Looking for tips on how to build your twitter following for your business? After LinkedIn, Twitter is said to be the most useful online space for connecting with likeminded people in your industry. It is also a great place for you to create a digital community for your customers. Like all social media platforms, Twitter has to be nurtured. There is no quick fix but there are helpful tips to help you grow the right Twitter following. Our Twitter for bloggers and niche site owners guide outlines advice from seasoned Twitter users which includes how to use Twitter, how to build a community and the golden ticket, how to get followers on Twitter.
By the end of this post you will be able to:
- Find the right Twitter followers
- Increase engagement with followers
- Create a community for your customers
How to Build Your Twitter Following
What Is Twitter Actually All About?
A long term strategy for success on any social media channel is to do what it asks you to do.
Did you know that Twitter’s slogan is It’s What’s Happening.
Its meta description (a short statement that summarises the site on search engines) is ‘Follow your interests. Hear what people are talking about. Join the conversation.’
Let’s pick this information apart so we can use it our advantage.
One of the main reasons that Twitter fans love Twitter is for its up to date information.
If there’s a natural disaster, political outcry or celebrity story, you can bet that Twitter knows about it first and journalists are asking Joe Blog on Twitter for access to their content.
It is literally what’s happening now and you can benefit from this in three ways:
- Be the first to tweet about an update in your niche
- Engage with tweets currently flying around the platform
- Use the ‘trending’ function to join in threads which have taken off
In its meta description, Twitter is directly telling you to ‘join in the conversation’ and we stress the term conversation.
Twitter is not a dump and run platform, Engaging is key.
Lavina Dsouza, photographer and blogger at Continent Hop says ‘the more you interact, the more interaction you will get and it doesn’t depend on how many people follow you.’
So now we’ve sussed out what Twitter wants us to do to be successful, let’s work out how to put that into practice.
1. Know Your Niche And Customer Avatar
Before you dive into tweeting, RTing, trending and all the fun things about Twitter, map out what you want from Twitter.
As bloggers and site owners who juggle a number of platforms and communities, our time is not infinite so you want to avoid falling down the Twitter rabbit hole, especially since Twitter can be a nasty space sometimes.
Consider the following:
- Who is my customer avatar?
- What do they do on Twitter?
- What accounts do they engage with, this is more important than just follow
- Who are the key players in my niche?
- Who are the lesser-known people kicking ass?
Once you have built this profile, consider your strategy.
This may include:
- What type of content will you share?
- How will you ensure that your community sees it?
- How much time will you actively spend on Twitter?
- Will you use a content schedule tool to help manage your time?
Next build your profile. Use keywords that best define your brand in your name and bio.
Create a compelling tweet introducing your brand, link to relevant content, include a clear call to action (tell the reader what to do) and pin to the top of your profile.
To pin a post, go to one of your own tweets and click the arrow at the top right-hand corner. Select the pin option. Remove the pin the same way.
Once you grow your following and community, you can use this pinned space to make an announcement.
Once you start to find your groove with your own niche you don’t have to feel trapped by it.
Chris Mitchell from Traveling Mitch says that after spending years talking about only travel and creating some ‘arms-length relationship’ it wasn’t until he started sharing ‘quirky observations’ and a little more about his personal life that he ‘found his community and a supportive one at that’.
This links back to our advice above, plan for future content but jump on the now! Chat with Chris at @travelingmitch.
2. Tweets, RTs, Tags and Hashtags
A Tweet is a callout on Twitter.
Tweets can be text, an image, a GIF or a video.
You will not be surprised to hear that video outperforms other methods when it comes to engagement such as likes and RTs.
An RT is a retweet. You can either directly RT a Tweet by clicking the RT arrows symbol on the Tweet or RT with a comment.
If you are RTing with a comment, remember to add a call to action and tag the owner if you are looking to build a relationship.
A tag is when you @ someone.
Tagging sends a notification to the account which can be a nice way of saying hello but don’t be crushed if there is no reply.
Treat it like courting.
A hashtag has a number of functions.
Firstly, hashtags gather many conversations under the one banner so you can follow the topic and take part using the hashtag to get discovered.
Secondly, it is part of brand recognition. This means if you are creating a hashtag, the text has to include something that relates to your brand or the campaign that you are looking to increase reach with.
Finally, hashtags can be measured. Agencies and PRs use software tools to report the reach that specific hashtags meet during campaigns.
If you are creating a hashtag and encouraging your new community to use it, you must use a unique one.
Since hashtags involve a number of words pushed together, always write it out before committing to it. Or you might end up with this unfortunate hashtag…
3. Twitter Chats
If you’re a little shy at speaking into the huge void that is Twitter, why not look to a community to support you?
Twitter chats are an excellent way for you to discuss interests (hey, another Twitter aim!) with fellow accounts in your industry and also potential customers and clients.
These live chats usually take place weekly or monthly and are collected together by a hashtag.
The chat host tweets a series of questions at intervals and you respond with ‘A’ for answer then the number of the question.
Use the hashtag to be seen by others in the chat and for those reading it afterwards.
