One of the fundamental benefits of Twitter, and the one I always tell my clients first, is that there’s the potential for users to connect with an unlimited audience. Want to expand your business into Germany? You can target Germans by using the right hashtags, following key German thought-leaders, and developing Twitter relationships with German users in your field.
So then, what’s the importance of a following on Twitter? Well, very simply, that’s your direct audience – ones who are already interested in what you have to say. Build that following up, and you’re reaching that many more people with your messages, strengthening your brand, and increasing awareness.
Here are some ways to build your following on Twitter:
- Don’t always promote yourself or your brand. A tweet for one of my clients this morning read, “Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers we know!” No mention of the Mother’s Day events being hosted, the merchandise you could buy for your mother, or why to pay admission and treat your mom to a great experience. This one tweet alone resulted in more retweets, mentions and followers than anything else in the past couple days.
- Follow back. Just trying to look cool by having more way more followers than people you’re following? It’s pretty superficial. Follow back others who follow you – they think what you have to say is interesting, so the reverse is likely to be true, too. By following others, you appear as a follower on their Twitter feed, so become visible to their other followers that way.
- Use #hashtags. When you hashtag parts of your tweet, those pieces become easily searchable. Hashtag the subject of your tweet (e.g. #traveldeals), or commentary on your tweet and you’ll show up in people’s searches for that topic.
- Retweet. Like the tweets of others? Share what they say with your followers and not only will the original author be grateful, so will your followers who have now received more valuable information thanks to you.
- Tweet frequently, and consistently. Enough said.
- Link to your site, blog, etc. Show people what else you’ve written, what your company does, what your expertise is. Tweeting is micro-blogging – so give followers the opportunity to see the full extent of what you have to say.
- Network. Encourage your followers to recommend you to their networks, and do the same for them.
Now go, fellow tweeters, and build that following, speak directly to your audiences, and strengthen you brand! Happy tweeting.