There is a good reason you should focus on your Twitter strategy, reports show that for businesses Twitter provides a rich source of business leads outperforming Facebook and LinkedIn 9-to-1, with 82% of social media leads coming from Twitter – source: Optify.
I produced a set of slides about a year ago about how Twitter could be used by businesses and this post is an update on that and some further tips on how to get more Twitter followers. Twitter now stands at over 200M active users and is now 7 years old, Twitter released a video on YouTube celebrating their birthday showing their growth and the 170Bn Tweets sent to date. If fact there are more than 400M tweets sent each day.
Twitter has spawned a whole host of useful tools to that help you with your marketing. By being creative and knowing how to use these tools you can not only rapidly grow your followers but also improve your sales and lead generation. If you want to get more followers you need to get more exposure to your content, your Twitter account and your marketing touchpoints.
50 Tips On How To Get More Twitter Followers
1Use Your Twitter Header
You have a chance using your Twitter profile to make sure people understand what you are marketing and why they should listen. Ideally you want to get over in the profile words exactly who you not just in business terms but also what your about. Use keywords about your business and add in a personal touch.
Use the visual aspect of the Twitter profile to highlight what you do – this is valuable space so make sure you make the most of it and put across clear messages.
2Link Up Your Website
Link up your website to Twitter so people can easily click through to your Twitter account
3Link Up Your Social Networks
Link your social media accounts to Twitter. Facebook (about section or tab showing recent Tweets) and other social networks e.g. Linkedin. Make it easy for people to connect with you and more people will follow you.
4Add Link To Emails
Add a link to your Twitter account to your email signature with a call to action follow me. Email is still the most important business communication tool. We send regular emails to clients and potential new customers so why not make sure they can follow you on Twitter as well with a click from your email.
5Post Great Content Regularly
Post good quality content that fits to your brand – this will help you get noticed and people are more likely to Retweet great content to their followers and mention you.
Reference other good articles on the Web, comment on others’ tweets and talk talk about others, not just yourself.
6Use The Tweet This Link In Blogs (occasionally)
You might have seen in blogs a “Tweet This” next to a quote or some statistics e.g.
There are now over 400M Tweets per day via @tribaltalk [tweet this].
Use the code below and edit it in your text editor in WordPress (not the visual editor) and insert this code and then adapt it to how you want to use it.
COPY-YOU-WANT-TO-TWEET <a href=”http://twitter.com/home/?status= COPY-YOU-WANT-TO-TWEET. via@YOUR-TWITTER-ACCOUNT ” target=”_blank”> [tweet this].</a>
Alternatively use Click To Tweet
A hashtag is often used on Twitter to help people search on key subjects. It is simply a # in front of a keyword or phrase, without spaces.
For example, #marketing and #twittertips are both hashtags.
You will soon find out how to get more Twitter followers by using the hashtags that your target audience follow and use regularly. To see the top 20 hashtags click this link to an infographic on Pinterest. Key action: focus on 5-6 hashtags that also fit to your content categories and track which ones get the best response.
8Search For Tranding Hashtags/Popular Ones
Use Hashtags.org to look for hashtags that are trending and fit to your target audience. Use these to build in links to relevant content and get more click through rates and exposure.
TagDef – Tagdef helps you discover what hashtags mean, as well as providing useful information on what is trending. You can also add you own hashtag and definition here.
Other useful tools:
What The Trend - this is a great tool to help you identify trends on Twitter.
Twubs by following hashtags you can discover conversations that you can join and people you can follow/or they will follow you.
9Get Local With Trends
Trendsmap is a very cool tool that plots Hashtags on a map so you can easily identify what is trending near you.
Despite what you might think people respond really well to being ask to Retweet. Dan Zarella used a massive data set of more than 2.7 million Tweets provided from Buffer. The most popular way phrase to use is please help – how simple is that.
If you don’t follow other people chances are you are missing out on developing your following. I know this sounds simple but setting targets and goals for Twitter is important. Follow people who are your target audience and start to build a relationship with them.
12Hook Up Twitter with Linkedin
Linkedin allows you to connect your Twitter account so that your Tweets will appear as posts on Linkedin. It also helps people connect back to you from Linkedin.
To do this go to your settings and then click on profile you should see a screen similar to the image below. Click on Manage Your Twitter Settings and then connect your Twitter account, then select the Twitter account you to use for posts.
13Time Your Tweets for Maximum Effect
The Science Of Twitter by Dan Zarella points to Tweeting at weekends and later in the day to get more retweets and hence more exposure to new potential followers.
However, this can vary a bit and so as you might guess there are tools that can help you optimise when you post. One such tool is Buffer which will post at the best times and intervals. You can also use:
14Use a Good Twitter Management Tool
There are dozens of Twitter management tools out there but by far the most popular is Hootsuite. Using a good management tool enables you to easily respond to people, schedule tweets and get reports on your performance.
