If you send a Tweet and nobody’s around to read it, does it make an impact?
When you first start your Twitter account, you’re forced to look at a big goose egg under your follower count. Your first step is typically to start asking employees, friends and current customers to follow your new account. Beyond that many businesses are puzzled about how to get more followers on Twitter.
Although your number of Twitter followers isn’t as important as the engagement you receive, getting more eyes on your content is never a bad thing. Not only does having more Twitter followers give you additional opportunities for engagement, but it also helps your brand look more authoritative on social media.
On a network as noisy and crowded as Twitter, what can your brand do to get people to feel compelled enough to hit the follow button?
Share Amazing Content
The first mistake most brands make on Twitter is sharing the wrong content. It gets stated all the time, but putting out quality content is crucial for social media marketing. If you’re not Tweeting anything worthy of reading, why would anyone want to follow you?
Start by figuring out who your target audience is on Twitter and what type of content they want to see. There are a few different ways to get this information, but the easiest is to look at your competitors. Find your top three competitors that have an active Twitter following. You want to look at two things:
- What are they sharing?
- Who’s following them?
Looking at a competitor’s past Tweets is a great indicator of what resonates with your audience. Pay special attention to Tweets with high engagement. Collect all of the information for the most popular Tweets in a spreadsheet, including:
- Type of content: Was it a link, video, photo or Twitter poll?
- Engagement type: Record the number of Retweets, likes and replies.
- Time and day: When was the Tweet sent out?
- Copy: Write down the headline/copy of the Tweet.
The goal is not only to figure out what’s working, but why it’s effective. For instance, knowing when popular Tweets are sent out gives you insight into when your audience is most likely to be engaged.
Next, take a look at your competitors’ followers. You can do that by clicking on their profile and the number of followers.
Now that you know who’s your audience, the next step is to engage with them.
Establishing connections and building relationships is one of the easiest ways to get more Twitter followers. All it requires is time and effort.
You already have a list of people to connect with from the competitive research you did earlier. You can find more people by manually searching Twitter or using a tool like BuzzSumo. To stay organized, add everyone to a private Twitter list.
The Twitter list will put everyone’s latest Tweets in a single stream instead of having to go to 20 individual profiles.
Once you have your list, it’s time to start connecting! Dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to engaging with new people. Whether it’s liking their Tweets, replying or Retweeting, you want to get them to take notice of you while providing value at the same time.
Engagement isn’t just a one-time action. Retweeting someone on your list and never communicating with them again won’t have a big impact. You’re not just checking off boxes on a checklist. The goal is to build meaningful connections with people so that they’ll remember you.
You’ll need a way to record your past interactions with each person. Trying to do this manually can be difficult. In fact, it’s almost impossible to do without creating gigantic messy spreadsheets. And a lot of CRM software isn’t built with social media marketing in mind.
Save yourself some time. Sprout Social actually tracks your conversation history on Twitter with other users so you know who you’ve communicated with in the past. It also allows you to get context around your relationship.
Instead of making your conversations an item on a to-do list, make it a routine part of your social media marketing strategy. Over time you’ll notice your follower count start to increase.
Circling back to the importance of content, consider increasing your Tweeting frequency. The more often you Tweet, the more opportunities you have to be seen.
Because of how quickly information moves through Twitter, sending one or two Tweets a day isn’t going to cut it for most brands. Particularly if you’re in the process of trying to get more followers. You need to Tweet often and consistently. Avoid long gaps of time where you’re not Tweeting anything.
The best way to keep a steady stream of Tweets going is with a social media scheduling tool. It’ll allow you to schedule your Tweets ahead of time.
When you’re planning out your Tweet schedule, just keep in mind that quality matters more than quantity. If you’re sending 50 Tweets a day, but 40 of them are garbage, it looks bad on your brand. You want people to see your Tweets and feel like they have to follow you.
