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Five Steps to Building a Loyal Following on Twitter

We’re all guilty of watching anxiously as our Twitter followers grow, sometimes slowly and if you’re lucky (or strategic about it) it can grow at a much faster rate. But that number doesn’t necessarily translate into success. The key to being successful on Twitter is maintaining and growing a loyal following . This means having people follow you who understand who you are and find value in what you offer.

A loyal following is engaged with you and finds the content you share useful and/or interesting. If you’re looking to build a loyal following on Twitter, here are five steps to get you started.

Have an complete profile
A current and relevant profile bio is a great place to start. A good first impression on Twitter is key to attracting new followers. Use your Twitter bio to indicate the type of content you’ll be sharing, your interests and what your purpose is. This will attract followers that share the same interests and find value in your activity. These users are more likely to retweet and share your content and engage in conversations with you.

People are more likely to connect with, and trust, a Twitter user that posts a photograph in their profile, rather than a company logo or an avatar. Although, company logos can work, it takes a lot more work to be seen as human, when your face is hidden behind a graphic.

Share intentional content
Whether it’s informative, creative, supportive, or entertaining, be intentional with each tweet. Ensure that the content you share on twitter has a purpose; it meets the needs of your followers, offers new information or is supportive of other users.

Be engaging
Being active and engaged on Twitter is arguably the most important step in developing a loyal following. Twitter is about more than just “creeping” and reaping the benefits of others’ tweets, it’s about participating in conversations and offering value. Being engaged with your network means actively replying, retweeting and sending out links that direct your followers to quality content.

Use Twitter directories
Twitter directories categorize Twitter users into areas of interest and expertise. Here you can find influencers that share your interests. Following people of high quality will enhance your credibility and give you access to quality content to share.
Schedule your tweets
Scheduling your tweets allows you to remain active even when you’re not sitting at the computer. Tools like TweetDeck or HootSuite allow you to prepare, schedule and send tweets at a later time or date. Managing your tweets through an organized schedule ensures that you are tweeting regularly without having to return to your Twitter feed to issue the release. The benefit? It gives the impression to your followers that you’re an active participant on Twitter. However, you’re not completely off the hook. You should still make time to retweet and have conversations.

The formula for building a loyal following on Twitter is simple. Spend some time focusing your identity and developing your Twitter profile and bio, engage in meaningful ways with your followers, follow people who are like-minded and share your niche, offer your followers relevant and interesting content regularly and manage your tweets using a scheduling tool. These steps will not only help you be an efficient tweeter, but will increase your follower count in no time.

The Types of Status Updates and Tweets your Business should be Using

There is no need to talk about and validate the value of Twitter and Facebook to your business; if you still needed convincing you wouldn’t be reading this post, but perhaps could find some value in one of our earlier posts about generating sales through social media  (an oldie but a goodie).

So, with that out of the way, there is a good chance at this point you are in one of two places with your Social Media strategy: 1) You are trying to fix/improve it or 2) You are in the infant stages of development and are looking for guidance. Well guess what? Either way we have you covered. If you integrate our tips into your current or infantile strategy we guarantee you’ll avoid that infamous Social Media writers-block that we hear about from so many entrepreneurs and professionals alike, not to mention avoiding some Blunders of Social Media we have talked about before.

So here it is, in plain English, a simple but effective How-to guide that will ensure you will always be producing Status updates and Tweets worth reading…

Get your Fans/Followers Involved
We have said it before, but we will say it again, Social Media is about interaction; it should be a dialogue as opposed to a monologue. The best status updates and Tweets you can send are the ones that promote interaction with your fans. Facebook provides you with more tools to organize things like Contests and Polls but that doesn’t mean you have to leave your loyal Twitter followers out of the fun; you simply have to be a little more creative. Asking your followers on Twitter a few questions in the form of Trivia is a great strategy, and encouraging them to share or Retweet something is a very effective way to tap into their network. Retweets can lead to great success for your business as they present you with an opportunity to have your business exposed to fresh eyes and new potential customers. Status updates that encourage your fans to submit pictures or video of them interacting with your business or product is often a great way to encourage interaction and dialogue.

