Take Twitter to the Next Level by Building a Community

I  just can’t have one more person ask me “how to get more Twitter followers?”. I am not even the ranting type, (I leave that to Adam Corolla on his podcast), although, I can’t help but remain perplexed by why this vanity metric has become so valuable in seemingly smart executive’s eyes. What is a follower? Are they a meaningful impression to your brand? Do more followers mean more conversions? For most brands, these questions seem to be bypassed at the beginning for one simple goal of volume.

To me, the number itself is sheer vanity. It is the people behind that number that matter. Who are your followers? Are they engaged? Are they true meaningful fans that can help you spread the word or are they potential customers (your two targets)?

It is these questions that give us the true insights on how to use Twitter for real marketing that should be asked — before you think about the numbers.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Twitter. It is a great source for real-time information, meeting new people, measuring your brand’s pulse, gaining feedback, and more. Although, what it is not is a single stop for advertising or guaranteed reach. If you are looking at it through this (latter) lens, you are going to get extremely frustrated very quickly. As not all followers are equal (and as we have seen through traditional marketing methods, not all impressions lead to results).

Here is one way I use Twitter, to build community and find meaningful members with a goal to build relationships; to help truly scale your social media efforts online (without the help of other campaigns like TV, radio, etc, that are usually the expensive tactics for building your ‘owned’ social following).

Note: All examples are taken from my community and brand ambassador program that I built for video discovery service, Fanhattan. Everything was built online through social media without any offline interaction…yet. So far, the group, titled ‘Fanhattan Insiders Program’ has 50 highly engaged fans from 10 major cities in the US. 

Step 1

Build a meaningful online community with a clear mission.

Connecting Stars:

Fanhattan is at the intersection of Hollywood and Silicon Valley, proudly raising eyebrows in both communities. We are looking to engage with passionate fans of entertainment, no matter what your current expertise or domain within the industry. If you define yourself as a passionate professional in entertainment and want to immerse yourself into a community to learn, support and help other passionate industry leaders, we have a group for you!

 Our goal is to help you define yourself in this rapidly changing and social world, while you help us spread the word about Fanhattan’s vision for the future of entertainment. In this community  we want to help uncover your strengths and skills, challenge you to confidently show what you know, and of course come along for the ride in a company full of  entertainment industry enthusiasts and creators. 

Through the Fanhattan Insiders group, we want to help you build a strong network of industry professionals for support and promotion of each other’s work. The community is about each and every member bringing and deriving value by taking part. In this community you will meet: screenwriters, authors, journalists, bloggers, actors, directors, producers, composers, and more, all passionate about one thing, working in entertainment!

Where We Connect:

Fanhattan Insiders on Facebook

Fanhattan Insiders Google +

Your role:

We want Insiders to have fun and use this opportunity to network, support others, get feedback for your work, but also develop your personal voice and brand within the industry. Whatever your angle or interests, we certainly have opportunities to join this journey with us.


Step 2

Look for highly engaged Twitter followers of your brand.

Make sure they also have websites, social media, etc. You want people who are active and participate online.

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Step 3

Invite them to your group personally and tell them about how it can be beneficial for them and super fun to take part in your community.

Sample email to highly engaged Twitter follower who engages with your brand in a positive way often:

Hi Tracy/Princess Trek,

You look awesome!! I see you are a friend of one of our editors, Jenna Busch. I figured you might be a fun addition to our Fanhattan Insider community on Google + & Facebook. The group is for like-minded entertainment industry professionals and passionate fans. We have members in entertainment journalism, screenwriters, artists, producers and more. We also have members with day jobs outside of entertainment, who are passionate fans and community contributors to the group, as well as with their own blogs and social networks. Everyone adds a lot of value through sharing projects, stories, experiences, and more!

The group is built to give you a great network within the industry and to help promote each others work through our own networks. We would love to help get your writing out there through the group’s blogs, podcasts, social media and more. It is a really fun and supportive community, I promise.

Here are our links for the group:



Also, send me a 3 sentence bio including where you are located, projects you are working on and goals/passions you are pursuing in the future.

P.S. Feel free to ask Jenna Busch about the group if you have questions as I see you two are connected.




Step 4

Welcome your members, introduce them to the group, and spark conversations.

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Step 5

Make your group a special place that:

  • Incorporates all members and makes them feel supported and part of a community
  • Adds value for members
  • Helps build a network for all involved
  • Is about the brand, but more about the people who make the group
  • Empowers everyone in the group to be a teacher, but also the opportunity to be a student
  • Is filled with like-minded individuals who are passionate about similar topics (have something in common)
  • Is made up of creators who contribute to the internet with a strong voice in their own communities (so that each member is likely to engage with each other and the group, as well as offer other members value by working together or helping promote each others work)

Next Steps coming soon, including how to keep your group engaged, how to leverage the community, and how to keep building the community in a meaningful way.

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