We’re not going to have the big yawnfest of “RT other users and use hashtags” type of Twitter following growth ‘advice’ here. I am going to look at 10 powerful Twitter audience growth strategies that will increase your followers naturally; getting you more favorites, retweets, replies, and followers.
1. Check your ego: Promote your content, not yourself
You know that you’re a super smart, business savvy social media marketer with a great product. Talking about this, however, is as boring as watching baseball at home without beer.
You need to focus on promoting the great content that you have created to your Twitter followers. This can include promoting content that is off Twitter, and should be a focus. Send that YouTube video out and talk about the great stuff in it, not about how great YOU are in it.
2. Respond to good and bad comments immediately
Responding to happy fuzzy comments right away is easy. Responding to criticism immediately is quite a bit less fun, but your fans are going to judge you more by your ability to handle bad times than good ones. It may hurt to respond to some of the worst of it, but 99% of the time it pays to address negative comments in some way, and step on your ego to get it done.
3. Pump your ego back up: Put links EVERYWHERE
Using social sharing buttons on all of your blog posts, website pages, product pages and everywhere else is an easy way to increase your Twitter presence as people just have to push the Twitter social button to share content to the platform.
Not only do you need the physical links on the page, but you need to create links in people’s minds. Put your @username and most popular hashtags everywhere – on your website, YouTube channel, Product pages (especially when the hashtag relates to the product), and even your business cards.
4. Twitter exclusive contests spread quickly
An ordinary contest that anyone can enter on any platform will not gain the same sort of traction as one which is advertised as exclusive to Twitter. You can run similar contests or promotions on other platforms, but one which is branded exclusively to Twitter will spread quickly as people hit the share button to let their other friends on Twitter know about it.
5. No one will believe you without social proof
The concept of social proof is one which has two points of measure:
- The immediate effect of high follower numbers
- The long term effect of having high customer engagement and praise
The first point relates to how we all equate a high Twitter follower number with an account that is trustworthy.
The second point relates to people checking in with your Twitter account and seeing a high level of engagement, and a high level of praise. Both points are important. Until you have the follower numbers you’ll need to continually interact with your current followers and build that long term social proof that new users are looking for in your account.
6. Ask for feedback with every @mention
You’ll find users giving you @mentions all the time. “Thanks @business for the great event yesterday,” or something equally generic is common. This does little to build your social proof. All you have to do to get that next level of engagement is simply ask for feedback. Don’t just say thank you and move on, really try to start a conversation.
7. Flock to Unlock the potential of your Twitter following
The Flock to Unlock tool is a newer method of increasing engagement amongst your Twitter following. You set it up by telling your fans that they’ll get to see a certain piece of content once they reach a certain number of retweets, likes, or replies on a given tweet. This challenge not only engages your current fans, but puts them to work finding you new fans. At the end of it they’re all rewarded and everyone has fun!
Newsjacks are when you jump in on a hot news topic and discuss it on your account, and join in on hashtags. This can rapidly grow your following if you’re actually knowledgeable about the topic, or hurt you if you’re spamming your current followers.
Be sure that you’re newsjacking a relevant topic, and be sure that you’re genuine about your approach. No one wants to read your tweets about a tragic event with a thin veil of marketing over them. The World Cup 2014 was newsjacked like crazy, but would it have been right for your Twitter following?
9. Share other user’s content and give them a @mention
Who doesn’t love a shout out from a peer? Feel free to:
- Give people a shoutout over a great YouTube video you’re sharing with your followers
- Compliment on a great blog post
- Thank an associate for a great job on something you’ve worked together on
Not only is it nice all around to do, but it exposes you to their Twitter following, and their following to you. Both of you have a chance to grow your audience!
10. Cross-promote as much as possible
None of your social media platforms should operate on an island, and this goes double for Twitter. The 140 character platform isn’t a place to put out your grand vision for anything, it is a place to promote that vision as it exists on YouTube, a blog, or your website.
Do this by sending out tweets with those videos, blogs, and landing pages in them so that you’re connecting your Twitter to your end goals. Not only will this help you get more people where you want them, but it will help illustrate what the point of your Twitter account is. If people visit a Twitter account and don’t know what it’s for why would they click the follow button?
Featured photo credit: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/paulsnelling/ via farm4.staticflickr.com