Twitter has become nothing less than a phenomenon. Last year Twitter passed the half a billion user mark. That is a lot of users. It is also a huge market. Though Twitter is a very unique and amazing tool for communication in general, it can also be a powerhouse of a social marketing platform. There is one key to making Twitter work for you: To be heard you need followers. I am not going to advise you to buy followers nor am I going to direct you to a tool that promises to do it for you. I am going to give you good Twitter best practices that you can grow on. Here are 8 ways to grow your Twitter following and get your voice heard.
Following others is a key to getting followed yourself. If you don’t follow them why should they follow you? It is all about community and relationship building. Who should you follow?
- Follow your collaborators. Whether they are vendors, investors, or you name it, you should be following those that contribute to you or your business. It shows them appreciation, helps you keep tabs on their latest news, and are usually easy follow backs.
- Your target market. Current customers and prospects are good choices to follow. Doing so will give you ear to their questions, interests, and what is on their mind.
- Follow influencers. It is only wise to create connections with power players in your industry. Many will follow you back. Best of all, forming a relationship with them can possibly create a great connection that you may need in the future.
- Follow experts. The reason is obvious: they know the industry and you can learn from their tweets, You can ask them questions. Get connected to those in the know.
- Follow the competition. This one may not lead to a follow back but this is a great way to see what they are up to, what is working for them, and what isn’t. Their followers will also see your name in their list of followers.
- Follow those that follow you. First of all it is only polite. Second, if you don’t, many of them will unfollow you. There are a couple exceptions to this rule. If they are an obvious spammer, bot, or would reflect in a negative way on your business then it might actually be wise to not follow them back.
The really cool thing about following others is that if they follow you back you will receive the following benefits:
- Every post of yours that they retweet, favorite, or comment on will be seen by their followers.
- The fact they you are following each other will be seen by their followers. This could lead to even more follows.
Sticking with it and not overdoing it are the secrets here. I would say post between 3 and 5 times a day. Post much more and followers could become annoyed and unfollow you. Post less and you wont even be on the radar.
Be Active in TweetChat
A TweetChat is like a virtual meeting on any topic you can imagine. It is a very cool way to meet other tweeters, get your voice heard, and make new connections that could become potential followers. Just go to TweetChat and follow the instructions to get started.
I can make you one 100% safe guarantee. If all you do is post and follow you are going to have a hard time keeping your current followers or attracting new ones. Retweet, Favorite, and Reply the tweets of others. Interact with them. Don’t just throw ads in their face over and over again. Make it interesting and mix it up.
Yes, content is king even in the twitterverse. If you aren’t writing something others find interesting, entertaining, useful, educational, or otherwise attention grabbing, they are not going to follow you and read your tweets. Good quality content on the other hand is the true way to win follows and influence tweeters.
Promote Your Twitter Account
The secret to doing this is simply to get the word out there. Here are some ideas, maybe you can think of more.
- Tell your Facebook, Google+, and Linked in friends about your Twitter account.
- Tell your real life friends and family.
- Put a link to your Twitter profile in the signature of your email.
- Put it on your business cards.
- Put a link to your Twitter on your blog or website.
- Wherever you can give it exposure without being a spammer, do so.
Use Direct Messages Wisely
One easy to lose a follower or potential follower is to spam their inbox. The Direct Message feature should be used to ask legitimate questions that you don’t want to ask in the open for everyone to read, or, if you have a legitimate thing to say just between the two of you. It should never be used to spam people for follows or to buy your product.
Fill out your profile completely
If you don’t you wont get the follows. it is that simple. People won’t trust someone that doesn’t at least share basic information about who they are. The very basics?
- Profile picture
- Bio information
As I said, these are the bare bone basics. The more information the better.
Follow these tips and have some patience. You will get followers.
What tips do you have to increase your following on Twitter?
It may surprise you but there is a lot more punch in 140 characters that you may think. There is truly power in this thing that we call Twitter. The question is are you using Twitter to its full potential? What can you do with Twitter and how can it benefit you? What kind of power does Twitter provide you?
Power to Meet Influencers
An influencer is a person or thing which influences. They can be top experts, the very popular, those in top leadership positions, those whose voice is heard by the masses, etc. One cool fact is that for the most part you can find them on Twitter. You can read what they have to say, share your posts with them, and even communicate with them. Twitter is one of the easiest ways to meet them.
To meet influencers:
- Use Twitter search to find them. You can search by name or even search the name of your industry or location to see what comes up.
- Browse to them through Twitter categories.
- Check out who your followers and those you follow are following.
Power of a Listening Post
You can’t expect to be a great communicator without being a great listener. You can’t hope to be a good leader without being a good listener. You can’t be an amazing marketer without being an amazing listener. Listening is half of the equation whether you are talking about communication, leadership, or marketing. Consider Twitter a very powerful extra set of ears.
To use Twitter as a listening post:
- Follow the competition. By following your competitors you can see what they are up to. You will know what ways they are reaching out to customer’s and collaborators that you want for your organization or brand. You may even learn a lesson or two about what is or isn’t working for them and apply it to your business.
