Recently, I had somebody add me on twitter and sent me a tweet saying something like ‘#followme! @Ben_Pocock…‘ with a load of other twitter names on there too. I had never heard of this person and had never read a tweet of his. After a quick look at their twitter profile, I see that I definitely don’t know them, hadn’t heard of them, and most of their tweets were other tweets asking others to follow him too…. thrilling.
Naturally, less than 5 seconds later I was on something totally different on twitter, and I had no intention of following this random guy.
Ever seen the tweets or facebook statuses saying ‘RT this!‘ or somebody sharing a bit of wisdom from their mind followed by ‘share this with other people!‘. They share their heart and wisdom and seemingly consider it wise enough and great enough that more need to hear it, so they plead with followers to share it on. Whenever I read these kind of things, something inside me curls up into a ball and I cringe.
I don’t quite know what it is within us that causes us to think we need to tell other people to listen to what we say. Whether in social media or ‘real life’, I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of of saying something like this to people ‘you need to hear this!‘ or ‘you’re going to want to listen to me!‘ or ‘more people need to hear what I’m saying!‘.
We’d be much more fruitful, helpful, productive and would probably influence and gather more people by focusing on ensuring what we actually say is worth hearing, rather than urging people to hear it.
Sure, Jesus simply said ‘follow me!’ and the disciples came running. But I’m not Jesus, and am nowhere near his quality. I’m not sure that method would be effective for me in my current state of brokenness.
So. The Answer? If you want people to follow you on twitter, tweet good material that people actually want to hear. Want more facebook followers? Ensure what you are writing on facebook is actually vaguely interesting to read. Then they’re more likely to read it.
More importantly – want to be a leader in life?
Don’t worry about getting more people to follow you, focus more on being a person people would want to follow.