This is a guest post by Kristin Hodgkinson.
Everyone wants more followers on Twitter. Considering that over 645 million people use it, with 135,000 people joining every day, gaining more followers can certainly be a valuable asset. It’s difficult, but more followers on Twitter equals more social authority and, for a business, more sales. Having more followers also allows you to extend your influence.
Of course, you could buy them in bulk for very little money – but don’t. Not only is this against Twitter rules, but these followers have nothing in common with you, have no affinity to you and are completely worthless. So how exactly can you increase your follower count?
Create a list
Create a list of influential and relevant Tweeters in your field. This way you will create a valuable community that is industry specific and you will al share similar interests. The people on the list will be notified that you have added them to it and, more often than not, will click your ‘Follow’ button.
Do not be an egg
If you do not have a picture on Twitter then all people can see is the standard Twitter picture, which happens to be an egg! If you do not have a picture your account seems less trustworthy because people think you are ashamed to put your face to your tweets. Essentially, you look like a spammer or a false account.
If you want to gain followers then you must broadcast and publish you Twitter handle wherever you can – let people know that you are @so-and-so! You must be visible on blog posts, business cards, emails and anything else you put your name to. Your name and your Twitter handle should go side-by-side.
Do not be boring
Your bio can be an important tool to help attract new followers. First and foremost, do not leave it blank! Secondly, fill it with interesting and informative words, explain a bit about yourself and express your personality. Give people something that they can relate to. Twitter will not include you in search results if you do not fill out your full name, username and bio.
Sharing interesting and valuable content and retweeting are extremely important to building up your follower count. When it comes to retweeting, if you ‘Quote Tweet’ instead, then your face and Twitter name will accompany the retweet, which in turn gives you more exposure. By sharing blog posts and articles, the authors will more than likely tweet you to say thanks and their followers will then see your profile and may hit ‘Follow’. The more you link to others, the more people will reciprocate.
Avoid aggressive promotion
Obviously, you need to promote your products, blog posts and your brand. BUT, do not overdo it! You do not want people to consider you spam or devalue your non-promotional tweets. By cramming your followers’ timelines with promo after promo you are thrusting it down their throats and they are likely to unfollow you. It has been recommended that for every 20 posts, 1 is promotional.
Make your posts retweet friendly
Retweets are the only thing to get noticed by people who do not follow you. Therefore, you must make it easy for your followers to retweet you. Keep your tweets short enough for people to add the RT symbol and your username. Also, make them worth retweeting – concise yet interesting and engaging.
Tweet enough but not too much
You do not want you followers thinking you have gone AWOL, but by that same token you do not want them to get sick of you. Even if you have a lot to say all at once or you have a sudden flood of interesting things you wish to retweet, use something like Buffer to stagger your posts so you do not saturate your follower’s timelines.
Time your Tweeting
If you tweet when people are busy or asleep how can they read, retweet or interact? Simple – they cannot! Make sure you posts go live at peak times to optimise their effect. Internet marketing firm Abraham & Harrison have performed some webinars in conjunction with Twitter and they confirmed that the peak times for Twitter activity are 9am, midday, 3pm and 6pm. Remember this the next time you are scheduling your tweets!
Asking questions on Twitter is a great way of engaging people, beginning a conversation or debate and inadvertently driving traffic towards your account. They can be industry specific or simply generic, but utilise hashtags to spread the debate even further afield.
By using a combination of some (but preferably all) of the above tips, you’re certain to see an improved follower count, filled with the right people who you want within your community. All done with minimal cost and maximum effect.
About the author
Kristin Hodgkinson is a Marketing Manager at Direct365 - providing business services to thousands of businesses across the UK.