Whether you’re building up your Twitter following from scratch, or you already have some sort of established audience, building and maintaining a following can seem rather time consuming even to veteran marketers.
Posting everyday, several times a day, is just not enough to stimulate growth. The “if I build it, they will come” mindset just doesn’t apply with twitter.
This is why it’s important you actively try to grow your Twitter audience. To see real growth in as little time as possible you have to be direct and understanding of your goals.
If you set and implement the following routine, in as little as 30 minutes per day you can start to see a more significant and faster growth in your audience. Get ready for the numbers to start climbing.
The Overall Strategy
The idea of active audience growth is that you are going to go out there on Twitter and find the users that are interested in your niche and that are also in the middle of a conversation on your topic and niche. You’re then going to insert yourself in the middle of these conversations in a non-spammy and helpful way that adds value.
For example, if you have a Twitter account for your online store that sells guitars, you might want to search for users on Twitter talking about guitars or asking questions about guitar playing and engage with them.
Don’t pitch them, don’t ask them to check out your website and don’t ask them to follow you. You just help them.
More often than not, they will check you out, see your bio and click the link to your website and even follow you.
There’s a little more to this than that, including favoriting and following relevant users, but in a nutshell, engage with people who might be interested in you or your brand, and add a lot of value first. This might seem a bit more scrappy than you are used to, but trust me when I say it works.
First off… Make Sure Your Bio is Optimized
After your first interaction with someone, they’re very likely to click on to your profile to learn more about you. First impressions are everything so ensure that your Twitter profile and bio are optimized for a great first impression!
The first thing you want to have is an easily identifiable profile picture (even on a mobile device) so that when you appear in a user’s notification feed, after following them, favoriting a tweet or replying to a tweet, it’s immediately clear what you’re all about.
You can use a picture of yourself, however brands should forgo logos for more relevant memorable images. For example, for your guitar store use a picture of a guitar.
The next thing to consider is your Twitter name. If you’re interested in getting guitar players on Twitter to check out your profile when they see you in their notifications, you want a name that is identifiable for Twitter users. For example, if your guitar store’s name is Rad, a better name on Twitter would be Rad Guitar instead of just Rad since guitar players seeing Guitar in your name are more likely to want to learn more about you.
Lastly, use pinned Tweets to help encourage people to follow you. After they click to see your profile after you show up in their notifications, what do you want to tell them? Why should they follow you? What do you frequently tweet about? Your pinned Tweet allows you to talk about yourself in a little more detail than your bio can. It can also be used to send profile visitors to a landing page to collect emails.
Find And Engage With Twitter Users (20 minutes)
As I mentioned earlier, you will be using search.twitter.com to find people having a conversation about your product or niche. But what do you search? How should you search?
The first thing to consider is using operators to filter out the noise. You want to find people who are actually talking about what you’re searching for and are really engaged. You can also use Twitter’s Advanced Search but I like using operators since they allow for more options such as filtering out Tweets with links. Here are some operators I suggest you include in the search bar.
-filter:links – This will allow you to filter out Tweets with links in them. Typically, Tweets with links are self-promotional tweets and not questions or real conversations about your topic.
“ “ – If you a searching for a very specific phrase, include it in quotes (“gibson guitar”) so your results only contain Tweets with that exact phrase and not Tweets that just include those words. It’s worth experimenting with your searches and including and not including quotation marks around your phrases.
? – If you’re searching for users asking questions, this will only show Tweets that are questions.
lang:en – Set the language for your results. In my case, I choose English.
near:”san francisco” – Find Tweets from users around you or any specific location. This is great if you’re a local business. (think food truck looking for local hungry Twitter users)
-word – If you want to filter out Tweets that contain a specific word or phrase.
So now that we know how to cut through the noise, let’s find people actually talking about what I care about and engage with them.
Let’s again say that I am a guitar store looking to build up my Twitter following. Let’s find people talking about Gibson guitars.
I’m going to search: “gibson guitar” -filter:links
Now, it’s as simple as engaging with those that are the most passionate and excited. Those are the ones that you’re going to get a response from and that are going to check out your profile and possibly even follow you.
Remember, you want to be adding value or having a real conversation. Don’t pitch or try to sell random users on your business. Don’t be the guy at cocktail parties handing out business cards.
Pretty simple, right? If you find Tweets from users that are your target audience but you can’t add value to their conversation, simply Favorite their tweet to get noticed.
Grow By Following Other Users (10 minutes)
Another part of actively and organically growing your Twitter following, is following the users that would be interested in your brand or business.
Look at the users that are “Followers” of your competitors or influencers in your niche.
From here, follow the people that you think would be interested in your business. This is a proven way to grow your following but there are a few key things to keep in mind.
You don’t want to over do it. Follow around 50 people a day, and make sure they are highly targeted follows. Follow active people and not businesses!
You also need to maintain a good ratio of following to followers. 1:1 is okay when you’re just starting out, otherwise you come across as a spammer. Use TwitNerd once a week to see who hasn’t followed you back after a few days.
If someone hasn’t followed you back after 3-4 days, unfollow them to maintain a good ratio. You also need to be careful with your number of unfollows. 20-50 a day is a safe range and you don’t want to exceed that or else Twitter will see you as someone abusing the system.
You will need to schedule and set aside time to do this everyday but a 30 minute, daily routine is all you need to see a significant growth in followers.
Of course, being active on Twitter means creating and curating awesome content that your followers will want to stick around for. So part of making this daily routine work better for you is also maintaining a consistent posting schedule.
If you have any questions or feedback, leave a comment below. I engage and respond with everyone.