Twitter is a powerful tool for communicating with customers and clients, but it can be difficult at times to reach your intended audience and attract the new followers that you require.
This is particularly true of many corporate accounts that fail to provide anything engaging for their fellow Twitter users.
When trying to grow your following on Twitter it is important to realise that this platform functions completely different to others such as Facebook and LinkedIn – and what may work well for one is not true of all types of social media.
To help you grow your following organically, we have prepared five simple steps that all businesses can take:
Social media is about being social
It is all good and well having a Twitter account, but if you aren’t communicating and engaging with other people then you aren’t going to grow your number of followers – it’s that simple.
You should be taking time out to share, reply and retweet. You don’t have to be glued to the screen, but it doesn’t hurt setting aside time in the diary to interact with others.
Thankfully, Twitter provides a clear set of notifications that will show you when someone has interacted with your post. Remember, try to keep the conversations natural and don’t try to push your services too hard.
If you get new followers, take time to look at their profile and consider whether they are worth following back. It can show a lot of courtesy to just retweet something that a contact has shared.
The age of the influencer
Certain people on social media are referred to as influencers. In the case of the mainstream, this may be the likes of the Kardashians who have millions of followers, but many industries also have key influencers who can really help broaden your following.
It is worth taking time to find out which journalists, experts and figures command the highest number of followers and where possible try to involve mentions of them in your tweets, or why not try to engage with them via a question?
By taking the time to interact with them you will find that your own feed starts popping up on their followers’ feeds via the mentions you share between one another.
Get involved in conversations
Take time to see which hashtags and mentions are trending and then see whether you can relate your content to these.
By joining in on conversations you may be able to gain new followers outside of your regular audience, which could drive more traffic to your feed.
By utilising existing trends, you might also be able to start your own conversation or develop a new trend as well.
However, the use of hashtags should be limited. It is all too easy to overdo it, so try to stick to two or three and make sure they are relevant and frequently searched.
To get this going, you might want to look at local hashtags for your area. Many organisations run their own versions #LondonHour or #BirminghamHour, so take time to find out when these are running and post something engaging.
Say something good and make it look nice
The content you share on Twitter should be consistent and you should be posting on a regular basis, but it is also important that what you share is informative and visually appealing.
Photos, GIFs and videos have all become an important element of engaging with an audience. Taking time to prepare a suitable image or graphic can really enhance a post and increase the likelihood of engagement.
The one thing that many people struggle with is how to strike the balance between being engaging and promoting your services. A common rule of thumb proposed by many social media experts is that around 80 per cent of content should be informative or fun and the remaining 20 per cent can be aimed at promotion.
Where’s your Twitter handle?
A common mistake that many new users fail to follow is including their Twitter handle on marketing materials – both digital and physical.
It is easy to include a quick link to your profile via your homepage, but when was the last time you added your Twitter handle to your latest flyer or email footer?
By making your handle visible to a wider audience you are likely to get inquisitive people searching for it and following you.
First impressions count, so make sure that your profile makes use of eye-catching header images and exciting pinned posts.
These are just a few of the more basic tips to improve your organic following on Twitter and there is much more beyond this that companies can do to increase follower numbers.
The day-to-day management of social media accounts can be extremely time consuming, but very rewarding, which is why it pays to outsource it to a team of social media professionals.