Other ones worth considering: Pluggio, Crowdbooster and Sprout Social.
15Don’t Just Talk About Yourself
If you have ever been to a party and met someone who only talks themself and how fabulous they are you will know it is mind numbingly boring. The best hosts and people mix it up, taking interest in you as well as mentioning their own life and experiences. Twitter is no different. If you listen the experts the suggested range between others people and your own content varies from 80:20 (4:1 based on the 80-20 rule) to Chris Brogan who uses 15:1.
16Retweet Others Who Follow You
We are all in this together and you should try and browse through your feed and pick out the Tweets to Retweet. This helps build your followers and genuinely shows that you are interested in their content as well. Although this can be difficult as follows mount it is still an important exercise to do.
17Join a Twitter Hashtag Chat or Start Your Own
A Twitter chat is a open Twitter conversation around one unique hashtag that other people get involved with. You often find that Twitter chats relate to markets and / or sectors e.g. #Edchat for education. Generally they have a time associated with them so you can easily schedule when to join in and be active. Tip: check out the previous chats by using Hashtag.org or search on the hashtag through Twitter.
Here is a list of Twitter Chats which might help you find one for your market or interest.
18Put Your Links In The Right Place
If you are sharing your content or content from other sources then the goal is to get click through and mentions. The optimum place to put a link is not at the end but the after the first 25% of the Tweet.
19Use The Right Url Shortener
In a nutshell you should use Bitly. This probably because it has become a trusted and known url shortener.
20Use Twitter Directories
The other side of searching for people is making it easy for people to find you. There are Twitter directories which do both – help people find you and help you find your target audience. They provide simple classifications to help people narrow down their search for relevant Tweeters.
Twitaholic is a Twitter directory that sorts all users by the amount of followers they have.
Loaded Web is a Twitter directory for local people/Tweeters.
Local Tweeps is another local Twitter directory for the US, Canada, and the UK.
21Understand Your Network
MentionMap is a cool network exploring tool that you can use to explore your network. Other tools that help you discover insights through visualization include: The Archivist and 5K Twitter Browser.
22Influence The Influencers
If can form relationships with influencers then it can help you rapidly get more Twitter followers. Be respectful and don’t spam people and also think of how you can likewise help them. Use your blog to mention articles by them or feature a list of key influencers you follow and why – then let them know you included them. Retweet the influencers posts and try to pose thoughtful questions that relate to a post of blog – ideally spend some time looking for a stand out question.
Use Crowdbooster to identify your influencers in your network. One word of caution though be realistic and take it in stages. If you have a 1000 followers reach out to those that have 10k followers; going for people with over 100k might be hard to get a response – however you never know and that is what is amazing about social media.
We live in a world of imagery and marketing is rapidly moving to visual thanks to better mobile and internet bandwidths. Tweet out pictures to help build engagement. These could be useful mindmaps, pictures of an event, something that you see as awesome e.g. a location and of course great people you meet.
Some useful tools:
TwitPic - TwitPic lets you share photos on Twitter
Twitxr - Automatically publish them on social networks and photosharing sites
Tweetphoto - Photo sharing made simple
The occasional relevant quote can be interesting and a great way to inspire people. Try to go for quotes that really mean something to you so if people respond you can be genuine about what it means to you. Too many quotes become mundane so use scarcity here rather than blitz.
25Keep Your Account Ratio Clean
One of the inevitable facts of life is that you will need to automate some part of your social media. If you do you also run the risk of collecting followers that don’t follow back and potentially if you have automated your follow back undesirable types e.g. porn or others.
26Use A Twitter Marketing Tool
TweetAdder is a fantastic and powerful Twitter marketing tool that can help you follow people that are your target audience.
I have used TweetAdder to build thousands of relevant connections and I recommend it to people, businesses and non-profits.
27Build Interesting Twitter Lists
We all have heroes and iconic figures that we admire. You many notice great thought leaders or people you find funny. Whatever the case produce lists in Twitter and leave them open so other people can discover and build their lists. A good list helps you have a quick source to great content for Retweeting as well.
28Know Your Twitter Etiquette
There are some courtesies to be mindful of when using Twitter and some obvious easy blunders to avoid as well.
Here is a list of useful Twitter etiquette by Jeff Bullas (great blogger)
Here are a few blunders to avoid
29Don’t Spam With Direct Messages
This might be counter intuitive but the whole auto-responder piece has killed off direct messages. My inbox is not checked very often due to the amount of irrelevant messages that flood in. Please do not use this as a feature and perhaps we can look forward to it being useful again.
30Be Funny Or Die Trying!
Some people are naturally funny, others try and there is a big space in the middle where sometimes you get it right and sometimes wrong. You will know your audience and what is right and appropriate. Adding in some humor is good for the soul – couldn’t resist it!
