Ep.2 Twitter communities are based on respect and trust

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In the first episode of our series “Twitter Influence dynamics: an almost exact science” we talked about VIPs on Twitter leveraged as influencers, how much appealing they are, but at the same time how hardly they can effectively help your brand. In this second episode we want to focus on the rest of the Twitter world. How do not-VIP people use Twitter?

VIPs are already successful people (actors, singers, ..) outside Twitter and use the social network as a showcase, a way to share with their consolidated audience some crumbs of themselves as a gift, such as pictures, mentions and experiences their followers can dream about.

An anonymous person who for the first time steps into the Twitter population must fight to get some praise to his posted thoughts or even some acknowledgment of his presence. At the beginning he will start by identifying the community he want to belong to, i.e. fashionistas, social media experts, surfers. Little by little, mentioning today one member of such desired community, congratulating tomorrow another one for the nice post, he will get feedbacks by them. In the long run, such feedbacks will be proportional to his effort and will mirror his attitude: if he’s been kind with them, they will be kind with him. After some time he will feel himself as accepted by the community.

This process is self-increasing, enabling communities expand more and more. Each member brings his followers to the table, who in most cases will decide to behave as silent listeners. But sometimes some of these followers could try to actively join the community, interacting with them and opening these conversations to his own followers.

Let’s sketch the ecosystem of a Twitter community emerging in the past few lines by outlining its main actors:

  • active: they write posts, they know each others, they use to exchange favours and praises. They like to see themselves as trusted people in the domain of the community;
  • passive: they are typically followers of the first ones. They wouldn’t never ever write a post in the domain of the community, but they like to get community posts in their timeline and stay tuned on the topic because they are interested.

One person doesn’t always belong exclusively to one type, he could easily be active in one community (i.e. social media marketing) and passive in another one (i.e. football).

The important point here is that apart VIP special condition – they are already famous and accepted by the overall Twitter population before appearing on the social media –  people must earn respect and trust, exactly as it happens in everyday life.

In the ecosystem described so far, the focus is on relationships, trust and exchange and brands need to behave consistently. The top-down approach with the community needs to be replaced by relationship marketing techniques. So the big question is: how can my brand earn the respect and trust of the community I want to influence?

In the next episode we will start our path in the real influence world.