop lying about contests where you can potentially win things. Stop lying about how much Social Media Capital you have. The more you lie the more credibility you LOSE and that’s what this game is all about.. Conversion of Cred.
People are so busy trying to convert that they’re alienating their viewers/readers with bad leads, bad links, worthless content and lies. This is why your returns diminish, practically immediately. People know after you dupe them a couple of times that either you don’t know what you’re talking about or that you deliberately lie to people to get them to show up so you can claim to a client that you’ve brought attention to their site or product. Meanwhile, the only people showing up are the ones that haven’t figured out that you’re using false pretenses to get them there in the first place.
Out of the few people that show up when you announce something, assume that a number of those people are only there to watch the latest ‘train wreck’. Some of them are only there to see if you got it right this time. Some of them are there to see if you subcontracted the work this time to someone who knows what they’re doing. Some of them are only there to see if your tactics are gaining you more of a following or less of one. Some of them were there because they randomly select shows to watch all day and happened to select yours for the time being. Some of them are there because they saw your show in the “now live” section and wanted to see what was going on inside.
Also assume that most of these curious people are not people that you’ll be able to convert into passionate viewers, much less subscribers for your next event. Also assume that if you put a decent-looking female on the screen that half of your viewers don’t even speak English and are waiting to see if they’ll get to check out her ass.
If you want people to show up to your site or show, make sure you have the content and personnel on hand to attract viewers. Do not BEG people to show up. Inform them of what’s available for them and allow them to show up if they feel like it. Tell them that the creators of a site they love are in the house and taking live questions. Inform them that they can get a sneak preview of something in demand if they show up to your stream. Tell them that an expert in whatever is giving out tips on how to increase their efficiency or proficiency in that field. Tell them that you’re discussing a currently hot topic live for the next hour or so.
Let people know about these things ahead of time. Let them plan their schedules so they can make time to come see their favorite stars or check out something on a topic they’re interested in. Help the viewers plan to take that late lunch so they can watch your show in peace without the boss hassling them. Help the viewers help YOU by telling THEIR friends that so-and-so is going to be on your show tomorrow or next week. Give your guests time to let THEIR fans know too so you have a better chance of them showing up.
Carefully select the events that you endorse. It’s in your best interest that people perceive you as an authority on something so they feel like if you’re suggesting it, it must be something worth watching. If you endorse just ANYTHING, you’ll become known for that and nobody will care when you link something. If you have to, make separate accounts for each niche that you want to be known in. People don’t want to hear about the greased-pig competition on your blog theme coding account.
Social Media is your opportunity to inform people about things you think are worthwhile and build your own credibility with your fans & followers. A lot of people these days are trying to use it as a way to trick viewers into arriving at a location and simultaneously trick the location owners that they’re receiving visits from passionate viewers. This trick isn’t going to last long, and you’re going to develop a reputation as someone who misuses Social Media and has no idea what they’re doing at all. That’s not how you want people to perceive you when that big break shows up and you get passed over because due to your history of trickery, you’re regarded as a lying, begging clown and not the Social Media Hero that you thought you were.