Twitter is a valuable social media platform and provides me with a good and steady flow of insights and advice. Besides the value of the information Twitter provides it represents opportunities for companies and business professionals to grow their audiences and increase traffic to their center of content.
How do you increase your Twitter audience is one of the key questions many people who want to use Twitter often ask. Here are some Twitter Tips and ideas.
Growing an audience on Twitter typically takes a lot of time and dedication, regardless if you are just starting out or already experienced with the Twitter social network. The best way to increase followers and establish a strong presence on Twitter is by working at it every day. Just like with most things you get out of it what you put into it.
Here are six tips to use to increase your following and exposure on Twitter.
Twitter Tip #1 – Make a Proper First Impression
Typically, Twitter users will look at your profile before deciding to follow you (I always do this). This is why it is important to optimize your profile and the graphics of your page to make a good first and lasting impression.
For starters you need to have a profile picture that accurately represents you or your brand. This typically means a company logo for brands or a head shot for personal accounts.
In addition, you should also pick an appropriate background image and spend time writing a catchy and informative bio statement.
Let’s examine Sports Illustrated. This Twitter account is set up with a catchy logo as its profile picture (which enables followers to easily recognize when the brand is tweeting), and it also features a wide variety of athletes and sport moments in its background image which does a great job representing its brand and message.
Sports Illustrated uses its bio section to outline exactly what type of content users can expect and provides a link to the Sports Illustrated Help Desk Twitter Account (which, by the way, has it own special branded logo). This link shows their commitment to customer support and service which is an important message for SI consumers. It is a well done logo, backgrond image and bio.
Twitter Tip #2 – Stay on Topic
Twitter enables its users to see and participate in trends via its customizable “Trends” section. This section displays tailored trends based on a user’s location and the people being followed. By simply participating in conversations regarding these trends (when appropriate, of course), companies and professionals can increase their visibility.
To gain exposure note the hashtag (or tags) that is being used for the trending topic. To experiment with hashtags consider using both common (very high exposure) and niche hashtags.
A company, for example, could use the hashtag “#Google”. The tweet with this hashtag would be exposed to a very large audience (see statistics below for this hashtag at the time I wrote this blog).
This is certainly a way to gain exposure but due to the large number of tweets per minute (about 6 tweets per minute on average for this hashtag) your tweet would be swept away in the massive flow of tweets. Your tweet would be one tweet in a river of tweets.
Conversely, a local business could use its location (city or town) in hashtags (ex. #Boston) in an effort to reach a geographic target or niche-specific audience.
Twitter Tip #3 – Be Engaging
Twitter is a fast-paced social network, which is why it is important for users to stand out with engaging content. The challenge, however, is defining the best type of content to engage your specific audience.
Although testing different content ideas and formats is the best way to find the highest performing content type for your audience, it is important to keep in mind that visual content usually performs best on social networks.
A study from Twitter shows that tweets that include images average a 35 percent higher level of retweets. Tweets that include videos average a 28 percent higher retweet level. Since you want your followers to retweet your message it is worth the effort to use a compelling graphic or video.
The data shows that both photo and video tweets are more engaging than tweets that only include hashtags, as hashtag tweets averaged just a 16 percent boost in retweets.
It has been proven again and again that visual content is a huge driver in engagement. If you can get your tweet to be retweeted then this result in an increase in visibility.
Twitter Tip #4 – Cultivate and Interact with Influencers
When it comes to increasing visibility, both companies and individuals should look to interact with influencers or thought leaders. Influencers (as part of the definition of influencer) have a strong following. They can significantly boost visibility and followers for those they interact with.
As an example, consider a veterinarian who desires to grow his followers and exposure. This vet could spend time interacting with pet stores or grooming centers to increase both his authority and visibility on the social network.
Another idea is to spend some time retweeting the most compelling tweets from a known influencer that meshes with your target audience.
Twitter Tip #5 – Timing
Because Twitter is a fast-paced environment, you can’t expect all of your followers to see all of your posts, which is why it is important to experiment with the timing of your tweets to see when tweets perform the best.
For instance, if tweets posted between 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. average more retweets and replies than tweets sent at other times of the day, then you will want to focus on posting your best content during that specific period.
Although it can be time consuming to test different posting times, companies and individuals can leverage social media management tools such as Buffer to schedule posts in advance. Buffer can also be used to automatically schedule posts at the time you have determined is the best for you.
I also want to note that sometimes it is fine to repost content on Twitter. However, you may want to let people know that it is a repost by using an intro phrase such as “From earlier today” or “From Last Week”. If you use an intro phrase then your followers who have already seen the content will know not to click again – you want to be considerate of your followers.
Twitter Tip #6 – Promote your Twitter ID
It’s a simple concept – promote your Twitter handle anywhere and everywhere in order to grow your followers.
For companies, this means including Follow buttons on every content and/or brand asset from websites to email campaigns.
For professionals trying to grow their personal following, this means including your Twitter handle on everything from your email signature to your business cards.
With some skill and dedication and of you follow the advice of these Twitter tips your can certainly grow your Twitter following. In the early it will seem like slow going but momentum will grow and grow and you will be pleased knowing that you have gained exposure for you and your business using an important marketing/exposure platform.
Remember you have to earn your followers. You have to do something to attract and engage.