Let’s play Twitter fact or fiction for minute: you need 15,000 followers to be successful on Twitter. It’s fiction. There are social media “experts” out there who would have you believe that is a fact. Then they’ll take your money and give you 15,000 followers in return overnight!
Those new 15,000 followers you got overnight aren’t following you because they’re interested in your business. Empty numbers are like empty calories – they look good and taste good, but they hurt way more than they help. Focus on the quality of your followers, not the quantity, and the group of followers you do have will be worth much more.
Building up quality Twitter followers takes time and a real effort. The people you want as customers can spot authenticity a mile away so your activity on Twitter should be warm and personable. Potential followers want to feel like you care about them and if your tweets reflect that, they’ll be more likely click that follow button.
Make It a Conversation
It may seem like we’re beating a dead horse here, but the honest to goodness best practice for gaining new followers (in any social media network) is to create good content. That can be anything from links to helpful blog posts to articles you find interesting or even photos of what’s going on at your business. Mix it up with links that pertain to your industry to fun things you find inspiring. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on it, just make it genuine and valuable.
The time you do take should be used to engage with your followers and build online relationships with them. If someone posts a question that you know the answer to, go ahead and reply to them. Pose your own questions for feedback and trade a few tweets with those who reply to you. The results might surprise you.
People love it when a brand tweets them and there’s a good chance they’ll share your response with their friends, not just on Twitter but on other networks, too. When I received a reply from one of my favorite brands, I took a screenshot of the tweet and shared it on Facebook. Maybe that makes me nerdy, but it made my day and I was happy to share it for free to my networks.
Engage in Your Industry
Besides creating interesting content and engaging your followers, you can give yourself a boost by being active in your industry. Follow your peers and competitors on Twitter to be a part of your industry’s online community.
Interact with them as well by offering congratulations if they have a big announcement or to share information about new advancements. Non-industry people are watching and will recognize you as an authority as well as a business that plays nice with everyone.
It’s going to take time to build up quality followers organically and while you may never hit astronomical follower numbers, you can turn those followers into customers by being a resource for them and valuing their support.