- Follow those you do business with and your Facebook followers. Following them opens yet another communication channel. It shows them that you are interested in what they have to say. It also provides yet another marketing channel to them.
- Follow relevant blogs. Blogs can be some of the best free information and even education you will find. They can inform, inspire, and even provide step by step instructions on how to do almost anything. Bloggers can also be powerful influencers and connectors.
- Follow local businesses. Forming relationship with local business’ can provide local connections, opportunity for community involvement, and may lead to future clients.
- Follow local news. By following news sources you can keep up with current events, be in touch with what is effecting the lives of your customers, and keep tabs on what is happening in society that may have an impact on your brand.
Power to Grow a Following
The bigger your following the bigger your net of sources of information, influencers and connectors, connections, and potential clientele.
To grow your following:
- Follow others.
- Tweet regular original content.
- Interact with others.
- Promote your Twitter account.
I will provide detailed guidance on how to strategically do all four of these in a soon upcoming post.
Twitter can be a very powerful tool if used consistently, patiently, and strategically. It is everywhere. Start becoming a Twitter power user today.
How do you use Twitter to promote your name or organization?
If I had to guess I would venture to say that there are still plenty of you that are not active on Twitter. I think it is even a safe bet that the majority of you do not make full use of what Twitter has to offer to your business or organization. Right now we are going to take the first steps to change all of that.
This post will get you started on Twitter and introduce you to the main features that it has to offer. You may even learn a feature or two that you were unaware of. As I said, this is a getting started post. In the next installment I will share with you specific ways you can use Twitter to enrich yourself ad promote your brand. Now let’s get this show on the road.
Signing up couldn’t be simpler. Just follow these steps:
- Go to Twitter.
- Enter your name.
- Enter your email.
- Choose a password.
- Click Sign up for Twitter.
- Choose a username.
- Click Create My Account.
- Follow the short tutorial. This will help you get your bearings.
- Open your email inbox and click to confirm.
- Enjoy Twitter!
When you log in to Twitter this is the page you will see. It is also the page you see if you click the Home link. From here you can do many things.
In the upper left part of the screen you will see your name and picture (if you uploaded one, and you should if you didn’t). If you click on your name you will be taken to your profile page. More on that in a little bit.
On the Twitter Home Page, right under your name, you will see three links: Tweets, Following, and Followers.
- Tweets:This will take you to your profile page.
- Following: Will take you to a page that will show you everyone you are following.
- Followers: This will take you to a page listing everyone following you.
Just under those 3 links is a box that you can use to write a new tweet. It also gives you the option of posting a picture or even adding a location. You can also compose a new tweet by clicking the button in the upper right corner. Pretty simple and straight forward so far huh?
Below your tweet box you will find something called Who to Follow. These are Twitter’s recommendations of people for you to follow. You only have to follow them, or anyone else, if it makes sense to you.
Just below Who to Follow you will find Trends. This displays what is trending on Twitter. As you get deeper into using Twitter to promote your brand you will find this list very useful in that it will tell you what is popular in the mind of Twitter’s over 500 million users. If you click on one of these items you will be taken to a page that displays the tweets made about that word or words.
On the right hand of your Twitter Home page you will find your all important Stream. This will show all tweets made by you and your followers. The Stream is simple to use. You can do five major things in the Twitter Stream.
- Read Tweets.
- Expand: This will show you further information about the tweet as well as any ongoing conversation.
- Reply: This will allow you to post a reply to the Tweet.
- Retweet: This allows you to repost the tweet to your followers.
- Favorite: This allows you to ad a tweet that you really like to your list of favorite tweets.
By clicking the Connect link you are given a couple of very important pieces of information:
- Interactions: A list of all interactions between you and others on Twitter.
- Mentions: A list of all mentions of you whether you are being replied to or mentioned in any other way.
- Tweets: Displays a list of tweets that Twitter has tailored for you based on accounts you have followed.
- Activity: Displays the activity of those you have followed.
- Who to Follow: Displays a list of accounts that Twitter recommends you to follow.
- Find Friends: Helps you to find your friends that are also on Twitter. If they do not already have accounts you are given the option to invite them to join.
- Browse Categories: Allows you to find accounts to follow by navigating Twitter’s wide range of available categories.
The Me link will take you to your profile. You will see many familiar things that we have already discussed including all of your tweets and the posts you have retweeted. There are a couple of useful things that are different on this page though: Lists and Direct Messages.
- Lists: With Lists you can keep those you follow organized by assigning individuals to various custom made lists.
- Direct Messages: With Direct Messages you can see the direct messages sent to you and you can write direct messages to others. Only you and the one you are messaging can see the message.
The powerful Twitter Search allows you to search users and topics. Sounds simple but is actually very useful and has good business and marketing applications that we will explore in future posts.
There you have it. I encourage you to sign up and explore. We have barely scratched the surface of this thing we call Twitter. Explore and have fun with it and in the next installment to this blof we will look at how you can use Twitter to enrich yourself and promote your brand.
How do you use Twitter to communicate or market your brand?