While interacting and responding to other people is a good start to building your following on Twitter, there is so much more that needs to be done.
First of all, you need to start tweeting.
I know, I know, it seems weird when you don’t have anyone following you, but most people will visit your profile page when deciding whether to follow you, and if you don’t have a lot of posts it can look like you’re either inactive or inattentive. So get a good number of tweets out there that will tell people who you really are and what type of things that you have to say.
To start to build a following, you need to concentrate on finding relevant, targeted people to follow that you would like to follow you back. Do not blindly mass-follow a bunch of people just to get your numbers up there, if you build a mass list of untargeted followers those people will not help grow or promote your business, because they have no real interest in it.
Now, I am not saying that following others is not a good strategy, in fact I think it is a very good strategy BUT I do not recommend that you do that on a brand new account. There are a lot of people that automatically follow you back but the majority do not do that and these people will actually check you out to see if your worth following. If you have nothing of value added, then you wasting a lot of effort that should be focused elsewhere.
Another temptation might be to go out there and follow all your favorite celebrities, save it for a select few that you really want to get updates from. Don’t do it because you think you might be able to interact with them; most celebrities have hundreds of thousands of followers (some even millions), but they are only following a few hundred people themselves. So, if you want to use Twitter as a business tool, this is not the route to take.
Instead, here is what you should be doing to build your following:
Capitalize on the contacts that you already have. If you click “Find People” you can then go to the “Find on other networks” tab. There you can choose from Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, MSN, or AOL, and you can plug in your address and login, and Twitter will find anyone in your contacts who has a profile on Twitter. A great way to get some early followers, as these people already know you and (hopefully) like you.
Search for people using relevant search terms. Say your in the foodservice industry (a random example); do a search for ‘food” and you can see the results that turn up. You can then follow these people, and you will have a much higher chance of them both following you back, and also actually being interested in your business and products that you’re trying to promote.
Post often and post well. I know I’ve mentioned it in many other posts in many other ways, but even limited to 140 characters, your best business tool is good content. Post interesting and useful things that people want to hear, and you’ll get people listening to you. That doesn’t mean that this is all you have to do to promote you, but it will keep people coming back.
Advertise your Twitter. Make it easy for people to find you by putting an image on your blog that asks them to follow you, make sure to remind your readers in your posts to follow you and even promote your twitter account on external sites. You can write articles for sites like ezinearticles.com and add your twitter link in the resource box.
Link to Things. Do not just post motivational sayings and quotes, believe it or not people on twitter want links. I do not mean you want to promote things like crazy, but instead link to things that you find relevant and worthwhile. In fact I recommend that the majority of your posts link to something (and remember from the previous twitter marketing post, to use http://www.bit.ly or a similar service to track your efforts).
Join the Conversation. Everyday I recommend you pick one or two of the popular trends from the sidebar of Twitter and join into the conversation. Remember to add the keyword or hastag into your post so you show up in the trends.
Submit to Twitter Directories. I highly recommend that you spend a few moments and submit yoru twitter account to all the below directories and services. These will not only put linsk to your twitter account but peole looking for people to follow actually use these (I do).
Now in a later post I am going to get into strategies for growing your your following by following other highly targeted people on Twitter but not yet… I know for certain that a lot of you would just mistakenly create spwitter accounts (spam + twitter = spwitter) and I want you to do this right.
There are many third-party tools that you can use to help build and manage your followers. In my next post I am going to go into detail about how to use two of the most popular, Tweet Later & Twitter Feed, to ensure that you are posting at least once a day (you still NEED to manually post and interact in your Twitter account).
I will also be showing you two other free tools, that will help you manage your twitter users, so you can be sure you are only following active users.
So, get thee out there and start to build your Twitter empire (Mwah ha ha!) No, really, start to build solid following that will help to grow your business. As a last note, Twitter only lets you follow 2,000 people to start with. This is just another reason why you need to be choosy and choose Jiff – wait, no, you need to be choosy about what people to follow. Pick people who are a) most likely to follow you back, and b) targeted to what your niche is.
Social Media Mania Continued