If you’re not using Twitter (yet!) I just have to be very bland and ask “Why not???” You might be one of the few with internet access on this planet who doesn’t.
It’s just not enough to have a website or a Facebook presence, Twitter is here, is growing and mostly is here to stay! Not to mention that almost 40% of people who follow a brand on Twitter is most likely to visit their website too.
Participating in Twitter, have to accentuate “participating” not spamming with offers and promotions, you can refine your brand and create an image that will make your customers follow and interact with you.
How to start:
When you create your profile on Twitter you might seem a bit lost. No followers, and to be honest there are not too many chances to get good followers from the start.
You are invited to follow some well-known people and brands when you start a new profile, but they will most likely not follow you back. Always keep in mind the reason you are starting a Twitter account. As simple as Twitter seems at first glance, there is a lot to get right before Twitter marketing success. But once you do, Twitter will work in almost every niche and for everyone who wants to market something.
First thing you have to keep in mind when you start using Twitter is what you want, what’s your marketing strategy and stick with it. Make it work as although seems hard at first once you have it up and running you will see the result.
If you want to promote your business, as of course you do, think of your target audience first. For example, our target audience is male aged between 18 and 27. What are they interested in? Let’s say football, girls and gadgets.
Then choose a user name. Should it be your company name, or your name? Choose wisely. They’re both OK, but I mostly follow people, not companies. In this case, my advice would be for you to use your name, not the company’s name.
Make your Twitter profile alive
Once created, you need to customize our profile. Most people are lazy when it comes to their Twitter profile. Use a photo of you, enter a bio and use a custom background, not the ones provided to you by Twitter and use links. Make your profile look as real as possible. Show people who you are and what you are about. I will not follow some fake profiles that do not even have a profile photo. With 160 characters in the Twitter bio, make them count. Not only a good description of you and your company/product/shop, but make sure you use the right keywords to express best your interests and a link to your website or other social media account you will like to promote. A professional bio is the first step in creating a personal brand on Twitter.
After the account is created and you made all the steps in customising your profile, next we need some tweets. Not only from my personal perspective, but no one will follow a profile with no tweets at all. Let’s say, we need 10 tweets to start. First tweet can be something generic, like “hello world, that’s my first #tweet”.
Then, post some links to articles related to your business. Some blog posts, some articles published on other websites than the one you own, maybe some guest blogging posts. Also, post a few images – search “funny images and quotes” on Google Images to find some. It’s a good thing to have some images on your profile. Twitter is always showing your latest 6 tweeted images on your profile. You won’t have 6 images from the first day (or you can have, if you want, no one stops you from tweeting 6 images). But try to make everything you share relevant, interesting and sharable.
Now, you have a twitter profile completed 100%, you have a few tweets, and you also have some images. Your profile looks OK, just you still don’t have any follower.
Find the best hashtags for you
Now it’s time to use a tool to get the most of Twitter: trendsmap.com. That’s an amazing tool, showing you what’s trending on each region worldwide. In Sligo, Ireland, for example, is trending #warriorsrun – because yesterday was this event in Strandhill, a nice place in Sligo County. In Sunderland UK is trending #sunderlandafc #matchoftheday and #manchester – I guess it’s a Premier League game. In London is #carnival – A search for #carnival on Twitter showed that it’s about Notting Hill Carnival.
Find those keywords related to what your target audience is interested in – in our example, we’re selling dna tests. Don’t look for keywords related to what you sell, because it will be quite difficult to find people interested in that exact thing. Instead look for the targeted areas and for the trending keywords that fit your audience. I would go for #alsicebucketchallenge and #carnival. Search for these keywords and find interesting tweets. ‘’Favourite’’ one every three interesting tweets. Retweet some of them using the retweet button – also one every each three.
How to properly retweet
For the one of three remaining, we’ll do something else.
