Building a Tribe on Twitter: A Step Beyond Followership

Nay to gathering crowds; YES to building tribes!

Since the evolution of the internet, social media has influenced our lives in all aspects – from the mode of presenting ourselves to the world, to how we share our knowledge and impact the people connected to us. While Facebook is undisputedly the most popular social platform globally, Twitter has proven to be a game-changer in creating dedicated followership. The fast-paced nature of Twitter, along with the fact that it appeals to world leaders, politicians, and journalists make it ideal for businesses who want to stay ahead of the pack. Let’s look at a few Twitter stats: There has been a long age battle between having massive followership on Twitter and building a true fan base. In all honesty, the impact of an enormous number of followers can never be overstated. It is powerful social proof, and earns you more respect. On the other hand, if you’re a small business owner, you need to focus more on building genuine followership. If your goal is to influence people and cultivate a following full of engaged loyalists that can truly benefit from your knowledge and expertise, less could be more. A lot more. The author, Seth Godin coined the word, “Tribe” as regards to the leader-follower relationship at the annual TED conference held in February 2009.  While stating the importance of a Tribe, the bestselling author stated that:
“It turns out that it’s tribes—not money, not factories— that can change our world, that can change politics, that can align large numbers of people. Not because you force them to do something against their will, but because they wanted to connect. That what we do for a living now, all of us I think are finding something worth changing and then assembling tribes that spread the idea and spread the idea and it becomes something far bigger than ourselves. It becomes a movement.”
Building a tribe is more than amassing thousands of followers; it’s more about creating a movement of people with like minds. Just like in every business, if your goal is to target everybody, you will end up with random followers that do not care about you, your business or what you have to say. If you prioritize growing your online community, there will be a need to identify your audience, know your circle of influence and capitalize on getting the best out of it regardless of the number of members it contains. To make a little clarification about what differentiates a tribe from random followers: a random follower follows not because they want to be led, but because they simply want to be seen as popular and connected. In contrast, becoming a tribe is like forming a mentor-mentee relationship. You are bathed in the same principle and share a similar belief about certain aspects of life. Beyond the confinement of 280 characters allowed in a tweet, your tribe is completely tuned with every tweet you post. They know that each of it has a better chance of empowering them, addressing their needs and making them a better person. Thus, they will ponder on it and engage it in their personal and professional lives. To them, you are much more than just another Twitterer; you are their hero! To the random followers, most of your tweets are left unread and unappreciated. Is it because they see no sense in your post? Of course, no! They are not just in tune with whatever you have to say, and you can’t blame them for that since your messages mean nothing to them. Now, let’s us be honest with ourselves. Would you rather have a 1 million random followers who don’t give a hoot about you or what you have to say, or 1000 followers that adore you and view you as a leader and influencer? You have to start taking cognizance of who you are following, and who is following you. Are you building a tribe with the goal of achieving your goals or are you simply amassing random followers to fuel your social ego? Influencer Marketing: Is it Worth the Investment?

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