Thursday, August 19, 2010

John Daly: An Engaging Twitterer?

When John Daly applies his talent on the golf course, minus any distractions, he has success. His recent resurgence, which he’s honing in Europe with a good measure of success, is the most recent example of how easy it is for him to play golf at a high level. This time, he’s getting in shape, dropping tons of weight, and seems to have a great attitude about life and about golf. How do I know this? Because he’s a great writer, one that involves his readers.

Yes, a great writer. I don’t mean that his use of language is pure poetry and literary genius, but rather because he engages his readers, his friends, by open and honest communication and interaction. How do I know this? Because he uses (, the online communication forum where users write about whatever they want in 140-character messages, or tweets.

From the day he first "tweeted," Daly has done what most of his professional golfer counterparts, indeed, celebrities in general, have not: he actually follows the people who follow him. Imagine that? Following many of the people who like you, want to hear what you have to say, and enjoy following your career. What a novel idea.

Now, the "twitterverse" is as free a place as the United States, and there’s no rule that requires a person, celebrity or otherwise, to follow everyone who follows them, or even most. Certainly, there are people/fans who take things over the edge (of sanity), but a star who makes full use of one medium they choose to use will go a long way toward building a fan base and strengthening their platform.

By all appearances, JD genuinely enjoys communicating with his Twitter friends. He answers most questions (with more than canned, expected responses), responds to well wishers, invites others to have conversations with him, and simply interacts. How do I know this? He became a follower of mine after I followed him and wished him well, he has responded to my well wishes and questions, and I’ve seen him do the same for others many times.

John has figured out the true utility of Twitter for building a fan base; being genuine. As of this writing, he has a following of 5,048 and he’s following 5,121 people. Given his interaction with followers, starting with simply following most of them (actually, he follows even more people than follow him) and continuing through being as responsive as possible within his schedule, people like him. They like hearing about his game, his fitness, his new choices in attire, his life, his jokes.

Now, what would happen if he dropped in a few tweets about a favorite charity, maybe asking for donations or participation? I say people would respond. Daly’s response rate would be far above many other celebrities who don’t interact with fans, or who’s interactions are simply one-way and/or hollow.

I would rather have John Daly’s 5,000+ engaged followers, which is a large number of followers, than Ashton Kutcher’s uninvolved two million (he’s only following 149 people).

I say, way to go John D! You’ve found the secret to Twitter, to golf and to life. Be open, be yourself, and be genuine. Success, and people, will follow.