Social media marketing has become an important part of most successful businesses’ outreach efforts, and Twitter is one of the top social networks that small businesses and individuals alike have been turning to in recent years. Having a large Twitter following can benefit your business on several levels, including the ability to directly connect with potential customers and build your brand awareness among consumers who might not know about you yet. However, starting from scratch can be challenging, particularly if you don’t yet have much of an audience or traffic to your own website.
Build Quality Content
The foundation of any successful social media campaign is built on quality content. If you have no interest in what you’re writing about, don’t expect anyone else to care either. Be honest with yourself when identifying topics that are likely to engage your audience. One of your main objectives should be keeping your followers up-to-date on new developments within your industry; but it also helps if you make it personal. Try sharing stories and insights that will be useful and interesting to people outside of your line of work or interests, too—such as advice or motivational stories related to success, achievement and personal growth. And remember: keep it short! Tweets under 140 characters get 3 times more clicks than those above 140 characters
Include an Image
Adding images to your tweets can help boost engagement. They also act as visual tweets, where readers can quickly skim through your content and understand it more quickly. As you increase your follower count, make sure that each tweet you send includes an image relevant to what you’re tweeting about, even if it’s just an emoticon. It’ll keep your followers engaged and reading for longer.
Engage with people
The only way you’ll get more followers is if people follow you. This means you need to be engaging with people on Twitter by responding to their tweets, liking and retweeting their content, or even asking them questions. The more time and energy you put into interacting with others, both your followers and potential followers will begin taking notice of who you are—and that can lead to some new (and active) followers for your account. Don’t forget about @-mentions, either; when users mention other users in their tweets (i.e., @Person), those users are often notified via email about those mentions. So if someone mentions an influential user in their tweet, it could result in some additional traffic or attention for both users.
Connect with Influencers in Your Industry
You’re never going to grow your Twitter followers organically unless you reach out and connect with influencers in your industry. Target bloggers, journalists, and people who have their own personal brands. But don’t just reach out and say, Hey I love what you do. Can we be friends?—because if they’re anything like me they’ll hit that block button as fast as humanly possible. Instead, add value first. Share some of their posts on your own timeline with an added comment that isn’t necessarily related but gives readers something extra (like, I loved how [x] shed light on [y]. I didn’t think about it that way before!
Post at the Right Time
One of the best ways to get more followers on Twitter is by posting at times when your target audience is online. Based on statistics from TweetReach, here are three times you should post for maximum engagement: 1) Sunday, 2) 9 p.m., and 3) Wednesday around 11 a.m. You’ll have plenty of time to plan out your posts so you’re ready at these prime posting hours! Alternatively, Buffer has created an infographic (embedded below) that gives further details about optimal tweet timing by industry and category.
Listen & Interact on Twitter
Although it seems obvious, it’s easy to forget: if you want people to follow you on Twitter, interact with them. Reply to their tweets and respond when they @ you. Send out links that are relevant and helpful—it’s good karma and will make people feel like they know you well enough that they don’t mind being followed by you (i.e., they trust your opinion). Engage in conversation, ask questions, and make friends on social media. Your followers should be engaging with each other; if not, help them out by pointing them in interesting directions or offering advice.
Keep it Consistent!
Consistency is key when it comes to growing your audience and building up brand loyalty. Tweet at regular intervals so that people know when to expect new content. For example, tweet once every weekday between 10:00 am and 11:00 am. A basic formula would be one tweet per day with some variation each week, such as one long story on Tuesdays and short links or inspirational quotes on Thursdays. Though consistency is important, don’t make things too predictable or people will stop responding as quickly—the best time for tweeting depends on what kind of content you’re sharing and your target audience, so try different times and see what works best!
As we wrap up our discussion on growing your Twitter followers, there are really only two tips that you need to remember: (1) tweet consistently and (2) build relationships. Take care of these basics and you’ll find yourself in great shape! Good luck!