31Use Follow Friday
Use #FF otherwise known as Follow Friday to mention influencers who in turn will pass on and mention you to their followers. It is also worth doing this as a shout out to those followers who have mentioned you or other people great content you have come across during the week.
Most people you suggest for follow Friday will return the favor and hence help build your following. Simply by recommending others on #FollowFriday, you gain new followers from those people that reciprocate.
32Get Feedback – Use Polls
You can use Twtpoll to get quick and easy surveys back from your followers and if you ask for it be to retweeted it can spread further and get more Twitter followers.
33Harness Your Content
Tweet old post is a very cool WordPress plugin that will Tweet out old blog posts and you can assign a hashtag as well. Blogs have a short life but by using this new people can discover your older blogs and engage with you. This helps you to get more Twitter followers who might otherwise have missed the post.
34Get The Right Ratio
Keep a check on your ratio as it does affect how people follow you. Use tools to unfollow people that don’t follow you back. I leave it up to you as to whether you follow back or not. Some people prefer it others don’t.
35Tweet During Peak Times
One of the busiest days for Tweeting is Friday (yes it is all those weekend plans buzzing around). With more people Tweeting more people are also listening. Choose a good time to post in your quality content. Don’t be afraid to change the heading and try different titles for the same content – you can learn a lot from this.
36Pay With a Tweet
If you have some high quality content then you can use Pay With a Tweet. You are asking someone to either buy your product or Tweet it out instead. This is a great way to promote your Twitter account and get a lot of exposure. The trick is to have a product that is perceived as high value.
37Use a Social Locker With Great Content
Another interesting use similar to Pay With a Tweet is to ask people to Tweet out a page (landfing page typically) in exchange for getting a download e.g. an eBook. Take a look our free content marketing eBook and Tweet it out if you want to see the social locker at work
38Run A Contest
Run a contest on Twitter – people love prizes and if it is relevant for your audience you will be amazed at the results.
Ways you can run a contest – follow to enter, add a caption to a photo, best 140 character response to a question. Make sure you follow the official rules laid out by Twitter.
Don’t forget to be transparent about the contest rules and how you select the winner. Oh and don’t forget to announce and celebrate the winner.
39Change Your Header and Background
Many people keep their backgrounds the same no matter what. I think it is good to change it and show off different pictures of your products and people. It often gets a good reaction from new followers and people.
40Install a Follow Button With Your Author Profile
A simple thing to do on your website is to include a follow button and also show how many people are following you.
To do this go to Twitter and follow the instructions.
41Ask A Question
You can make statements all you like but interaction is where you get more involved with people and create true engagement. It takes time and you have to have to respond but this is the beauty of Twitter. Pose a question and go for it e.g. what times should you start sipping wine on a Friday!
42Integrate Your Offline
If you are going to events in your industry see if there is a common hashtag being used for that event that you can use to develop relationships. If there isn’t one then it could be your chance to create one and lead the conversation for that event. Don’t forget though to simply have your Twitter account printed on any leaflets, business cards and other material you give to potential new customers and people you meet.
43Release A Report
If you generate a report or commission one you can use the statistics to fuel a whole host of Tweets which will intrigue people to find out more. Use this as a method to get more Twitter followers and create engagement around the report topic.
44Take A Different View
Sometimes it is easy to go with the flow. If you look at blog posts that often do well though and provoke lots of comments, they often have taken a unique or different angle to the normal.
46Create Killer Headlines
If you want to get high number of click throughs on your Tweets, get more Twitter followers you need to spend time coming up with headlines that are going to grab peoples attention. Copyblogger came up with some awesome formulas to help you as a starting point.
47Advertise Your Vacancies
If your business is doing well use your Twitter account to advertise your vacancies. If people think they might stand a chance of applying for a job they will keep an eye out on your Twitter feed.
48Drop In Ideas
We all like to pick up on new ideas and contribute our own thoughts, that is hone of the drivers for how we collectively use social media to create new solutions e.g. crowdsourcing. If you have seed ideas and want to expand them Twitter can be a great platform to develop ideas and connect with others who find it interesting.
49Create A Story
We all like stories, we are hardwired to listen to them and if told well people will follow them. Using the tools I have mentioned you can create a story about your business or you, using photos, Tweets, video and build it out. Create excitement and anticipation and you will have a winning formula.
50Blog A Summary Of Your Top Tweets
Occasionally you could make a blog from the Tweets of the week and top answers from people. If you are using WordPress there is a cool plugin called Twitter Blackbird Pie. By grabbing the url of a Tweet you can easily embed the Tweet in your blog. See this post on TechCrunch for more detail.
Pull It All Together
Perhaps the most important part is to pull it all together from strategy through to implementation and develop a plan that is going to work for you. Get that right and you will be on the road to become a Twitter rock star and really grow your business.