Growing a Twitter account isn’t always easy. There are periods where followers seem to leave in droves, or the account sits at the same number for a frustratingly long time.

If you’ve been struggling to grow your Twitter audience, it might be time to improve your tactics. Here are three tips:

  1. Understand what your audience values

Does your audience like sports? Are they highly political? Do they care about the environment?

If you can’t answer these questions, it’s time to get to know your audience better. Understanding what your audience likes and dislikes can help all aspects of your tweeting, from coming up with content to planning promotions to growing your account.

It is important to remember that your audience is complex. They engage with brands other than your own, and they have values that may or may not always align with your brand values.

Building up a profile of your core Twitter audience – essentially creating a marketing persona – can help you position your account so that it is aligned with what your audience values. The better you know your audience, the more your messages will resonate with them.

  1. Understand how your audience acts

Part of knowing your audience is also knowing what their behavior is like, on- and offline.

Many Twitter users tweet on the go – on their way to work, while they’re grabbing a coffee with a friend, or during a shopping trip. Others check in on their home computers in the evenings. And still other sneak Twitter time in during downtime in the middle of the workday.

They also engage with your brand in various ways, many of which are relatively easy to measure. For instance, they will retweet certain tweets and not others, or respond to the use of particular hashtags.

And behavior extends past Twitter as well, to the websites they visit, brands they interact with and purchases they make.

Knowing how your audience behaves can help you plan when, where and what to tweet to reach them when they are most receptive.

  1. Give them what they want

Tweeting daily tips, industry news, opinions, new podcasts, controversial blog posts or behind-the-scenes pictures might sound like great ideas – but each of these will fall flat if they’re not what your audience wants to engage with.

Explore which of your past tweets performed best among your target audience, and combine this with knowledge about their values and behavior to discover what they really want to see. Or, use Twitter as a crowdsourcing platform and outright ask your audience what types of tweets they enjoy.

The tweets that reflect what your audience wants will get better engagement rates, which will put them in front of more potential followers and help you reach a wider audience.

Of course, you always want to include variety in your tweets, as your audience will get bored if you only tweet blog posts – even if they typically perform best. So leverage knowledge of your audience to create varied, multi-media heavy content that will keep them coming back for more.