Twitter is one of the most popular social media networks in the world next to Facebook. Building a solid following and getting your following to engage is one of the toughest tasks when it comes to marketing yourself or your company on social media. Here I will focus on how to create an influential Twitter account and build a following that is truly beneficial to you and/or your company.
Tweet often and tweet at various times of the day. Tweeting throughout the day increases the chances of your tweet being seen by your followers. With Enfuzed’s Twitter account, I try to tweet every two hours; this ensures that my followers (who live in all parts of the world) will see at least one of my tweets over the course of the day.
Tweeting often ensures your audience that you are here to stay. Having a consistent tweeting schedule reassures your audience that they can count on seeing something from you on a regular basis. It also lets them know that you are not just tweeting when you feel like it or when you want something from them.
Engage your followers
Try as much as possible to engage with everyone who mentions you on twitter, whether that be favorite-ing their tweet,retweeting, or replying back to them. This lets them know that you have read their mention and acknowledge it. Sometimes it’s a great idea to even follow that person as they will more than likely follow you back and you can build a Twitter relationship from there.
Another thing to consider is asking your followers some questions and replying back to their answers to let them know you’re listening. Engaging with them gives you a human presence and lets them know your not a robot or just some scheduled tweet account that never actually logs into Twitter or reads what people say to you.
Mention other related accounts
Find other Twitter accounts that are related to yours and see what they’re doing and what they’re talking about. If you like what you see, mention them in a tweet. This lets them know your interested in what they have to say. This could even lead them to giving you a mention back and reading your tweets.
I follow many other web and graphic design blogs on Twitter and I am always reading what they have to say and what kind of articles they are posting. If I like an article, I will tweet it out to my followers and mention their Twitter handle in the tweet. This lets my Twitter get noticed by them and it can lead them into checking out my website and seeing what I have to offer. Then, if they like my site, they could end up giving me a mention for an article I’ve written. After awhile a relationship could build and we could end up trading tweets and mentions with each other. This is a great way to build relationships on Twitter and gain followers.
Follow related accounts
Whatever your niche may be, find other Twitter accounts that are related to that niche. Twitter does an awesome job of categorizing Twitter accounts. The more people you follow of a certain interest, the more accounts it will suggest to you that are the same. Following similar niches can increase your chance of getting followed by those accounts.
Contact other related businesses
When I started out I was trying to get my site noticed and build a strong following, so I would email related websites and ask them if they were interested in some kind of Twitter partnership. This would work, in a way, the same as the above tip. I tweet something from them that they wanted tweeted, mentioning their Twitter handle in the tweet, and they do the same for me.
Some Twitter users never check their @connect tab on Twitter, so they may not see you mentioning them in tweets. Going about it this way, by contacting them via email, will ensure they get your message and it can help you better established a tweet trading schedule for your Twitter partnership.
On Twitter, hashtags are used as a way to categorize posts. If you look at trends on Twitter, all of the trends are categorized via hashtags that are being used, an example could be #webdesign. If you are posting a tweet that deals with web design, simply insert the hashtag #webdesign into your tweet somewhere and it will be categorized with all the other tweets that mention #webdesign in them.
Once your tweet is posted with your selected hashtag it becomes a clickable link. When you click on it you will be directed to a page that has every tweet with that same hashtag. This is a great way to help build a niche following as users can search their interest, and if your hashtag matches it, you have a chance of appearing in their search and in turn possibly gaining a new follower.
An important thing to keep in mind is the amount of hashtags you use per tweet. Don’t overload your tweet to where it’s virtually illegible, use a max of two hashtags per tweet.
Style your profile
If you leave the Twitter egg as your profile picture, no one will take you seriously and it makes you look like a bot spammer. Use your company brand or logo (if it’s a good one), or if it’s just your personal account use a professional photo (not some photo of you partying).
Change the link color up to match your brands and use a nice cover photo and relevant background image to go with your account. Doing these things make it look like you care and that you’ve taken the time to properly set up your Twitter account. Remember, looking professional and legit is key in getting people to take you seriously, so do it and do it right.
Add Twitter to your website
There are a few more things you can do to help build your audience or get them interested. Adding a Twitter widget that displays your latest tweets to your website can help, that way when users visit your website they can see that you have a Twitter account and are regularly active on it.
Adding social share buttons to your website and blog posts can help as well. Giving your website a tweet button can help promote your account on Twitter by having people mention your handle in the preset tweet.
Twitter beyond the web
You can get followers and build an audience easily without having to do anything on the computer. Add you Twitter handle to things like your business cards, letterheads, or other stationary. This is something big businesses have been doing for awhile now, one good example is Lays. Lays includes their Twitter handle and Facebook url on all their bags of chips.
If you watch the news you will also notice that when some anchors come on TV, below their name now includes their Twitter handle. This occurs a lot on shows like Sports Center, Fox Sports and The Golf Channel. This is just a testament to how huge and popular Twitter jas become. So spread your Twitter handle beyond the web by promoting it on products, business cards, and other things.
Don’t ask for retweets
As with everything, there is always a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things, Twitter is no different. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people ask for retweet in their tweet. Nothing comes off worse than someone who looks desperate. Lets face it, who wants to retweet someone who is basically begging for retweets?
No one wants to be the one who retweeted someone who, in their tweet, asked for a retweet. Twitter is not a charity case, if you want to have tons of followers and get retweets then you have to work for it like everyone else.
Don’t send automatic private messages
I think everyone can agree with me that this is the most annoying thing ever. You follow someone and then seconds later you get a PM and they are thanking you for the follow and then telling you to check out some link. Don’t do this, mainly because it’s a good way to get unfollowed.
This goes along the lines of advertising in a way (if you include the link spiel in the PM) and the last thing you want to do is come off as a salesman soliciting your stuff to a brand new follower. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to thank someone for following you, but it is unnecessary to do via a preset automated private message.
Just some ending tips, follow similar niche accounts and engage with your following. Avoid spamming tweets and messages and limit the self promotion to a minimum. Keep up with trends and post relevant information that people will want to see. Obviously there are a lot of other ways to kill it on Twitter, but I wanted to go over a few ways that you don’t see very often.
Do you have some tips to add? We’d love to hear them, comment them below.