In 2008 Twitter grew by 752%. That’s rapid growth. According to the market research firm Compete, Twitter currently attracts more than 19 million monthly unique visitors. That’s a lot of people. Twitter offers you and your business an opportunity to share information with a broad base of prospective customers, and by taking certain steps you can multiply your Twitter followers ten-fold.
Before I share these steps with you, though, let me advise you: more than just quantity, it’s also quality of followers you should be seeking. I’d rather have 50 people truly interested in what I have to say than 5,000 followers that don’t know who I am. The idea is to increase the number of relevant followers as much as possible.
That being said, let’s confirm WHY having a large base of Twitter followers can benefit your business. When people follow you on Twitter they are basically telling you, “I like what you have to say. I want to receive your updates.” This is really powerful.
How can you increase the number of your Twitter followers? Try the following steps:
This is the simplest way. If you follow other people, about one-third of them will follow you back. Chances are even greater if your profile is interesting, your photo is a nice one and your last tweets share cool stuff.
Don’t overdo this. If you go too far you can get your account suspended or even banned.
Follow people with interests similar to yours. You can use the search feature to find them.
Ask People to Follow You
Follow StartupNation: @StartupNation (there you go, I just made my point). You should invite people to follow you after each blog post, from your site, your email signature, etc. If people like your stuff, they will follow you on Twitter.
Don’t limit yourself to the most common ways to ask people to follow you—get creative. You can invite people to follow you in your business cards and even when you meet in person.
Share Great Content
Tweet photos, articles, cool websites and videos. If you share great stuff, more and more people will follow you and retweet your tweets.
This is probably the most important part of Twitter and one that you can’t overlook if you want to be successful in social media marketing. If your tweets are boring, people will not follow you, let alone retweet your posts.
Become an Authority
Easier said than done, of course, but if you become an authority in your field, you will get hundreds of followers even if you don’t do anything to make it happen. Work hard researching your market and publishing your findings. Don’t keep all the information to yourself; share it. Work on your PR and get the media to interview you if you can. If you become a semi-celebrity, people will search for your name on Google, Facebook and Twitter.
Tweet Often (But Not Too Often)
If you don’t tweet for a month, you will turn your followers off. The same thing will happen if you tweet every minute.
Make sure that you keep an eye on your followers and learn from your actions. If you’ve been posting too much and people have started to unfollow you, it’s probably time to reduce the frequency a bit.
Encourage Your Followers to Retweet Your Tweets
If you tweet great stuff, it’s very likely that people will retweet it (forward it to their followers). But don’t just hope for the best; be proactive. At the end of each of your blog posts, ask people to retweet the article. I’ve found that by doing this your follower base can grow exponentially.
Learn What’s Hot and Tweet About It
You can use a tool like MicroBlogBuzz.com to learn what’s hot and tweet about it. Digg.com is also a great source for hot news. You can also find Twitter users with thousands of followers and see what they are tweeting about. Use TwitterHolic.com to find out who the Twitter users with the most followers are.
Eager for more? Check out Zeke's series "Getting Social Smarts" and his three podcasts below for more great social media marketing information and tips!