If I had to list my most frequently-asked questions, the very top of the list would be: “How did you grow your Twitter following?” Right now, I am following nearly 41,600 people – and 59,100 are following me.
I’m not a celebrity; I’m not particularly funny (though I try); I’m not a huge brand or even a mid-sized one. What I am is a very good curator of content and connector of people.
So forget everything you think you know about Twitter. It’s not like a cocktail party, and you don’t have to “follow back” every person who comes your way.
Identify your ideal customer
You shouldn’t start a business, a blog, or even a Twitter account without first identifying and profiling your ideal customer. Who, exactly, are you tweeting for?
Think of it like you’re publishing your own magazine…
- Is your magazine for millennial women interested in new technology?
- Is your magazine for 40-something architects?
- Who is your ideal customer (age, gender, job description) and what do they want to achieve?
- What are their interests and passions?
You’ll want to write this down.
If it seems like overkill to craft a detailed buyer persona of your Twitter audience, ask yourself this: Who are your favorite Twitter users? How targeted and consistent are their posts?
The answer is likely: very targeted and very consistent. After all, when you follow George Takei, you know exactly what you’re going to get – hilarious social commentary and hope that at 78 years old, you’ll be half as cool.
Curate content based on that ideal customer’s interests
Twitter does a few things very well:
- Conversations of the short, pithy variety
- Massive chats
- Social outrage
- Content sharing
You should take part in at least 3/4th of these regularly, but when it comes to which content you share – you’ll want to be choosy. Retweet everything you find funny, or worse, retweet to be “polite,” and you’ll lose the interest of your followers. But, if you consistently share the most interesting, thought-provoking content you come across (within your ideal customer’s range of interests), you’ll build a community around yourself.
It’s not enough just to curate topics of interest to your audience. I make a deliberate effort to share content that helps my audience succeed in doing the things they’re trying to do.
If something has genuinely helped me, changed my perspective, or given me information I didn’t have before – that is what I share. The result is a carefully curated collection of intensely useful insights. I save the funny cat pictures for my Facebook friends.
Use @ and # to mention influencers and thought leaders who wrote the content you’re curating
Twitter Basics 101 says to follow the Twitter users you admire. I highly recommend you do so. But don’t stop at retweeting their brilliance – write exactly why you liked their latest post and mention them using “@” or “#” to let them know!
You can ask questions, give compliments, give commentary – most Twitter users welcome the chance to engage in discussion. And, who knows? Over time, that Twitter conversation could morph into a real-life mentorship (it’s worked for me).
Not only can you gain the attention of the people you admire on Twitter, mentioning them increases the likelihood that they’ll share your Tweets. This can introduce you to their vast audiences, which is the fast track to your own Twitter stardom.
Engage with Twitter-loving communities
One thing I do a lot of is engage with other online communities like Growth Hackers, SaaS.Community and Product Hunt – which are full of marketers and SaaS industry professionals, all of whom heavily use Twitter. Once again, these are places where my target audience gathers, so it makes sense for me to contribute to and interact with those communities.
Your target audience likely has its own set of gathering hubs around the Internet. Find your tribe, interact with them in genuine, meaningful, helpful ways, and always, always, always link to your Twitter account.
The more you tweet, the more followers you’ll have
According to Mashable, Twitter users who write between 1 to 1000 tweets have an average of 51 to 100 followers. Users who tweet more than 10,000 times averages 1001 to 5000 followers. For the record, as of today, I have tweeted nearly 90,000 times. You do the math.
Use TribeBoost to grow your audience
I love organic growth, but I also love fast growth. Why not have the best of both worlds? When you curate compelling content, interact with thought-leaders, engage with communities and use a Twitter audience growth solution, your numbers will rise – fast.
TribeBoost’s methods also depend on first having a highly targeted, specific audience in mind. Using keywords, mentions and hashtags related to your ideal audience, they reach out to people tweeting about your niche, narrow by biography, location and influence, and then follow them for you.
Because your content is carefully curated for this specific audience, follow-back rates are high. More importantly, you’re not filling up your ranks empty followers who never retweet or engage in conversation – you’re getting in touch with authentic, interested, active followers who want to hear what you have to say, and talk about it.