So, you’ve built up your PLN, but how do you get people to follow you and take interest in what you post on Twitter?
First, ask yourself what your PLN is centered around, and then be sure that your posts are of interest to the people that are within your PLN. The article How to cultivate a personal learning network by Chuck Frey gives 8 tips, with numbers 4-8 focusing specifically on building followers for your PLN.
As I said, you will want to post information that is interesting to the people within your PLN. Frey states:
Feed the people you follow if you come across information that you suspect would interest them. As you begin to understand what motivates some of the key people you follow, you will naturally encounter nuggets of information that may be of value to them.
Go out of your way to share with other people within your PLN to help them see that you share information that would be of value to them. You may have to Tweet at them if they don’t already follow you, to get their attention. Make sure it’s information that they would find interesting! For example, if they are elementary teachers, they likely aren’t going to want to see posts on plumbing. You can retweet interesting and useful information pertaining to the PLN or you can also tweet out articles or blog posts of interest that pertain to the PLN.
Another important aspect of gaining followers is by showing kindness and respect to those that follow you or those you engage with. Would you want to follow someone who is rude? Would you want to follow someone who constantly writes negative and demeaning posts? As Frey points out in his article:
…Be kind and show gratitude; please and thank you count even more in cyperspace, where we can’t see our colleagues face-to-face.
We need to remember that we are behind a computer screen, so people cannot see if we are being serious or joking, being sarcastic or truly mad. We need to be mindful of the words we are sending out. Frey says:
-Beware of unintentionally sounding curt or sarcastic.
-Watch your tone and tenor.
-Remember, these electronic communication channels are missing the non-verbal elements of communication. The other person can’t see your eyes or expression, and so they can’t make judgments about how you’re reacting to what they’re saying. So they interpret your words, and that can lead to trouble if you’re not careful.
When trying to gain followers and people that will engage us within on our PLN, we also want to be sure that we are engaging them in conversation. We want to ask useful questions, and also be willing to give useful answers. We don’t want to just bombard an expert in our PLN with questions. Questions aren’t bad, but don’t take advantage. Be willing to answer questions that others may ask you, as well. Be ready for an intelligent and respectful conversation. Frey says:
Being mindful of being useful to others helps to ensure that we build mutually productive and gratifying relationships in our social channels.
If you follow these few tips, you can be sure to gain an impressive PLN in not time!
1-Share topics of interest within your PLN.
2-Retweet or post interesting articles or blogs on your feed. Tweet at others if you think it may be of great interest to them.
3-Be kind and respectful. Use your manners. Say please and thank you.
4-Be mindful of what tone and mood the words you type are conveying. (They can’t see you!)
5-Engage people in intelligent and useful conversation. Ask and answer questions.