Let’s take this tweet as example:
We’re going to copy the tweet (make sure you copy the entire url), and the Profile name, and we’re going to tweet like this:
Looking for a job? RT @StackCareers Sr. Windows Engineer at GoPro (San Diego, CA) http://careers.stackoverflow.com/jobs/65883/sr-windows-engineer-gopro #windows
“Looking for a job” or “Looking for a #job” or “For #jobseekers” – can be changed to anything else you want to add in that tweet. RT @StackCareers means that you’re retweeting @StackCareers. Now, you’re actually doing the retweet in a Pro way – you’re mentioning @StackCareers, they will see that in their Twitter dashboard, and you’re promoting their link as well.
Naturally if you retweeted others it’s most likely they will retweet you too. Maybe not immediately, but once they recognize you’re adding value, they will start responding.
Now it’s very important not just to retweet others just for the sake of it. Like every other social media channel being honest to your business and mostly to your customers is the key. Find the tweets that could add value for your following and start retweeting thoughtfully. Personalising your retweet with a short comment makes you truly engaged and stand out from those who make this automatically without any personal involvement in the organic and naturally growth of followers.
The next step is to follow those that you have favourite, retweeted or mentioned.
The key to a successful Twitter campaign is consistency. As you send out your first tweets and as heard from others that it works miracles from the day one, it might not be like that. I’d say most probably won’t be like that. Consistency like in every other thing in your business is what makes it work.
Building confidence and a good relationship with your followers hardy happens without a regular presence on Twitter.
Share valuable content. Either content from others that you find interesting and that adds value to your marketing efforts – or your own content from your blog or website. Although you will be tempted to keep sharing promotional posts or offers this exact thing will keep your audience at distance and not engaged. Promoting yourself as an expert in your field by tweeting or retweeting it will be enough for your customers to engage with your brand and to share and promote you.
Keep on following, promoting others (retweeting) and tweeting! Hopefully, you’re going to follow around 20 people a day – or even more. Commit to this 5 days/week, from Monday to Friday; you’re going to follow more than 100 people each week. Some of them will follow you back. Each time someone follows you back tweet to him/her: “@name-of-the-follower Thank you for the follow” or “@name-of-the-follower hope you’re going to enjoy my tweets”, or anything polite.
Saturday is Tweet free! On Sunday afternoon find a few minutes to clean your profile. You don’t want to end up following 10k people that are not following you back. Now it’s time to unfollow those who were not interested in your tweets. There are a lot of tools out there to unfollow. I’m using manageflitter.com
Now unfollow those who did not follow you back – you can keep only those you consider have tweets that still interest you. In time will become easier for you to find people to follow. Twitter will also help, by sending you suggestions based on who you already followed.
There are some other ways to get new followers on tweeter than just growing it organic. For example, you can buy 10000 followers with a few quid from websites like fiverr. That’s a black hat social media trick that is mostly used these days by teenagers.
To be honest, I consider that a waste of money. You will not get real twitter users, or if you get, they will unfollow you within a couple of days. Not to say that you won’t get users that will be interested in your products. They are just random users, not from your targeted audience.
With Twitter closing fake accounts, buying fake followers is not a good long strategy. In the end you will probably end up with a downgraded account and a much lower reach.
Another way is to use Twitter ads. You can run campaigns to get new followers, to get visits on your website and to get more engagement on your tweets.
You can also target your audience by location, interests, gender and language and set a maximum bid per new follower.
How many tweets should I have a day?
As many as you want. There are some saying that 8 tweets a day it’s the best. But, in those 8 tweets you should only once or twice promote your products. All the other tweets should be about stuff that is interesting for your followers (target audience). If you just want to promote your products/your links, you won’t have a huge success on Twitter.
The problem is that 8 tweets a day require a huge amount of work. Especially if you want to have quality tweets.
How do I find content to tweet?
The easiest way to find content is to browse the internet the way you do it every day. But, once you find a good article, don’t just read it, but also use the share button (usually there’s a share button). Also, once you hit the share button you will have the tweet already written (usually the title of the post, the link and “via @name-of-author”). You can amend that tweet the way you want. You can add a hashtag to it. I know, till now you thought that by sharing it you will only use the author of the article. Sharing is caring and retweeting doesn’t help only the author of the article, but also you by posting quality content on your Twitter profile. And once you bring value to your profile you will get new followers.
