‘How do I get more followers?’ If there is a competition for the most asked question about social media, this is it. Building a community of value on any social media platform is critical to making sure you achieve your business (or social) objectives. There is nothing sadder than saying something profound when no one is listening. I spent time today with a client who is new to Twitter and this is the advice I emailed to him.
Build up your Twitter followers in 7 steps
- Follow strategically – look at other people you know who are on Twitter, click on their follower list and follow the people you like the look of. Read their bio’s and the last 2-3 tweets they sent. Follow Industry Associations, journalists, politicians, customers, collaborators. Find the right people by searching hashtags of key terms relevant to your interests eg: #cleantech #biotech. Follow about 200 people to start off with.
- When people follow you tweet them back a thankyou message like this – ‘Thanks for the follow @startupshelley, very much appreciated’ or ‘Just getting the hang of Twitter – thanks for the follow @startupshelley’. People will see this as really friendly and responsive. People who are genuinely ‘chatty’ are more likely to be followed.
- Follow The Age, The Australian, ABC News and the Australian Financial Review on Twitter and retweet (RT) stories that align with your interests. You can simply RT the post or open the link and RT with a comment on the story. This attracts followers and gives you access to great content.
- Use hashtags because that gets you broadcast in open conversations. Work out the key words that relate to your community for example: #pollution #biotech #pathology #asthma #mining. Hashtags will help you find followers and get found.
- Interesting content and comments is what attracts so go and find great content and repurpose it. In your App Store download any trade magazines or online news sources that are important to your business or interests. Tweet out their news. I subscribe to Australian Life Scientist online via my email address and every month I pick up their stories and tweet them out using hashtags to attract attention. I also follow Australian Life Scientists on Twitter. If you have a website or write a blog, create your own content, much like I’ve done with this article on The Social Science website blog.
- Pick a passion aside from work – football team, your dog, music – anything. People want to follow a person not just a news source, so add personality. I tweet about women in science and engineering as my passion subject. Passion topics can attract additional followers aligned to your core area of interest. I also tweet about politics, being reasonably cautious not to take a hard line on people, but rather the policies.
- Respond to other people’s tweets, ask questions, tell people you agree or disagree. If you disagree – keep it nice. Manners matter on Twitter. Talk – twitter is for talking, not just listening. No one can see you listening. Check out my blog on Twitter acronyms and initialisms for tips on what all of this language means.