Social media isn’t a popularity contest – it’s a tool to connect us with the people and things that matter most in our lives. When it comes to Twitter, it’s possible to have 50,000 meaningless followers that do nothing for your business while another person may have 1000 followers that are highly active and engaged. Which would you rather have? I know I would always choose the 1000 highly engaged followers over 50,000 followers that never end up doing anything to forward my objective for being on Twitter in the first place.
I use what’s referred to as a “follow strategy,” meaning that I follow targeted users and give them a few days for them to follow me back before I unfollow. There are several tools that help you do this, including ManageFlitter and Tweetadder, but it’s important to note that you must be strategic about how you use them to get tangible results. As of right now I have over 62,000 followers on Twitter and my account grows by an average of 150 followers a day, every single day. Here’s a screenshot of my stats in the last 15 days alone using the very simple strategies I’ll discuss in this article…and this was a slow month! These are quality followers that are interested specifically in the information I provide and the only investment I’ve need to make for this was my time and energy. I’m going to show you how you can do exactly the same thing, plus show you a few ways to make sure you’re on the right track.
Before I start discussing some of the finer points of building a following, it’s important to clarify my definition of quality Twitter followers. What can you reasonably expect to gain from having a “quality” Twitter following? The pot of gold at the end of this rainbow comes in a few shapes and sizes: Increased traffic Increased blog shares Increased email subscribers Increased exposure & credibility Start Using Advanced Searches With Twitter Advanced search is your best friend on Twitter. It’s much more powerful than most realize and the majority of Twitter users rarely make use of it. Any social media pro will tell you it’s vital to have a successful Twitter marketing strategy.
If you’re a locally based business, you need to keep track of people mentioning keywords in your area that are specific to your industry, product or service. Here are some examples: A hair salon in Baltimore keeps track of people mentioning the word “haircut” in the city and takes any opportunity to engage around the subject to stay top of mind with residents. A local pub in Hamilton, Ontario keeps track of people mentioning the word “hungry” within 5 miles of them and offers them 50% off their meal if they visit that same day with a friend. A naturopath watches people mentioning terms such as “GMO”, “toxins” and any other terms that are relevant to their industry within 5 miles. Use a service like Twilert to get notifications about your most important search terms each time they are mentioned on Twitter.
How To Use Twitter Advanced Search Queries for Leads Advanced Search Operators: How to Mine Twitter for Valuable Business Leads Keep Track of People Sharing Your Content Did you know you could simply type your domain into Twitter search to see anyone sharing content from your site? Here’s an example of what it looks like when I type “topdogsocialmedia.com” into Twitter search. Notice how it includes any page shared from my site, not just the root domain on its own. I follow at least 500 new people a week that are sharing my content for the first time and most of them end up following me once they notice me following them since I’m already on their radar.
PRO TIP: Keep track of people that are sharing content from competitors and businesses that have a similar audience to you. This is especially useful when in the early stages since you will have substantially less activity than a business or individual that’s been around in the industry for years. People Mentioning Your @Username (& Your Competitors) How often are you converting the people that interact with you on Twitter to followers? It’s important to keep those people in your world after you’ve interacted with them once or they will forget you, you want to remain top of mind. It’s extremely important to me to stay connected to the people that want to interact with me as they have always been the ones responsible for my growth. You can also take a similar approach by scoping out the people interacting with your competitors so you can get on their radar. Hey, they don’t call it the free market for nothing, right?
So how do you know if your efforts are paying off? You’ll need a way to see if the majority of your followers match the criteria you seek in your target market. My favorite tool to do this is FollowerWonk’s Analyze tool. It has several features that you’ll find useful but the one I go to most often is the “Bio word cloud”. It shows you a word cloud of the most common words found in the bios of any Twitter user’s followers. Locally based businesses will want to check out the location word cloud to see the most common locations their followers are based out of. If you’re interested in more ways to measure the progress of your Twitter campaign, check out 7 Sneaky Tricks For Measuring Your Twitter Marketing.
What happens if you’re doing everything mentioned in this article and still not getting results? Attracting quality followers requires you to complete a few tasks and maintain a regime to keep your Twitter following alive. Before you can attract quality followers, you must: Have an attention grabbing Twitter bio that speaks to your ideal client Look the part of the expert your target market seeks by having a custom designed header photo with a professional profile picture Be consistent with your tweeting in terms of frequency and quality Promote others more than you promote yourself Be committed to finding, creating and sharing the best content around your area of expertise There is no true magic bullet to success on social media. The truth is that it requires time, effort, planning and execution to be worthwhile for businesses that are still conditioned from the days when push marketing was the most effective method. Twitter marketing can be a valuable tool for your business but, just like any other social media site, can become a wasteful burden on your resources if it’s not done correctly. Spend the time to attract the right followers rather than getting sucked into the popularity contest and you’ll be rewarded. Your turn…what have you found to be the best way to build targeted Twitter followers? Share in the comments below.