6 Ways to Get More Twitter Followers

August 22, 2011
Ways to get more Twitter followers

So you’ve finally bitten the bullet and joined Twitter. Maybe you’ve sent out an experimental tweet or two, but before you can do anything serious, you need some followers. Here are six things you can do to grow your Twitter following.

Personalize

Your Twitter account comes with a default image, and some basic backgrounds from which you can select; none of these will do you any favors. Would you put your website on a basic Wordpress or Drupal theme and leave it at that?

Brand your Twitter account just as you would a website.

  • Choose a branded username (such as the name of your company)
  • Add your company’s location
  • Use a branded personal image (like your company logo), and replace the default background imagery with something unique
  • Write a keyword-rich biography that tells (in a few words) who and what your company is, what it does, and why what you do is valuable to your customers
  • Have a link to your company website

Not only will your account be more recognizable and professional, it will show your followers that you’re planning to stick around.

Promote

The easiest way to get your first few Twitter followers is to reach out to those who are already loyal to you: your customers.

  • Send out a special one-time email to your customers to let them know that you’ve opened a Twitter account, and the value of their following it.
  • Put the Twitter icon on a prominent place your website (such as your header or footer), and link it to your account.
  • Put links to your account in your email signatures, your newsletters, and even your business card.

The hardest part of Twitter is getting started with it; by using an already-existing fan base, you can get your first followers with minimal effort.

Share

Sharing is at the heart of Twitter — but what you share matters. Tweeting things like “This slushie is delicious!” or “That punk kid across the street broke my window” will not get you more followers because it’s no different from what 90% of users on Twitter are saying.

The easiest way to separate yourself from the crowd (and gain more followers) is to be interesting. Consistently share links to great content that entertains, enraptures, and helps your followers solve their problems.

Avoid the temptation to over-promote. Instead, earn the right to do so occasionally by consistently providing excellent content.

Ask and respond

The best relationships are the ones that rely on give and take. Ask questions of your followers, and respond to theirs. Twitter can be a great customer service platform, as it allows you to talk to customers in real time, answering their questions, resolving their complaints, and thanking them when they thank you.

Join

Don’t be afraid to take some actions that will put you in front of more people in the Twittersphere. Create your own branding opportunities by joining conversations in your niche(s) and letting the people come to you.

  • If someone asks a question about your product, even if it’s not directly to you, give them a meaningful answer.
  • Are you an expert in a trending topic? Hop in to the chat!
  • Are there any hashtag chats happening within your industry? Pay attention to them and add value when you can.

Track

How can you know whether these strategies are working? Obviously you’re doing something right if you are gaining followers, but here are several more ways you can track the value of your Twitter interactions:

  • How can I keep track of who’s talking about me? - Sign up for a tool like HootSuite, TweetDeck, or TweetRiver to track when someone asks you a question, mentions you, your company or product, or Retweets your links.
  • Which links are most interesting to my followers? - Use a link shortener like bit.ly to track how many people click on each of the links you share. Share more content similar to what’s gotten you the most clicks, and less of what’s gotten you the least.
  • Are my social media efforts leading to customers (ROI)? - This can be a bit tricky, so it’s best to use a lead tracking system (such as HubSpot) to see how many of your visitors come from Twitter, and which of them have converted into customers.

While it’s important to have followers, it’s more important that those followers be valuable to you, whether as customers or people who spread your message. Treat them right, give them what they want, and watch your following grow.

Want to succeed at social media?

This article covers the bare bones of setting up and monitoring a Twitter account. But how can you maintain that account for years, and use it to grow your business? Do these strategies work on other platforms, like Facebook and LinkedIn?

To learn the answers to all your social media questions, sign up for Digett's 5 Social Media Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make webinar. We can give you the tools you need to succeed at socila media.

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[Image: xotoko]