Social media has become almost an integral part of our daily lives these days. Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and of course, Twitter, all compete for our inspired attention. Hashtags, posts, tweets, likes, trending now … as much real-time social networking as you can handle.
Twitter―the little Blue Bird that keeps you “in the know” about news, current trends, and relevant conversations is also one reason why you may be glued to your smartphone throughout the day. I get it. I understand. We all do the same thing.
Whether you are an established small business or an individual just getting started on Twitter, you need to grow your following to widen your influence. The more you can attract like-minded folks to follow your brand, the better.
Are you “follow worthy?”
Connect and engage with folks who share your interests and passions. Besides a boost to your ego, the more followers you have the further you can expand your audience and make meaningful connections. From a small business perspective that’s a marketing opportunity gold mine.
Follow Me! Work smarter.
Here are 12 tips to grow your Twitter following that you can use right away and they actually work.
- Optimize your profile and bio
What’s that old saying about “first impressions?” This section is your main piece of digital real estate so you need to make it count. Your Twitter profile and bio is usually the first point of contact for your soon to be adoring fans (new followers). Optimizing your Twitter account will ensure that you have better visibility. Within your profile this includes keeping your cover image up to date, using pinned tweets effectively, and including relevant hashtags.
Elements of a good bio include: showcase your brand and specifically what you do, add targeted audience keywords, include a call to action of some kind, and most importantly your bio must align with your brand personality.
You can also try to have your account verified; it will definitely help your profile stand out from the crowd.
- Share interesting and useful content
This tip is really a no brainer, but the key to crafting great content is knowing your target audience and their interests. Then you can create useful content that gets people talking (and sharing tweets) about your brand.
Your posts must be of value to your audience. If you keep that in mind you will always be posting useful content. For example, sharing business advice, or industry information, or solutions to a problem, or simply including some humor to entertain your followers are all great content topics.
In other words, you must engage your audience. Hopefully, people will like and share some of your posts and this will help to increase your following.
- Craft your tweets well
While we are on the subject of creating quality content, you will have a difficult time gaining followers if your presentation is poor. Saying a lot in just a sentence or two is not an easy task; after all you only get 280 characters to hit your mark. So make sure your tweets are well thought out.
How do you say enough to get a response from your audience? The answer is you need to be at least a fair writer and a good editor. For some ideas you can review your favorite Twitter accounts and get a sense of what style and format they use. Of course, be yourself though. Let your personality shine through.
With some creative thinking and a few edits, you can make sure your posts will get folk’s attention. As a result, they will be inspired to like or share your post, or even send you a reply. Always review what you are about to tweet out to the world―does it convey the message you want? Great. Post it.
- Entertain. Mix in some humor
When we are laughing or amused we can’t help but feel good about ourselves. Tweets that make others laugh are always among the most retweeted. This will help expand your reach and may help to increase your follower count. New followers welcome!
Of course only use humor when it is appropriate. Don’t try to force humor or be sarcastic if it doesn’t fit with your brand identity. Often you can be funny when the opportunity presents itself and sure it’s okay to just be spontaneous sometimes.
I recently had lunch with a friend and mixed in with his side order of fries was … well, ‘the world’s biggest French fry.’ It was gigantic. I suggested to him that if he snaps a picture and tweets it to his followers then, “I guarantee you will get a few replies within ten minutes.” Bingo―it worked because it simply made people laugh.
- Use compelling visuals
Question: why do you think the number of Instagram users continues to grow like wildfire? The core content stream for that social media platform consists of pictures (visuals). So, when possible, try to use captivating visuals in your posts. Eye-catching images or GIFs―folks on Twitter love them. To anyone scanning a Twitter feed, visuals will help your content stand out and will draw them in further to read more about you. With our ever shortening attention spans, including visuals is not only an excellent way to engage but it will also have a better chance of a retweet.
If you’re looking to significantly grow your online presence, consider using a social media management platform. Uniclix is a management web application that supports not only Twitter, but also Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Affordable and easy to use, Uniclix can save you time by automating your Twitter account. Publish and schedule posts, auto-suggest relevant content to share, increase your Twitter numbers, and much more.
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- Tag pertinent people and brands
This is an easy one. In your tweets use tags to get your content in front of the folks or brands that matter. Ideally your goal is to have them respond with a retweet or an @mention. In other words, you want them to share the post with their audience so make sure you are posting valuable content!
Including tags in your photos is a great way to expand your influence. More eyeballs, equals more followers. Simple. Just remember to be selective about who you target and don’t spam folks with irrelevant promotional tweets.
