Building followers on Twitter is easy. You can simply do a Google search for Twitter accounts that will auto follow back meaning that the amount of followers you acquire goes up and up. The problem being is that these accounts 99.99% of the time are normally not operated by human being and are bots that simply Retweet other users Tweets automatically. Having accounts of this nature will boost your follower’s number but they are not the sort of accounts that you want to be pushing Tweets out to. Building up a following of this nature is like shouting about your business in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest and claiming that Africa is your audience; it’s a pointless exercise that yields absolutely no return on your time invested. It’s not about the quantity of followers that you build up; it’s about the quality of your followers who share your interests that you can interact and communicate with.
There are some core principles that are the Holy Grail when thinking about building a quality Twitter following:
- Follow relevant people in your industry who share the same interests as you
- Communicate and take part in conversation with your customers
- Promote your Twitter account, for example on paperwork, email signatures, business cards etc
- Tweet original, interesting content that your audience will find useful and engage with
Finding Relevant Twitter Users
Before beginning your hunt for relevant Twitter users you need to ensure that your own biography is optimised and reflects how you want other Twitter users to see you.
Start with a relevant profile picture. If your account has been created for personal reasons then upload a picture of you. Other Twitter followers are far more likely to want to engage with you knowing what you look like rather than seeing the dull default Twitter avatar. If your account is representing your business then fill out all of your personal details and ensure you capture you or your company’s personality within the 160 character limit. This is your chance to show why other Twitter follows should follow you so ensure your biography has been given the necessary thought. In addition to your biography ensure that you take the time to fill out all the necessary fields about yourself as the more information other Twitter users can see about you the better.
Third Party Tools
There are many third party Twitter directories available each with different sorts of interfaces and features meaning that you have a wide range of options when choosing which one is for you. I am particularity fond of the wefollow directory which allows you to browse by subject and then refine your search further by searching by location.
Using Twitters search functionality is also a great way to find users who are talking about your subject of interest. This will allow you to join in the conversation and spark dialogue with like minded individuals and its really easy to do, simply search for example #webdevelopment and you will be presented with tonnes of conversations, and dialogue. All that’s left to do is get involved, and start building your Twitter following!
Communicate and take part in conversation with your customers
Twitter is no different from any other social media channel in terms of it exists and relies on its users engaging with one another. People who don’t talk to people on Twitter and merely talk at them promoting their services and screaming about how great they are, are far less likely to be followed than people who reTweet content they find interesting and people who engage in healthy debates and conversations.
You can get involved in conversation by #searching for content you are interested in. Chances are no matter your subject or interest there is going to be a group of people at any one time talking about it and there is no reason you can’t get involved. Don’t expect to be followed straight away however engaging and contributing to conversations will gain you a steady stream of quality followers whom you have a common interest.
Communicating via Twitter is no different that communicating with other people in a room, if you talk to somebody chances are they will respond and this is essentially how relationships are built. If you enter a room and don’t engage with other people you will eventually become isolated and potentially miss out on quality relationships.
Promote your Twitter account
Using other channels to promote your Twitter account will do no harm and can help you build your Twitter followers. Add your Twitter username to Business Cards, Email Signatures and all paperwork. You can use your other social media channels such as Youtube and Facebook to reference your Twitter account.
Third party software is also available to promote your Twitter account such as paper.li which in essence allows you to create online newspapers from your Twitter feed. For more information about paper.li please have a look how it works.
Tweet Original, Interesting Content
Why would anybody worth their salt choose to start following a Twitter user who Tweets dull, meaningless content that is of no use? It’s still a surprise to me how many people who are attempting to embrace Twitter for marketing their business simply to shout about their own offers on products and services and wonder why they don’t seem to get any return on the time spent Tweeting.
Tweeting information that your followers find interesting is likely to lead to reTweets and result in additional followers. Use third party software such as Google Alerts to be informed of new content in your subject of choice which you could use to Tweet to your followers. Rather than simply Tweeting about new industry news, why not give your opinion on a new development as this is potentially a fantastic way of sparking debate between you and your followers.
Including interactive elements in your Tweets can also lead to additional engagement from users and can encourage reTweeting.
A web development company may Tweet an image of a recently designed website and ask their following what they think? This is brilliant way of sparking discussion with other Twitter users and best of all they are talking about your work giving you and your company increased exposure.
Ensure you respond to Tweets to you or about one of your Tweets, reTweets or other users Tweets you find interesting and generally ensure you active in conversation.
So there you have it – a short list of helpful tips when answering the question, ‘how to build a Twitter following.’ These principals apply to people new to Twitter or people who currently use Twitter but want to take it to the next level, and best of all when you think about it, it’s all common sense by ensuring you treat Twitter as it is meant to be used, to be sociable! Feel free to leave some feedback about what you think about these tips and your methods of increasing your Twitter following, I would be really interested on how other Twitter uses go about improving their follow numbers.