The more time I spend on Twitter, the more it reminds me of a beehive. There’s a lot of chatter, the occasional stinging, and, once you understand how it works, some pretty sweet benefits to hanging around.
The challenge is, that beehive is full of a lot of individuals who are already going about their daily business. How can you amass a following; benefit your own business, when the hum of conversation feels like it’s drowning out anything you have to say?
Here’s 3 ways.
1. Be Purposeful
We all have opinions about many things. Politics. Our favourite TV shows. Food. The way other people drive (usually after a near miss). It’s okay to have them, but when you create a Twitter profile for your business, you will want to treat it like part of your website. You can easily communicate how your Twitter profile is the social extension of your business by customising your cover photo, display picture, description copy, and tweets to reflect that.
Your business Twitter account should reflect your professional presence. You’re looking to reach out to other users and provide them with enough reasons to convert to a lead on your website, so make sure every aspect of your account’s presence furthers this purpose.
Speaking of reasons to convert, though…
2. Provide Value
You’ll build a following on Twitter when you provide reasons for people to follow you. Those reasons can be insightful discussions or questions, but just as easily can come in the form of great content. What you want as a content marketer is to provide entertaining and educational content, and lots of it.
This can sometimes produce a bit of a conundrum, as we all have a limited amount of time and the half-life of tweets are notoriously short. Not to mention, you're left with 140 characters to reach your audience after you've embedded an image or a link. The key to success is to become a content curator. You’ll be able to present content that you and your business has created, but also great content that you find and think is worth sharing.
Find a few different websites that you deem produce great content. If there are days when you’re looking for follow-worthy content, visit those websites and pick through until you find the best content to share. Curating is about selecting and displaying, and it’s something you’ll need to do to keep up with the rate of tweeting you’ll need to sustain.
3. Get Visible
I mentioned that the lifespan of a tweet is notoriously short. It means that you’ll have to have a lot to say, and it’s going to be okay to say it more than once. Your followers might be on Twitter at odd hours, but you can't be, and your presence shouldn’t merely vanish because you’ve got other things to do.
This can be remedied by connecting your Twitter handle to an auto-scheduling service like HubSpot or Hootsuite. You’ll be able to set and plan tweets in advance for sharing content, and then visit Twitter every so often for discussions or conversations with your followers.
Embedding images in your tweets is also a great way to get visible - tweets with images are shared roughly twice as much as tweets without, and Twitter natively embeds images now, so it’s a natural course of action to take if you want more people to be looking and clicking on your content.
You should also consider embedding follow buttons in your content, providing more and greater opportunities for readers of your content to follow you. Why? The more opportunities you have to provide targeted content to your audience, the more likely you are to gain followers and leads.
Lastly, Keep Things Grounded
Twitter can be a great platform for reaching a new audience. However, it will only be of use to your business if you’re providing avenues for lead conversion to happen. Having 10,000 followers on Twitter is of no use to your business if none of them become customers (which is why purchasing Twitter followers is a counter-productive activity). Provide value to your followers, and make it as visible to as many as you can. The result will be growth, not only for your social media presence, but also for your business.