The Twitter Experiment: Create a Twitter Friend Circle

I said in my last John Locke post that I would tell you the techniques I was borrowing from his book. One of those techniques is creating a “friend circle” from your followers on Twitter.

The General Idea

Stage one of my method, as I’ve explained in the first three installments of “The Twitter Experiment,” includes building up a lot of Twitter followers. In the last few weeks, I’ve been adding an average of 450 followers a week using

Stage two is developing a “special friend” list that you derive from your new Twitter followers.

Remember, this is social media. Twitter people (tweeple) expect you to educate, entertain, and relate to them. By posting links to great articles and funny/deep quotes, pictures and videos–you educate and entertain. But, you relate to them by…

  • replying to and retweeting their tweets,
  • thanking them when they retweet your posts, and
  • mentioning them in tweets whenever appropriate.

The concept is–you build a large Twitter following composed of your target audience, then, while still keeping your following large, you cultivate a special friend circle of people who help you sell products and vice versa.  They have a high potential for becoming friends who transform into passionate fans.

Each fan/friend might produce similar products or ancillary products, but there is a match somehow between what you do and what they do that motivates both of you to help each other climb the success ladder.

If people feel they have a relationship with you, they are more likely to retweet you and be interested in buying and sharing your writing.

Ultimately, and I’ll give details in another post, you want to get their email addresses (stage three). This leads to email marketing (stage four).

  • If you can make an email list of people who love you and your work, you are cooking with nuclear fire!

But before you ask anyone for his or her email address, you’ve got to make a deeper relationship first. There must be trust.

My first step in making a Twitter friends circle was to look at my Twitter Notifications page. Twitter notifies you when anyone retweets, thanks, mentions you in a post, or puts you on a list. These are people who are very interested in you.

But not everyone on your Notifications page is simpatico enough to put them on your friends list. They may be people who read the same genre you write, but perhaps they are also into things that are the opposite of you.

For instance, I have a person following me who is interested in the genre I write, but has a hateful spirit about my political affiliation. I do not tweet about politics, but I can’t connect to someone who hates my beliefs, so I did not put her on my “special friend” list.

Pick tweeps from your Notifications page that are good matches who can help you and you can help them.

Another way to find special friends is simply to watch your Twitter feed for tweets that match your philosophy or occupation (reading). Go to that person’s bio and see if they are a good prospect for your list. Many bios will say “addicted to reading,” or “avid reader,”  which may be why you clicked “follow” on Tweepi to begin with. Many genre writers read a lot of the genre that they write.

For me, I’m trying to find people for my friend list who read and write clean books.  They don’t have to be Christian, just clean. I realized early on that readers and writers of dirty New Adult fiction ALSO read clean NA. I don’t mind retweeting some good things they post, but I won’t promote a dirty NA book.

If a dirty NA writer promotes my clean NA book, I can’t do the back scratch thing. I’ll say thank you, always, but I can’t reciprocate exactly tit for tat.

And that’s what friend circles are about…reciprocity.

You can also find tweeps who are special friends by trolling your own follower list. This is more time consuming than trolling your Notification page, but not unproductive. The followers page has the bio right underneath each face and name.

Searching bios using is now possible! Tweepi can be your magical friend when you buy the Platinum version which has a new bio search. More in the upcoming post on apps.

 Making Lists Directly on Twitter

If you want to make sure you see certain people’s tweets, you can make a list of them on Twitter. That is one way to handle the thousands of people you’re now following. You label the lists so you know what they’re about. In this case, you’ll label them “friend circle” or “special friends” or anything that lets you know these are the people you are relating to in a focused way.  You can make this list private or public.

So here’s the formula for making a special friend circle list. Ask yourself…

  • Does he/she have (predominantly) followers that would like my book?
  • Does he/she have 800 followers or more?
  • Do we get along well enough to enjoy helping each other?
  • Does he/she tweet at least 7 times a week or more?

I also have tweeps who I just click with and have fun with, but I’m not putting them on my friend circle list unless they have followers who want what I sell. Don’t feel guilty when you leave these people off your list. It doesn’t mean you don’t care about them, they just can’t help you in your business. I have a private list called “Enjoy” and I’ve put these kinds of tweeps on that list instead.

How Many Tweeple Should the Friend Circle Have?

A good number to aim for is 100. One hundred people are enough to handle at first. Don’t panic at this number. They won’t all be tweeting at once and you don’t have to tweet to each one every day. You just have to relate to them, and do favors of course, often enough that they feel connected and that you like them. Find your own rhythm.

How Do I Work this System Without Wasting Time?

Saving time in your system is important. You’ll get more and more ideas for this as you practice. For instance, I’ve decided that I am not going to thank for retweets every time. It fills up my Twitter page with boring thank yous. It is also time consuming.

Instead, when someone retweets me, I’m going to retweet one of their posts that hit home for both me and my followers. That thanks them, repays them in kind, and gives my followers good content. Killing two birds with one stone is good, yes? 😀

Streamlining your system and time-efficiency is important, so at some time you may want to get apps that help you or get an assistant. I talk about both in a later post, but I’ve just run into a new app called which is especially designed to organize your followers list and pick out the influencers. It looks promising!

After you get your system efficient, and it will come with practice, you will want to do three things: create another friend circle 100 list from your new followers, start getting email addresses from your tweeps for email marketing, and create a Guaranteed Buyers List (GBL) from your email buddies (part of stage four).

All of these things I will address in upcoming posts. Until then, continue to get more followers from your target audience, practice adding tweeps and tweeting in less time, and remember–this is fun!

Follow me, Denise Miller Holmes, on Twitter!

Follow Words for the Journey Christian Writers Guild on Twitter!

The Twitter Experiment 1; The Twitter Experiment 2; The Twitter Experiment 3; 



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