How To Get More Twitter Followers Part 1

Get followers on Twitter

I’ve been spending a bit of time on Twitter over the past few weeks trying out some ideas I’ve picked up from Profit Geyser. Over the next week I’ll look at how to get more followers on Twitter.

In this post I will talk about why Twitter could be worthwhile considering as a marketing tool for your internet business, and cover some of the broad concepts I’ve been trying out.  In the next posts, I’ll cover each concept in a bit more depth.  Over the next month I’ll blog about my experience with some of the different Twitter software tools that are available, so you can see how I’m using some of the tools to help me get more Twitter followers.

Why Bother With Twitter?

When you’re trying to run an internet based business, or promote your offline business on the internet, one of the most valuable assets you can possess is a list. Not just any list, but a list of people who are good prospects for your product.

Google Adwords is a very effective form of targeted advertising, because you can set up your ads to show for very specific search terms and in certain geographic locations.  This makes it very cost effective because you’re targeting the right people, and it’s only costing you money if they click on your link.

The best way to create a list is to set up an opt-in form on your web page that enables people to sign up to an email list.  Offer a free e-book or something similar to encourage people to sign up to your list (don’t forget to sign-up to mine – form on the RHS!).  The problem with email lists is that you can only build them if people come to your site.

If you’re not getting a lot of traffic to your site, you can’t get many opt-in’s to your email list!

And this is where Twitter becomes very effective.  If you can get more followers on Twitter, you can promote your site to them, and drive traffic to your web site.

You Have More, And Less Control Over Your Twitter List

This may sound contradictory, but hang in there and I’ll explain.

You have more control over your Twitter list because you can target potential followers, a bit like Google Adwords (more on this concept in the next section).  It’s easy to build up a targeted list of Twitter followers to a certain limit.

The downside of building a Twitter list is that you have less penetration to your list. What do I mean by this?  Think of it like this.  If you have an email list, it usually consists of people who have made the effort to opt-in to your newsletter.  If you use Aweber, they probably had to go through the double opt-in process.  So these are people who feel comfortable receiving emails from you.  And we all know emails go into an Inbox where they sit until they’re opened or deleted. They have to decide each time they receive an email from you what they will do with that email – open it and read it or ignore it. The important point is that they have to do something.

Consider a tweet that you send out.  Depending on how many people your followers are following, and the time the tweet is sent, they may not even notice it.  And because you only have 140 characters, it can be harder to get your message across so that they act on it.

So whilst it’s quicker to build up a list of followers within Twitter than it is to build an email list, I think you’ll find the response rate from tweets will be lower than from emails.

So What Is The Point Of A Twitter List?

In my opinion, the major aim of building up a Twitter list is to get people to opt-in to your newsletter and visit your site.

Yes, you can still try and sell things to them direct through Twitter, and yes, people are very successful doing this, but if this is your goal you need to watch out.  You could find your account banned by Twitter at any time if you’re reported for spam, and Twitter could also change their rules at any time.  You don’t own your Twitter account – they do.  You do own your email list.

So, How Do I Get More Followers On Twitter?

Get Followers TwitterFirstly, my goal is to get many followers on Twitter, and encourage them to visit my site and sign up for my email newsletter.  Here are the strategies I’m using:

