First of all I need to address the elephant in the room, which is that followers are all about quality not quantity. I would probably be scolded by those in the industry if I didn’t first preface this blog post with that (common) piece of knowledge. Followers for the sake of followers are not ideal. I think we all understand that by now – but there you go.
In the beginning followers are about social proofing yourself. What does that mean? Well, it basically just means that you build you numbers in order to prove to others that you are worth following and that what you have to say has substance. I hear A LOT of people say that ‘followers’ are just vanity metrics and truth be told, it drives me insane – because they are ONLY vanity metrics when they’re bought or unqualified.
Just because you are intentional about building your follower count it doesn’t mean that you are unethical about how you got those followers OR that you aren’t adding value to these numbers. Particularly at the start of your journey, numbers represent trust. The higher the follower count, generally the easier it is for others to click that button and follow you too #BecauseSocialProof. See where I’m going with that? You have permission to build a following!
Ok, let’s continue onto the reasons you opened this blog post (for which I thank you for your attention).
There are a myriad of different ways to increase your follower count and grow your tribe on Twitter. Today, I am just going to list the ways that I have tried personally or with my clients and found success with.
Strategy 1: Be Active On The Platform *gasp*
Who knew that just by being on the platform you could grow your following, right? Don’t expect to gain followers if you are not on there representing yourself, having real conversations and getting to know people.
You don’t have to give it three hours a day but you do have to give it enough time to warrant people building a relationship with you. You don’t duck to a coffee shop for 45secs, look around and leave. You’ll never be able to engage in a conversation by doing that. You need to be present and join in conversation.
For my clients I will often suggest that even if they are super busy, if they can give it five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the afternoon, then that is more than enough time to begin building relationship on that platform.
Strategy 2: Put Out Quality Content
The second way to build your Twitter following is to start to curate, write and post quality content that adds value to people’s lives and/or businesses. You need to provide them with content that they want to read.
It doesn’t always have to be content based around your business. So I, for example, like to put out content based around social media and different social media platforms however I understand that people that digest my content might also want to hear about productivity or sales or how to scale a business. So as a result, I pepper my social media with articles that don’t directly pertain to social media. Bear in mind that you don’t want to major too heavily on subjects that don’t directly relate to what you offer because you don’t want to confuse your message but it certainly has its place in your content marketing strategy.
The moral of this particular story is that if you’re putting out good quality content, it will get shared on social media, people will find you through it, you will build relationship and people will spend money with you (because let’s remember, that’s why we’re in business).
Strategy 3: Hashtags
The third way to increase your following on Twitter is to include hashtags in your tweets and your bio. Hashtags are a great ‘discovery’ tool on Twitter. People can then search for keywords, find you and then follow you as a direct result of correctly hashtagging what we tweet and what we do.
Strategy 4: Twitter Chats
Twitter chats are a great way to connect with like-minded people or peers in your industry. A great way of utilising Twitter chats is to figure out the ones that align with what you do in parallel. What I mean by that is if you find a chat that is all about being a brick and mortar business or owning a physical store and your expertise is visual merchandising, then you can join those chats and offer a unique perspective because you are familiar with the industry, have a lot of value to offer them but aren’t jaded by the day to day running of a store.
This allows you to become an expert in the space and you’ll soon see people, who are potentially your ideal client then connect with you out of a place of trust.
This is a great way to network in a modern way aka without leaving your own home.
Strategy 5: Follow Others
I don’t want you to misconstrue this one. I am not saying go and follow anyone. But definitely think about connecting with and following – peers in your industry, ideal clients (remember you can use hashtags to search for that perfect person) or industry experts.
If you begin to follow people who are relevant to you and then reach out by sending them a tweet or a little Twitter Video, you will be surprised how many people legitimately connect with you. Remember, it’s all about relationship. Let people know through actual communication that YOU have followed them, that YOU are interested in connecting with them and that it has not just been done through a bot or through haphazard clicking.
I hope these five strategies help you on your way to building a Twitter presence. Don’t be afraid to try things out. As long as you remember that any social platform is about relationship, you should be on the straight and narrow.
Let me know in the comments below any strategies that YOU use that are different to the ones I’ve listed. There are certainly many more out there! Happy Tweeting