Twitter is my strongest social network, so as part of my Blog Club series, I thought I would give you my top tips to increase your following and make sure Twitter works for you. I went from 0 followers to over 5k in less than 12 months, after 2 years I had 13.5k and approaching 3 years I have approaching 20k.
‘On twitter if someone follows us we get excited, in real life we get really scared and run away!’ Anonymous
- Use other people’s twitter followers lists – When I first started on Twitter, I wanted to follow lots of people in the same area as me; to interact with people doing a similar thing and make connections so that, hopefully, my following would grow. I went to the profiles of people I liked (or big players in my blogging niche), scrolled through their followers and following lists and simply followed people I liked the sound of.
- Be consistent – Building relationships is about using twitter every day. There is no point in tweeting for a few days and then not for a week. You have to be in it to win it!
- Engage – I wish I had more time to engage, but I do a bit everyday. Twitter is a great place to spend time. Don’t just promote blog posts, but chat to people to build relationships.
- Be friendly & don’t moan – OK, so everyone is allow a bad moment and people want to know the real you, but no-one wants to follow someone who is mainly negative.
- Add a twitter widget to your blog sidebar or at least a twitter icon – Make it easy for people to follow you; don’t make them hunt around for your twitter link, hand it to them on a plate.
- Support others – Twitter and the blogging world in general can be a really supportive place to be. So, support others by RT’ing a tweet of theirs you have enjoyed or by commenting on a tweet. This will go a long way and you never know they may return the favour.
- Use Hashtags – These help your tweets get seen by more people. Use the search function to find research which hashtags are appropriate for your tweet.
- Social media icons at the bottom of each post (even if they’re on your sidebar) – Again, just make things really easy for people. If they read a post and like it, having the icons just right there may help them decide to follow you or share the post. Also make sure your social sharing is set up to include you @name in the share. This way you will know if people are sharing your posts from your blog and you can say thanks. So many I come across haven’t set this up, so it is worth checking.
- Social media icons on your email signature – Make sure all your contacts have your social media channels. Some people even link to their most recent blog post. Wise Stamp can do this for you.
- Ask for RTs- There is a four times higher retweet rate if you ask for RT (not retweet) than not. RT’s are then seen by lots more potential followers.
- Unfollow people who don’t follow you – I don’t do this religiously. However, Twitter sometimes limits the number of people you can follow, until your following builds up. If you follow someone who doesn’t follow you back, this may prevent you from following someone who will and who will interact with you.
- Participate in #FF – Follow Friday is a great way to show your thanks to others. An example would be ‘#FF lovely ladies @mumsdays @snowingindoors @buddingsmiles @mamamakedopush’. By tweeting this I am asking all my followers to follow these lovely ladies. You can also use it to give a shout out to brands you like or are working with at the moment.
- Respond – If someone tweets you, respond. Even if it is just favouriting the tweet. I realise that sometimes we miss people when our timelines go crazy, but try to stick to it and people will appreciate your responses.
- Thank people – I always thank people for RT’s. Again it is possible to miss a few here and there, but generally just a quick thanks goes a long way and they are more likely to RT in the future.
- Avatar – Make sure your avatar is the same across your networks, so you are identifiable and there is consistency. Some people think this should be your face, which I actually do agree with. However, I used my blog logo for 10 months and in that time gained about 4k followers, so it isn’t the end of the world if it is not your face, just make sure they are consistent across platforms. Also make sure the picture you use is a good picture. That you look happy or at least not miserable!
- Include images in your tweets – Stats show engagement is 200% higher for tweets with image links. 200% people!
- Schedule – Schedule your blog post links to go out as tweets. I do this a lot, but it has not done me any harm and I get most of my page views from Twitter. I feel as long as I interact, as well as schedule, then there is a good balance. I use Social Oomph for scheduling Twitter, which is by far the best programme I have used.
- Lists – Use Twitter lists to make your following timeline more manageable. You will be able to interact more effectively and get more benefit. I have a list that includes people that have interacted with me and that I like chatting to. You can get more more organised than this and maybe have one for brands you have worked with, perhaps one for brands you would love to work with. Which would be a great way to interact with them and look out for potential opportunities.
- Profile – Make sure it says something about you. Having a blank profile will not encourage me to follow you. I want to know a little snippet of what you are about.
- Peak tweeting hours – Between 9am and 3pm Monday to Thursday.
- Best time – Monday to Thursday 1pm-3pm.
- Worst time – Every day after 8pm and Fridays after 3pm.
- Tweet a Question -21% higher engagement if tweet includes a question.
- Be concise – 17% higher if tweet is less than 100 characters.
- Include a link – retweets are 86% higher if tweet includes a link.
- Pin a tweet to the top of your profile – You can use this to pin a tweet which says something about you, promotes a current competition or any tweet you would like people to see first when landing on your profile. Go to your profile and find the Tweet you would like to pin. Click on the ellipsis icon (…), select ‘Pin to your profile page’ and click ‘Pin’.
Which is your most successful social media network? Do you like Twitter?
LIKE IT? PIN IT!
Twitter stats from Hubspot.com