The following video and post is courtesy of David Foster of Hubze.com and originally appeared on their blog on September 24th, 2012, at http://hubze.com/2012/09/52-ways-to-increase-your-twitter-followers/.
My reason for duplicating it here is two-fold: 1) David’s video not only provides a good overview of how to use Twitter appropriately and effectively, but also includes a large number of specific steps you can take to do so and I wanted to share them with you; 2) The original post was in video format only, and I thought reproducing the list in print and by the numbers would be helpful and have, therefore, included the list after the video below.
As David mentions in the video, these methods assume you plan on focusing your efforts on Twitter. Before you begin, you need to determine what social media platform (if any) you’re going to focus your efforts on, and this decision will largely be determined by your target market(s).
You should also keep in mind that you need not focus all of your efforts on one social media platform to the exclusion of all others. For example, you may choose to focus on Google+ and Facebook, or perhaps Facebook, Tumbler, and YouTube. That having been said, you do need to know where you’ll be focusing your efforts before getting started. You never want to waste your most precious resource: time. And, in the world of social media, consistency is key.
Fortunately, most of the tips in the video and list below are applicable to all social media platforms, not just Twitter…
If you don’t have the time or inclination to watch David’s entire presentation, the following is a list of his 52 Ways to Increase Your Twitter Followers (please note, the video seems to skip over numbers 24, 26, and 28, and the list below actually only includes 49 items):
- Use a custom Twitter background that who you are and what you do
- Include a complete bio in your Twitter profile that uses relevant keywords that people are searching for
- When you follow other Twitter accounts, find something to comment on or ask a relevant question to let them know you’re really there and are conversational and community focused (turn off your bots and autoresponders!)
- Make sure your Twitter profile is recognizable and real (use your own real, smiling face, not a photo of your favorite celebrity or pet)
- Follow people who recently followed your competitors
- Follow people who are complaining about your competitors
- Follow back those that follow you (don’t follow bots, spammers, and people who aren’t a good fit for your profile/business) and follow them back manually!
- Look at your competitors’ public lists and follow those that are relevant
- If you’re a local business, use Twitter Local Search to find people talking about your business, industry, or community and follow them… And, remember to be interactive!
- Search for relevant industry hashtags – hashtags are words and topics with a hash symbol (“#”) at the start of them used to identify and tag conversations – follow those hashtags, reach out and communicate
- Use relevant hashtags on topics, conferences, webinars, and issues that attract more followers
- Search Twellow.com for regional influencers and follow them
- Search Twellow.com for industry-specific or topic-specific people and follow them
- Register for Twellow.com and complete the expanded profile and bio section as accurately and using as many keywords as possible to show up in more searches (as you gain more followers at Twello, you’ll gain more relevance and even more people will find you)
- Change your Twitter bio from time to time to attract new markets through searches
- Put your Twitter address on your business cards, brochures, and anything else you routinely give out to other people
- Have a decal designed and put your Twitter address on the back of your laptop to start conversations and gain followers when you’re working out of the office
- Finish all of your blog posts with a short bio that suggests people follow you on Twitter
- When making comments on blogs that ask for your Web address, give your Twitter address instead
- Have a prominent Twitter badge displayed on every page of your site and/or blog that links to your profile
- Let your Facebook and LinkedIn followers know you’re on Twitter and ask them to connect… Don’t force them to follow you, just passively promote your Twitter profile at the bottom of messages, on your LinkedIn and Facebook profile pages, etc.
- Ask fellow LinkedIn group members to share Twitter profiles with each other and suggest you also connect on Twitter (don’t do this to simply to boost your own follower count, be ready to follow everyone else as well)
- In a tasteful, non-spam format, let anyone you have on e-mail lists, meet-up groups, and other groups you operate know you’re on Twitter and would love to connect (this is usually done best as a side note or footnote to a regular message or update)
- Follow anyone who “retweets” your content and thank them (except, of course, spam bots) and do this regardless of how many followers the person has!
- Host a “Tweet-up” in your community or at a conference (share strategies and customers via online meet-ups with other business owners on Twitter just as you would at offline Chamber of Commerce-style business meetings)
- If you can type fast, accurately, and well, offer live blog and Tweet-in events (you can also offer to monitor Twitter live for other people’s events in your industry or niche)
- Guest blog on key sites and include your Twitter and other contact information in the bio you give them to publish at the end of your guest post
- Write for magazines, newspapers, etc. to get your Twitter ID into the footer
- Start a Twitter tribe (a group of non-competing people who Tweet each other’s content)
- Make sure your Twitter handle is on all relevant keynote or PowerPoint presentations
- At the beginning of any public presentation, let everyone know it’s fine to get on their smartphones and Tweet to the world… In fact, you can even ask them to do so!
- If you sell packaged products or goods, get your Twitter handle on the packages
- Have contests that reward those who Tweet about you (Keep it simple and don’t make following mandatory… Remember, you can ask for something before you give something, but don’t demand something before giving something!)
- If you have a physical business location, have social media posters with your social media addresses at the counter, on the wall, etc.
- Use QR codes in print materials that link to your Twitter account
- Put your Twitter handle on your name tag at meet-ups and conferences
- Put your Twitter handle on your vCard (this is for Microsoft Outlook users) and the Bump application for iPhone users
- Link to your Twitter account at the beginning of any video descriptions you post on YouTube
- If you do a Podcast, put your Twitter on your splash page and/or podcast image and ask people to follow you during your podcast
- Create public Twitter lists of great people in specific industry or interest segments (they will often follow you back as a result)
- Tweet to different time zones, especially if you’re trying to reach foreign markets (this is where it becomes helpful to schedule Tweets using HootSuite or a similar tool… just be sure you’re on Twitter to respond to replies and comments the next day)
- Using local search, start conversations with people in your area who share common interests (these don’t have to be business interests!)
- Reply quickly… Respond and interact as much as possible as soon as possible to build rapport
- Add a “Follow me on Twitter” link in your e-mail signature
- You can custom program “Tweet This” buttons to include your Twitter address in the title of the Tweet when people click on the button
- Follow the 95/5 rule (Twitter is about engagement and 95% of what you do on Twitter needs to be social/interactive and geared towards building relationships… Only 5% of what you do on Twitter should be about sales)
- Follow people who retweet your competitors or content similar to the content you produce and follow #3 above
- Create and share awesome, unique content (Twitter tips, links to blogs, etc.) and don’t just share your own stuff!
- Pay it forward! Get your friends, clients, staff and associates on Twitter and coach them on how to use Twitter effectively
And remember, don’t do any of this unless you plan on being active on Twitter!!! 🙂