LiveBlog: Growing an Online Community Through Twitter with Amy Lupold Bair

Amy Lupold Bair, blogger, social media marketer, and mom, is the founder of Resourceful Mommy Media. In 2008, Amy burst onto the social media scene inventing the Twitter Party – a hashtagged social event with panelists and a conversational theme catering to the needs of clients and communities. Today she’s discussing how to grow an online community through Twitter.

“I tweet incessantly,” said Bair, @ResourcefulMom. “You’ll wonder if I sleep and eat and raise my children… but I do!” The audience was giggling one minute into the session at FitBloggin’, as the discussion style format based on the Twitter Party model (Blair is the creator of the Twitter Party) kicked off.

“There’s no way really to promote your site in an organized fashion on Twitter,” said Bair. “So I created Twitter Parties that summer!” Bair begins discussing how she got fit by joining @BookieBoo ‘s online community, #mamavation, and lost thirty pounds.

The different conference attendees are invited to join in and ask questions and discuss their Twitter strategies. @BrandiK discusses how she uses hashtags to tag quotes to her online articles. By quoting names, Twitter users are more likely to retweet this content and spread it online. “Really, what we’re talking about today is building a community on Twitter. Participate, and start to follow other people using the tags,” said Bair. @AttuneFoods discusses how she’s used Twitter chats to really build her community about simple living and promoting the Attune foods brand and products. “The intent was to build the community – and we trended #1 on Twitter with our hashtag #attune with last week’s chat – thanks to the great community,” said @AttuneFoods.

“With Twitter, you have no idea when somebody tweets back to you, who their followers are. Once you’ve been tweeted, they’re going to check you out if they see a hash tag they like, even if it’s not a one hour specific chat, which will help you gain followers,” said Bair. Bair now asks attendees what Twitter content they have used that gains the most response. “If I tweet about something that I’m eating, and hash tag it with whatever I’m eating – I get 30-40 responses! Everybody says “Eat it, Don’t Tweet it” – Nuuh! Tweet it!” said Bair.

@Losing100Pounds says “I get the most response on Twitter when I post asking for retweets to my own inspirations and then asking for people to follow those who inspire them.”

An attendee admits she’s a Twitter slacker, but says she has a few followers who have many followers. “I’m not sure what to do to get at those people,” she said. Bair says the #1 thing is to tweet re-tweetable content. “Tweet little snippets of content- inspirational quotes, pictures. Go beyond blog links and titles. Tweet something that in 140 by itself is interesting,” said Bair.

Of automation, Bair said “I don’t automatically tweet anything. And I have 41,000 followers – so I’m good. Do NOT auto-DM ever.” (The audience cheers) “There are many, many people who will automatically unfollow you because of the automatic direct message.”

While Bair recommends not auto-posting your tweets on Facebook, she said “There are certainly much more involved conversations happening on Facebook. Twitter is a wonderful way to drive people to Facebook. I might post something like “What would you do if this was your child?” on Facebook, and then I’ll go on Twitter once there are a few comments and then I’ll say, “We’re talking about this on Facebook – what’s your response?” Everybody loves to weigh in. People love to say that they’re right.”

Of posting pictures on Twitter, which can help drive followers, Bair said pictures of food go crazy on Twitter. @MeltingMama follows up with “We are very stimulated by food porn. People love seeing food porn on Twitter.”

To wrap up the session, Bair starts a discussion on authenticity. She says that ultimately, your strategy on twitter, along with how you grow an online community, must be authentic. The audience cheers, stands up, and heads out into FitBloggin’ 12 feeling more inspired by Twitter than ever.

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This live blog was brought to you by @lyssacurran of the Double Chin Diary. Alyssa is on a journey towards losing 50 pounds without losing her sense of humor. To get a glimpse of her popcorn-loving, social media-centric, cat-lady life, visit her blog.