In marketing you may have heard of the term ‘cold-call’ or a call made spontaneously to pitch an idea to a potential customer or client you don’t know, on behalf of a company, service provider, etc.
On Twitter, the same technique can be utilized to boost influence. Anyone who follows me may have noticed that I have not been reaching out very often to handles I do not follow, and this has been done on purpose. When this blog post is published, I will only have 338 followers on twitter, and what I hope to demonstrate through initiating ‘cold-tweets’ after this post, is the effect that genuine ‘outreach’ tweets can have on the influence of your handle.
So how does one ‘cold-tweet’? The first thing you should consider is who you should reach out to; don’t tweet to someone you don’t anticipate holding a conversation with. You can find them by searching a topic that you find interesting (for example, bakers in Brooklyn, search “Brooklyn Bakers’) or by looking at the left-hand sidebar of who Twitter thinks you should follow.
Second, obliterate any ‘salesy’ or ‘pitchy’ tweets from your mind, because you aren’t about to sell this person something: you are about to initiate a conversation. Before you type anything, look at their bio on their twitter profile and read it. All of it. Then read their last few tweets and come up with a friendly response to one of them or type out a tweet referencing a recent conversation. Imagine you have just bumped into them at a posh café…..or at Shake Shack.
And then wait. You might get a response, you might get nothing, you might get followed. Either way, plan to send out 3-4 of these day, and observe what happens. The power of a ‘real’ follower versus a ‘bought’ follower is enormous and those following you will begin to notice that you’re a human, not a mindless retweeting robot.