10 Tactics to Acquire More Twitter Followers
In the past year Twitter use has exploded and is rapidly becoming an essential business marketing tool. Millions of people and companies have utilized Twitter to gain exposure, brand recognition, and maximize online marketing. Almost every successful brand has a powerful Twitter presence, but the magic question is: How do they obtain—and maintain—so many loyal and qualified followers?
Whether seeking to increase your following personally, or for your business or brand, there are several strategies for building a successful Twitter account and an invaluable online marketing tool.
1. Create a targeted following by using Twitter directories. The basic foundation for gaining a substantial amount of followers is simple: find people in your niche and begin following them and their followers. Doing this manually by using the search tool in Twitter can become very time consuming, and research shows that only about 30% of these users will follow you back. However, there are several online resources available to make this process easier. Twitter directories such as WeFollow, Twellow, JustTweetIt, TweetFind, and GeoFollow, are places to search and find new users to follow based on your particular interests or location.
There are also more topic-specific directories such as First Issue (directory of book publishers and others in the book trade using Twitter), GovTwit Directory (includes all facets of government on Twitter), and Legal Birds (a list of legal professionals on Twitter such as lawyers, law librarians and academics). Get listed in these directories, then spend some time browsing the categories for users in your industry or niche, and follow them.
2. Establish relationships. Other users won’t be interested in the products or opportunities you’re tweeting about before they have an idea of who you are. Reach out to your new followers, mention and retweet them, and show genuine interest in their posts. Strive to be interested rather than interesting at first. Out of basic Twitter etiquette, tweeters will return the favor.
3. Tweet to your niche market. Clearly establish the niche you are operating within. Identify 4 to 5 relevant keywords (i.e. if your niche is “spa industry,” your keywords might be health, wellness, beauty, and travel). Use the Search Twitter tool to see what people are talking about in your niche at the moment, and then interact (@reply, message, and retweet) with these users. As you start to gain traffic, you can deepen the keywords to get more selective in the traffic you attract. Help these tweeters, don’t sell to them yet. Your goal is to build trust by adding value, sharing experiences, or collaborating. Once you are trusted in your niche, you can think about advertising your product or website more.
4. Tweet things of value or inspiration to your target audience. Providing people with information that can help their lives in some way will make you stand out and be memorable. People crave inspiration. Tweeting quotes or news that inspires you will most likely have the same effect on your followers. In turn, they will retweet the valuable information or mention how it made them feel.
5. Be the first to break the news. Twitter is the news source for new generations. The faster you break the latest news, the more retweets and followers you will obtain. Monitor national news sources such as CNN or USA Today, as well as local news stations, and be one of the first few to reveal the latest information.
6. Schedule your tweets. This takes a few extra steps, but it is worth the investment. Free services such as Hootsuite, Socialoomph, or Tweetdeck allow you to automate when your posts go out. As we pointed out in a previous post, retweets occur statistically more often on afternoons, evenings and weekends—especially on Friday afternoons and evenings. This is crucial to keep in mind when scheduling tweets throughout the day to create the most interaction.
7. Show gratitude. Saying thank you, in all forms, is huge within the Twitter community. All tweeters love to be mentioned, replied to, and retweeted, but it is important to retweet with care. Make sure your tweets are relevant to your niche market. If you’re in the health and wellness industry, your followers don’t care about groundbreaking real estate news. Maintain your Twitter relationships by saying ‘thank you’ for good information.
8. Participate in Follow Friday. Get on top of the Twitter game by posting Follow Friday (#FF) mentions. Follow Friday is the weekly Twitter event where users recommend their favorite tweeters to their Twitter followers. Other tweeters pay close attention to those being mentioned in the #FF announcements. If you’re among those who are mentioned, you will reap the benefits of this influential word-of-mouth marketing, as well as the viral #FF recommendation retweets. The secret to getting on the #FF is to simply provide meaningful content to your Twitter community.
9. Participate in the Trending Topics. Trending hashtags and topics are viewed by millions of Twitter users a day. The click-through rate on trending topics is extremely high, and tweeting trends tend to result in a decent amount of Twitter followers. If you join the community, the community will join you.
10. Embed your Twitter feed on your website, blog, or LinkedIn. By embedding a Twitter widget on your website, all of your visitors will be able to see your latest tweets. You can embed a live stream widget, or a Twitter button with a caption like “Follow Us on Twitter” to encourage visitors and subscribers to take action.
Following these Twitter strategies, in combination, will result in a rapid increase in exposure, followers and personal interaction with other industry professionals or individuals interested in your niche. Moreover, you will enjoy the benefits of enhanced customer relations, sales, and a deeper social influence.