Unlike Facebook and the dilemma that is decreased organic reach for business pages, it’s much easier to gain followers on Twitter without spending on advertising. However, it can be challenging to keep these new people around.
Do you continually get notifications regarding new followers, but your follower count never seems to increase? You’re not alone. Here are six simple ways to not only gain more followers on Twitter, but to keep them around for the long haul.
1. Be consistent with your tweets
I’ve already talked at length about why being consistent and active on social media is important. With the way Twitter has grown into the giant that it is, people are constantly logged on and scrolling through news feeds.
If your handle isn’t visible, it’ll be tough to stay in the minds of followers and potential clients. And when people go on “unfollowing” sprees, they’ll look at your inconsistent posting and not see a reason to spare you.
It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, but you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.
2. Use relevant hashtags whenever possible
It’s long been known that having hashtags in tweets will lead to more overall engagement. If a tweet with an article regarding your niche is about to get posted, using the right hashtags will give it the most exposure possible.
But don’t use too many — it will start to look like spam. One or two is preferred, with three being the max, but only if it’s necessary to include that many. A lot of users search particular hashtags to find new people to follow on Twitter. Including the right ones is like getting free advertising to a large audience.
If you’re a social media consultant (like myself), it would make sense to include #socialmedia in relevant posts. If you’re a team beat reporter or run a team-focused blog, always make sure the corresponding hashtag is included (#Mets, #Nationals, #SFGiants are a few). The goal is to get new followers interested in what you’re writing about/offering and this makes it easier to do.
3. Keep track of who is unfollowing you
For a while, I was just like you. I’d get emails and Twitter notifications about new followers, but the number on my profile would either stay the same or even decrease. This puzzled me, until I decided to keep track of my followers more closely.
There are plenty of Twitter tools available for users to keep track of this, but I use Just Unfollow. It’s user-friendly and I enjoy the way the service is laid out on their website.
Some users attach themselves to you just to get a follow back. They then unfollow a few days later, thinking you won’t notice. If these users are not in your niche, it’s not something to be worried about. If they are in your niche and it’s a recurring theme, it could be time to re-evaluate your social media strategy.
4. Follow back those who seek you out
I know, I know. I just said some people do this and then unfollow you after a few days. But when someone follows you on Twitter, it’s their way of saying they appreciate your work. Reciprocating that is something you should seriously consider, especially if you’re trying to build an audience from scratch.
Sometimes you get a new follower and either don’t agree with their views, they appear to be a spam account, or you can’t understand what they’re tweeting. If that’s the case, it’s OK to not follow them back.
But if they’re in your niche and you’re trying to build a community for your business, it would make sense to follow back to start building some trust.
5. Tweet at peak times
If you’ve read my previous posts, I stress this in nearly everything I write. For entrepreneurs and small business owners, time is of the essence. When you’re implementing a social media strategy, it’s vital to work smarter, not harder.
To figure out what your peak times on Twitter are, visit my post completely dedicated to it. I’ve employed this strategy with myself and various clients. Using peak times as a guide, the accounts I’ve been working with have collectively increased their following by 2,000 in just two months — without spending a dime.
6. Be human!
This sounds trivial and obvious, but it’s the most important one of all. It’s vital to be polished and professional for business purposes, but don’t forget to let your personality shine through on occasion. Followers like knowing there’s an actual person behind those tweets, not a robot.
Going on a cursing spree when your favorite team loses or gets eliminated from the playoffs isn’t the best idea, but don’t be afraid to talk about things outside your niche and have an opinion.
Outside of being a social media consultant, I’m also a full-time sportswriter. Understandably so, my timeline is full of tweets about social media and sports. It’s how I spend most of my days, and that’s why most people follow me. But every once in a while, a picture of my dog gets posted or I say something funny that has nothing to do with either of those topics.
Sports and social media make up a huge part of who I am, but I do have other interests. People like knowing that and will interact with you if they share a similar passion or opinion.