January 9, 2015
Have you ever wondered why all media outlets use Twitter? Are you curious about how useful Twitter really is? What happened? Are you providing the wrong content? Are you using the wrong posting schedule? Are you engaging your audience in a useful way? Are you wondering why you only have 300 people following you, after a full year’s worth of work?
What you really need to consider is: Are you really looking to grow your Twitter following or are you just dabbling in Twitter because someone said it was cool?
If your main goal is growing your organic following then read on and learn our 14 surefire tips that will grow your Twitter flock. When I started using Twitter back in 2006, I had no idea what would work, what the rules were, or whether Twitter was going to be a useful tool and network for me.
Twitter has many advantages over other social networks.These included features like hashtags, the ability to search subscribers’ profiles, search by what people were saying, and re-tweet other posts.Other advantages I found useful was that I could also easily follow a focused group of people that were interested in the same things that I cared about. I could also do profiles search by what people listed in their bios. I could even find the influencers of my industry and follow them, not needing their permission to do so.
However, one of my favorite benefits of Twitter is that it allows me to curate a post and then invite readers to visit another web page. This ability to add a “push messages” to the end of a useful tweet was magical for me.
Some of the exclusive advantages of Twitter have been copied by other social networks. Nevertheless, Twitter remains one of the largest social platforms on the Internet with 500,000,000+ subscribers, built in analytics, pay per click/view capabilities and much more.
But how can you grow your organic Twitter following?
The following tips are sure to help you grow your flock:
- Offer up useful, curated content that your followers want, are interested in or are entertained by. Social networks are all about what followers are interested in. They only care about what you’re interested in if it matches their interest. Do not post lots of ads, commercials or hard-sell tweets. This will only scare away real followers and leave you with bot accounts or other twitter subscribers who want to sell you something. Provide and curate the best content you can find and people will follow you.
- Only post original, authoritative content that adds value to your follower lives. It’s important you provide content you have authored. By writing your own content via blogs, articles or unique tweets, you provide added value by presenting original content. If you can add value by showing you’re your expertise, while teaching others via your own content, you show the Twitter world you have real value. This attracts followers like a magnet. There is no substitute for providing unique, authoritative content.
- Send invitations to other Twitter subscribers to follow you back every day. You need to consistently invite people to follow you. On Twitter, you normally do this by just following people. Inviting goes beyond just following people, it also includes engaging them with positive messages, answering their messages, and so on. If you follow 25 people a day, every day, and only five follow back, you will grow to 1,875 followers in one year. You will need to unfollow those who are not following you back to stay within Twitter’s total follow limits. Look for people who don’t have a complete profile, are totally self-promoting, or maybe don’t speak your language. You do need to give new followers a chance to follow you back (give them about 10 days) but you will see consistent growth by consistently inviting people to follow you.
- Always thank anyone who follows you. Be gracious with your followers. Always say thank you for following. You might also give away a free eBook as a goodwill gesture, or ask them to read your best article that they might be interested in. You will be surprised how effective a good thank you message is. Just saying “Thanks for following, I appreciate you, connect with me, on Facebook, too @ http://goo.gl/ez23Ry.”
- Invite your connections on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube to follow you on Twitter. If you’re already active on other social networks, make sure you cross-pollinate them. Not everyone will follow because some people just like a specific social network, but there will be many who will. Make sure you let people know your Twitter address when posting to your other social networks. And make sure you add your Twitter profile address to your other social networks. Along these same lines, make sure all your web properties have your Twitter account listed so that those who like Twitter will click on a “follow you” when they visit.
- Send out a mailing to your current customer base asking them to follow you on Twitter. If you have an email database of customers, send them an email inviting them to follow you on Twitter. This also holds true for snail mail as well. This tip is amplified if you follow up with a call or another email. If you also provide an incentive to follow you in your mail piece, like a special discount coupon, you will also increase the number of new followers as well.
- When customers visit your store, ask them to follow you on Twitter. Make several signs for your store asking people to follow you on Twitter. Put one by the checkout counter, put it on the signage of your carry out bags, business cards, letterhead and on your shopping windows. You can even create a QR code so that mobile users can jump right to your page and follow you right then and there.
- You can also upload your contacts list into Twitter’s follower inviting system. This normally occurs the first time you setup your Twitter account. But it’s also available after you set up your account. If you use Gmail, Yahoo mail, AOL or Outlook, you can upload your contact list and Twitter will invite those who are already subscribers to follow you. To find this function, click on “#Discover” link at the top of your page and click on “Find friends” link, then follow the prompts when you click on Search contacts button.
- Your best customers can be a great source — ask them to invite their friends and family to follow you on Twitter. If you have customers who are real advocates, ask them for their help. If they have people following them on Twitter or other social networks, ask them to promote your Twitter account. This is tantamount to receiving a referral and testimonial all in one.
- Make use of promotional directories such as Twiends, Twitter Counter or Klout. This is my short list of promotional directories. There are many others that you can find as well. Using promotional directories can help you connect with people and business that have the same interest as you. They also provide management tools and promotional opportunity to help showcase your Twitter account. You still have to use these online apps to grow your Twitter following, they aren’t magic, but they can make a real impact on your overall growth.
- Pay per click promotions on Twitter can be used to generate followers and to promote your best tweets. This will help you target followers and get people to tag your tweets as favorites, and get your Twitter account added to their list of people worth following. This will cost you money; just make sure your ROI is no more than your daily budget allows.
- Use pay per click on other social sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Paying to grow your flock can be cost effective. Just make sure you’re targeting the right group of followers and that whichever platform you use, you stick to your budget. Understand this is different than buying follower. Twitter does not approve of buying followers. On top of that, most of the companies that sell followers are not providing targeted followers. Many are selling bots, fake or serial accounts. Buying followers can also get you suspended.
- Become a member of groups in other social network communities and encourage people to follow you on Twitter. LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ all have groups you can join. If you don’t have a lot of followers, joining a group makes a lot of sense. When you join a group you have access to all the people in that group. A group can contain thousands of accounts and you can connect with them by just posting a message. What kind of message you ask? Ask them to connect with you on Twitter amongst other things. This is a great place to promote your authoritative content and providing great content always creates a following.
- Make use of social media aggregation software to save time and to increase your productivity. Use online applications such as Hootsuite, Buffer or Tweak Deck to provide scheduled post, RSS feeds of your favorite blogs and other e-zines. This is a great way to curate and schedule post. These types of applications will help you manage your social media marketing process in a more efficient and smoother way. They will let you do more in much less time, and this helps you grow your flock in a faster and better way.
I have used all of these tips to grow my own and my company’s Twitter following to more than 65,000 followers. My personal account at the time of this writing is almost 13,000 followers. If you use these tips in a consistent way, you, too, will grow your organic Twitter flock to large numbers. This will not be an instant process, but using these techniques day in and day out will bring progress and a create Twitter following worth chirping about.
Hector Cisneros is the president and COO for W Squared Media Group LLC. A digital Marketing Agency in the N.E. Florida Area. He is also the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio Show Working The Web To Win. W Squared Media also does Business as Working The Web To Win online and in Florida.