Building Twitter Followers Who Matter

by on December 12th, 2010
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You can have hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers but if it’s not benefitting your business, what’s the point? For businesses of any size, Twitter is more than just a popularity contest; it’s an opportunity to reach your target audience in a platform that they are comfortable with but you have to know how to do it correctly.

The number one complaint regarding businesses in Twitter is spam. No one likes to have things shoved in their faces, especially things they don’t want. In order to make the most of Twitter marketing, you need to build followers that matter. This means you want to have people following your company’s Twitter account who are actually interested in what you have to offer. This doesn’t mean that every follower will buy your products or hire your services but they should at least be interested in some way to what you are about.

Followers who matter are those who:

· Will become customers or clients · Will share your Tweets, links and business info · Are interested in the same topics · Will engage you/your account in conversation

A Twitter follower who doesn’t buy your products but retweets your posts to his list of followers is still useful to you. He is helping you spread the word. He is creating a “buzz” about what you do. In social media marketing, this is very valuable.

In order to build Twitter followers who matter, you need to know two things- how Twitter works and who your target audience is. When you set up your Twitter account, take some time for a crash course on the basics of hashtags, Twitter etiquette, retweets and other guidelines that make the 140-characters-or-less site go round. Then, with your target audience in mind, go out and start building connections.

Make sure you have a solid profile with a photo, bio and other pertinent info filled in before you begin to follow anyone or you will just look like another spammer. Then, you can set out to building a quality following of your own.

First, you need to Tweet things that people actually want to hear, especially when your company is new. General how-the-weather-is or what-I-had-for-breakfast posts will get lost in the stream or come off bland and boring. They can occasionally be appropriate later, once you have already established a solid following.

Next, use relevant hashtags in your posts whenever possible. You can also search for hashtags related to your niche and comment (@ reply) to people chatting about those topics. You don’t have to be following a person to comment to them.

Another good idea is to use the trending topics when they fit in your posts. Don’t place them in a post that is irrelevant or spam them all in one update but look for genuine ways in which to incorporate them into your posts. For example, if your business is insurance consulting and a trending topic is #badadvice, you might tweet “#badadvice – Skipping insurance consulting and buying on a whim”.

Most Twitter users also like humor when it’s done intelligently and they are likely to favorite or follow you when you can use humor or wit in your 140 character posts. Remember that the average user is seeing multiple streams passing quickly in front of them so you need to post things that will jump out and capture their interest.

Avoid asking people to follow you back, promising to follow back anyone who follows you or spamming DM (direct messages) with your links. All of these things will get you labeled as just another spammer or scammer. While follow-for-follow programs can get you a full list, they will not be people interested in your company, which defeats the purpose. You don’t need them nor do you need to buy followers (so don’t fall for that scam, either).


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