Twitter chats are rapid and often require the use of free software such as Tweetdeck to keep up.
Just pop the chat hashtag in one column and your own notifications in another so you can interact with the chat Tweets.
Some chat hosts send a copy of the questions beforehand so you can prepare answers, images and videos.
It’s not etiquette to post lots of blog links, use these chats to build brand awareness and wiggle your way into an already established community with the hope that they become your natural cheerleaders as you grow.
As you chat, hit the follow button on the accounts you genuinely engage with and why not add them to a list?
Here’s what Loredana from Destguides has to say about Twitter Chats.
“Whether you’re new to Twitter or you’re a seasoned ‘Tweeter’, never underestimate the power of joining a Twitter chat!
A Twitter chat is a public ‘chat’ that revolves (and evolves) around a single hashtag, usually created and announced in advance so that people are aware that it is occurring.
It’s also common for these chats to have moderators who monitor the conversation as it’s happening live.
It’s to your benefit to find out what sorts of chats (and how often) are taking place in your niche as they’re a great way to meet and connect with like-minded individuals and businesses in your field.
You might even notice some bigger players in these chats! It’s also a fantastic way to keep up with current events, trends and hot topics.
In travel, for example, a popular Twitter chat for this niche is #travchat, which happens every Wednesday at 10:30 am GMT (UK) time.
Questions are released the week before for the following Wednesday, which gives you more than enough time to think up your answers in advance.
Do add pictures to your tweets as well as they gain more traction in the form of likes and retweets, which means more exposure for yourself and your brand in return!
Most importantly, though, have fun, and why not try and conjure up your own ‘tweet storm’ while you’re chatting away!
Chat to Loredana at @Destguides.
4. Twitter Lists and Topics
A nifty tool which is underused on Twitter is the ‘list’ option.
Go to a Twitter and click the Lists section of the homepage.
Click the icon that looks like a list with a plus sign to create your own.
Lists are a handy way of keeping track of people you have met online and IRL.
If you’re at an event, meet then tweet and add your new networking pal to your list.
You can also follow lists.
Monika from TravelWorldOnline tells us about her secret Twitter jam, Twitter topics.
I love Twitter since I have discovered that you can subscribe to topics.
This also means, that you can opt-out of topics, which I really appreciate since that keeps out most of the people I do not want in my timeline.
You also can subscribe to topical hashtags you are interested in.”
Thus, Twitter has turned into a treasure trove of knowledge and interesting post, that I use for research.
I visit Twitter twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the evening.
The „Tweet-Messages“ are my favorite reading source, where I follow the topics, I am interested in.
There I find new topics to talk about, Tweets to share and people, that sometimes turn into friends and partners for cooperations.
This is also a great way to interact with people.
If people interact and comment, I click on the small bell beside the follow button. This lets me see all their current posts.
I also use this method with new people I follow in order to find out, if their posts really interest me.
That way it is easy to build a community of people, who are interested in the same topics.
If people don’t interact, I unclick the little bell.
I still follow them, but not on every post they publish.
Thus I slowly build a community of people I interact with on certain topics.
Chat to Monika and see if she clicks your bell at @T_W_O.
5. Analyse The Data
In order to improve, you need to know what is working and Twitter provides analytics for that.
Measure different types of Tweets, topics, time of day, with hashtags, without etc.
You can get a quick glance at stats by clicking the graph on your own tweet or use the Twitter Analytics dashboard for detailed information.
Check out Twitter’s ad playbook for what’s working for those who pay.
Um, I Still Want A Huge Following!
Ask yourself this, why?
A large following does not equate to a huge amount of traffic, that’s what Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is for.
A large following of people who do not engage with your content is actually a nuisance.
It impacts Tweet engagement and you don’t know who your audience is so you struggle to sell to them.
Believe me! I’m a casualty of the blogging generation who went hard to get to 10K on Twitter now I have a disconnected international following compared to that of a niche blogger with a smaller audience who knows who they are speaking to.
Here’s what Charles McCool has to say.
“Twitter is like a giant, global cocktail party. At cocktail parties, you do not immediately start advertising your business.
You also do not leave business cards on the table expecting results. Right?
On Twitter, be authentic, engaging, and organic.
Be there, be present—meaning do not overly schedule your promotions but instead converse with your followers and followers-to-be.
Focus on utilizing Twitter as a means to connect with like-minded and interesting people rather than self-promotion.
Then strategically but organically engage with the right people—share and comment on their tweets.
Over time, tag people on your tweets to encourage interaction and discussion.
Watch what people you admire do and borrow strategies that make sense and improve them to your preferences.
I have slowly built my Twitter network, I do not buy followers or play games, I block and report abuse and spam accounts.
Because of that, the above tips, and more, I am recognized as a Verified account (have a blue checkmark), one of the top US travel accounts (even though my follower account is lower than the others on the list), receive invites to host Twitter chats (for pay!), and have even spoken at conferences about building a loyal following.
Be sure to follow Charles @CharlesMcCool and start a conversation!
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