There has been a lot of discussion over the years about what Twitter is and what it is not, but one thing is certain, using Twitter appropriately can result in incredible success for businesses and individuals – which is why more than 6 billion people have created an account on Twitter. But just creating an account and posting the occasional tweet will not result in the type of success and following you are likely looking to achieve. And unfortunately far too many people sign up for a Twitter account with lofty goals only to abandon their account in a matter of weeks or months when they don’t find the success they seek.
But garnering a healthy following and establishing important connections on Twitter is easier than you think. Simply follow the steps outlined below and you will be well on your way to building a following on Twitter and achieving the success you seek.
1. Follow, Follow, Follow
One of the fastest ways to gain followers is to follow others. Start by identifying who your target audience is and begin following companies, media outlets and people that would typically be of interest to those you want to follow you. Refer to your buyer personas if you have them and contact us if you need help developing buyer personas. Next, start following people within the demographic you are looking to target. Twitter provides great recommendations based on the people and companies you start following, so the more you follow, the more opportunities Twitter will deliver to your home page and your email box. On Twitter, people will often follow you simply because you follow them. It is an unspoken form of respect. Follow those you want to follow you and they just might return the favor.
2. Listen and Observe
Before you start filling your Twitter page with content, take some time to read the Tweets of those you are targeting. Learn what interests them, what they are talking about and pay attention to the tweets that get retweeted. Your goal is to be the one that they talk about, so make sure you understand your audience before trying to push content at them. Develop an editorial calendar and posting schedule that includes topics that would be of interest to your audience.
3. Respond to Others
Those who want to succeed on Twitter have to do more than just blast the Twitverse with advertisements and self promotion. One of the biggest mistakes I see Twitter users make is to blast their followers with content without ever engaging with anyone. This is true for all social media marketing. No one likes to be a part of a one-way conversation, so give your audience an opportunity to engage with you by asking questions, retweeting the posts of others and replying to posts that you like by thanking the person that shared them.
4. Use Hash Tags
I know you’ve seen them, the # sign that people put in front of words like #feelingmotivated and #excited while posting about something online. While it may seem like a useless trend, when used appropriately hash tags can be extremely valuable. During step one when you were listening to and observing the tweets of your target audience, take note of the hash tags they use. You can also test out various hash tags by clicking on the # Discover portion of Twitter. Here you can type in a keyword or phrase you think people might be talking about and discover whether or not people are actually using it. I could write an entire blog post just on the use of hash tags alone, but to keep things simple, just identify 10-20 keywords or phrases relevant to your business and integrate them into your Tweets. Your reach will be multiplied because everyone who looks for your keyword will find your Tweet.
5. Be Consistent
You don’t have to let Twitter take over your life in order to be successful, however, you do need to maintain a little consistency. To keep it simple, try aiming for at least one tweet per day and stick to it. If you are feeling intimidated, don’t be. It doesn’t have to be anything ground-breaking and you can gain ideas and content easily just by viewing what your network is posting. If you are completely at a loss for words, try tweeting a powerful quote. There are several great resources on Twitter you can follow for inspiration. Personally, I like the quotes posted by @ifyoulovequotes. However, if you want to be taken seriously please refrain from posting tweets wholly irrelevant to your audience. While some may disagree, I personally don’t care what type of shampoo you used in the morning or what type of coffee you are ordering at Starbucks. Have fun with it but keep it professional and relevant or you will lose more followers than you gain.
These are just a few basics for building your influence on Twitter. I’d love to hear your strategies and connect with you on Twitter. Follow me @aubreyanneblank
For help knowing what to publish and staying consistent, download our free social media calendar.