We cannot ignore it, but most people like numbers. People are swayed by large numbers in social media. They think in means something. Perception is reality in the minds of our peeps.

Now, I prefer quality over quantity. I would rather build my Twitter account with real people who are being real. I am not in a rush to get thousands and thousands of followers. What I really want is a lot of listeners. Listeners are people who will actually respond to what you are saying.

The problem with building or adding lots of followers is that they may not respond to you or even be around when your tweet goes down the river. Now that’s a problem. A Twitter account with lots of followers who could care less about what you have to say is a waste of time.

It’s easy to get followers. You go out and follow a ton of people. There will always be many who will add you back. You dump those that don’t follow back. Then you do it all over again. If you are doing this, I ask you these questions… “What’s the value in what you are building? What will you end up with?”

It’s hard to get listeners. You have to converse and engage other Twitter followers. You have to be interesting and genuinely interested in others. This takes time. This type of Twitter account builds much slower than the previously mentioned Twitter account. But in the end, the account built with listeners is far superior. You are actually building something that benefits yourself and others.

Now I know that people do look at numbers. This we cannot ignore. If you are going to build with listeners, you are going to have to ignore the comments from others who really are just interested in numbers. We will know the true value by the results they produce. You just have to be patient if you take the Listener approach.

One key thing that you will always have to remember is this… “There are living breathing human beings on the other end. I sure don’t want to be treated like a number, and neither do you.”

I have met so many great people by using this approach than I could have ever imagined. So many real friendships have been started and developed over time.

The listener approach builds advocates and referrers for you. In the end, that’s what you really want. After all, it’s not what you say about yourself that counts; it’s what others say. If people are not listening to you, they are not going to be an advocate for you and they certainly won’t refer you either.

So you’re sold. You want listeners. How do you get started? Here are 7 tips to get the ball rolling:

  1. Add key people to Twitter lists. That way you can filter the noise out and focus of what certain peeps are saying. This will give you a better chance to see what people are interested in.
  2. Be a giver first. Once you know what people are interested in, try supplying them with info that actually might be useful and helpful to them.
  3. Take time to get to know people. Don’t rush them over to another network. Get to know them where you found them. If you met on Twitter, develop the relationship on Twitter. You will know when it’s time to take it to the next level.
  4. Be yourself. Don’t worry about trying to be cool and all that. People will like you for who you are. If they don’t, they are not the people you should be hanging with in the first place.
  5. Be a listener yourself. People need to vent and be heard. It’s when you listen that you really get to know the person. That’s when you can be really helpful. Listen first, talk later.
  6. Always be an encourager and don’t have a “Potty mouth”. Profanity is not cool period; not even for a business owner. Keep your tweets up beat and uplifting. There’s so much wrong with this world. You should be the voice that makes people smile and makes them glad that they are connected with you.
  7. Last and not least, don’t be in a rush. Take the time to build good quality relationships with others. Finding a friend on Twitter is like finding pure gold. Good friends should be cherished.

So what’s our walk-a-way for today? You have a choice in how you will build your Twitter account. It’s not all about numbers. It’s about connecting with real people and building real relationships that matter. You can’t spam your way through life and you can’t spam Twitter.

I know you want to build listeners. Please be patient and make those connects count.