“How do I get to 2,000 Twitter Followers?”
One of my colleagues, a CEO, asked me for a few tips to get more followers on Twitter and grow his influence. He set an arbitrary benchmark of getting 2,000 followers by the end of the year, which is about how many his other C-suite friend has and we’re all competitive like that. His account has right around 400 followers currently and he hadn’t been particularly active on Twitter. That’s a steep hill to climb but totally doable. Especially because he’s a CEO and it’s just easier that way.
Before we get started – let’s make a few assumptions. My colleague already knows things we all know like:
- Share great content
- Tweet regularly
- Optimize your Twitter bio
- Engage with others
- Don’t just share your own (your company’s) content.
Obviously, this person is a CEO as well so his activity on Twitter may have implications for the business, which he’ll have to keep in mind. This advice is all about how to put some of those ideas into practice and be more efficient about it.
Here’s the tips I gave him. What would you add to my list?
5 Tips to Get More Twitter Followers
(and 2 bonus tips!)
1. Use Hashtags
Tweet: “Tip #1: Use Hashtags” – 5 Tips to Get More Followers on Twitter by @Add3Com http://ctt.ec/f9BzE+
The best way to grow followers quickly on Twitter is to get other people amplifying your content by retweeting and sharing your stuff. Your followers will obviously be a source for this kind of engagement – but if you want to reach a wider audience, you gotta use hashtags.
Using hashtags in your posts (and following streams of posts with certain hashtags in them) puts your tweets in front of people who aren’t directly following you but who are interested in the topics you’re tweeting about… And of course you can follow hashtags yourself to find other people to connect with over a topic.
What Hashtags Should You Use?
It can be a challenge to find and use the hashtags that people actually use. There are all kinds of tools out there that help analyze individual accounts and figure out which hashtags to use.
I really like hashtagify.me where you can use a hashtag to find related hashtags, rather than look at your own account and see which hashtags you use.
2. Tweet Your Content More Than Once
This absolutely works. When you’re sharing your own content – or your company’s – don’t just tweet it once! You can share the same thing several times over the course of days/weeks/months without it being spammy. We’ve had great results from simply tweeting a piece of content several times over the course of a month or two vs the one and done approach. It works – if you do it right.
I find this visualization from CoSchedule really helpful
Pro Tip! Don’t tweet the same text over and over again. Vary it up! See the links below for ideas on how to make that work.
Here’s some helpful reads to help you formulate a plan:
- Tweet and Repeat: The Power of Sharing and Sharing Again – MarketingLand
- How to Easily Double Your Traffic from Social Media – KissMetrics
- The Case for Reposting Content – Buffer
In a business setting? These tweets should all go into your social media editorial calendar.
3. Know When to Tweet…
…And use a scheduler. Most social media management tools like HootSuite etc have a scheduling function. I like Buffer a LOT. It’s lightweight and easy to use and it integrates with Followerwonk (see the video below).
The point is – for maximum impact you really need to know WHEN you should be tweeting. Followerwonk is great for this – but there are others. You should periodically revisit the schedule as your follower base grows.
That said – you can and should break from the schedule. Especially on your personal account.
4. Know About the Twitter Follower / Following Ratio
TLDR – you really want to have more people following you than you follow.
I think, especially early on, that it’s important to follow people back. I mean – it’s a social network after all. However, you should know that Twitter has some limits to people you can follow. In addition – there’s a lot to be said for having more followers than people you follow. This isn’t a hard and fast rule but for most people – you’ll really want to try to have a high number of followers compared to the people you follow. But to have this type of ratio become a reality – you’ll have to work really hard at sharing outstanding content, become a thought-leader, etc.
The big takeaway here is be generous but judicious about who you follow. If for no other reason than to be practical about using Twitter. The more people you follow, the less manageable your Twitter account becomes… like mine.
Some tools/resources for analyzing your Twitter followers:
5. Create, Follow, and Use Lists
Because of the point above, you may be following a lot of people, which makes it hard to focus and engage with the people you care about. It also makes it hard to use your time efficiently if you can’t spend all day on Twitter. The overarching idea here is that you create and curate lists to help you focus your efforts and engage with the right people.
Here are a few lists you should probably build for your business account – but they also kind of make sense in this CEO scenario as well:
- Thought Leaders in Your Niche/Industry
- Employees / Team
- Event Attendees
- Industry Blogs
- Customers/Clients (probably keep this one private)
- “Bros” (because bros need RT’s too)
If that isn’t enough – here are a few more resources:
- More ideas for Twitter Lists: How to Use Twitter Lists – Buffer
- Find and follow other people’s lists: How to Search for Lists on Twitter – SocialBro
Pro Tip: Once you’ve created some lists – you should share them on Twitter. People on Twitter want lists of people on Twitter!
Tweeting On Behalf Of Your Business?
Bonus Tip 1: Use a Social Media Editorial Calendar:
Rather self-explanatory. In a business setting, you need to keep your efforts organized. It’ll also keep you from missing opportunities like events your company is putting on or participating in or holidays etc etc.
- How to Quadruple Your Traffic with a Social Media Editorial Calendar – CoSchedule (includes social editorial calendar templates)
- The Social Media Content Calendar Every Marketer Needs – HubSpot (includes template)
Bonus Tip 2: Twitter Cards Make Your Content Sexy on Twitter
If you’ve got a site/blog – and you’re sharing content from it (and hopefully other people are too), you should know about Twitter cards. With a little markup – your content can look much sexier on Twitter. And it’s easy. I wrote a whole post on this last year – check it out: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Twitter Cards
Tweets from your URLs could look like this (no Twitter card)
Or like this (with Twitter card)
That looks much better right?
Share Your Twitter Tips With Us!
What else would you add to my list of tips for getting more Twitter followers? Share in the comments!
Check out the presentation on SlideShare!