When you first get started on Twitter, whether for your own personal use or for business use, it can feel a bit intimidating. You’re like the new kid at school and like it or not, the only way to make friends is to start approaching people and saying hello. YOU must take the initiative. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier and way more fun to do this online using Twitter than it is being the new kid at school.
This article will help explain how you can go from no followers to literally thousands of followers on twitter in a very short period of time. If you’re a website owner, it is perfectly reasonable to expect Twitter to become your #1 traffic source. No longer will you be at the mercy of relying on Google or putting all of your eggs in the search engine optimization basket. Once you’ve mastered Twitter, you can master other social media networks, improve your email marketing, and at the same time continue working on driving free search engine traffic. With a diverse stream of traffic, you are building a REAL business. One that isn’t at the mercy of a single algorithm change or one traffic source.
So with that said, let’s get started by getting you some Twitter followers!
Get Twitter Followers By Following Others First
Before you can expect people to follow you, it is important that you build yourself some credibility. Find those in your industry and begin following them. If you’re an affiliate marketer, for example, you can start following all of the companies you promote. But you should also follow individual people such as experts in your field. For example, I have a website called DogFoodInsider.com. On my twitter page (@DogFoodScoop), I follow all of the major dog food companies as well as popular dog experts such as Dr. Karen Becker and Cesar Milan. I also follow dog nutritionists, pet food stores, dog breeders, and anyone else involved with dogs. I’ll even follow random people who are clearly dog lovers and post a lot about their dogs.
Now, once you start following people, you will notice your own follower numbers increasing naturally. Many people enjoy seeing who is following them. If A dog lover sees my profile (@DogFoodScoop) they will probably click on my profile to see who I am. They will then see the link to my website and if they visit my site, they will be greeted with literally hundreds of dog food reviews. Sometimes, they will even find it so helpful that they in turn will share links on their own Twitter or Facebook feeds. It seems super simple (and it is), but simply following others who would be interested in your niche topic is good enough to gain a pretty good following of your own. It’s a good rule of thumb to expect about 25% to 30% of people to follow you in return for you following them.
Just keep in mind, you are only allowed to follow 2,000 people until some limitations will kick in. In order to follow more than 2,000 people, you will need to gain a following of your own. The more people that are following you, the more you are allowed to follow.
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Interact With Those You Are Following
Make sure you actually put yourself out there and interact with the people you are following. You don’t have to comment on every post they make (that would be a bit stalkerish), but when you see something they posted is interesting or helpful, let them know! You can even re-tweet it or give them a special mention on your Twitter feed. Just be genuine. If someone isn’t providing helpful and useful information, remove them from your list and follow someone else (remember, people will do the same to you). Only follow those who are truly helpful. If they send you a direct message or respond to a comment, reply back! Forming a relationship like this can literally turn into money later, so get out there and network with the people you are following. Don’t just give them sales pitches for your website, product, or service – that will come later. For the most part, just interact and have fun. As a direct and indirect result of your friendliness, your own following will continue to grow.
Share Great Stuff With Your Following
Once you start to gain a small following, share things that are irresistible. If you don’t have a blog or website yet, get one. You can create all sorts of interesting content that your following will love. Top 10 lists are huge. If you do nothing else but create top 10 lists related to your industry and share it with your targeted following, you will gain traffic to your blog, your information will get re-tweeted and shared, and you will watch the number of followers you have climb even higher. And remember, you can tweet about an article many times. Twitter is a very “in the now” type of platform and most people will never realize you posted to the same article 5 times in the same week.
You should also re-tweet interesting information related to your industry, share cool videos, or anything useful. Twitter isn’t all about driving sales and traffic to your website – it’s about gaining a loyal following. Sure, a promo tweet about your business every now and then is completely acceptable, you should simply avoid doing it all the time. When you share highly relevant, useful, entertaining, or helpful information, you not only gain more followers, but people will check out your profile. That’s where much of your website traffic will come from. So just provide high quality info and the rest is easy.
Do Some Housecleaning
Once you have been following people for a few weeks, check out the list of everyone you are following. If you don’t see the words “Follows You” next to their name, you are not being followed by that person. If you don’t find their Twitter feed particularly helpful or interesting, feel free to remove them from the list of people you follow so you can add others. You do need to be a bit careful about this as constantly following and un-following large groups of people can be considered spam. I very highly recommend you read Twitter’s policies on following and un-following people.