  • Decide on your target market. Think about the people you want to reach, what they’d find interesting and what they would see as valuable.
  • Decide on a good Twitter user-name. Think of something that’s descriptive of what you do and perhaps something that links well with your website and brand.
  • Set up your Twitter page. Take some time to write out a descriptive bio, and remember to place a link to your website.  When writing your bio, think about the keywords or markets you’re trying to target and include them – you want people to find you as much as you want to find them.  More about this in the ‘search’ section.
  • Image is important. Get a customized Twitter background.  You can try sites like mytweetspace or twitbacks.com. Alternatively use Photoshop or The Gimp (free) to create something yourself. Use the left hand side of the page to write more about what you do and how you can help people.  Also make sure you upload a decent picture of yourself.
  • Now that your profile is set up, think about the content you’ll be tweeting. One of the best ways to do this is to follow a couple of high profile people in your niche on Twitter and see what they tweet about. Think about the tweets you find most valuable.  I share a mix of tweets that include inspirational quotes, links to products and links to my blog and articles.  I also tweet a lot of things from other bloggers or from other content providers that are targeted to my niche.
  • Use hashtags #.  It’s less effort if people find you than if you need to find them!  People will search via hashtags to find content that is of interest to them and then they will follow those people.
  • Get searching.  Find people who you want to follow.  You can use Twitter search to search by hashtags or topics. Another option is to look at who is following someone else in your niche and follow them also. When I started, I looked at @problogger and followed some of his followers who looked like they’d be interested in my tweets. I also search based on what is written in their bio.  I may search for the word ‘Blogger’ or ‘Internet Marketing’ within bio’s and follow those people.  There’s also an option to search by geographical location.  More on searching in future posts.
  • Use lots of RT’s and @replies. If all you’re doing is sending out tweets with links, you look spammy.  Would you follow yourself?  Share some Twitter love and Re-Tweet interesting things you find. It’s a great way of building up a relationship with other Twitter users and you may find they Re-Tweet something you put out.  Now your tweets are going out to a bunch of people who are hearing about you for the first time. @replies are also important – it shows you’re real if you’re having conversations with people.
  • Follow people back. Some people will find you and befriend you on Twitter before you find them.  This is good because they’ve selected you – they’ve obviously decided that you look interesting enough to follow.  Follow them back.  Also, consider a good DM (direct message) that you can use to welcome new followers.
  • Be consistent.  Tweet regularly but make sure you’re interesting.  Remember that people can search by the content of your tweets so make sure you use some keywords in your tweets that people in your niche may be searching for.
  • It’s ok to repeat things. There’s different views on this, but I believe it’s ok to repeat your tweets (to a degree).  I live in Australia, and most of my niche live overseas in different time zones.  If I send a Tweet out in the afternoon here, most of you are in bed and will miss it.  I’ll sometimes schedule tweets to go out at regular intervals over a 24 hour period to promote a blog article.

I’ll leave the list there for now, but there are still other ways you can do this.  At the time of writing I’ve been working on this strategy for around three weeks and have just reached the 2,000 follower mark. I probably could have done it quicker, but I’ve made a few mistakes along the way and learnt a lot.  This is your gain as over the next month I’ll blog about the things I’ve learnt and hopefully prevent you from making the same mistakes.

So, if you’re interested in learning more, subscribe to my blog and follow me on Twitter.

See all my Twitter posts on this summary page – How To Get More Twitter Followers – Summary.

Photo credits: CuriousLee, 7son75

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About

Allan lives in Adelaide, South Australia with his wife and two boys. He is the founder of Blogger Business Plan and loves helping bloggers learn how to transform their blogs from hobbies into sustainable businesses.
When he's not blogging or working in his financial planning business, you'll find Allan playing guitar, reading or coaching his son's soccer team.

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7 Responses to How To Get More Twitter Followers Part 1
  1. Alecia Lott, aka "Bang-Bang"
    March 6, 2010 | 3:07 pm

    My blog is a food/personal blog, no plans to “monetize” yet but we’ll see… but I do like getting more followers on Twitter! :) This post was very helpful, thank you.
    .-= Alecia Lott, aka “Bang-Bang”´s last blog ..A Hermit Makes Her Recipe of the Week: Black Bean and Pineapple Burgers =-.

    • Allan Ward
      March 7, 2010 | 8:39 pm

      Hi Alecia, thanks for the comment. glad you found the post helpful. Your blog looks great – fun to read. Good luck with it.

  2. Poppie
    March 6, 2010 | 6:25 pm

    Less penetration…!
    The fast moving Twitter time line is a rocket on steroids!

    I’m just doing the same as you & have a similar amount of followers as of to-day.
    Thanks for the info,
    Kindest,
    Poppie

    • Allan Ward
      March 7, 2010 | 8:40 pm

      Hi Poppie,
      I’m concerned about the penetration comment now. What sort of Google searches are going to come to my page now!

  3. […] Part 1 I gave an overview of how I think you can use Twitter to drive traffic to your website. In my last […]

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Allan Ward. Allan Ward said: Sales & Marketing : How To Get More Twitter Followers Part 1 http://bit.ly/9bFGQD […]

  5. How To Get More Twitter Followers - Summary
    October 25, 2010 | 8:45 pm

    […] next article was How To Get More Twitter Followers – Part 1. The article looked at the advantages of building a list of followers in Twitter who you can direct […]

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