Step by step: Turn twitter followers into community members

Posted on: July 21, 2009

Integrating twitter activity with other online community activity can work well – by posting up hot discussions from your forum on twitter and posting twitter replies back onto the forum. Just be sure that users who aren’t logged in can view discussions you are sending them to – following a twitter link and finding content you can’t see without logging in / joining is massively annoying. I have found that the following simple steps work to get twitter followers to register with my online community:

Step One

I don’t automatically follow people back who follow me as I go along. Instead, to save time I accumulate new followers for a few days and move to step two.

Step Two

Go to friend or follow and enter your twitter id. I like friend or follow. There are other follow / unfollow tools but it suits my purpose.


Step Three

Click on the fans tab:


This will give you a result which says:

“These xx people are following yourtwitterusername, but yourtwitterusername not following them back.”

Step Four

Your results will be shown as rows of twitter profile pics. Hover over each one and see if they are worth following back. If you are only after people in a certain geographical location this is a quick way to scan through for suitable tweeters:


Step Five

Click on a suitable looking profile pic. The person’s twitter profile will open in a new window. Check out their description and latest tweets, again to see if they are worth following. You should know who your target community members are: who is likely to register and participate in your community. Click on the follow button, which will turn into ‘following’ and then click on ‘message’ on the right hand side to direct message them.  


Step Six

Send a simple direct message which:

  • thanks them for following you
  • tells them it is easy and free to register for your community
  • includes a link to the community home page (not the register form)

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This blog is about utilizing and optimizing the social web for business, pleasure and social change

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