Last week I spent a couple of days focusing on Twitter trying to really nail down best practices for growth. The results of that focus – a 33% growth in targeted followers and over 400% spike in interaction and click-throughs on our links over three days.
Here’s how we did it.
1. Follow Other Users
This is the most basic step, but worth mentioning upfront. If you don’t have a huge following on your blog and you’re a small to medium size business, growing twitter followers without reaching out and following others is extremely tough. You need to reach out to others who are in your industry or part of your target market and start following them. If you’re providing great content, chances are, they’ll follow you back. To do this effectively you need to find the right people to follow – sure, simply following everyone who comes across your path works to a degree, but they won’t be valuable followers and chances are your twitter ratio (followers to who you follow) will be horribly skewed. That reflects poorly on your company image.
Meet TweetAdder, my new favorite tool for finding users to follow. I’ll dedicate a full post to TweetAdder in the future because of its extremely powerful follow/unfollow/message automation, but one of the things it lets you do is search for people to follow based on keywords. You can narrow search results based on location, what they’re tweeting about, their profile description, and more. We used it to target marketing execs and CEOs in the DFW area. Once you find those users, it’s easy to reach out to them on Twitter. Localized results are always the most valuable. It has an initial fee, but the value is well worth it.
Find and participate in webinars! Not only is it a valuable learning opportunity, but these events usually have a corresponding hashtag for attendees to tweet about the event, either asking questions or sharing information to their followers. Get those hashtags and start pumping out tweets during the event. This is where we really saw a jump in user interaction.
If you provide social media services, find a webinar about social media best practices. Some people might be your competitors, but a lot of attendees will be prospects looking to increase their own knowledge. This is a great time to reach out, retweet other users, and share your own content and offers. For a recent webinar on using Facebook for business (#FB4BIZ) we had a lot of visitors to our blog – and retweeting our blog-simply because we offered additional information and reading about the webinar subject to other attendees. If you’re a real estate company, find home buyer webinars. If you do bankruptcy consultation, find a bankruptcy webinar. It’s easy to do, and it becomes more effective, the more blog content and eBooks (top of funnel content!) you have to share.
Directories are a mixed bag, but they’re well worth talking about. Some are much more valuable than others. Like TweetAdder, this will eventually be a blog post on its own, but the concept of a twitter directory is the same as any other directory – users can find you, and you can find other users to follow, based on what your services are and what your twitter is about. Our favorites are WeFollow and Twellow, which you should add yourself to just for the passive follows even if you never interact with the sites again. Other directories, such as Twiends, can be used to hugely grow your followers, but often you’ll just see a jump in numbers and not in interaction because those following will have no interest in your actual content. The droprate can also be very high. I would discourage using a cheap shortcut without value, but if pure growth without results is your interest, then it’s worth exploring.
5. Keywords and Hashtags
You knew we’d get here eventually, didn’t you? Use good keywords! Once more: Use good keywords! If you’re tweeting your keywords, even if you aren’t using hashtags, your tweets will show up in searches. Studies suggest that the sweet spot with hashtags is two tashtags per tweet. One is good, but move to three and you’ll see a big dropoff in interaction. Hashtags earn your tweets twice the amount of interaction as those without. (Speaking of, ask your followers to retweet you! It can make a huge difference.) The extra bonus about keywords and hashtags is that users who find your Twitter account this way are almost always quality follows. They’ll engage more, and a higher number could be potential leads.
6. Marketing Integration
Plaster your Twitter account everywhere and on everything. Every piece of marketing material that goes out, add your Twitter Account. It should be in prominent view on your website, it should be on your direct mail pieces, it should be on your promotional items, and it should be in your email blasts. Ask people to follow you and they will come. It’s really that simple. Get your twitter account out to the world and the world will follow.
About the author: Matt Anderson is a business problem solver, Inbound Marketing Manager, and writer for the leading inbound marketing agency Mojo Media Labs, bringing readers the latest in digital marketing news, tips, and life hacks for achieving ridiculous online growth in business. Download the free step-by-step online marketing guide!