Now that you have completed your twitter setup, building a professional brand and allocating sufficient planning and implementation time to your Twitter marketing strategy will build a strong Twitter following, as your shared content offers value. Building a presence is something you will need to work at for obvious reasons; i.e. it doesn’t matter how great your product or service if there is nobody to hear about your offers once you’ve created your account.
The idea of getting Twitter followers is to find those audiences who have an interest in what you do, either as buyers or ‘evangelists’, who will promote your business to their followers because they recognise the value you can offer. Whilst having many followers potentially gives you greater reach, it is important that you learn how to attract followers in your market, so think ‘quality’, as much as ‘quantity’.
Your first job upon getting set up and getting familiar with the language and leavers of Twitter is to connect with your ‘market influencers’. Get clear about which audience(s) you want to go after, their demographics, what they like and who they like. Really drill down to identify them as a person, then learn to tweet to them. Putting in research time to find out what they talk about on Twitter will pay off in fostering loyalty and save you time and money spent on wasted marketing.
Who Do You Love?
Sharing content that your ideal audience will appreciate and value will get their attention. Some will even be your virtual word of mouth foot soldiers. Their third party endorsement gives you increased credibility, especially if they are friends and family of your audience, as retweeting becomes the equivalent of ‘word of mouth’. Search on relevant terms for each specific campaign and look for who the thought leaders and influencers are, such as bloggers, video bloggers, industry magazines, business networks, your competitors and so on. Look for businesses you love, public service accounts, charitable trusts or campaigns, people you know, celebrities, or news sources you read and share their material to show what your company values.
Follow these people and spend time researching who they interact with and how, then favourite their best posts. Add them to themed lists via the drop down ‘More’ menu referred to earlier. Then learn and improve on what they do. Adding people to lists helps you in a variety of ways: Firstly, you can broadcast a message to appropriate groups of people. Secondly, if you make your lists public, others will use your lists and value your contribution to the Twitter community.
Many businesses do not understand the significance of following their competitors, but this is useful, because you can learn from what is working for them in terms of successful engagement campaigns and who their followers are. Furthermore, you can even hijack their fans or a conversation by joining in a dialogue on a competitor’s thread and offering your own nugget of advice or fun! Don’t be afraid of potentially promoting their content if they are in your niche, but at the other end of the country and yours is a geographically focussed business, or if they don’t have your range of services, or your unique selling point. However, share judiciously, i.e. don’t share where they offer links to their blog!
The more valuable the content you share, (even including that of your competitors on occasion), the greater the loyalty you will inspire and you can expect a kudos ‘shout out’ on #FollowFriday. This is one of the ‘rituals’ of Twitter, whereby anyone who you think is particularly good at what they do, or funny and who fits with your brand, then tell your followers about them with a #FollowFriday @YourHero tweet. This goes a long way to demonstrate your own sociability, which is important in Twitter, which people describe as a ‘party atmosphere’.
Pin Your Tweet To The Mast.
Using ‘pinned tweets’ is a great way to show any potential new followers what you are about. If you intend to spend a session finding new followers, before you kick off, review your ‘pinned’ tweet and refresh if necessary. If you are wondering what these are, it is effectively freezing your favourite tweet so it stays at the top of your wall like this:
Make what you pin relevant, interesting and typical of what you intend to tweet about. This way potential new followers will find out immediately whether they’re be interested in following your business or not.
Twitter Suggestions To help you get more Twitter followers, Twitter will make suggestions on the of your home page of who you might be interested in following, based on the content you share and whom you interact with. Only select those you feel could be useful to your marketing strategy for that particular Twitter profile.
Whilst there is no limit the number of Twitter followers you can have, “aggressive following” is penalised. Twitter staff monitor following patterns and will not restrain reasonable usage of Twitter. However, repeatedly following and un-following large numbers of other users is viewed as ‘follow churn’ and is not good Tweetiquette. Simply don’t follow or un-follow hundreds of users in a single day.
Avoid using automation software to get followers on Twitter faster; ‘Twitter bots’ are frowned upon and you can have your account frozen. If out-sourcing this stage of building your Twitter presence, check that your sub-contractor does not use this Twitter follower software either. Similarly, beware of buying Twitter followers; you need to be sure that your followers will be well-targeted and the rate at which you gain new followers is appropriate. Beware software that sounds too good to resist.
Their rules state: “Twitter does not permit any automated or bulk following or un-following behavior.” If you are looking to save time, then we suggest you read their Automation Rules and Best Practices to keep your account open and building healthily.
Once you reach 2000 followers, limits to the number of additional users you can follow will be applied and this varies from user to user and is based on your ratio of ‘Followers’ to ‘Following’. The ratio is 10% more followers gained to follow more users.
When you hit this limit, an error message will appear in your browser if you try to add anyone new. You’ll simply need to wait until you have more followers. This daily or total limit is a protection from spam accounts and prevents server overload and Twitter downtime. Avoid account suspension by sticking to a daily limit. The upper limit is 1,000 at the time of writing this, but we recommend you pull well short of this; we recommend a couple of hundred at most.
Similarly using ‘Unfollow’ should be used judiciously; stick to less than twenty in any single day to be on the safe side of suspension by Twitter for ‘Follower churn’.
Finally, make sure that you use your ‘analytics’ – which we explore later with you – to log who is following you, so that if you use other social media platforms alongside Twitter, you encourage them to follow you there and you can follow them there too, to build on your relationship with them.
Twitter breaks down the barriers to reaching new audiences beautifully, by allowing for personalised communications, which build a relationship with your customers and give the smaller business owner opportunities to really get to know their customers in ways open to bigger competitors. Connect with anyone easily and contribute to discussions, or start your own discussions with influencers and industry experts to raise the profile of your business and build valuable connections.