One thing that I really like about using Twitter as a marketing tool over blogging or even newsletters is how easy it is to build a large following. Of course, it isn't nearly as easy to make money from these followers so don't just disregard your traditional marketing tools because you have a lot of followers on Twitter. If you are new to the platform or your numbers have been stagnant then hopefully this post will show you how to get more followers on Twitter.
Find People to Follow
Friends: Start off by finding the people that you already know, this way you can build up some decent numbers before using any additional tactics, which will help because there is a landslide effect on Twitter which shows the more people that are already following you the more that will start to do so. (I'm assuming of course that your friends will follow you back, I mean they are your friends right?)
People with the Same Interests: You want to search for people who share the same interests as you, for example if you like sports then follow sports news services, major blogs, etc.
Industry Leaders: Find the key people in your industry and follow the same people they are, since chances are you will be interested in them as well.
Suggester Tools: Twitter's suggestion tool will help you find other people to follow.
Pace Yourself: Don't go out and follow 1,000 people over the next hour. Besides the fact that you look spammy just for doing this, when people come to your page they will see that you are following a massive number, but not being followed by nearly as many. To them this must mean that you are not popular in relation to the people you are following. Other Twitter users are normally pretty quick to follow you if you are following them, so add a batch, wait it out, then add another. Rinse and repeat this process over time and you'll start to accumulate a following. Just make sure you have a fairly balanced follower/following ratio. It also stands to reason that you should not use a script or bot to add followers because this is spammy and could get you banned from the system.
Follow People Back
The whole point of Twitter is to build relationships with other people, after all it is a social media, so follow people back who follow you. As you start to get more popular on Twitter you will find that more and more people will start following you that you have never heard of before. If you follow every one of them back, you can lose track of the people that you actually signed up to follow. This is why you should probably have one account that you use for business and marketing that you strive for popularity and another you use just to follow the select few people you want to hear from. If you want to automatically follow people who follow you, sign up for TweetLater.
Be a Person
Seems obvious, right? I mean you are reading this article. Well, let's make sure that you are letting the Twitter universe know by going over the details on what I mean exactly by "be a person."
- Use a picture for an avatar - Show off your face and people will relate your tweets to you. A real picture for an avatar translates into you sharing real life experiences. Some people use a company or site logo to help with branding, but this isn't as personal and can cost you followers, but is better than nothing. If you just have the default image up then you can't be too serious about Twitter so why would anyone want to follow you?
- Name - You also want to have a real name and not just your company name.
- Details - Post a description or biography of yourself to give your account some personality.
- Add a link to your homepage - You want to let people know what you are about and what kind of information you will be providing, how else are they going to decide whether you are worth following or not? Besides, how are they going to visit your site if you don't provide a link and of course you want to increase your traffic numbers!
Again, this all adds up to showing that you are a real person and not spammer JohnDoe1212 or an evil corporate empire!
If your newest tweet was weeks ago then why would someone want to follow you? If you aren't updating your account then you must not be committed and are probably inactive. People want to know what you are currently doing or working on, but keep the noise to a minimum and don't spam everyone on your list. If you tweet more than 20 times per day you are clogging up my page and I will probably unfollow you. You also want your tweets to add value for your followers and contribute something to community, but they should also be fun so you don't bore your followers into ignoring you, or worse, unfollowing you! Great tweets on a consistent basis will not only help you to grow your following but also will get people to become more interested in what you are doing, thus driving traffic to your actual site.
There are several ways to promote yourself to increase your Twitter following. If you already have a blog then simply write a post about Twitter and add a link to your account in the article. If you have a newsletter send out a blast to your subscribers about how they can also follow you on Twitter. TwitterCounter has a chiclet that lets you show off how many followers that you currently have. Put your Twitter link in the signature of your emails or forum posts. You can even add cool buttons from TwitButtons or Twitter Buttons to spruce up your site a little bit.
Hopefully you will find this guide useful to growing your following on Twitter, and don't forget to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jamiefaidley!
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