Many marketers and others who are desperate for traffic really like the idea of Twitter, but are stumped on how to get followers in the first place. After all, if you don't have Twitter followers you're basically tweeting to yourself, and that’s no fun.
There are certainly automated tools out there that are designed to get you a lot of Twitter followers. There are even services out there that promise the same. However, growing things more organically is usually a good idea.
First of all, find and follow those you already know on Twitter. Starting with people you know and who know you seems obvious, but it's easier to get more followers once you have the first few.
The truth about Twitter is that there's a culture of following back. Follow people of authority and even those you've found are even slightly interested in your niche. They're likely to follow you back-- or at least half of them are likely to do so. It's just what people do. That simple truth means it's pretty easy to grow your Twitter following over time, if you're willing to find and follow people on a regular basis.
You can find targeted people to follow by doing a simple Twitter search for your topic. You can also search by hashtag. Take a look through the people who are following the top authorities in your niche-- they're a targeted group. Finally, find Twitter lists that are related to your topic, and create your own lists of Twitter users for more recognition.
You can also re-tweet comments you find really interesting. Answer people's questions when they ask them. Make it a habit to be interactive on Twitter at least a little each day, and your Twitter authority will rise pretty quickly.
Additionally, let people on your blog or other social media platforms know that you're on Twitter. It's easy to add a Twitter button or even a stream of your tweets on your blog so people will be drawn in to following you.
If you want to become a true authority and really engage your audience, you can run live Twitter events, which I'll cover in more detail a bit further on.
Getting a great group of followers is something that happens over time. Don't expect tens of thousands of followers overnight. Treat Twitter as it's meant to be treated and there's no way you can go wrong.
Influential Twitter Users
As with anything you do when it comes to getting traffic, it's so important to develop a plan for it. It's one thing to have me tell you that you need to develop relationships with the most influential Twitter users in your niche. But, what does that really mean?
That's why I suggest you have a plan for the relationships you're going to develop and what you're going to do with them. Who do you want to interact with? Who would it be mutually beneficial for you to work with? Who do people in your niche on Twitter tend to follow, and why? In addition to manual searches on Twitter, there are tools like Followerwonk.com that will help you as well.
Find these people, follow them, and study them. Re-tweet things they tweet that you find interesting. Visit their blog and find interesting articles of theirs that no one else has tweeted and tweet it yourself. This is the kind of thing that gets noticed. People notice when you help them out or become an evangelist of theirs. It's flattering and it really does help them.
Don't tweet and re-tweet things just because you want to get something. This is part of building relationships and sharing content you know your audience will be interested in anyway. You'll get a ton of benefits as a result, but that's not your focus for now.
Build relationships that will mean something to you. When you rub elbows with those who already have a following and authority in your niche, it will be a whole lot easier for you to become a power Twitter user and get more traffic to your site.
Very few people use Tweet Chats as part of marketing, but it's a strategy that has worked for many, so you might want to try it out. Don't be scared off by the term "Tweet chat." You're simply going to use Twitter as you always have, but use a hashtag that will connect you and the other people tweeting and following along together.
You will act as the moderator and get others to follow along with the Tweet chat. You'll usually tell people what to expect (and which hashtag to use) so they're ready to go when it's time for the chat. Make sure the hashtag you choose is fairly unique to your chat so it's easy to filter through the noise to keep chat attendees on target.
It can seem hard to build a community on Twitter, where it's easy on Facebook. Using Twitter to host Tweet chats is a great way to get that community feel. As a bonus, you're the organizer and go-to expert, so you get an instant authority boost.
You can answer people's questions, share new strategies, have guest tweeters, and more. It works well if you come up with an enticing theme beforehand. Let your imagination guide you!
It's likely that very few (if any) other marketers are using Tweet chats in your niche. It's different enough to be extremely effective and to really get people's attention. As a bonus, people are really only focused on you and your chat at that moment-- which means giving away a special bonus for attending in exchange for an email is a fantastic way to drive great traffic.
You can simply use the TweetChat.com site to make this all happen. You can recommend your tweeters use it as well. There are other services out there (twubs.com and hashtags.org, to start) that make it easy for people to keep up with the conversation, so just figure out what will work best for you.
The really cool thing is that your tweet chats will show up in your newsfeed. So will the flurry of tweets coming from your guests and attendees. This can entice more people to join, including others of authority. They'll want to know what all the fuss is about.
Every once in a while, you might want to include a tweet to let others know how to easily join in, and even what a tweet chat is. The more tweet chats you host, the more likely they are to catch on. You can gain a ton of followers and a lot of traffic as a result because it's so exciting for people.
Remember-- tweets are content. You can use something like Storify to capture the best results of the tweet chat. You can then include the "story" on your blog, link to it from your other social media accounts, and more.
Using Hashtags in Marketing
We've talked a little about hashtags, including how to use them in tweet chats. Now, let's talk about how to use them specifically for your marketing. Hashtags make it easy for people with common interests to find one another. You can search specific hashtags, or even just click on the one you're interested in, to find other tweets that have that same hashtag. You can find other users this way and they can find you.
When you post something interesting, try to find a great hashtag to include. There's a careful balance between choosing something that's way too general and choosing something that's so obscure it will be useless. Get a feel for what's popular, yet specific enough, in your niche so you can include these hashtags in your posts.
Your hope is that you're not the only one using a particular hashtag. Sometimes, it will be specifically related to your brand or campaign. Other times, you'll be piggy backing off of something that's already popular. Try different methods for different circumstances to see what's going to work best for you.
Just as I mentioned with tweet chats, you can use various services to help you analyze the effectiveness and current activity surrounding a particular hashtag. Tagboard.com, Rebelmouse.com, Talkwalker. com, and others offer this functionality.
Play around with different ways you can use hashtags, and you'll start to see your follower count and overall engagement go up. This, in turn, can turn into more traffic and a growing recognition for your brand.
Put It All Together…
Put it all together and you’ll have a winning strategy for getting more Twitter followers. Remember to be consistent. Work on getting followers a little each day. Tweet things that matter so you get more retweets. Focus on building relationships so the followers you do get pay attention to you and follow for life.