While a follower count is definitely considered a “vanity metric,” there’s something to be said for having a large community.
After all, the larger your community, the farther your reach will be.
That said, it doesn’t matter how large your community is if you aren’t growing it with the right KIND of Twitter users. These are the users who will be interested in what you are posting and will be compelled to retweet it to their own audience.
So how do you do that? How do you get more of the right kind of followers?
Check out this list of 5 ways on how to get more followers on Twitter.
1) Post great content.
This may seem obvious and yet it’s something that most Twitter users, particularly businesses, fail to do. You should be posting content that your ideal audience is interested in reading. And news flash: that may not always be related to your business.
Researchers at Rutgers University found that only 20 percent of us are using social media to share content that is primarily informational. The other 80 percent? Those users are posting content that is primarily related to their own interests.
However, these users are missing out big time. Research has shown that people sharing useful, informative content have two times as many followers as those sharing content primarily about themselves.
So do yourself a favour and make sure you use the 80/20 rule and share 80 percent pure value and 20 percent promotional content.
2) Get visual
Did you know that tweets with images receive 18 percent more clickthroughs, 89 percent more favorites, and 150 percent more retweets? And it’s really no surprise. Think about the type of content that makes you stop on other social media platforms. Facebook images get far more engagement than text updates. Twitter is exactly the same way!
The newsfeed content moves so quickly and there are SO MANY status updates that tweets with images stand out far more than any other post.
Mix up the type of visual content you share as well. Don’t just share all motivational quotes. Share beautiful or inspiring pictures of your products.
Also create infographics that your audience will find interesting. Research has shown that 40% of people respond to and understand visual information better than plain text. Sites like Venngage make creating beautiful infographics simple.
3) Engage with others.
If you want to really get more Twitter followers, you need to show that you are actively engaging your audience. Trust me, there are a LOT of people lurking out there. Even if they’re not talking to you directly, they are noticing the way you respond to other followers.
Engaging is the #1 way you develop relationships with your audience, and as we all know, people want to do business with those they know, like and trust. To do that, you have to build relationships. Even if your followers aren’t all talking to you, they’re still watching your engagement habits, which allows you to build relationships with them (even if you weren’t aware you were doing so!)
Make sure you’re practicing good manners. Thank people who retweet or favorite your tweets, especially when they have clearly taken the time to read your blogs or articles or have responded to one of your tweets. The more you reach out, the more Twitter users will reciprocate by following and/or engaging with you.
And engagement doesn’t stop with just your audience! You can and should be engaging with influencers in your niche as well. Share their content, respond to their questions, or ask them questions directly. Get on their radar!
A great way to get their attention is to feature them in your writing. Consider doing a survey of some influencers via Twitter or just reference them in a blog. When you’re finished, tweet them a link. Hopefully they’ll return the love by sharing your post with their own followers, which will get you a LOT of exposure!
4) Be active on Twitter.
There are a lot of differing opinions on how actively you should be posting on your social media networks and Twitter is no exception. Many “gurus” argue that five to seven posts per week are plenty. However, if the average lifespan of a tweet is 30 seconds and you’re only posting once per day, your audience will likely never see ANY of your content if they aren’t on Twitter at the exact time that you tweet.
I recommend posting to Twitter at least every hour during the times that your audience is most active. Not sure what hours your audience is most active? Review your tweets and see when you get the most engagement.
Also, make sure that you’re sharing a mix of different types of content, as well as different kinds of media. For example, you may want to have an entire tip series with some of those tips being text and some coming in the form of images or even videos. You could also post questions to get engagement, humor, motivational quotes, and blog posts. And don’t forget the occasional promotional post!
5) Have a community growth strategy.
In order to continually grow your account, you need a growth strategy. You also don’t want to just start following anyone, either. You want to follow the RIGHT people.
You can do this manually by using the advanced keyword search to find users who are tweeting certain keywords or hashtags. You can also follow the people who are following your competitors or who are following key influencers in your niche.
And don’t forget that you’ll need to have an unfollow strategy as well. Inevitably, not everyone is going to follow you back and if you don’t unfollow users you’ll hit a wall when you reach 2,000 followers. To go beyond 2,000 you need to maintain the proper follower to following ratio. You can monitor and manage that using one of many dedicated social media unfollowing apps.
Another option to save yourself valuable time is to use a tool that can do all the following and unfollowing on your behalf. Social Quant, for example, follows based upon keywords so you know you’re creating a targeted following with actual real people (not spammer accounts).
While this may sound like a lot of work, the truth is that growing an active, targeted community on Twitter doesn’t have to be that tough.
Using the right tools to save yourself time and making a point to engage with your community every day will take you far. You can also refer to this Twitter marketing guide for more tips.
Remember, social media is all about being sociable and building relationships. Once you have that part down, the community growth will happen naturally.
This post was written by Mike Kawula, who is the CEO at Social Quant, a Social Media Startup tool used for Twitter. Social Quant will grow your twitter followers rapidly, and the quality of followers will increase dramatically. More quality followers equals more retweets, engagement and ultimately more business.