Use A Great Avatar
If you are using Twitter for your company or website, make sure your avatar is a high quality image of your logo or some other professional picture. It’s a small space so it should be easy to read and recognize. For individual bloggers, using a picture of yourself usually works best as it helps to make things more personable. With that said, make sure it’s cropped properly. Trying to show a picture of you with Mt. Everest in the background or a picture of you with your 12 cats in your living room isn’t going to cut it. Use the small amount of space you have available wisely.
The bottom line is if you use a cheap looking avatar than people will view you as being unprofessional. If you use a properly sized and cropped image that is easy to recognize and distinguish you from everyone else, it’s a winner.
Unlike Facebook and some other social media platforms, you can tweet very frequently. Most major companies will send out a new tweet ever hour. This includes social media management companies like HootSuite and other well known internet based companies like GoDaddy and HostGator. If they are doing it, chances are it’s pretty safe for you to do it. Since Twitter is such an “in the moment” social platform, you can even tweet out the same thing two days in a row. Hardly anyone (if anyone) will notice.
There are many programs out there that allow you to schedule tweets, so even if you can’t be at your computer every hour of the day, your can still update your twitter feed regularly. I already mentioned HootSuite which is a service that allows you to schedule tweets, but a simple Google search will reveal many more. The more you tweet, the more likely people will notice you, so don’t be shy.
Have A Great Bio
While you should have a great bio, it shouldn’t be very long. Before people decide to follow you, chances are they will take a look at your bio to see who you are. If you provide too much information, they’ll simply move on. If you don’t provide enough info, you might not peak the interests of others enough to follow you.
Your bio should be a very short description about who you are and what you do. Don’t try to attract everyone, rather, go after your target audience. Aside from Twitter being just a numbers game, it is also a game of attracting the RIGHT people. If you have a website you are promoting about dogs, you don’t care about people who have pet birds. So don’t make your bio about “pets”. Make it about dogs specifically (or even a specific breed of dog). It’s always better to start too narrow and broaden over time than to start too broad and have to narrow down later. You’ve got less than 1 minute for your bio to convince others to follow you, so make it good!
In Twitter, you can send messages to anyone by placing an @ symbol in front of their Twitter name. This message will appear on their profile page. So, if you see someone talking about a subject related to your website or business, you can easily reply back to them and give them some helpful info. If they decide to re-tweet your helpful advice, all of their followers will see it. Simply sending @Messages can help give you a ton of exposure and you get to help people at the same time. A win-win.
Ask Lots Of Questions
To get people involved and talking, be sure to ask lots of question in your twitter feed. Everyone likes to give their 2 cents, so give them a platform to do so. For example, if you have a twitter feed about golfing, you might ask “what is your favorite golf club brand?” Or you can specifically target a segment, such as golfers in California, by asking what their favorite golf course is in California. A large number of your tweets should include questions to help entice others to respond. The more response and interaction you get, the more likely someone will check out your profile and visit your website to learn more.
Pictures & Video Are Worth 140 Characters
If a picture is worth 1,000 in the offline world, a picture is worth 140 characters in the Twitter world. Everyone loves images and videos. It’s pretty universal across all social media platforms that a post with an image will get far more views, responses, and interaction than a text-only post. The more images you can share, the better.
While you need to be careful about sharing photos under a copyright protection, you can still find many copyright free images. For example, you can go to Google Images, click on the little gear icon in the upper right corner, click on “advanced search” then only show images that are not protected by copyright. In almost every industry, you will be able to find a ton of images you can use or even edit for your own purposes.
For video, YouTube makes this easy. In most cases, you do not need to ask the owner of a YouTube video to share it on social media. In fact, you’re usually doing them a favor. Just find some awesome videos your following will enjoy and share it. The more fun, interesting, or useful images and videos you share the better.
While this is not an all-inclusive list of ways to gain a bigger Twitter following, this is how most new Twitter users start off. The more comfortable you get with Twitter, the more efficient you will be and the more you’ll get your desired result – more website visitors and more sales without relying on the search engines.