So, you just started your Twitter account and have 0 Followers. What next? Should you care how many followers you have? How to you get more? What’s the secret? In the next few minutes, we’ll discuss whether or not you should be concerned about how many followers you have, and review a few methods to start attracting more. (If you don’t yet have a Twitter account for your business, you may want to review Twitter for Business first.)
Do Numbers Matter?
Yes, they do. It’s an unpleasant reality that some social media consultants may not want to own up to, but the fact is, many Twitter users will look at how many other followers you have. That may not determine whether or not they follow you, but it will certainly affect their opinion of you. They may think you’re a new business or new to Twitter or that you just haven’t bothered to do anything on Twitter to attract other followers. The same can be said for your number of Tweets. While there may not be a magic number where, after that point, you can consider yourself safe from poor judgements, it’s reasonable to conclude that the faster you increase your number of followers and tweets, the better.
You may have a hard time figuring out what you want to tweet about at first. I recommend starting by sharing links to articles and websites you find interesting, and commenting on them and current events (particularly if there are current events affecting your target market or industry). The more you tweet and read other people’s tweets, the more you’ll get the hang of it.
Attracting followers though, requires some steps and techniques which may not be so obvious.
How To Attract Followers
1. Use Your Other Social Media Platforms
If you have accounts on other social media networks, like Facebook or Google+, announce that you now have a Twitter account and include a link. Mention it in a blog or announcement. Include a link on your email signature and printed materials.
2. Tweet Often
When you tweet, not only are you increasing your tweet history, you’re also giving other Twitter users an opportunity to find you when searching on specific topics. So tweet often! Just make sure you don’t tweet so often that anyone following you might consider your tweets to be spam. Try to stick to specific topics and leave time for followers and non-followers to respond and engage you. Ideally, you will share links to blogs or articles that you are adding to your professional website, articles that you’ve written regarding products or services you offer or topics which are relevant to your business and industry.
To ensure a steady stream of Twitter activity, I strongly recommend you check out Post Planner.
3. Be Conversational
Pay attention to what other people are saying on Twitter and respond. You can use the Reply or Mention method, whichever you prefer. Ask questions. Pose questions to your own followers.
4. Provide Real Value
Make sure that your Tweets are interesting or helpful or funny – ensure that you’re providing something of value to the Twitterverse. If all you do is tweet about what you had for breakfast, few will be interested. If, however, you share interesting articles and provide your unique perspective on events or ideas, you’ll generate real interest.
5. Pay Attention to the Time of Day
Twitter has peak times of usage and you should be mindful of that. Tweeting at 2am may be convenient for you, but it’s unlikely that your tweets will have the same impact that they might at 4pm EST on a Friday (the highest usage time of the week).
6. Write a Compelling Twitter Bio
Your Twitter Bio is important. Not only will a potential follower read it to see who you are and if you’re worth following, it’s also indexed in Twitter’s search. My Twitter Bio specifically mentions Web Design, Drupal and SEO.
7. Encourage ReTweets
Don’t be afraid to ask your followers to retweet your tweets. Each time they do, they’re sharing your tweets with their followers and spreading your messages far beyond your own set of followers.
8. The Hash Tag
Use the hash tag (#) in front of key words to automatically link them to searches.
9. Follow First
At a high level view, the Follow First method simply means that you follow another Twitter user and they will likely follow you back.
Follow First In Depth
The first 8 methods outlined above are things that businesses can and should be doing on a daily basis. Businesses who really want to ramp up their followers fast though can use some specific Follow First techniques to attract more and more followers.
1. Twitter Search
Use Twitter’s search to look for Twitter users tweeting about topics that relate to you and your business, then follow them.
2. Discover Followers
Use Twitter’s #Discover tab to see users that Twitter recommends for you. Also use the Categories to follow top users in various categories like Business or Technology, though these users will not likely follow you back themselves.
Use SocialQuant to pick up new followers. Once you begin your account, it will automatically follow targeted users on your behalf who fit whatever set of keywords you specify.
4. Follow Lists
Use Tweepi (http://tweepi.com/) to check out lists that other Twitter users have put together and quickly follow members of those lists (refer to Twitter Lists for Business for more information on what Lists are). Simply enter another user’s username (like Mike_Allton) to see what lists they’ve created and load up those users to potentially follow.
By utilizing the above methods, you will be able to quickly grow your Twitter usage and followers and present a mature looking Twitter profile to new users. As you tweet links to new blogs and articles that you write on your products and services, it will become more and more likely that you’ll reach potential customers and get more sales.