You haven’t seen his face on the silver screen (yet) and you won’t find any highly produced pop songs coming from this social media mogul, but Kris Sanchez – creator of the brand UberFacts (@UberFacts on Twitter) – is a celebrity. Since joining Twitter in 2009, his account has grown to more than 4.4 million followers, and his updates spark thousands of retweets, favorites, and replies. But how did he do it?
I sat down with him recently to hear his approach. Apply these seven Sanchez-approved Twitter strategies and you’ll convert your passing followers into an engaged and growing community.
1. Get Laser-Focused
You can’t please everyone, but you can delight a specific segment of people who identify with your interests and knowledge. Define and seek to understand your target audience. By learning what makes them tick, you can provide more value over time through focused tone and messaging.
@UberFacts shares only facts and trivia found in fact books and on the Internet. Sharing anything outside that framework would be a turnoff, so Kris keeps a consistent rhythm of relevant content.
2. Be Human
As humans, we are hard-wired for connection. Once you know your audience, decide what persona would be most relatable to that audience and shape your Twitter personality accordingly.
Be authentic and personable as you engage with your network. Just as modern journalism is injecting more personality into published articles, social publishers need to do the same.
“I try to tweet the way a friend would tweet to all of their friends,” says Kris. When you scan the UberFacts feed, you can find replies to dialogue with Uber followers from Kris’ personal Twitter account. With personal engagement and contests, Kris consistently builds his community and has established a six-figure following for his personal account in the process.
3. Find Your Sweet Spot
UberFacts built its brand around sharing intriguing truths and trivia, and there’s something that your brand is uniquely poised to present, too. What do you have to give that adds value to others’ lives?
Once you understand your audience and your own Twitter personality, this will come naturally. Use analytics on tools like ow.ly or bit.ly to gain insight into what resonates most with people. Use your Twitter handle as a tool to help others find what they care about most.
4. Join the Right Conversations
As a brand, starting conversations before you have a loyal audience can come off as unauthentic – but if you go where the conversation is already taking place, you will find yourself in the perfect context for engagement. Be helpful and hungry to provide information, advice, or relevant resources and you’ll build trust and new relationships.
Use hashtags to join relevant conversations. Twitter’s “Trends” can help you find conversations that are building momentum.
5. Begin Dialogues
Once you’ve established a loyal following, you’re in a position to start conversations yourself. Engage your followers by asking authentic questions to build relationships with your brand and gain even more insight into your community. But you have to be picky.
Make sure you have a purpose in mind when you ask a question. Once followers share answers, respond to those that warrant a response. If someone has a particularly compelling answer, retweet it to your followers.
6. Tap Into Effective Tools
A growing list of tools are available that can help you stay organized, prioritize relationships and more effectively reach your audience. Twitter lists can help you divide your followers into audience segments so you can assign priority, create cohorts, and provide value as followers subscribe to your lists.
Kris schedules his UberFacts tweets through Buffer to optimize timing for engagement. Similar tools like HootSuite can also help you with scheduling. An added benefit of many schedulers is the ability to track engagement for your content.
7. Cross Promote with Purpose
You’re well aware that Twitter is not the end-all-be-all of social media. But there’s also more to be explored beyond Facebook and Pinterest. It takes time to figure out the communication style that will resonate. For instance, visual content will play better on Instagram or Tumblr, while short-form text plays better on Twitter, and longer-form on Facebook.
Kris has more than 189,000 likes on Facebook and over 180,000 followers on Instagram. You can use your own networks to promote your other accounts. And with rising platforms like Vine and Tumblr, possibilities are endless.
If there’s one thing that’s most apparent from talking with Kris, it’s that he truly loves what he does. Fun and a sense of humor go a long way in the world of Twitter. And when combined with the strategies outlined above, you’ll undoubtedly grow your engagement and reach.
Matt Hunckler is the VP of Product and Marketing for Social Reactor, an advertising platform that helps brands connect with the right audiences through relationships with over 7,000 social influencers. Social Reactor reaches over 350 million socially engaged consumers with their premium network, thoughtfully chosen to amplify branded campaigns and customer engagement. In 2012, Matt was named as an IBJ Forty Under 40 Honoree, and Entrepreneur to Watch, by Under 30 CEO.