Eight steps to grow your Twitter following
If you’re using Twitter as part of your business’ social media strategy, one of the important factors is going to be how many followers you have. However, if you’re only new to the social media platform or don’t use it often, it can sometimes be a struggle to increase your following. This can be a problem if you’re wanting to use Twitter and look credible. You’ll have more authority if you have more followers, and more people will pay attention to the brand.
However, when you start trying to grow your following, it’s also important to have a targeted audience. It’s often tempting to use apps or spam accounts which will increase your following overnight.
You can also try tactics such as following and unfollowing people, creating fake accounts or following back every single person that follows you. While this will increase the amount of followers you have, they will often be fake accounts, and that’s generally not the goal when using Twitter.
You want to engage with people of value to increase awareness of your brand and conversions on your website. To do so, you’re going to have to use legitimate tactics.
So what are the ways you can grow your Twitter following?
Step one: create a strong profile
Before following anyone, it’s important to look at your own Twitter profile. After all, this is what users will look at before deciding if they want to follow you or not.
To have a strong profile, consider the following aspects of your profile:
- Profile photo: for a business, this may just be your company’s logo. However, if employees of the business have their own personal accounts, it’s important for their photos to be both professional and up to date.
- Biography: you may be limited to 160 characters, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore your biography. Use your creativity and come up with a great description of your company that also sells why people should follow you.
- Location: include where your business is located. This is especially important if you’re a local business.
Step two: identify your audience
The first thing you need to do is identify who you want to follow and engage with. You’ll want to engage with people who have similar interests to you and who are the big influencers in your niche.
To find these people, you can use Twitter’s Advanced Search. This allows you to search words, phrases, hashtags, different languages and locations. Once you know who is tweeting about a certain topic, you can follow these people, or engage in conversation.
You can even consider using tools such as Buzzsumo to search for top influencers in your industry, or use directories such as Twello or Tweepi.
Step three: make a list
Twitter allows you to make lists, as well as being able to subscribe to other users’ lists. This is a great way to get your audience to engage with you.
Fortunately, it’s a straightforward task. To create a list, simply navigate to your profile, and click Lists from the menu beneath your profile banner. This allows you to see which lists you are subscribed to, and which you are a member of. To the right of this will be a button that allows you to create a new list.
To add a user to your list, visit that user’s Twitter profile and click on the gear icon on the top right hand corner. Once added, the user will receive a notification saying they have been added to the list. Scan people you are already following to see if they would be appropriate for a list, or look at who is on other users’ lists. You can use tools such as If This Then That, which allows you to add people to a list when they mention a keyword or hashtag.
Once they have been added, they may be interested enough to view the list, check out your profile and even follow you.
For this strategy to work the best, make sure you come up with a catchy name for your list, and that your list is on public.
Step four: Tweet interesting content
Sounds simple enough, right? It’s not always necessarily the case.
You want to make sure what you’re tweeting is relevant to your industry. However, you don’t want to come across as looking like a spam account, by tweeting too often and using too many hashtags. If you appear to be spammy, users will unfollow you. That’s why it’s important to tweet to an appropriate schedule, and ensure your content is always relevant and interesting.
There are several ways to ensure your content is interesting:
- Use photos: sharing media is always more interesting than a plain text tweet. After all, it is eye catching and helps the tweet stand out.
- Ask questions: if you’re wanting to engage with your audience, a great way is to ask a question. This encourages users to reply, rather than just tweeting in response to a statement.
- Google Alerts: use tools such as Google Alerts to receive notifications about things of interest to your audience. You can then share these on Twitter. You’ll be more assured that what you’re tweeting is actually relevant and of interest to your following.
Step five: schedule your Tweets
Once you know what you’re going to be tweeting, you want to make sure you’re tweeting frequently enough. When users are following a large number of people, it’s easy to miss a tweet. This means you need to be tweeting throughout the day, and even at night if you’re running an international business.
The problem is it can be time-consuming to be tweeting manually, or you can easily forget to tweet at all. Once you’re out of the office, you definitely don’t want to be thinking about updating the company’s Twitter account.
To solve this problem, you can use tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite. These tools allow you to schedule your tweets for the next day, week or even month. This means you can have tweets being posted even when you’re not in the office.
The thing to be wary of with this strategy is people replying to your account. If you’re not able to quickly respond, users may be less likely to engage in the future.
Step six: engage with your audience
You’ve got a presentable profile, made some lists and are tweeting the right content. That’s all good, but it’s not enough if you’re not actually engaging with your audience. Engaging with them will encourage users to visit and follow your Twitter account.
So how do you best engage with a Twitter audience?
- Engage with the user’s content: reply, like, retweet or quote a few of your followers’ posts.
- Tweet them: if you notice someone is asking a question, and you have a blog post that can help them, why not directly tweet them? The user has already expressed an interest in the topic and will be likely to read the post or even follow your account.
- Hashtags: hashtags can be a great way to reach a wider audience. As long as you have something interesting to contribute, find a relevant hashtag and add to the conversation. You can post your own tweets, or reply to people posting a question or opinion.
Step seven: Twitter ads
Once you’ve leveraged all your free options, it’s a good idea to consider whether Twitter ads are a good investment for your business. Twitter refers to their ads as “Twitter Cards”. These ads come in nine different types, which will help businesses to achieve their various objectives.
Your ads will be clearly marked as “Sponsored”, but it is an easy way to appear in your target audience’s timeline.
If you’re going to use ads, it’s important to ensure you target correctly to ensure you reach the maximum amount of your target audience.
Step eight: promote your Twitter account
An easy way to get people to your Twitter account is to promote it. After all, those on other platforms may not even know your business has a Twitter account if you never promote it.
Some places to promote your account include:
- Other social media platforms: have a post asking your existing followers to go to Twitter and follow you there, or include a link to the Twitter account in an ‘About’ section.
- Email signature: include your social media platforms in your email signature. This is an easy way to ensure every person you email has the opportunity to follow you on Twitter.
- Social media buttons: include social media buttons on your website. Place these buttons on numerous pages – the landing page, contact section, on blog posts. This will not only encourage people to share your content, but also to visit your social media pages and follow your business.
Following these eight steps will ensure you can legitimately grow your Twitter following, while also increasing engagement. These steps will make growing your following much easier.