So you want to take your company’s Twitter following to the next level? Well, I recently grew my Twitter base for my company—Charisse Says, a media platform to make investing simple and easy—and I have learned that it takes planning and routine execution to grow your Twitter following. I want to share six simple steps to strategically grow your Twitter base. It worked for me, and it may be able to work for you, too.
1. Budget and Timing for Achieving the Goal
Growing a social media following on any platform takes time. If time is not on your side, I strongly recommend hiring someone to help run the social media for your brand. A good budget to start with is $500 per month. Having another set of hands to help tweet, retweet, reply and create content for posts may be of great value.
I also recommend tying payment to a performance metric. For the Charisse Says platform, I hired a freelance marketing manager and gave her the specific goal of growing my number of Twitter followers over a certain number days, such as 90 days. Additionally, I offered a bonus; if she achieved the goal in a shorter time period, such as 30 days, I gave her more money. A bonus usually motivates people to push themselves to do their very best.
The key here is to provide the person you hire with all the tools necessary to be successful. When I hired my marketing manager, I provided her with branding guidelines, access to all of my social media accounts (not just Twitter) and spent time with her so that she not only fully understood my brand, but could speak in the Charisse Says voice. I also let her know that I expected her to work 1 to 2 hours a day on this project, or 10-15 hours per week.
If hiring someone is not in your budget, don't worry. You may have to set aside roughly two hours a day to concentrate on growing your Twitter following. Give yourself a goal and a timeline, and don’t forget to give yourself a bonus too! If you surpass your goal, buy yourself a nice bottle of wine or get a massage as a reward. This will help you stay motivated.
2. Your Twitter Image
The Charisse Says brand incorporates the personality of its founder—yours truly—as part of the marketing and branding strategy. Take the time to really flesh out the “voice” of your brand and how that translates into social media posts—it may help you grow your Twitter following.
Specifically, it is so important to make sure you choose a Twitter avatar that properly represents your company. Most people choose to use their headshot, while businesses tend to use their logo. Twitter now also has a cover photo similar to Facebook, so you have more real estate to promote your brand in a professional manner. Make the most of these two images. You may want to use them to promote your product(s) and/or brand. Making these changes only takes a few minutes and may make a big difference. I also recommend having the same avatar photo and cover photo—wherever applicable—across all of your social media accounts.
3. Write a Strong Bio
Your Twitter bio is most likely the first thing that people read when they find your profile. Therefore, it's imperative that it represents your brand appropriately. Additionally, when people search Twitter, the results are based on data in the profile bio. I like to think of my Twitter bio as a bundle of keywords that are used to attract people to my profile, and subsequently my business.
Also, you may want to consider using hashtags before the most important keywords in your bio, and include your city or region name to attract local users. Finally, make sure to fill out the website address so that people can go to your website to engage with your content and/or find a product that you've been promoting.
4. Promoting Your Twitter Account
Now that you have a stellar Twitter profile, promote it everywhere! Add your Twitter handle to the bio of guest blog posts that you author. This lets readers know that if they want to connect with you, they should follow you. Having an easily visible Twitter button on your website can be helpful in making this connection.
You can also add your Twitter handle to business cards, brochures, signs and your email signature. Another great way to get more eyes on your Twitter profile is to cross promote your social media accounts. Let your Facebook and Instagram followers know that you have a Twitter account and they should follow you. You may even get their attention by referencing a discussion you are having on Twitter.
5. Tweet. A lot.
If you want to grow your Twitter following, you are probably going to have to commit to tweeting a lot.
To make sure you are tweeting at peak times to reach your target audience, consider using a free time-saving tool like Hootsuite to schedule multiple tweets in advance. For Charisse Says, I schedule three to four tweets for every day of the week using Hootsuite on Sunday nights. I also have my marketing manager manually retweet at least 10 posts from influencers in my field, and reply to at least five posts from influencers daily. Influencers have hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers. The goal here is to engage their audience of Twitter followers in conversation about things relevant for them. Once they see that you have common interests, they may be more inclined to follow you.
When you're crafting your tweets, don’t forget to use relevant hashtags. They may help connect you with your target audience on the site, and could help increase the number of impressions on your post. Without hashtags, your chances of your tweets being seen by people who aren't your followers may decrease. But with them, they may be seen by hundreds or thousands of new people on Twitter, who might retweet your post and/or follow your account.
Another way that you may be able to get more people to view your posts is by mentioning others in your tweets. They will get a notification from Twitter that you mentioned them in a tweet and probably check out your profile. Hopefully once they read that stellar bio you wrote, they will also follow you.
You can also engage with your audience by saying “Thank you!” Consider thanking every single person who follows you or anyone who retweets or replies to one of your tweets. I also make a habit of replying publicly to anyone who asks me a question. A public reply establishes your company as an authority and shows that people want your opinion and advice. (Pro tip: If you're starting a tweet with someone's handle, type a period in front of the name so more people can see it—otherwise Twitter will only show the tweet to users who follow both you and the person you're tweeting at.)
6. Follow People
Another way to find people in your industry to follow on Twitter (and maybe have them follow you back) is to connect Twitter to your LinkedIn contacts. People who you already have a relationship may be happy to reciprocate the follow.
With my company, I also followed people who retweeted the same posts that I did. The idea here is that the people I followed will see that I have similar interests to them and follow me back. And it worked!
If you are worried about imbalance—following way more people than follow you—there’s an easy fix. You (or your Twitter manager) can always unfollow people who never followed you back manually or by using apps like Twitter Karma, Follow Filter, or ManageFlitter.
By following the above steps religiously, my marketing manager and I were able to increase the number of people following Charisse Says tremendously. If you get several new followers in the first couple of days, and then hit a dry spell, don't give up! This is typical and if you stay consistent you may see a payoff in the end.
If it has been three days or more and you have not received a new follower, it may be time to re-evaluate. Read through the above steps again and tweak the strategy to meet your needs. Maybe your target audience is not on Twitter between 1 p.m, and 3 p.m. Or maybe one of the influencers you were engaging with isn’t responding.
A lot of Twitter success comes from the trial and error of working the strategic plan, so don't get discouraged. You can do it!