Social media continues its reign in personal and business circles. New developments and emerging platforms indicate that this medium will not take a hit anytime soon. The kingdom is growing, and you best grab hold of the opportunity to expand your stake in the territory.
On Twitter, follower counts promise fame and fortune. Well, maybe it at least increases the odds of success in gaining customers and finding friends. In fact, KISSmetrics research claims users are 64 percent more likely to purchase from brands followed on Twitter. This medium grows a business.
But, how does one engage in this pursuit? How does one increase his or her Twitter follower count with the most effectiveness?
Twitter as King
Making Twitter king of your priority list for a month or two builds a strong foundation. The idea is to create content, lots of content, to build engagement and visibility.
Research backs up a simple formula: The more you tweet, the more followers you will have. Typically, those with under 1,000 tweets yield fewer than 100 followers. And, more than 1,000 tweets typically generate 1,000 to 5,000 followers.
Use your multitasking capabilities to make this fact a reality. A few minutes on the bus, in line at the store or waiting for an appointment used wisely to update and tweet and retweet grows your content and your follower base.
Improve Your Voice
Prioritized time spent on Twitter also improves your voice. It requires time to get familiar with the format including its quirks and offerings. Although not Old English, the language of Twitter is unique and ever-changing, just to keep things interesting. Learn the lingo and its definitions to avoid looking like a dinosaur.
Speaking of foreign languages, hashtags hold meanings all their own. Understanding the types of and best uses for these symbols proves vital to Twitter to success. Trending hashtags, campaign-specific hashtags and common hashtags extend your reach when used well.
Posts with hashtags generate two times as much engagement compared to those without them. And, these symbols are known to attract new customers searching their attached keywords. But, too much of a good thing does not make an even better thing. No more than three hashtags are recommended per tweet.
Planning out concentrated time for developing your Twitter identity gives you time to learn what appeals to and engages followers, even your followers. Valuable information for strategy development is gained when Twitter becomes your top priority for a time.
Craft a Great Bio
Twitter users want to know who you are and what you bring to their world. Your bio is an access point for this information. Users often decide if you should be followed based on what they see here.
- Professional but friendly (even a little quirky), and brief yet complete characterize the successful bio. Expressing a clear picture of you and your business remains to be the goal. Use relevant keywords that will rank you in a Twitter search, and do not forget to include your city or region for local users – plus a call to action.
- Be sure that your profile image reflects your brand as well. In fact, a head shot in your profile picture makes the business more personal than a faceless logo. This personalization helps users know you, a vital tool in increasing follower count.
Retweet Valuable Content
First, let’s be clear. You must create content worth sharing. Engaging, informative content draws followers.
- Relevant news remains one of the most retweeted categories of posts.
- The use of images increases engagement by 18 percent as compared to posts that do not contain images. Questions create more interest as well.
- Statistics prove that quotes elicit higher engagement than other posts. Apps which generate inspiring quotes save time and increase follower count.
Second, you must share the content multiple times. According to Moz, a tweet lives for 18 minutes, not much time to attract attention. Therefore, you need to tweet it out several times a day to gain exposure.
Finally, take advantage of peak Twitter traffic. The Twitter community is buzzing from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. Weekends provide 17 percent greater engagement than weekdays. Services to target your audience at opportune times are available.
Poor use of social media damages your reputation and hurts business more than no use of the format. Keeping your Twitter account active with posts and refreshing your bio builds a following. Your bio can also be used to promote events, business campaigns and webinars through links. Be sure to remove outdated offers.
Posting regularly increases followers through increased engagement and visibility. However, do not tweet in bursts. This strategy results in adverse effects in regards to followers. Users quickly become uninterested with burst postings.
Free and low-cost tools work to schedule tweets ahead of time to avoid inconsistent or burst postings. Hootsuite and SproutSocial are examples of these tools.
Connect with your audience. Responding to followers lets them feel listened to and allows them to hear their name. In a disconnected culture, knowing we have value speaks boldly. Always answer questions. By responding, you are saying to your followers, “You are worth my time.”
Other ways to respond include:
- Commenting on relevant news, tweets and trending topics. Choose those topics your Twitter followers and brand care about and respond wisely.
- Retweet thoughts of leaders if they post content meaningful and relevant to you. Linking to reputable commentators in this way increases your reputation or brand. Also, it sets up potential collaboration and sharing.
Start With the Familiar
Familiarity breeds following. LinkedIn and email connections provide a base of names to follow on Twitter. Upload your email list and LinkedIn contacts to Twitter and follow them. Also, strive to @mention three new people per day. Again, perhaps due to familiarity, users are more likely to engage with you if they are mentioned by name.
People gather in like-minded groups beyond social media and within it. As to follower count, users are more inclined to follow those with similar interests. To increase your follower count, find the common ground and engage.
- Comment, retweet or favorite posts to begin to reveal contacts with similar interests.
- Take advantage of free, low-cost tools which scan accounts of those that follow your followers.
- Follow Twitter recommendations.
- Look for businesses with related keywords and hashtags.
Find New Friends
As an old verse states, “Make new friends, but keep the old.“ While the familiar and mutual interest followers provide a foundation, new friends grow your base.
Several free options exist to help you discover new potential followers. Twello, Wefollow, TweetFind and Twiends help you find users to connect with your Twitter following. Of course, businesses exist to further your exposure as well.
Ignitwit finds new followers using topics in which you are interested. This help also reveals who has not followed you back so you can unfollow uninterested parties. Followerwonk finds new people based on which activities most often drive followers to your account.
Industry chats engage you with others in your sector gaining valuable information and connections for you. Following industry leaders and interacting with them increases the likelihood that they will follow you. Leaders as followers grow your follower count as they increase credibility and reach. Mention leaders, retweet them, ask them to follow you. After all, it’s about who you know.
Tools like Social Mention identify relevant conversations around your brand, products or industry for you to engage. Respond where appropriate to increase visibility and engagement.
Your current follower base offers a wealth of contact potential. Engage them. Ask them to retweet posts.
- Spelling out “retweet” increases the likelihood of resharing by 12 to 23 times.
- If the body of a post includes “please retweet” it produces four times more retweets.
- Use links. Posts with links get more retweets than tweets without them.
- Be the example. Be generous in your retweets.
Cross Social Cultures
Social media sites and other websites provide fertile ground for planting Twitter buttons. Crossing social cultures and marketing arenas prove beneficial in attracting site visitors.
- Place a Twitter tab on your Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn pages and other social sites.
- Promote Twitter on your website with a Twitter “Follow” button.
- “Tweet this” generates interest via your blog. Single tweets embedded directly into your website or blog work well also.
- Sign into forum sites with your Twitter account to add your bio with every post.
- When guest blogging or writing for other formats, include your Twitter handle.
- Remember to include your Twitter handle on printed material as well including business cards, brochures, signs, flyers and print ads.
One of the greatest draws to users is knowing that your account is not all about you, but about others. This experience also bears out in the fact that tweets containing a self-reference are retweeted less. After all, no self-serving kingdom survives.
Practically speaking, this means help others. Becoming known as one who first cares for the needs of others grows Twitter follower counts, your Twitter kingdom, organically. And, this is just good business.