Trying to grow your following on Twitter?
Looking to get the most out of the time you spend on Twitter for your brand?
You’re in the right place. But first, it’s important to understand why your followers matter for driving engagement with your business online. When someone follows you on Twitter they are opting-in to see your Tweets. They’re the ones who will see what your company is like, what you company offers, and what your company thinks is interesting. They’re also the people that are likely to become brand advocates and will be engaging with your content through likes, Retweets, and mentions. Getting followers isn’t really your end goal. Your end goal is to get people to engage with your Twitter content, thereby engaging with your business, and eventually becoming loyal customers. When you gain followers on Twitter, it helps you get more customers. And it works! In a Small Business Customer Insight survey, Twitter found that 75% of customers feel more positively about a business after following them on Twitter, and 69% of customers said they have purchased from a SMB after following them on Twitter.
Start following users and brands on Twitter
Your second greatest lever for growing followers when you’re just starting out is to start following people first. Think about it. Your goal for generating followers is to find businesses and people that will regularly be viewing and engaging with your content. In order to get your followers to engage with your business on Twitter, you have to give a little love in return. Twitter isn’t about spraying and praying information for your benefit alone. It’s about actively engaging and participating in your industry and community online.
If you don’t put IN to the twitter community, don’t expect to get anything out of it. Period. If you aren’t willing to do that, stop reading this right now and move on to another marketing tool.
Still here? Awesome.
So how does following people help you generate followers? When you follow someone on Twitter, they get a notification saying that you’ve followed them, and Twitter makes it easy for them to follow you in return. Social psychologists call this the principle of reciprocity. When you give something to someone, they often feel socially obligated to return the favor.
This doesn’t guarantee everyone you follow will follow you back, but it will help you get started. It’s never a good idea to get on Twitter and start following thousands of people you don’t know. Your goal on Twitter is to build champions of your brand. An engaged audience, not an audience that isn’t a good fit for your business in the first place. Your Twitter following should match the demographics of your ideal customer: people who are actually interested in the content you’re sending out. So you should be following accounts that are posting and interested in similar content. When it comes to following it’s important to stay focused on quality rather than quantity. Keep in mind that you should be maintaining a healthy follower-to-following ratio. When you’re just starting out, try to follow fewer than half the number of users that are following you in return. As you grow your presence, try and follow fewer than 5X the number of followers you’re gaining. Don’t worry about this too much — it’s not an exact science. The point is, don’t artificially try to follow tons of accounts just to get followers. Focus more on quality than quantity.
INFLUENCERS AND THOUGHT LEADERS
Twitter is great for expanding your audience, but it’s also great for keeping up on industry insights and innovations. Make sure to follow thought leaders and influencers to stay up to date on industry standards.
BRANDS IN YOUR INDUSTRY OR COMMUNITY
Follow similar businesses in your industry to check out what they’re doing. This can help you establish relationships (in case you ever want to start a cobranded partnership), and also helps you stay upto-date on what other businesses in your industry are up to.
YOUR CUSTOMERS THAT ACTIVELY PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS
Do you have customers that rave about your product, or are actively engaged with you online? Follow them! Never hurts to give delighted customers a little love and see how they’re engaging with your business and others on Twitter.
A great way to start building your Twitter following is to import your existing contacts into Twitter’s import tool. You can start following those customers and businesses you already interact with face-to-face or elsewhere online. They’re already engaged with your business, so following them will help you get a bunch of new followers fast.
USE TWITTER’S “WHO TO FOLLOW” TOOL
As you start to follow people, Twitter recommends similar businesses or users to follow. Use this to discover great new influencers, businesses, or news channels to follow.
In closing, remember. The whole point of Twitter and social media in itself is to build champions for your brand. You want to turn your audience into a massive number of individuals who not only follow your message but those who then share your message and brand to the world. Think of it this way: If I told you that The Digital Hook was the best boutique agency for small and medium businesses, you would probably take it with a grain of salt because what else am I supposed to say? Of course I’m going to speak highly of our business. But… what if you saw other people around you and some you trust, all singing the praises of what we do. Are you going to be more apt to listen? Of course you are. Social media works the same way.
Now get out there and take these tips to heart and make it happen.
We’ll see you next time with more advice and data!