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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How To Get More Twitter Followers

Twitter is a powerful social network for business. And the more followers you have – meaningful ones – the more exposure you will gain from tweeting. (If you’re new to Twitter, I suggest reading Twitter 101 first.)
Here are 10 tips for getting more people to click “Follow” on your Twitter account:
1. Write interesting tweets.
Add something to the conversation. Did you find a great article other people might want to read? Do you have something to say that might make people think – or laugh ? Do you have expertise to share?
Give people a feel for what your future tweets will be like. That will help them decide whether they want to follow you.
Posting great tweets makes people more likely to:
  • retweet you. This means your tweet is re-broadcast to the followers of whoever retweets you.
  • “Follow Friday” you. On Fridays, some people will post a tweet recommending people they think their followers should check out and follow. The tweet will usually include a #FollowFriday or #FF hashtag.
  • find your tweets when they search Twitter, and maybe follow you. When you’re writing tweets, include keywords people may be searching for.
2. Complete your Twitter profile: Add a bio and portrait.
Would you rather follow someone with a smiling face, or the default egg icon? How do you feel about following someone whose bio shows their interests are similar to yours, or who’s in your industry, compared to someone whose bio shares no personal information?
An incomplete Twitter profile doesn’t give people a reason to follow you. It can also make people think you’re a Twitter spammer, because many spam accounts don’t have a portrait or bio.
It can be hard to decide whether to follow someone without a portrait or bio.
3. Start following people you know.
After you’ve posted at least a few tweets and filled in your profile, start following people.
Look for your customers and business partners on Twitter, and then follow them. They’ll hopefully notice that you’ve followed them, and then follow you in return because they recognize you.
4. Follow people in your industry and people who tweet about things you care about.
Search Twitter for people and tweets that interest you. When you search, you can click for “Tweets” with that word or phrase, or “People” who match your search. Twitter’s advanced searched is also handy.
Follow people you want to listen to, and who you think may want to follow you back if they look at your bio and recent tweets.
5. Once you’ve followed people, interact with them!
Look at the stream of tweets from people you’re following (click “Home” at the top of your Twitter page), reply to people and retweet their best tweets. These interactions will make the recipients more likely to follow you back and listen to what you have to say.
If you have limited time, focus on interacting with the people who aren’t following you yet. Remember to be genuinely yourself when you engage on Twitter. People recognize an authentic voice, and they also recognize an artificial one. No one wants to engage with a phony.
6. Include prominent links to your Twitter account on your website.
Ideally, your website should have an easy-to-notice link to your Twitter account “above the fold” (visible without scrolling down) on each page of your website. This makes it easy for people to follow you if they choose.
It’s more effective to give people a reason to follow you on Twitter instead of just saying “Follow us.” Are you going to offer them coupon codes, expert information about your industry, funny pictures of cats, or…?
7. Include a link to your Twitter page in your email signature.
This makes it so much easier for people you’re already talking with. I don’t know about you, but I’m lazy. When I see a Twitter link in someone’s email signature I’m much more likely to follow them. It’s a lot easier for me to click right now than to search for them.
8. Include a link to your Twitter page in your email newsletters.
If you send out email newsletters or email blasts, try including a link to your Twitter page and suggest that people follow you. Remember, give them a reason!My business card includes my Twitter handle
9. Include your Twitter handle on your business cards.
Your business card isn’t just for your name, company, and contact info. It’s an opportunity to offer a Twitter connection to people you meet in real life.
10. Ask your employees, friends and family to follow you.
These won’t be very meaningful followers, but getting them to follow you can help you gain momentum and get a few more “real” followers.
When someone looks at your profile, Twitter will show them if one of their own followers is also following you (pictured at right).
* Don’t buy Twitter followers.
It’s a waste of money, as these will be very low-value followers who won’t retweet you or recommend you to others. Even worse, too many “junk” followers can turn off potential “real” followers.
Do you have any other tips for gaining followers on Twitter? Comment below.

This article was written by Kristina Weis of AboutUs
Kristina is customer service and social media lead for AboutUs.  She helps website owners who are trying to promote their businesses online.  Her personal blog is at KristinaWeis.com and she tweets at @KristinaWeis.
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