Now I want to specifically address the task of gaining Twitter followers which is essential for success on Twitter for multiple reasons.
Here are reasons why you need followers:
- Followers help gain exposure for your tweets.
- Followers provide social proof that you are worth paying attention to.
- To have followers helps to establish your account as one having influence. As you gain followers your influence increases.
- When you have followers it then helps attract other influencers who you may want to collaborate with and they may want to collaborate with you.
- Tweeting to few is not as cool or as fun as tweeting to many as there is more interaction when you have a group of people who follow you.
Some Specific Advice
Have a clear theme.
Do you tweet a little bit of this and then a little bit of that? Sometimes you tweet about your dog (cute). You also post something about your weekends (OK). Sometimes you send out a cool tweet or two about your kids (nice). You tweet out some items you think are excellent but they are not that well connected with your theme. Sometimes you even lace in a few tweets about your expertise and business.
OK, I understand that people do business with people so it does make some sense to let people know who you are and what you are about. However, be careful as the more you dilute your main message the more people will be confused about whether they should follow you.
Be clear and be consistent with the content of your tweets.
It is important to say a bit more about consistency. Consistency also means tweeting on a regular basis. I know a company that tweets on and off and sometimes takes month-long breaks. If someone were to study their twitter stream they would see long breaks with no tweets. If this Twitter account was discovered during a down cycle (no tweets) then I would predict a no follow action and during the down cycle, the number of followers would also decline.
Many people will conclude that an account that is not consistent is not worth following.
When you retweet (RT) something you gain the attention of who you retweeted and this will help you to gain followers but it is wise to put some work into it. Retweet and add to the conversation.
Here is an example from Luxury Home Marketing @LuxuryHomeMKT.
The Original tweet was from Saunders Real Estate @SaundersRE in East Hampton on Long Island. The original tweet is fine, and the property listing is a spectacular luxury home. The Twitter account @LuxuryHomeMKT is a Twitter account about luxury real estate. It would certainly want to RT (retweet) the tweet from Saunders Real Estate which displays an East Hampton luxury home.
However, what @LuxuryHomeMKT did was add their take on the property.
Here is the retweet along with the original tweet below. What the retweet added was taken from the website which showcased the listing. The added details compliment the original tweet.
The retweet also emphasizes the waterfront aspect of the property.
Here are a couple of things to note about this RT.
1. LuxuryHomeMKT added some additional detail (1.2 acres and 3,400 sq. ft. with four bedrooms and four and a half baths). The additional detail adds to the original information about the property and makes the RT more specific.
2. The RT uses the listing agent’s Twitter Handle (@DianeSaatchi). This helps not only to get exposure for the tweet (good for @LuxuryHomeMKT) as it presents the tweet to the followers of Diane Saatchi. Perhaps some of her followers will now know of @LuxuryHomeMKT and follow them.
It is also good for Diane as the tweet about her listing is getting more exposure and she personally is getting more exposure. If the homeowner of this property is also following Diane, then the homeowner will appreciate the extra exposure Diane is creating by tweeting about the listing. Everyone is doing better.
3. The RT uses two hashtags (#LuxuryLife and #LuxuryHome). Hashtags are used by people to search and categorize tweets.
Someone searching Twitter for ideas on a luxury life or for luxury homes can more easily find the retweet and therefore will also find the original tweet which is now connected to the retweet.
Below is the display of the tweet in the search results when I searched Twitter using the hashtag #LuxuryLife. We can see that the tweet appears in the tweet stream for this hashtag. Therefore, the RT and the original tweet gain more exposure.
We all know that not all our tweets are read or even seen by our followers but to use proper hashtags certainly increases the exposure for any tweet. The proper use of hashtags exposes the tweet to more than our followers. This, therefore, increases the chance of a follow. The more you are seen the more chances you have to gain followers.
Let’s again use the example of the account @LuxuryHomeMKT. If this account tweeted erratically or randomly and had many tweets not about luxury homes, then this diminishes the chance that someone interested in luxury homes would follow them.
People are busy and want information in an easy format and without distractions.
Your tweets must be on theme and be of interest and value to the person you want to attract as a follower.
Special Twitter Tip:
I have used this tactic with success. I set up several extra special tweets with a focus on some important hashtags for my business. These tweets are still on theme in general but may be a bit more focused on a certain aspect of my business. Use a tweet scheduling tool such as Buffer to send out the tweets in a narrow time frame (2 hours for example) at a peak time.
Once you have these tweets organized you then send them out via Buffer. Someone using the hashtag to search and collect specific tweets will find your tweet(s) / account. He or she may then decide to look things over in more detail and they see a fine set of tweets on the specific topic.
I have set up 10-15 tweets to go out in one hour using this approach and at the end of a couple of hours have received 200-300 new followers.
I have read many articles and books about Twitter and Twitter marketing and I have never seen this tactic in any other material.
Delight with Your Tweets
Whatever you tweet, it must be high quality. Don’t send out confusing tweets (it may result in losing followers). Don’t send out private jokes that only a few will get or something that is cryptic.
Send out tweets of value. Use excellent photos or graphics.
Here is an example from an account I follow to get information about the world of literature, books, and authors (@DelphBKS). They send out a fine collection of tweets that often get one thinking.
This account uses eye-catching graphics. They add in some of their wit as well or quotes from other authors or book reviewers. They use links so that if you are interested in learning more then you can.
Here is an example.
The book cover graphic is well done and there is a short statement about the book built into the graphic. There is a link in the tweet which leads to a page on their website with a great deal of information about the book and the ability to make a purchase.
A tweet such as this adds value.
Use Your Blog
I realize that not everyone has a blog but if you do then leverage it.
Write articles and publish them on your blog which are exactly on theme. Make your blog posts delightful, helpful, and compelling.
Once published then tweet about it. You can even tweet about it multiple times but don’t just repeat the same tweet multiple times. Tweet it multiple times with a slightly different take and a different graphic.
Let’s use real estate, again, as an example.
Here is a real-world scenario. You have a wonderful listing and you can describe this listing in many ways. Your images are of high-quality images and you have an extensive set of imagess. You have a video. YouYou have some interesting local materials related to the property such as information about boutiques, cafes, restaurant, attractions, and lifestyle items. In short, you can create multiple tweets – all related to this property – all different but all on topic.
Continuing with this example, you would use hashtags to gain exposure for each of the individual tweets. People on Twitter who use the hashtags to collect and organize these tweets would appreciate the many ways the property can appeal to people. Both buyers and the homeowner would love it! The tweets may also contribute to the real estate agent getting more and better listings as the reward for marketing a home well is more referrals and more clients.
When people see the creativity and the depth of information they will be compelled to follow. People want to follow people who will help them reach their objectives.
- Establish and develop a theme.
- Take some time to identify and define resources to help you to create and deliver high-quality tweets.
- Retweet the high-quality work of other.
- Use hashtags to increase exposure.
- Leverage your blog.
- Be creative.
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