Advice is a funny thing for me; I don’t care for giving it, really, and you can either take it or leave it. But if you’re goal is to build a following, the best social media platform, by far, is Twitter. They censor people for having the wrong political opinions despite claiming they’re all about free expression and speaking truth to power (Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, said that himself, not me), but aside from that not so little hiccup it’s a great platform to gain exposure.
You can use it however you want, too, so if tweets aren’t your thing and you’ve got a blog like this one, you can still sync them up and share your blog posts automatically. Actively seeking out other people maters a lot, but if you’re doing that, you’re likely to get a return on any time invested. I look for people who have similar views to mine, and I look for people who have contrary views. Both kinds of people are valuable as subscribers, readers, and commenters.
In fact if you think about it, the people who disagree can often generate a lot more engagement, a lot more discussion and interest, than people who agree with everything you say. That doesn’t mean you have to end up agreeing with them or that you have to put up with trolling, but I also don’t think people should be written off just because of a difference of opinions. There was a guy just the other day who followed me, and who I followed, that unfollowed me.
I returned the favor, but it’s just kind of puzzling to me that someone can be so intolerant of other opinions that they sever all ties because of it. I mean, I’ve got family members who I’m surprised haven’t unfriended me on Facebook because of the kind of political shit I’ve been sharing (they don’t share my views at all), but it’s kind of sad that that’s even a possibility, that they might.
That actually touches on another reason Twitter is fantastic for building a following though: it’s definitely a double edged sword, but if you follow someone you don’t want to see tweets from all the time, you can mute them. The block feature plays a similar role except that I just don’t see a point to it unless dealing with someone (trolling) becomes a serious annoyance.
A lot of people seem to use it a lot more freely than that though: tweet something they don’t like and they block you, disagree with them once and they block you. Seems like a lot of that comes from being overly sensitive. *shrugs* Doesn’t matter that much though, not to me. The value of twitter is that once you start, and especially when you have momentum on your side, it just keeps building. Like what I was talking about the other day in Laziness has a Cost, except on steroids.
Every social media platform has it’s virtues and benefits, obviously, but twitter outstrips most in terms of how easy it can be to amass followers. So if you’re looking to expand your reach in any significant way via the internet, I’d highly suggest having (and regularly using) a twitter account.
Speaking of, you can find my handle right here: @JackSutter.