But what if you don’t have time for 8 tweets a day? There are some other tools – I have quite a few profiles on Twitter, most of them for my start-ups. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to post with each of them on a daily basis. That’s why I use ifttt. In the video you can see how I created a “recipe” so each time inc.com is publishing an article that contains the keyword “Customer Services” an update is posted on my social profile.
The final example is creating a recipe for LinkedIn, but you can do the same with Twitter, Facebook profile or Facebook Pages.
In this case I’ve chosen “New feed item matches” on step 2, because I need to filter somehow the amount of posts. There are quite a lot of posts on inc.com every day. If you choose a blog with just a few posts a day/week/month, and you think all of them are of interest, you can just choose “New feed item” and you will tweet all the posts from that blog/e-zine.
Another way of getting quality tweets is to use klout.com. And that’s what I use the most, especially for twitter. I don’t need to spend more than 3 minutes a day to find and schedule some good, quality articles. Once logged into klout, you have the “Create” option in the left menu. Once you get to this section, you can filter the content from the right side, based on what you want to find and share.
You can edit the tweet/post, you can schedule it, you can shorten the url and you can also mention people in it. The “Schedule” option is amazing – you don’t have to choose the hours you want to schedule it. Klout will automatically choose the best hours when you should tweet, based on the activity of your followers. I’m not using the shortener, but from time to time I use the “People” option. As I mentioned before, you need around 10 minutes to schedule the tweets for the next day (in my case, I’m usually doing that in the evening), or for the day, if you do that in the mornings. I mentioned above that you can edit the tweet/post. Since we only want to post it to Twitter, we should unselect Facebook, by clicking on it – unselected will turn grey.
Take advantage of all the events out there:
A great way to get targeted followers is to join the conversation during events.
During Sunderland – Man United, if you target the fans of those two teams, you only have to go for #PremierLeague #SAFCvMUFC. Tweet, reply, retweet, favourite their tweets – interact with them.
Also, let’s say you participate to a symposium – for sure the event has a hashtag. If it doesn’t you probably should not be there. Setting the jokes aside, use that hashtag. Find speaker’s profile on twitter, and tweet to him/her: “I’ve learned a lot from @speaker-s-username at #hashtag-of-event”. See who else is using the hashtag, interact with them. Probably they’re in the same room with you, so you will follow them, they will also follow you.
Catching the big fish or How to get the “big fish” to follow you
You can imagine none (or almost none) influencer will follow you just because you tweeted something interesting. If you want a celebrity to follow you then you have to interact with them. Ask them something, make them interact with you. Read their tweets and retweet with sharing your opinions. Post some of their articles and praise them. Obviously, follow them. With a bit of luck, they will follow you back. Once again, take advantage of events, especially if you are in the same room with one influencer, or if you attend an online event/webinar hosted by them.
Should you follow back everyone?
Don’t forget to follow those who followed you. You’re still a long way to go. Not a star (yet). Usually big actors, musicians, and some “gurus” in their field don’t follow back. Just be careful when you follow someone back. Don’t just hit the “Follow” button. First remember what you did when you started using Twitter: Does that user have a good profile? Tweets? Followers? A profile image? Are those tweets good tweets? Or are just “Get 1000 followers for 5 bucks” or “Learn how to win millions in days”. Look at their profile, and don’t follow the spammy ones – Now you see why you also need to have a clean, nice profile.
Some “Grey Hat” ways to get new followers
I don’t recommend that, but there is an easy way to get new targeted followers:
So, let’s say we target men, 18-30 years young interested in tennis. Instead of creating a profile like @myname or @mycompanyname you could create a profile @andymurrayfakeprofile and the name “Fake Andy Murray”, and start posting breaking news and other stuff about Andy Murray and tennis in general. There were a lot of “One Direction Fans” profiles on Twitter and were posting regularly – and they got a few thousands of followers without even following back. Nothing grey till here – You can post some of your promoted stuff as well to those fans. But, once you think you have a base of followers that you target, you can easily change your username and your Twitter name – and you become @your-name but you have 10k followers.
Another piece of advice: Avoid teamfollowback and all this kind of stuff.