Twitter for Business Guides – Part 2: Advanced
How to Grow your Following on Twitter
The number one rule of growing your following on Twitter – one that nobody seems to talk about – is this: If you want quality followers, follow quality people. And don’t just follow…Interact.
What hooks people is conversations – interesting comments and fascinating, wise, witty or provocative responses. No matter how excellent your content, if your feed is nothing but a one-way tweet, with you posting and never bothering to respond to people who reply to your posts or retweet them, you will make the very people who are trying to engage with you feel invisible (and slightly silly, if they’re very sensitive).
Nothing turns people off more than being ignored (it can be embarrassing and annoying).
Granted, we’re all so used to Twitter feeds now that we’re not exactly crushed if someone misses one of our responses. In fact, if we’re honest, most of us will admit to forgetting our own tweets to the point where we have to view the “conversation” to remember what our follower is replying to. But here’s a tried-and-true rule of thumb:
- The newer followers are to the web or to a niche, the more likely they are to be put off by being ignored
Another one for you:
- If you have tweeted about an emotionally-charged issue (emotionally-charged for your follower, that is) and ignore their response, the more likely you will alienate them
And even the most confident person on the planet isn’t going to waste their valuable time if they respond to your tweets and all they get back is…empty air.
Actively initiating, joining and maintaining conversations is the best way to get started in growing a valuable, active following.
Every other technique is just icing on the cake.
Step 1. Decide on Your Objectives
But don’t just fire off shots at random: First make some conscious decisions.
- What do you want your Twitter feed and profile to do for you? For your followers?
- How can Twitter improve your branding?
- What is your “identity”? Your unique persona and “voice”?
- What do you want your followers to do? (E.g. visit your website, buy a product, listen to your talk radio show, etc.)
- What can you do for your followers? How can you help them?
- What do you love about your business? Your followers? Your niche?
- What do your followers love about your niche? Your business? You?
- What do your followers care about? Have problems with?
- What makes them sign up?
- What makes them share and retweet?
- What makes them buy?
Taking time to answer these questions carefully and thoughtfully will automatically help focus your own Twitter posts, retweets and responses.
Step 2. Top Ten ElevenTwitter Mistakes
Before we look at ways to grow your following, it’s important to know what mistakes to avoid. The reason?
Most people make them. It’s as simple as that, so let’s start with the biggie that we’ve just discussed…
- Not acknowledging mentions, replies, tweets addressed directly to you or retweets. (It’s called “self-absorbed tweeting” when you consistently never respond.)
- Posting too many tweets in one day (or even in one hour) so that you jam up your followers’ feeds.
- Making inconsistent appearances – People soon give up on tweeters who are there one day and absent for several weeks.
- Going dormant. When you disappear off the Twitter grid, people simply forget you.
- Not realizing that a portion of your audience most likely prefers Twitter to the point of not using other social networks (especially if they are mobile addicts)
- Retweeting the first vaguely acceptable tweet or link you come across, usually just for the sake of posting something
- Auto-posting 100% of the time via a social media manager or app
- Not remaining on Twitter for at least ten minutes after you post something, retweet or reply to something
- Not varying your tweet types or media. For example, always posting links to blog posts. Never posting photographs or infographics
- Not leaving room in your tweets for retweets and comments
- Not making your posts interactive enough. (That includes using calls-to-action.)
In order to capture a follower’s attention and make them want to respond (or at least check out your profile), it has to trigger that follower to respond.
In the next step, we’ll talk about effective ways to motivate them in engaging.