Why bother with Twitter? Because you want exposure and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Simple. You want to build a following or a “platform”. Twitter is great if you blog or create content regularly and you want to drive people to your website. Yes, it’s become very political lately, but it’s still a strong network for exposure. Politics is not the only thing on there.
In his book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, Michael Hyatt writes:
There are three benefits to carefully building and nurturing your platform… A platform provides:
- Visibility – elevate yourself above the crowd
- Amplification – extend your reach
- Connection – more connected with your fans, customers and supporters
Tweets come up in Google search! You can’t just set up a Twitter account, automate some content and expect it to work.
Here are some tips to grow your Twitter followers:
- Clearly define your target market(s) persona. You’re going to be searching for your target on Twitter search, but you need to identify who you’re looking for. Otherwise, you’ll waste time. Do a little research on them, too.
- Brand your Twitter account like an extension of your website. You have 7 seconds to catch someone’s attention. In those 7 seconds, they should know exactly what you do and what you have to offer. Replace the default egg graphic with either your picture or your logo. It hast to be 400 x 400 pixels. The banner is 1500 x 500 pixels. Create quality graphics in the correct dimensions. You can’t take a small graphic and stretch it to fit. It will look fuzzy. You also can’t upload a rectangular logo into the square. It will get cut off. Use a free graphics tool like Canva.com to create your pictures.
- Write a keyword-centric bio with hashtags. Think keywords. This is no place to be cute or funny. You have only 160 characters to describe what you do and what you have to offer. Make every word count and mean something. Make sure you add the link to your website.
- Tweet. Share some content. Because Twitter moves so fast and people log on at different times of the day, you can easily post 10-20 tweets a day using a scheduler or automating content.
However, for every 15 tweets…
- 10 should be other people’s content
- 4 are your original content or tips
- 1, no more than 2, should be selling posts with calls-to-action
- Search for your target market using Twitter’s search box. Try several keywords and phrases. If you’re local, add location to the search. Take notice of their location, how many followers they have and how many people they are following. You’re looking for people who are active and with a decent following (over 100). Now, take into consideration how long they’ve been on Twitter. It’s possible they are new, but they still are potential customers. How many tweets? Read some of them. What are they tweeting about?
- Follow people. As soon as you follow someone, they are notified. They will then check out your profile and decide if they want to follow you back. Follow people or companies that are either…
- Potential customers – they reflect the description you came up with in your target market research.
- Potential strategic partners – connect with people in related industries who could serve as referral sources.
- Influencers – these are people with a lot of followers and those followers are your potential target market.
- Content providers – these are people in your industry or related industries who post good, quality content that’s worthy to share with your followers.
- Use lists to classify users. Definitely make one for Influencers so you can easily follow them and share their content. Furthermore, if a list is public, other Twitter users can subscribe to it and anyone that you add to it will be notified. A private list is just that — private — for your eyes only.
- Monitor your competition. See what their posting and how often. You can do this discreetly by setting up a private list. They won’t know you’ve added them to it.
- Check what’s trending in the morning and then later in the day. See if there’s anything that you can use to spin your marketing message around to get more exposure.
- Use hashtags properly. Hashtag major keywords. Create your own. But don’t over do it! Not every word needs to be hashtagged. When someone clicks on a hashtag, all tweets with that hashtags, as well as account bios, will come up.
- Thank people for following you, retweeting your tweets and mentioning you. That’s proper Twitter etiquette. It’s how you start building relationships. Check your notifications at least every other day.
- Bonus one! Have a Twitter follow button on your website and blog to make it easy for people to follow you.
Oh, and if you think you can take a shortcut and buy Twitter followers, DON’T! They are not your target market. Moreover, they are fake accounts! Besides that, Twitter and all the networks for that matter, regularly purge fake accounts.
If a lot of what I’m saying here seems like a foreign language to you, then you need the Ultimate Online Marketing Glossary!
Now, this is just Twitter. You can’t ignore the other networks. Each has its own culture and ways to build a following and platform. You need to familiarize yourself with how each social media network works so you can leverage their power effectively. The best way to do that is just set up an account and follow people. This is called “social listening”. Use a tool like HootSuite to help you do that.