How To Build A Targeted Following On Twitter in 6 Simple Steps
Want more Twitter followers?
More followers is a common goal for most of us using social media as a key marketing communication channel for our business. After all, the best way to generate customer retention and long term strategic growth is to build a targeted community. That is, a targeted community that trusts and believes in the message you are trying to share just as much as you do.
When you're new to Twitter and don't really know how to grow your audience, it can be really easy to turn to quick fix solutions. With Twitter bots everywhere that are readily available to add 50,000 followers to your account over night, it can feel like that's your answer. It's not (EVER!) but it can feel like that when you're in the midst of overwhelm.
You see, when you look for short cuts like this on social media, they never work out. In fact, most of the time it takes you twice as long to correct it.
Social media is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time, hard work and focus. There is no substitution. The great thing is, if you are prepared to put in the work and follow these few steps, you will grow a TARGETED community in no time.
Step One: Know your intention
Twitter is such a noisy place and people just don't have time to do the research. In order to stand out above the noise, you need to be crystal clear on your intentions for being on Twitter and who you are trying to attract. It's basic, it's simple but it's so important. Take time to understand why you are on Twitter in the first place. What do you hope to achieve for your business by using Twitter? This is the foundation of your overall strategy. If it's not clear in your mind then it certainly won’t be clear for those visiting your account and deciding whether you are someone they will gain value from following.
Side note: The goal is to focus on customers and prospects more than your peers, influencers and competitors. You are main priority in business is to make a profit and that comes from customers.
Step Two: Trending Topics
Pay close attention to the trending topics feature on your Twitter account. This section shows the most talked about topics / hashtags on Twitter right now.
If you are a local business, you can tailor these to your location by selecting 'change' next to trends.
When you see trending topics that include something that you know your audience will be interested in, use that opportunity bring up the conversations going on around that topic and jump into conversation with relevant people.
Remember it's about your customers, not you. If you feel as though these conversations aren't relevant to your business but are relevant to your customer, then it still worth researching and engaging.
From a promotional stance, you can also try to relate the trend, so long as it's not offensive or out of context to your brand and/or service offerings. While not everyone following the trend will be your ideal customer, this is a great way to get your content in front of those who do meet your customer criteria. This isn't a feature that you want to overuse but on occasion it can raises awareness for your brand and offer people that perhaps didn't know you exist, the chance to connect.
Step Three: Listen
Become an expert listener. One of the problems with Twitter is that everyone is talking and very few are listening.
When you are starting out on Social Media people aren’t instantly going to start re-tweeting and having a conversation with you… You need to take the time to find the right people, listen to their conversation and engage on their terms.
So how do you find the right people to listen too?
Twitter's advanced search tool is a pretty powerful feature and it's free.
You can use this tool to source your ideal audience and monitor what they are talking about and are interested in.
It will take time and research to figure out this information especially the language and hashtags used. As always, knowing your customers and understanding their demographics and psychographics makes this process a whole lot easier.
Use this information to make the first connection point with your customers and prospects. Jump into conversations and engage with them in their comfort zone. If they have a problem, solve it for them in 140 characters. Take advantage of public profiles by using them to gather market research and adapt your content strategy to fit.
The more you know about your audience, the better you can serve them.
Show your personality and be real. If you are targeting right, these people need you. You don’t need to overly promote, you just need to build the relationship so that when they are ready, they know you’re waiting.
Side Note: If you use Hootsuite or another social media dashboard, this search feature is often directly integrated into your dashboard.
Step Four: Use The Right Tools
Let’s face it, searching and finding the right followers one by one can be very time consuming but not if you have the right tools.
I personally use Manage Flitter. This is a great tool for finding your target audience. It's also an easy way to maintain the quality of your account by blocking and removing spam. Robert Caruso, Founder of Bundle Post (another amazing tool to have in your box) has a great post that explains exactly how you can use Manage Flitter to grow your Twitter following. I highly recommend you check it out and give it a go.
Step Five: Create A Content Strategy
It is important that you are actively posting content to your Twitter Page on a daily basis. This needs to be content that is both interesting and valuable to your audience. Posting links and retweets are great from time to time but it is important that you have your own content strategy in place.
You have 140 characters; how you can you tell your story, share your journey and reach out to your audience?
If you are struggling with what to tweet, I highly recommend that you sit down and create 3-4 categories. This could include questions or quotes, facts, company news or local events. It can be anything that is relevant to your audience. Once you have these categories, think of 3-4 different tweets you could share within these categories on a daily basis. It is a lot easier once you break it down.
Step Six: Monitor Your Analytics
Know what is and isn’t resonating with your audience. Monitor your own Twitter profile and those of your competitors.
Try out different strategies and don’t be afraid to change things up if they aren’t working.
By the same token, don’t expect people to just come to your profile and engage. As mentioned earlier, you need to be proactive. You have to go out and make these conversations happen.
Reviewing your Twitter analytics on a regular basis and adapting your strategy accordingly will make a huge difference.
Some key points to review regularly:
- Find out when your customers are online and plan your engagement around that.
- Ensure you have enough content being published to be seen at different times throughout the day on your news feed and use your analytics to find out when they are.
- Check your geography/ demographics / psychographics too and ensure you are targeting the people you intend to be targeting. It is important to focus on building a large high quality audience, not just a quantity audience.
Once you start to follow these six steps on a consistent basis, you will realise that this is the shortcut to your success.
You won't be wasting time, energy and money trying to find that quick fix. Instead, you will be building relationships that attract new followers. By adding real value, you are also far more likely to convert these followers into real sales.
As always, I hope you found this post valuable. If you did, it would mean the world to me if you left a comment and shared on social.
P.S. If you didn’t, leave a comment too… I love your feedback! :)