Tweet frequency also matters because it lets people know that your account is active. If someone visits your profile and sees your latest Tweet is from a month ago, they’re going to assume you’re inactive. This makes people not really motivation to follow you.
Promote Your Profile
If you do guest blogging or get media mentions, your first instinct is to promote your website. That’s a great habit since the backlinks can help your SEO and bring more traffic to your site. However, if your goal is to get more followers, consider linking to your Twitter profile sometimes.
For things like guest blog posts, you’ll typically be given an option to include a link in your byline/author section. However, a lot sites will allow you to include a link to your Twitter profile in addition to your website if you ask. This link is powerful because after someone reads your article, they’re more likely to follow you on Twitter to stay up to date on your latest content.
Also, if you issue a press release or get mentioned in blogs, try to include a link to your Twitter profile. You won’t have control over what other sites link to when they mention your brand, but you can always send a quick email asking them to include your Twitter profile too.
It should go without saying, but your Twitter profile needs to be linked to on your company website. Unfortunately there are still several companies that overlook the most common Twitter best practices. You need to make it as easy as possible for someone to get to your Twitter profile.
An often overlooked tactic that will allow you to get more followers on Twitter quickly is hosting a contest. People love to win prizes, and are more than happy to follow brands that give them away.
You do need to be careful with contests however. Your goal isn’t to get just anyone to follow you. You want to attract the right type of audience, not a bunch of freebie seekers. Freebie seekers are less likely to engage with you after your contest is over and won’t provide much value outside of being another number on your follower count.
— FruitsUp (@FruitsUpIndia) July 21, 2016
To use contests to get more targeted followers, make sure the prize you’re giving away is specific to your brand or industry. When you give away TV’s and MacBooks, you’re going to attract a lot of people who have no interest in your company or industry.
Also, try to add an additional step to enter the contest aside from requiring participants to follow you. It could be sharing a photo or Tweeting something from your website. The additional step will help you weed out some freebie seekers right away.
This one might seem really obvious to most of you. However, what’s defined as spam has evolved over the years. Twitter spam goes beyond sending automatic DM’s to people. Think about the unpersonalized Tweets some brands send when they get a new follower. The “thanks for following” messages with a link to their site. That’s spam.
Despite the emergence of social media bots, brands need to keep a human aspect when interacting with other users. The easiest way to avoid spam is to personalize your Tweets and avoid being overly promotional. Generally if you feel like a Tweet might be spammy, you should think twice before sending it out.
Spam is annoying, and when people feel annoyed they hit the unfollow button. Keep the automation to a minimum or you’ll risk losing out on potential followers.
Import Your Email Contacts
If you’re like most people, you’re hesitant about uploading your contact list to any social network. However, syncing your contact list to Twitter can be a good way to help you get some some followers quickly.
If your synced contacts are on Twitter, your account has a higher chance of showing up as a suggestion under the “Who to follow” section. Depending on the size of your contact list, this can get you a lot of new followers with very little additional work.
Joining in on Twitter chats is a good way to not only get more followers, but also build up your authority. Twitter chats give you the opportunity to engage with other users in your industry all at the same time. It’s almost like an online networking event.
— Maggie (McD) Malek (@MagsMac) May 2, 2016
We wrote an in depth Twitter chats guide that will show you how to crush it as a host or participant. It’s a must-read for anyone that wants to get involved with Twitter chats.
Some of the highlights from the guide to help you get more followers from your chats are:
- Reply to other people
- Expound on your answers
- Add the other participants to a Twitter list
- Follow up with other participants afterward
Get More Twitter Followers
Getting more followers on Twitter is all about posting the right type of content and engaging. It’s not going to happen over night, but with consistent effort you’ll see your number of followers grow.
If you want quicker results, you can experiment with Twitter Ads. You’ll be able to get in front of a larger audience that’s targeted to your demographic. If you have the budget, mix in ads with your organic strategy to get the best of both worlds.