I have talked to many small business owners and entrepreneurs who are frustrated with Twitter, because they have difficulty attracting a relevant group of Followers. So, what they end up doing, is simply ignoring Twitter or putting it on autopilot. If Twitter is not working for your business, I have some great suggestions that will help build a relevant following, filled with potential leads and your ideal customers.
Many small business owners and entrepreneurs will go on to Twitter and just don’t understand why their posts are not getting any traction. They find out the hard way that one needs to create a following, and those followers need to be relevant to their area in order to receive engagement, or attract visitors to their website.
The question then comes, how to attract relevant followers without investing an unreasonable amount of time, or spending a whole lot of money on Twitter Ads? The strategies I have listed are guaranteed to build a relevant following.
Create Reasonable Follower Expectations
It all starts with creating reasonable expectations and goals. If you are a local business, in a small town, it is unreasonable to expect having a following of 20,000 tweeps, who will retweet and engage with all your content. It may be more reasonable to have 500 Followers who are active. Does this make sense to you?
Part of creating reasonable expectations is also understanding how much your potential clients may or may not be thinking about your product or service. I wrote about this a bit in my post, How Small Business Can Dominate Local Search. As an example, most people don’t think about real estate until they are thinking about buying a new home.
If you are a real estate salesperson trying to attract potential local clients, it is a good strategy to bring them within your sphere of influence before they need your services. You are less liking to attract a healthy following, and be seen as authoritative, if all you post is stuff about real estate sales. Even realtor.com, that provides information, tools and professional expertise for home buyers and sellers, only has a following of around 150,000, and most of those are actually real estate agents.
Complete Your Profile
If you want to attract real people to follow your Twitter account, you must completely fill out profile. Many users will not trust you are real if you do not do the following:
- Get rid of the egg avatar with a photo of yourself. A personal image is better than a logo, but either can work.
- Use the Bio area to describe yourself or your business. People want to know who you are and what you are about.
- Add your real location. You actual city or town is best for local and regional. Don’t put your website url there, and don’t put nonsense.
- Add your website link in the correct area of the profile. Do not place it in your Bio or Location sections.
- Add a header image. I believe it is best to create one, but at least add a photo that reflects you or your business.
Relevant Content with #Hashtags
Think about your ideal customer. Who is he/she? What industry do they work? How much do they make? Where do they live? Do they own a home? Do they have kids? We can use all this information to create a content marketing strategy that will attract relevant Followers on Twitter.
However, that content will have limited reach if you are not using hashtags. Adding a hash or pound sign (#) to a keyword is an easy way for users to categorize, find and join conversations for a particular topic, on Twitter and other social media sites. Create your content around the keywords you need to target, and then convert those keywords into #hashtags.
Follow Relevant People
With few exceptions, Follower growth relies on following others. However, do not get sucked into the “a follow for a follow” strategy. Indiscriminately following those who follow you, and unfollowing those who do not follow back, can have some short term gains, but eventually causes negative growth, and also results in one building a following that may not be relevant to your goals.
In order to find potentially relevant people to follow:
- Use Twitter’s Advance Search to users who are talking about your topics, and who may be local, if applicable.
- Follow the Followers of Influencers within your industry. Most of these individuals are following this Influencer because they are interested in specific topics, which makes them idea,
- Follow the Followers of your competitors. These are your competitors customers and potential customers. We want to attract them, don’t we?
- Follow those on Twitter Lists created by others that target your ideal customer or audience.
Now that we have a source of relevant people to follow, just don’t go crazy and start following everyone listed. There are still going to be many not worth it.
Use the following criteria to select who to follow from the lists of potentially relevant users.
- Those with avatars (no eggs).
- Bio is not empty, and maybe including specific keywords.
- Location is not empty, and maybe only those from a specific area.
- Those who have tweeted in the past week. We only want active accounts.
- Follower ratio is greater than 50. This means they have at least 5 Followers for every 10 they follow.
- Only public accounts, unless they follow you first.
- The language is the same.
- You have not followed then unfollowed in the past.
Social Media gets the name because you are suppose to be social. There are so many businesses, entrepreneurs, and marketers out there that do nothing but post their own stuff, and don’t understand why their “great content” is not getting the attention it deserves. You must give in order to receive.
To attract and keep relevant Followers, one must:
- Retweet and “like” content that is relevant to you and your target audience
- Respond to those to tweet at you.
- Thank those who tweet, retweet, or “like” your content
- Answer questions about your industry tweeted by those not following you.
- Engage with industry Influencers and thought leaders… the real ones, not the self identified one.
- Schedule chats and Twitter parties
What did I miss?
What do you think? What tips, tools or tactics have you been using to build your own relevant Twitter following? Share your insights in the comments below. If you include your Twitter handle, I bet you will also pick up a few new Followers.