Were you aware that @CNN has over twelve million Twitter followers? Access like that can’t be bought (well, it can, but here’s why you shouldn’t buy Twitter followers), but there are concrete ways your business can systematically build a bigger, deeper list of real followers.
Maybe 12,000,000 followers is a bit of a lofty goal, but what about 1,000 or even 100,000? Here are a few things you can do to help build your business’ Twitter readership without spending a fortune:
1. Follow, Follow, Follow
Really. It’s that easy. Up to a certain point, following at random can get you a lot of traction. At first, try and choose whom you follow based on whom you think makes sense: if you’re a recording company follow the types of artists you like, for example. Remember to aim low (don’t just focus on celebrities and huge brands) and to keep your Followers-to-Following ratio around 1:3 if you can help it to avoid SPAM alerts.
2. Tweet @ People
It’s amazing how many businesses simply throw out information and hope people read. The average Twitter user follows over 100 people, meaning your Tweets get shuffled to the bottom pretty quickly. You need to actively direct people who may be interested in what you have to say to your content. That’s what the @ function is for! Write an article about cooking tips on your business blog? Tweet it at the food influencers in your local area.
3. Tweet More Regularly
Only 41% of Twitter users say they Tweet every day or more. Be part of that 41%! The more regular you are, the more authoritative your Twitter presence will be and the more likely your content will be seen. Be sure to mix up the times of the day you Tweet and the hashtags you use to catch the most “fish.”
4. Put Out Good Content
Content marketing is all about creating content people actually want to read. The more useful, pertinent, and interesting your content, the more naturally viral it’s going to become. Create good content, Tweet said content, and watch your Twitter base grow as people share what you’ve written with their cultivated networks.
5. Utilize Twitter Promotions
You’re a business… use this as your advantage. Ask customers to follow you for 10% off or to catch weekly updates on sales and giveaways. Offer something that saves people money and they’ll follow in droves but remember, don’t be too promotional or you’re going to turn followers off.
6. Add Twitter Widgets
If your business site, Facebook page, or emails are really popular, tap into that market. Add Twitter widgets wherever you can that encourage people to follow you, ReTweet, and even share your content on Twitter. The easier you make it, the more often people will respond.
7. Pick a Niche
There’s a lot of clutter on Twitter. One of the best ways you can develop a reliable following is to be the best at something. Maybe you sell pet products: why not Tweet a picture of a customer’s pet each day? Or perhaps you’re a tax professional. Give away a useful tax tip each day and people will have a reason to share and follow your handle Incentivize.
Twitter isn’t complicated, but it does take some work to master. Never assume people will follow you “just because” and don’t think of social media as an afterthought, either. A carefully managed Twitter plan will get you far – and up your number of followers in no time.