How to Get More Followers on Twitter
Greg Miles | 24 July 2015
“How Do I get more followers on twitter?” If I had a doughnut for every time somebody asked that question I’d be one pretty lardy lad.
It’s a more complex question than you might think though, and it’s not going to happen overnight. Not unless you delve into the shady corners of the Internet and pay for some fake ‘bots’ to follow your account – a shamefully pointless activity.
But there is a special sauce you can douse your social media efforts in to dramatically speed up the process. These are the techniques Bumbl used to grow from non-existence to having over 12,000 real, human followers in just 5 months.
It’s going to take a little time, some handy tools, a good dash of creativity and a real understanding of whatever sizzles your audience’s bacon to grow your following quickly and consistently. But it’s going to be worth it. An effective social media presence is essential for a strong brand with today’s “always on” consumers. It’s also a powerful SEO tool and an effective way of generating new business leads, so getting it right should be a high priority for any serious business.
Know Your Audience
Like any part of business, knowing your audience is absolutely crucial. What are their interests? Their problems? Their challenges and their goals? Understanding the answers to these questions will help you think about the kind of content you will need to post in order to grab their attention and get them on board.
Do your research and listen to the social conversation surrounding your brand and your space. This will paint a clear picture of your audience and give you insight into your social opportunities.
Develop a Voice
Social media is all about people. It’s about building meaningful connections with your audience, and to do that, you need to develop your brand’s ‘voice.’
Find the right tone, and create a personality for your business that resonates with your target market. It might be professional and honest or playful and tongue-in-cheek, but it must reflect your brand values. The Dollar Shave Club is a great example of a brand that has created their own distinct humour and culture, which shines through their twitter account.
Imagine your twitter account as the face of your business. How do you want your message to be delivered?
The Golden Ratio
There’s a lot of debate about what you should be posting on social media, and this will vary for each individual business. But what I can say with absolute confidence is that you shouldn’t be posting self-promotional content all day. Nobody is on twitter just to see what products you offer so this tactic will never work. Who would want to be friends with the kid who doesn’t stop boasting about how great they are? The same rules apply to your social media account.
There’s a ‘golden ratio’ that we believe should be used as the basis for the kind of content you should post on Twitter. This should be adjusted for each different business, but it’s a good place to start for most:
- Your own content 30%
- Curated content 40%
- Replies and audience interaction 20%
- Promotional 10%
Posting regularly and consistently is vital for growing your following, and tools such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck allow you to do this while saving you time. You can schedule tweets in advance, publishing posts at optimised times throughout the day to create a consistent flow of content.
Post at Peak Times
You should be posting anywhere between 3 and 10 times per day depending on your industry, and identifying the optimal times when your audience are online will help you gain more followers. You can use twitter analytics to see at what times your posts are achieving the most impressions. You can use this data to shape your posting schedule.
TIP: Think about your audience’s behaviour and when they will be checking their twitter feeds. This could be on their morning commute to work, their lunch break, or perhaps just before they go to sleep.
Find and Create Great Content
You can use free tools such as BuzzSumo to find the latest and most shared content within your niche. Just search for a topic relevant to your business and look through the most shared articles. Other content aggregators and Twitter’s own search function are useful tools for curating engaging content.
Creating your own great content should also be part of your overall marketing strategy if you want to direct social media traffic to your website.
When a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around, does it make a sound?
Your content isn’t going to appear on people’s timelines unless you’re proactive about building a social audience. This means you have to get out there and follow other people who might be interested in your brand, especially when you’re just starting out. If your account is full of engaging and relevant content there’s a good chance your target audience will want to follow you back.
Where does your audience hang out on twitter?
- Users who are following similar accounts to you
- Users who are following your followers
- Users who tweet about your niche and related hashtags
- The followers of users who tweet about your niche and relevant hashtags
Basically, the communities surrounding your space will be brimming with people who will take an interest in your business. Find these communities and cherry pick the people who you think are most likely to be interested in your brand, and follow them.
WARNING: Twitter monitors how aggressively users follow other users, so if they detect that you are indiscriminately following huge numbers of people, your account may be suspended. Be strategic rather than spammy.
Analyse Your Data
Twitter analytics give you good insight into how your tweets are performing. Over time you will be able to spot patterns and decipher the kind of content that is most engaging to your audience. You should use this data to shape your future social media strategy.
In the future you will also notice changes in the behaviour of Twitter users. Images may become less effective or video might become more effective. As long as you monitor your performance you should be able to keep up with the trends and change your tactics accordingly.
Don’t Be Vain
Many consumers do see number of social followers as an indication of how popular a brand is. But it’s better to have 300 high quality followers who engage with your brand than 3000 Justin Bieber fangirls (unless your Justin Bieber) who have no interest in your business. Having active users and high engagement is much more valuable than pure vanity metrics such as number of followers.