There are 241 million active users on Twitter each month, according to the social media site’s own reports. This statistic alone should be enough for social media marketers and content managers to recognize the value of Twitter.
The problem is not whether or not people are using Twitter. There’s no question that they are, to the amount of 500 million tweets a day worldwide.
The problem is how to communicate your message to someone who actually cares about it. That’s where your followers come in.
Twitter followers are people who choose to subscribe to your messages. And, regardless of how many people you choose to follow, everyone wants more Twitter followers. Twitter followers:
- increase your social authority, establishing you as a resource on a certain topic,
- extend your influence by allowing you to spread your ideas/messages more quickly, and
- help you sell, whether you’re selling a brand, product, service, or cause.
There is no single way to attract more Twitter followers, other than perhaps buying them, which I strongly discourage you from doing. My understanding of this practice, which I have not done, is that you pay for much more than you get, quality-wise.
You should work instead to attract your followers the old fashion way, which will take time and a combination of methods, but will result in a greater quality of engagement and real conversions.
Here are some tips for how to get more Twitter followers:
Don’t be an egghead
Part of setting up your Twitter account is replacing the automatic egg avatar with a professional close-up of yourself or your company’s logo, depending on the account’s purpose. I discourage you from posting funny profile pictures, unless you don’t want people to take your personal brand seriously.
Write a great bio
Your bio should tell who you are and what you’re interested in. You also should consider including a fun or interesting fact about yourself. For more help on writing your bio, read my post on How to Write a Professional Twitter Bio.
Answer the why
Tell people why they should follow you, then back that up by fulfilling your content promises.
There are almost 10,000 tweets sent every second. This means you have to tweet frequently to get noticed. You can’t assume that you can send a message a single time or tweet once a day and build a following. Tweet throughout the day.
Short tweets are more likely than longer ones to get retweets. Since tweets are only 140 characters anyway, you have to be super concise to give people space to add their own message. Retweets are the best way to get noticed by people who you don’t follow. For more help on getting retweeted, read my post on How to Get More Retweets on Twitter.
Search hashtags related to your industry to find people to follow, conversations to join and points to retweet. This allows you to network with others who share your interest, creating following/follower opportunities.
Follow people who share your content. This helps build community and network, as described above.
Use good manners
Retweet and say “thank you” to people who share your content. This allows you to extend your reach and build your community through good manners. You also can attempt to engage them or extend the conversation by asking them what they thought about a key concept in the post.
Don’t just automate
The pressure to tweet regularly has resulted in many people automating their posts. Some people are totally against automation. I am not. I think it’s necessary and perhaps even expected. However, you can’t use this method alone. You must actually go to Twitter to share and engage if you want real results.
Follow people who are influencers and/or leaders in your areas of interest. These are the people you want to learn from and the ones who can help you identify others with your same interests.
Respond to others
Answer all of the questions asked of you and respond to comments addressed toward you. Be a resource by answering queries when you can. Be a guide to help followers find the answers to questions you can’t answer.
Participate in chats
I love Twitter chats, as my followers undoubtedly know. These online, topic-based conversations are a great way to meet people. In addition to participating in chats, hosting or being a featured guest on chats also are great ways to build your following. If you have more questions about how to participate in Twitter chats, read my post on 10 Tips for Participating in Dizzying Twitter Chats.
Live tweet events
This is a wonderful news-like benefit of Twitter. It allows your followers to be someplace they cannot and gain information they would have missed otherwise. Consider live tweeting conferences, meetings, speakers, etc. Use the official hashtag for the event or create one that intrinsically makes sense.
Retweeting people’s content and their tweets helps you build a relationship with them while providing your audience with information of interest.
Hashtags help you broaden the conversation outside of your immediate following, hopefully gaining attention and followers in the process.
Be a resource
Establish yourself as the “go to” resource or thought leader on a certain topic. Become known for your expertise by including this topic in your bio, tweeting mostly information pertaining to it and using hashtags related to it.
The social media environment is reciprocal. While it’s good to follow people who share your content and those who are thought leaders in your areas of interest, don’t limit yourself to just them. For most of us, the more people we follow, the more followers we will get.
While there’s no single way to build a following on Twitter, combining these methods should, over time, help you to build an active and engaged group of followers.
Let’s Talk Nerdy!
What methods do you use to build your Twitter following?