This is the second of a new series on Klout influencers (“Klout Stars”) and how they got to where they are today. The first was with Brian Solis and we’re excited to be able to interview Dave Larson, behind @TweetSmarter for today’s post.
About TweetSmarter: The @TweetSmarter account has won a Knight Foundation and Shorty award, been pictured on the front cover of CNN’s technology section, profiled by the Huffington Post, and has answered thousands of questions for Twitter users around the world over the past three-and-a-half years.
Run by Dave Larson with the help of his wife Sarah, @TweetSmarter has been ranked as high as one of the three most influential accounts in the world in years past by various influence measurement services. Oprah even once displayed Sarah’s personal account—with the message “follow @SarahJL“—during their first big segment on Twitter.
Outside of Twitter, they are both public speakers, Dave being an internet entrepreneur and investor who likes to bring people together on various projects, and Sarah teaching and performing as a professional dancer and voice actor.
1. How’d you get started as @TweetSmarter?
“I started on Twitter as @QuantumGood in September 2007 and then created the @TweetSmarter account the following August. It was originally called @Twitter_Tips, but that contributed to a misperception that we work for Twitter (we don’t), so we changed it to @TweetSmarter in mid-2010 with Twitter’s help and blessing.
The idea was to learn how to help as many people as we could use Twitter well. As part of that learning process, I learned that the more transparent I am, the faster I learn. This can admittedly be tough. It will mean changing how you do things sometimes. But my advice is to accept all feedback, and take a shot a staying in harmony with absolutely EVERYONE who ever contacts you, by listening. While you don’t always have to respond, you should always be listening.”
2. What’s your strategy for the content you produce and share on social media?
“I try to find or create content that will be the most helpful for our friends and followers. I started by guessing at what would be most helpful to people, but by engaging constantly I now get hourly feedback on what people like and need. I then seek it out, or produce it if I can’t find it. A lot of what is missing at most blogs is the nitty-gritty of how things work, so we produce a fair amount of long, detailed content at our blog, and update it regularly.”
3. What advice do you have for someone who wants to take their social media influence and presence to the next level?
“Find and engage with those you can help, or can help you. Focus on one at a time. Once you’ve built a relationship, maintain it. Stay in touch. As @TweetSmarter, we are constantly helping and conversing, and as a result I see dozens of messages every week where people are saying “Hey, you should follow @TweetSmarter.” We probably have a thousand people who have offered to do something for us that we have never taken them up on. That’s a very large “gratitude bank” and I think that’s a key foundation of social media influence and presence.
People have always come together to help and learn. Social media expands the potential to learn and help exponentially—but you have to connect with the right people. Whether you’re building a brand or trying to connect with experts for professional development, concentrate both on learning and helping. Find both those that need you, and those that can help you.”
Follow @TweetSmarter on Twitter to hear more from Dave and Sarah.
If you’d like to be considered for a future Klout Stars post about your social media success please email firstname.lastname@example.org.