How to Build a Successful Twitter Account: The Hip Hop Golden Age Way
A lot of people (artists, musicians, brands, etc) struggle with building a successful Twitter account. They use Twitter as a sounding board as opposed to using it to enhance one's brand and expertise.
I am positive that the Twitter interview below will help you build a successful Twitter account. Recently I interviewed Hip Hip Golden Age and they shared the key to their success on Twitter. Hip Hop Golden Age states in the interview below that "relevancy, consistency, authority and passion are the keys to building a successful Twitter account."
First and foremost, would you mind sharing the origin of your Twitter profile, Hip Hop Golden Age?
HHGA: HHGA started about two years ago for two simple reasons: a way for me to get to know Twitter and simultaneously a way for me to share with others one of the big loves of my life: old school & golden age hip hop.
How long did it take you to come up with a strategy for Twitter?
HHGA: Not that long, I just figured that a successful Twitter account has to be based on a few key points: relevancy, consistency, authority and passion.
Relevancy because to be followed by other people you need to give them what they want (and not necessarily what you want to tell the world). In my case it was easy: I love hip hop and like to share my musical preference with the world. Twitter provides the means to do so. When I started out about two years ago, I didn’t even plan to create the biggest Golden Age Hip Hop account on Twitter; I just started tweeting links to music I like and I was sure others would like the music as well. From the start it was never about me, but all about the music – that’s what makes it relevant for others.
Consistency is important because you want people to know they can ‘count on you’; from the start I tried to provide a few relevant links every day.
To be successful on Twitter (or anywhere else for that matter) you need to be or become an authority on the subject you want to specialize in. I could not keep up coming up with content for my TL if I didn’t know everything there is to know about hip hop from 1980 through approximately 1996.
And finally I believe you can never be successful in anything without having passion for what you do. I love hip hop, so it doesn’t take any energy to keep it up; in fact it’s fun. What makes it even more fun is to see that so many people pick up on it and interact with HHGA and each other. HHGA is growing into a real community, which is something that fuels the passion.
You and I talked before and you stated that one of the keys to your success on Twitter is having a "clean stream". Would you mind expounding on the idea of having a "clean stream"?
HHGA: The main reason people follow me is to get links to songs from the Golden Age period in their TL. Nothing more, nothing less. So that is what I provide. I try to avoid cluttering my TL with stuff people just don’t care about. What I see in 75% (maybe more) of all Twitter accounts is that the messages that are put out there have no relevance for anybody but the sender themselves. They are badly or sloppily written, are disrespectful, are all about self-promotion or just look like straight up spam. Who would want to follow that?
That means I don’t engage in (long) conversations with individuals on my TL (other people don’t care about it), I make sure all my messages are free of errors (spelling or otherwise), I try to make the messages ‘look’ about the same, I make sure that providing links to peoples favorite music remains the core of my TL and I try to tweet with regular frequency: not too much and not too little - I try to tweet a minimum of 4 messages a day and not more than about 12 a day. With these averages you don’t flood people’s TL, but it’s enough to stay on their radar. I sometimes put some pictures out there, or ask a questions to the HHGA community about their favorites, but the main thing is and will always be: giving people a few classic (and sometimes forgotten) hip hop songs on their TL every day.
How long have you been infatuated with hip-hop?
HHGA: I was about thirteen years old and remember very clearly hearing Melle Mel & The Furious Five’s “Step Off” on the radio in 1984. From that moment on I was hooked. I started taping every single hip hop radio show I could find and buying (or taping) most hiphop albums that got released from that point on. In the last half of the 1990’s I started losing interest in the new hip hop coming out and I musically got sort of stuck in the Golden Age period. There’s still plenty of excellent hip hop coming out now if you know where to find it; my thing is Golden Age Hip Hop however.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
HHGA: Be patient, be respectful, don’t spam. You need to put in work and keep it up, eventually people will notice and follow you. It can take a while though, so you have to keep at it. It took HHGA more than a year to get to 10,000 followers, the second year it grew to almost 125,000 followers now. It’s like a snowball effect: the more followers you have, the more interactions and retweets you will get, the more exposure you will have, the more people will start following etc.. It starts slow however, so you got to be patient.
I also believe in reciprocity – I think it is a sign of respect that people follow me, so usually I follow them back, repaying that respect. The only accounts I don’t follow back are obvious spam accounts or accounts that look like even the user themselves don’t care about (for instance without an profile pic of without a bio). I also don’t follow back people who have a locked account, having a locked account kind of defeats the whole purpose of Twitter imho.
Another piece of advice is to start following people with similar interests. If you have something worthwile to say, they will follow you back (the opposite is also true: if you put out spam or irrelevant nonsense, nobody will follow you). People with similar interests will be following or retweeting the same accounts you like, so that’s where you find them.
Lastly I can recommend two tools to make for a better Twitter experience: Hootsuite, for planning your messages and Manageflitter, for managing your followers (I use it for regularly unfollowing people who quite following HHGA or who have been inactive for a long while). There are hundreds Twitter tools out there; these two are the ones I use most.
Any final thoughts?
HHGA: It’s just great that platforms like Twitter and Facebook make it possible for people all over the world to connect so easily. HHGA has followers in almost every country of the world now, linked by the love for hip hop. That’s awesome. The ambition is to grow HHGA into a real worldwide community, there are some plans to expand and to become visible outside Twitter as well…
Finally I would like to thank Praverb and compliment you with what you’re doing. Great blog with great content!