“I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.” — Lennon, John.
“I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.” — Lenin, Vladmir.
A famous Tears for Fears song states that “everybody wants to rule the world,” and while I find that difficult to believe of, say, Carrot Top, it certainly seems like a person’s outreach is at a higher premium than in any age prior. That brings me to twitter. Even if you don’t have a twitter account, you’re most certainly aware of it — even if you aren’t quite sure what it is. What it amounts to is outreach, with a higher ceiling than any of the mediums that preceded it. On twitter, you are measured in “followers” — and in many cases, pressured to acquire more and more followers…starting to sound a lot more like Lenin, aren’t we? Well never fear, comrade, for whether you’re a twitter newbie or a seasoned micro-blogger, I’ve sifted through millions of tweets, twerps, twits, and twinkies to bring you the Top Ten Tips that are guaranteed to increase your followers in droves, and bring you the supporters you deserve. Rise up, and read on.
1) Be Famous.
The first thing to do if you’re trying to amass a wide following on twitter is to be famous. Are you a rockstar in an internationally-known band? Are you a polarizing politician? Are you an A-List actor? Are you a globally-recognizable athlete? Are you Bono? Are you The Pope? (sidenote: wouldn’t it be cool if Bono was the Pope? Let’s work on that, Catholics) Take a moment to check, but basically the idea is that if you are famous, worldwide, that translates into many, many followers. Unless you’re Tom Green.
2) Be hot. And female.
Twitter is a visual medium, and was predominantly popularized by men (I have no factual evidence to back that statement up), so if you want to rack up a ton of followers, it helps to have a rack. Just like in real life, being hot will get you followed…except for on twitter you don’t have to reach for your can of mace when it happens.
3) Tweet all the best links to iPad giveaways.
Everybody wants an iPad, right? Of course they do, Steve Jobs said so. So what better way to connect with friends and strangers alike than to become the top resource for links to sites where you can win iPads totally for free?? How appreciative will your friends be after they’ve won their first/third/tenth/fiftieth iPad? It’s the gift that keeps on giving, and it’ll all be thanks to you! You’ll be like Santa Claus, and people will leave cookies and milk out for you on the reg.
4) Tweet naked pics of yourself by accident.
Guess what? Everyone wants to see you naked! If you’re super good-looking, people want to see naked pictures of you so they can be all like “daaaaang gurl” and start hollering at you. If you’re super-not-good-looking, people want to see naked pictures of you so they can feel better about how out of shape they are. And as long as you tweet some sort of naked picture of yourself, wait about 10-15 minutes, then delete it and tweet out how you got hacked and it was an accident, no negative repercussions can befall you. That’s twitter law, and it’s why Haley Williams can still play children’s music festivals and Vanessa Hudgens can still make Disney movies un-ironically.
5) Tweet in All Caps.
Nothing says “I am important” more effectively than saying “I AM IMPORTANT!” Everyone on twitter wants to be heard, but how can you be heard unless you’re yelling louder than everyone else? When you sign in to twitter, just slap that Caps Lock button down and don’t let go until you’ve hit your first million followers. When you tweet in all caps, everything becomes more significant. A bland tweet about your starch/carbs intake becomes “POTATOES FOR DINNER YUM.” Your judgments of your coworkers become irrefutable condemnations of “GARY IS A DOUCHE” — and it doesn’t even matter that we have no idea who Gary is! Sarcastic tweets are transformed into REALLY sarcastic tweets: “OKAY EVERYBODY DON’T CALL ME THAT’S COOL.” If you were in a burning building, you wouldn’t whisper quietly to ask the firemen to save you, so why keep quiet when having more twitter followers could save you from the burning building of social network uncoolness?
6) Know your audience. Literally.
If you are only following people on twitter, you are only putting in half the effort. With location-based services on twitter, social geo networks like foursquare, or facebook’s check-in feature, there’s no reason you can’t get to know your followers on a much more intimate, obsessive, and borderline illegal level. They say you’re supposed to tailor your twitter content to your followers, and what better way to personally relate to people than with tweets like “Hey Miranda, I like movies, too! And just like you I sometimes squirt milk out my nose while laughing at The Waterboy at 10:57pm Thursday night in my bathrobe.” People will always take you more seriously if you know little fun facts about them, like their hopes and fears, sleep schedule, and garage door code. And don’t forget to use some of those online background check services so you have blackmail on them if they try to go to the authorities, not doing so would make you a total n00b.
7) Follow everyone.
Nothing screams “not desperate” than following as many people as you can, all day, everyday. When a greeter at Wal-Mart asks how you are, your response should be a very polite, “I’m fine, what’s your twitter ID?” If they refuse to answer you, find their manager and file a sexual harassment complaint, threaten to sue the entire company. That usually works. And if they say they don’t have a twitter account, tell them how easy it is to sign up for one, then take them to one of the cash registers and create an account for them. I’m pretty sure cash registers can do that, because of internet. Once they follow you, annoy-guilt them into following you back until they have no choice. This is how friendships are made, and twitter cred is earned.
8) Inside jokes.
If you want people to really follow you, they need to know how cool you are, and nothing shows people how much cooler you are than them better than tweeting tons of inside jokes. Every time you tweet an inside joke, people who don’t get the joke will feel like total losers, and then retweet the inside joke to try and fool other people into thinking they’re cool. This effect will spread, pyramid-scheme style, until everyone on twitter is in on the inside joke you created. And then you will have all the followers.
When you sit down with someone you really like, what’s the first thing you want to hear from them? That’s right, complaints! The same rule applies to twitter. If you want people to dig your tweets, just complain about things. Politics, sports, the economy, your breakfast, poor customer service at an airline, Jewish people — whatever you want, just whine about it until everyone feels bad about how hard your life is, and follows you out of pity. Then complain that you don’t have enough followers, and that the followers you do have suck for not being cooler. That will get nine million retweets, and then you will be on a list of the best tweeters of ever.
10) Invent the next twitter.
If you’ve implemented the previous steps, but still aren’t satisfied with your follower count, then it might be time to play your trump card and invent the next twitter. Can you think of a better way to ensure you’re the center of your social network world than literally creating a social network world? Godcomplex.com, brettfavredickpics.org, love.gov — these are all sites that have the potential to be the next twitter/facebook/linkedin/Google+/myspace/Friendster/aol chatrooms/craigslist/US Postal Service. Why was facebook invented? Because Mark Zuckerburg wanted the most friends. What was twitter’s business model? To prove that Evan Williams is 1.39 million times better than any of us. Why was myspace created? To give pedophiles and kidnappers a place to just be themselves. Like it or not, twitter won’t be around forever, and whether you want to just blatantly rip off the idea of twitter (in the same way twitter’s founder ripped off the idea from those who came before him), or force people into some new, fad-based form of social purgatory (I’m looking at you, Google+); your best bet at being popular always has been and always will be, marketing sex to teenagers. Er, I mean, social media.
Until next time, my twiciples,