The Generic
This category is often a necessary evil of social media marketing, it’s the generic status updates and tweets that you see every business using. Mentioning holidays, famous quotes, current events and general open ended questions all fall into this category. What is good about the generic content is that it requires very little thought, and it can be scheduled well in advance (you could have salutation for every major holiday planned for the entire year all in one day). What is bad about generic content is that it requires very little thought… so, it is difficult to create very much interaction with these updates. Our advice for dealing with the generic: First and foremost keep it to a bare minimum, and second try to make it as creative, funny or witty as possible; you know everyone is going to be mentioning a particular holiday, so do your best to make your tweet or update stand out.

Promote your Website
Ultimately driving individuals to your website, is a major outcome that most businesses are seeking to accomplish as a result of their social media marketing efforts. So, if you make a major change to your website, whether it be a new design or launch of an ebook, to the updating of a price or new content on your blog, these updates make for great content that most of your fans will be interested in exploring. After all, they wouldn’t be a fan or follower if they were not interested in your business. Additionally a great strategy to use when crafting these particular status updates or tweets is to ask the opinion of your followers on the change, product or the content itself you are promoting.

Remember, there is true value to be found on social media if you’re constantly thinking about your purchasing funnel. Through channels like Twitter and Facebook you can promote your website and only strengthen your bond with the customers and guide them further down the funnel.

Keep it Exclusive
Fans love unique deals, special offers and exclusive information that you only share with them. Updates and tweets that take advantage of this fact have a HUGE potential to be shared and go viral. For example, sending a tweet that offers an exclusive deal at your store-front for twitter followers is not only going to get retweeted, but also promote loyalty among your followers as you are showing them you are willing to reward your fans on an exclusive basis- of course, the same applies to Facebook fans. Product launches and sneak-peaks for only your followers and fans also do the same to promote sharing and loyalty. Giving your fans the opportunity to occasionally exclaim, “That’s why I follow these guys!” certainly isn’t a bad thing!
So there you have it, follow these tips and you can rest assured that your updates and tweets will be interesting, provocative and viral. Above everything, remember one all-encompassing rule: If you can be unique, inspiring, witty and informative your updates will never appear stale or unforgettable.

Do you regularly use any of these tips when you interact with your fans and followers? We would love to hear about them!

Five Reasons You’re Not Gaining Twitter Followers

Although there is no magic number of followers that indicates a ‘good’ or ‘successful’ twitter account, there is something to be said about having a healthily growing follower list. Ultimately a growing list of followers is an indication of the successful application of your strategy. This means your content is fresh and engaging and you’re consistent and entertaining. So, we have provided a list of 5 reasons you’re not gaining new Twitter followers to hopefully help you optimize your strategy and start maximizing the results you see from Twitter.

What are you Tweeting?
Bill Gates said it best, “Content is King”

It seems rather obvious, but if your tweets are boring people are not going to read them; a lot of businesses that are simply on Twitter because it’s the thing to do – make this mistake. The bottom line is, in all of your social media efforts you have to be compelling; realize that you are in competition for the attention of your followers and that its just as easy to click ‘Unfollow’ as it is to click ‘Follow’, so NEVER take your readership for granted.

Where are you Tweeting?
Do you treat your Twitter account the same as your job? That is, Twitter is a regular 9 to 5 commitment and stays at the office when you retire for the night? If that is the case than you are making a mistake. Twitter provides you with a unique opportunity to bring some humanity to your business, and show that even the most serious product or service can have a relatable side. Social media is about creating personal connections with people; tweeting your excitement for the upcoming #Madmen episode is not only a great way to connect with your followers on a personal level, but perhaps gain some new followers who love the Don Draper as much as you!

Who are you Tweeting?
When was the last time you followed someone new? More importantly, when was the last time you searched for someone interesting to follow. Like most things in life, you get out of Twitter what you put in. Your efforts to find interesting, entertaining and compelling people to follow not only are reflective of the values of your business but that you want your followers to have the opportunity to connect with truly remarkable people.

