Twitter is an absolutely essential business tool and should be a pivotal point of your overall social media strategy. If you’re new to it, it can seem like a tough nut to crack, what with all the @s and RTs and abbrvtns and #hashtags. One of the most common questions we hear is ‘How do I get more followers?’ While your presence on Twitter and social media as a whole is more of a long-game strategy, there are definitely a few things that you can do right off the bat to start accumulating those evasive followers.
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Tip 1: Fill out your profile in full
Sounds like a no-brainer. But you’d be surprised how many people and businesses start a profile and leave everything but their Twitter name blank. When completing your profile, make sure you use images and descriptions that properly represent your brand and business. This tells your customers that you actively use Twitter.
Tip 2: Start following people you want to follow you
Pretty straight forward here. If you’re a restaurant, follow local food and culture blogs. Clothing shop? You’ll want to follow local media outlets, taste-makers, and the like. Every industry has its influencers. If you start following them, they’re far more likely to follow you back.
Tip 3: Monitor keywords and hashtags
Want to know what’s happening in your industry at any given time? Set up hashtag and keyword monitoring streams in HootSuite to keep your finger on your industry’s pulse. You can even geo-locate these streams, so you know that you’re getting information that’s close to home. Doing so often reveals great opportunities to engage with potential customers and influencers, which brings us to Tip 4.
Tip 4: Engage influencers
Influencers are people that help create and sway opinion. They’re good people to have on your side. Look for opportunities to create a dialogue with them. Building rapport with influencers makes it far more likely that they’ll drop your name or retweet you when it’s relevant to do so. And, who knows, you may turn them into an ambassador for your brand.
Tip 5: Embrace Twitter as a customer service tool
Few things spread faster than an outstanding customer service story. Every complaint or question about your brand is an opportunity to create a story that makes your brand look really good. There are many examples of this, but how T-Mobile’s CEO landed a new customer through a Twitter conversation is my personal favorite.
— Jay Rooney (@RamblingRooney) November 27, 2013
Tip 6: Deliver content that people care about
Believe it or not, your potential customers care a lot less about your business than you do. That’s why it’s really important to create and curate content that’s actually relevant to them. Be a resource for interesting information, important industry news, and insightful commentary, even if it occasionally involves a competitor. Use Twitter to push that information out to them.
— White Castle (@WhiteCastle) February 2, 2014
Tip 7: Tweet often. But not too often
Tweeting on a regular basis is a good way to keep your brand at front of mind. But tweeting too often–especially with a lot of hard-sell messages or irrelevant information–can fatigue your followers and make you look like a spammer, resulting in un-follows. That said, as the New York Times learned, if a tweet gets a big response in the form of retweets and replies, feel free to send it again at a later date. It’s a good indication that the content is valuable to your followers, and chances are not all of them have seen it.
Tip 8: Retweet good information
When you retweet someone, it shows that you’re engaged and listening. It makes them more likely to follow you (if they aren’t following you already). And it makes them more likely to retweet your posts.
Tip 9: Quality over quantity
Put your energy into acquiring a follower that can benefit from your content rather than simply boosting your numbers. One qualified follower is worth more to you and your business than 10 unqualified ones. They’ll be more inclined to have an interest in your tweets, and you won’t be shouting information on deaf ears (or eyes for that matter).
Tip 10: Add visibility to your Twitter username
Like your name and occupation, your Twitter handle should be on all of your business correspondence and materials. That includes your emails, business cards, brochures, and other marketing materials. Doing a presentation? Conclude it with a slide displaying your Twitter handle. And, don’t forget to start following people you exchange correspondence with–it’s a small gesture that goes a long way.
Some additional tips:
- Including your Twitter handle (@username) in all your correspondence; email, business cards other social networking profiles such as LinkedIn
- During sales pitches & presentations sharing your Twitter handle in the closing slide or bio
- Following & engaging with others you have met at in-person networking events and conferences
These tips should help you start and maintain a healthy Twitter presence. There’s no silver bullet in getting new followers, though. It’s done through putting effort into engagement, which should be part of your social media strategy as a whole. Twitter is possibly the best way to communicate and build rapport with your customers. Be organic and authentic in everything you post, and the pieces will fall into place.
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