- Connect with your local community
Be ‘in the know’ in your area. New restaurant in town? Welcome to the neighborhood. As a small business looking to reach a local audience this is a great chance to engage with them. You should also contribute to relevant community discussions and follow other local businesses. This will open up opportunities for your brand and attract more followers. You can easily add a location to your Twitter profile so you are visible within your community and to online businesses targeting your local area.
- Respond to every comment and @mentions
This one may seem like common sense but still, it is important to follow through even if it is a bit time consuming as your account grows. Monitor and reply to people on Twitter who have reached out to you. After all, Twitter is about conversations, and that’s a two-way street. It’s not about just broadcasting messages.
Responding demonstrates to any potential new followers that you are committed, responsive, and just might be worth a follow. Otherwise, you are wasting an opportunity to engage. Remember to also let your brand’s personality come through. You want to stand out from the crowd so make your replies sincere and memorable when you can.
You can also use Social Listening to find people who are talking about subjects that matter to you and your following. Bottom Line: It’s simply a good practice to consistently engage with folks who have made an effort to connect with you on social media.
- ‘Pin’ your best tweets
Go ahead and be a “show off.” Pinning your best tweets to the top of your feed for all to see is a great way to showcase some of your finest content and it’s also one of the first things that people will notice when they see your profile. Think of a pinned tweet as almost an extension of your profile and bio. It’s an example of your brand’s quality and capabilities.
It takes creativity and time to create great content, so it’s worth getting as much value out of it as possible. If you have success with a particular piece of content that is widely shared, tweet it out to the world again so new people can find it. When you put your best content on display through pinning and retweeting you are sure to see your follower count on the rise.
- Tweet at the right time
You don’t want to tweet into a black hole where no one is paying attention. So the timing of your tweets matter as you want your content seen by as many folks as possible. Many social media experts feel that the best time to send a tweet is late afternoon on a weekday. But do some testing with different times and dates then notice when you get the most comments, likes, and retweets. You should also keep an eye on Twitter analytics to further understand what is working and what needs adjusting. The numbers don’t lie.
How often to post on Twitter? Posting at least once a day will keep your brand current in the eyes of your followers. But there really is no precise number for how many times a day you should send a tweet. Pay attention to what works best for you.
To make the best use of your time you may want to consider scheduling your tweets. Using a social media management tool such as Uniclix will allow you to schedule tweets in advance and it will make it easier to post at optimal times to drive engagement.
As a Uniclix subscriber you can also schedule social posts across multiple social media accounts; and specifically for Twitter users, the platform includes a tool to help grow your follower numbers by connecting you with like-minded people and organizations. Take your social media accounts to the next level. It’s easy to get started >>> link
- Tweet questions to drive engagement
Now is not the time to be bashful. Ask a question. Posting a question on your Twitter feed is one of the best ways to generate engagement as long as you are fairly certain it will bring in responses.
For example, a new local restaurant asking a simple, “What is your favorite restaurant or bar you go to on the weekends and why?” should result in a ton of responses. Everyone has an opinion and if you ask a relative question they will share it with you. It’s also a good chance to learn more about your audience.
You could also ask for specific feedback about a service or product. Just be prepared to take the positive responses along with some negative ones as well. Or you might consider running a Twitter poll to stoke your engagement levels. Simply put, asking a question within your tweets is a great way to get folks talking about your brand! That excitement and engagement will lead to more Twitter followers. Nicely done.
- Add Twitter buttons to a blog or website
Make it easy for people to follow you. Using Twitter buttons is another terrific way to promote your account and add new followers. Whether you have a blog or a website, encourage visitors to easily follow you by adding a Twitter button to your homepage. Twitter buttons can be more than just a follow link, there are also buttons that will allow people to share content with their followers, or @mention your handle in a post, and many more.
Along the same lines, to widen your audience and get more followers, you can also cross-promote your Twitter account by embedding your tweets within blog posts. Or, you can add your Twitter handle to your email signature. The point is that the more you promote your Twitter account the faster it will grow. More eyes, more engagements, more followers.
Whether it’s for business or just for fun, Twitter is about finding your audience, connecting, and starting a conversation. Become a trusted, valuable source of quality content and you are sure to expand your influence; blend in some of our tips to attract more followers and your Twitter follower numbers just might skyrocket.
Share, discover, laugh, and learn … it’s all there for you in the land of Twitter. So I ask you again―are you “follow worthy?”