6 steps to growing your Twitter following

Have you ever wondered how some people seem to be able to grow their following on Twitter rapidly? I’m not talking about the latest celebrity craze here. I’m talking about business owners like you and me. You probably think it’s because they spend loads of money on Twitter ads or they bought the followers from some dodgy ‘follow’ factory. Well I went from 0 to 1000 followers in around 14 weeks (including two weeks holiday) at zero extra cost. And in today’s blog post I’m going to tell you how.

 

Step 1 Content

This is not difficult but it does require some work. If you are already marketing your business properly and have some great content to share, the extra work to grow a Twitter following is relatively small. If you are starting from scratch or need to create content then there will be more work. But creating great content to share with your prospects and clients is something every business should be doing anyway.

I post a blog article every week. They are about LinkedIn, social media and online marketing or general business good practice. When I started my new Twitter account (@allenruddock by the way) in May 2015 I hadn’t created any content so I have been building that content as I go along. I did have 1 lead magnet – an e-book (The 9 Key Points to Creating a Powerful Personal Profile – click the link and get a free copy). If you already have content it means you can accelerate the process.

You need somewhere to host your content and I’m going to assume you have a website for that. You could post all your articles to LinkedIn and tweet links to them but I prefer to own the platform my content is hosted on. That way nobody can decide to take it away or exclude me from accessing it.

 

Step 2 Who to tweet to

If you don’t have any followers, there is no one to read your tweets. But where do you start? Aside from celebrities, if you follow someone, there’s a good chance they will follow you back. So you need to start following the sort of people you want to follow you.

How do you find them?  If you have done what most marketing experts tell you to do and created your customer avatar(s) – the profiles of your ideal clients – you know the sort of person or company you are trying to follow. So searching for keywords relevant to your avatars in their bios is the first option. The second option is to look at the twitter page of someone your ideal client would follow. On their homepage you can see three statistics: The number of tweets they’ve made, the number of id’s they are following and the number of followers they have. And guess what – if you click on the word followers under that last number you can see all the accounts that are following them. Next to each is a follow button. Click on it and you will now be following that person or account.

Want to see how – sign-up and watch my “how to” video now:

6 steps to grow your twitter following video screen

To kickstart getting followers, I searched for local business networking groups and over two days, for each of my two 45 minute or so commutes into London, I sat following accounts. I managed around 1500 in those two 45 minute slots. Over 25% followed me back. Not all immediately – not everyone looks at their Twitter messages every day – but over a period of a couple of weeks.

Why didn’t I just keep following accounts to increase the follow-backs? Because Twitter has limits. You cannot follow more than 2000 accounts unless you have at least 2000 followers. It’s a system limit and can’t be got round. Once you get above 2000 followers there’s a degree of leeway – around 10%. So having got close to my follow limit, it was time to grow followers organically.

 

Step 3 Tweet automation

You grow followers organically by tweeting about interesting things – like your blog posts. Your followers see them and favourite them or retweet them to their followers. More people see them and start to follow you. Now I tend to look at my new organic followers and if they fit one of my avatars I will follow them back (that’s why I kept a bit of headroom in the number of people I followed initially). Now tweeting links to your blog posts can be time-consuming and not a good use of that time. Also, if you do it manually your tweets get sent when you send them and then nothing when you don’t. You need a scheduling tool.

There are a number of excellent tools around but the one I use is SocialOomph. It’s brilliant. I use it to schedule all my content tweets – but NEVER my engagement tweets. I send out tweets every hour of every day, mostly with images as they get a far higher level of engagement. Yes – I have a paid account – around £20§ per month. I was already paying for this for my project management business so there was no extra cost for my new venture. If you are starting out you will face the cost.

Want to see how – sign-up and watch my “how to” video now:

6 steps to grow your twitter following video screen

Don’t be worried about sending too many tweets. They will appear in people’s timelines when they get sent. Most people follow quite a few accounts so your latest tweet will soon disappear down their timeline and may not get seen because most people only check their accounts occasionally. That’s why you keep sending so that there is a chance one of your tweets will be visible in their recent timeline when they do look at it.

 

Step 4 Growing your followers

I mentioned the 2000 following limit earlier. After a while, if someone hasn’t followed you back or they did initially but then decided to un-follow you, you need to start unfollowing them so that you can follow new potential followers. That’s where the second tool I recommend comes in – ManageFlitter. This tool allows you to login to your twitter account and it will then present back to you the list of accounts you are following that are not following you back. And it shows them in order of when you followed them. So you can start to un-follow the earliest accounts you followed to free up headroom in your following capacity. There is a free version which allows a set number of unfollows per day and you can increase the number by doing a couple of simple actions. There is also a paid version. I’ve survived so far on the free service.

Want to see how – sign-up and watch my “how to” video now:

6 steps to grow your twitter following video screen

Step 5 Continuing engagement

Once you start to get a following you need to engage with them. Comment on their tweets. Thank them if they retweet a lot of your content. If they look like good prospective clients so if there are other ways to broaden the engagement, maybe through LinkedIn or Facebook

 

Step 6 Getting your followers onto you e-mail list

One or more of your content pieces that you need to tweet about frequently are your lead magnets. If they like your blog content, there is a good chance your followers will sign-up for one of your lead magnets. The other way to get sign-ups is to ensure there is  an image and sign up form for your lead magnet on all your blog post pages. On my project management site I also have a pop-up sign-up form appear after the visitor has bee reading the article for a round a minute. It has a good conversion rate.

 

So there you have it – 6 simple steps to growing your Twitter following and with it your e-mail list. Sign up to my blog and watch the how to video I created to go with this post – see below:

Want to see how – sign-up and watch my how to video now:

6 steps to grow your twitter following video screen