We’d all like to have a huge following on Twitter, and a large follower base can be remarkably helpful in creating awareness for your company or personal brand. But, growing that following is not always easy. It may even feel rather discouraging at times when you get little interaction with your posts or profile.
I’d be willing to speculate that it’s not a lack of effort that’s preventing you from getting momentum. It’s probably your focus and the image you are conveying. You could simply not be attracting the right people, or even putting forth an identity that turns potential followers away.
Here are a few simple tips that should help you get on the path to follower growth and creating a broader reach for your products, services and personal brand.
1. Attract the Right People
On social media it is especially important to attract the right people. After all, there’s no point in getting followers who are not generally interested in the same things that you are. These are merely false follows, who will unfollow in a week or two when they get bored with your posts. To be wholly successful, you need to attract people with similar interests who will engage with you, your posts, and others who are following the same topics. These people will stay with you over time.
Similarly, when you have an active following, you look more attractive to others who want to get in the conversation and engage.
Plus, an active following makes Twitter much more fun. You’ll even begin to think of many of them as Twitter friends, you’ll learn their personalities and look forward to their posts, comments and shares.
2. Your Profile Needs to be Engaging – Not Misleading
Everything about your profile needs to be carefully crafted to attract the right people. Make sure your bio, header image and tweets are focused on your target audience and do not convey ambiguity. There are a lot of bots, suspicious players and scammers on Twitter (as on any social platform), and making sure your profile is free from questionable references, confusing phrases or unrelated imagery will greatly help with attracting follows.
3. Your Bio Needs to Clearly State Your Purpose
When you engage or follow someone, or when a person visits your profile, they’ll take a few seconds to evaluate if you are legitimate and worthy of a follow. As mentioned above, ambiguity is the worst thing you can portray. Instead, I recommend taking a few minutes to examine your bio with fresh eyes.
- Does it truly convey who you are and what you are bringing to Twitter?
- Does it include a bit of personality or show something unique about who you are?
- Have you included a few hashtags, which not only make it easier for people to find you, but stand out in the small clutter of words?
- Have you added a call-to-action in the form of a link to your personal or business website, a published piece of writing, or portfolio?
4. Images Should be Authentic and Relevant
When selecting a profile photo, make sure it’s either your company logo or a photo of yourself that looks both professional and friendly. You’ll want good contrast from the background and to make sure you are smiling, as if you are someone who is both knowledgable and approachable. While the temptation is to be artsy and clever, I highly recommend that you keep it simple and clean.
Take a look at the following profiles and you’ll see the ideal style and framing for the profile photo.
Notice how all those profile photos are primarily the person’s face. Framing that shows your entire body will only make it hard for people to see who your are, especially in a timeline of tweets where your profile photo will be markedly smaller. When people can’t see your face, they will be less likely to click, engage and follow.
Header images, which are the large photos that appear above your profile, should convey something about you that is relevant to your goals on Twitter. Ideally, you want it to answer questions about what you stand for or who you are intending to reach or help with your content or tweets.
The header is also a great place to display a current marketing campaign, book launch or something else you may want to highlight. Don’t forget to include text that clearly identifies your offer and directs people to click a link in your bio.
Don’t worry if you’re not proficient at Photoshop or other photo editing software, you can still have a great looking header. Canva has a wide selection of templates to get you started.
5. Don’t Forget to Pin a Tweet to the Top of Your Feed
Pinning a tweet to the top of your feed is another great strategy for informing visitors either about your interests or offer. It’s truly some of the most valuable space on your profile, so don’t overlook pinning. If you don’t have a specific offering, use this space to highlight your most popular tweet, one that got a lot of retweets, likes or comments. This will show you have engagement and will entice others to share and follow.
I typically pin tweets that mention my book since it includes a link to Amazon and helps reinforce that I am a writer.
Here’s a few other examples of pinned tweets. Notice the engagement numbers!
6. Be Consistent When Posting
One of the biggest turn-offs when someone comes across your profile is seeing that you haven’t posted in days, weeks or even months. After all, why would they bother following you when you have nothing to say. Therefore, a key component to building a following is consistency of posts. It is generally believed the ideal number of daily posts is around fifteen. If you can, you’ll also want to make sure you are making those posts during optimal times for engagement when your target audience is most likely to be online. Buffer, one of the many apps that allow you to schedule tweets, has a great article showing the best time of day to get clicks, engagement and retweets.
Here’s a quick summation of Buffer’s findings on the best time of day to tweet:
- Early mornings are the best time to tweet to get clicks.
- Noon to 1:00 p.m. local time, on average for each time zone, is the most popular time to tweet.
- Evenings and late at night are a good time for engagement.
- Tweets sent at the 9:00 p.m. hour in the U.S. get the most retweets and favorites.
- Tweets sent between 2-3:00 a.m. earn the most clicks on average.
- Tweets sent between 2-3:00 a.m. earn the most total engagement on average.
Obviously, you’re not going to stay up all night tweeting. That’s where scheduling apps like Buffer come in handy. While I highly recommend using one of these apps to build engagement and followers, I also caution you to use them judiciously. The last thing you want to do is come across as spammy. Even if you are trying to promote sales or business offerings, you need to limit those types of posts to one or two a day at the most. Anything more than that and people will abandon you.
And, you never want to use an app that allows you to automate comments, follows or post likes. That would be in violation of Twitter’s terms of agreement and could get you banned.
Here are some of the apps I recommend for scheduling tweets:
7. Use Hashtags to Increase Your Chances of Being Found
However, like everything in life, too much of a good thing can actually turn bad. Try to only use a maximum of three hashtags in one post. Anything more than that will turn your post into visual pollution, complicate your message or worse, appear desperate.
8. Build Relationships and Engage
Now that your tweeting content-rich tweets designed to attract your target audience, you need to take the next step in growing a following. Engagement with others.
Think of Twitter as a cocktail party with people standing around chit-chatting. We’ve all been to one of these and experienced the blowhard who talks incessantly about themself. Ten minutes goes by, then twenty and still they have not asked a single question about you or your life. You begin to think–how can I get away from this person. It’s the same on Twitter. If you only tweet about yourself, you’re the cocktail party blowhard.
Instead, you need to engage. Ask questions and participate in other people’s tweets by sharing a story, a tip or saying something that lets your personality come through. As you join in the conversations, reply to tweets and retweet other people’s trending topics (so long as those tweets will be palpable to your target audience) you’ll notice they will begin to treat you like a real person, which is a huge hurdle on social media. Soon, you’ll feel as if you have a new network of friends as people recognize and invite you into conversations.
Twitter can not only be a great place to spread word about your business, service or personal brand, it can be fun, engaging and extremely informative. Taking the steps to focus on a target audience, build a clear persona and engage in a timely manner will make you attractive and desirable. This will keep them loyal and engaged, which in turn, attracts more followers.
Social Media Strategy – Step 1: Assessment
Social Media Strategy – Step 2: Implementation
Social Media Strategy – Step 3: Monitor & Measure