Why are you Tweeting?
Read the last five Tweets you have sent. Do the majority have ulterior motives, that is, are they mostly centred on a sales push strategy? The occasional sales push is perfectly fine, with good cause, but it cannot be the central focus of your Twitter strategy if you hope to obtain a steadily growing follower list. Engage.

When are you Tweeting?
It’s a subject we beat-to-death , but only because it’s the Golden Rule of Social Media. If you can’t commit to tweeting on a consistent basis your Twitter account will never be able to gain and maintain momentum. No momentum means that not only will you notice your follower count to fall off when you take a Twitter break, but your acquisition of new followers will be almost non-existent.

A well planned and optimized strategy for your Twitter account is the only way to ensure some measure of consistency and allow you to eventually begin to tweak aspects of your strategy, like content delivery frequency for example, to gain further success and untimely improve your overall strategy.
Any additional tips you feel we should include to keep your Twitter follower list healthy? We would love for you to share them… after all at LeadSift we give credit where credit is due, and we’re far from being too proud to change this list from a ‘Top 5’ to a ‘Top 6’!

5 Ways that Twitter Power Users stay Ahead of the Game

 

Whether you’re looking to build your brand or develop potential new business; Twitter is a great network for brands. It’s one of the most engaging channels that allows for that intimate one-on-one conversation with your customers. It allows you to handle crisis in real-time and ensure that your brands equity is in good regard. There have been a lot of Twitter Blunders but there have also been some Twitter Home Runs.

 

When using Twitter most businesses use it for their brand and don’t permit their people to shine. In some industries however, the people are the product and the people are the ones who need to have a voice online. If you’re looking to develop your following and become a power user on twitter here are five ways to stay ahead of the game:

 

  • Manage your Time – If you follow some of the most popular names on Twitter like Scott Stratten or Chris Brogan you will notice they often go on long tweet sprees and then tell everyone they’ll be back tomorrow or in a few hours. This strategy isn’t limited to a few of the top folks on Twitter it’s actually a trend you’ll find among many Twitter Power users.Unlike most people who just tweet when they’re bored or have nothing else to do, they make an effort. Power users recognize the importance of blocking off time and building relationships on Twitter. Whether it’s tweeting in the morning, going heavy over lunch or during breaks – Make sure you make time for Social Media but also for your day-to-day life and work.
  • Follow the Right People – A lot of Twitter users think they will become power users by joining “FollowBack” groups and constantly asking people for followers. There’s a concept that I believe in that says you’re the average of the people you spend most of your time with. If you spend your time on Twitter talking to Power Users – You have a good chance of becoming one. If you spend your time on Twitter talking to your friends about the party last weekend; you’ll still be friends but your network will stay the same.
  • Multi Channel Promotion – A lot of users forget the power of the social web. The social web is the idea that every network can be connected to one another. In doing this, it’s important to understand what types of conversations are good for what medium but also recognize how you can use multi-channel promotion to your advantage. Whether you’re sharing a picture from instagram or uploading a photo with a location tag to Foursquare – Multichannel promotion can provide you with a wider reach and increased amount of content.
  • Embraces the Homebase – Twitter is great for real-time content. It’s not so great for sending out content that is going to stick around for a while. The biggest challenge with Twitter is that if I’m not online when you send out your best tweet – I’ll probably never see it. The power users recognizes this, and because of that they don’t invest all of their time in Twitter. They recognize the importance of having a website (homebase) with rich content that truly allows them to tell their story through video, text and rich photography that isn’t going to carry the same shelf-life of a Twitter account.
  • Recycle your Tweets – The people who use twitter at 5:00AM aren’t the same people who use Twitter at 8:00PM. Some of them are but at the end of the day, you have to understand that the same people aren’t always going to be online. Power users recognize that people who follow them aren’t going to see all their tweets and thus, send out their content more than once within 24 hours.