Let’s face it; Twitter is all about the followers. Just look at the name of this site! You want more followers for your account, and you don’t want to pay a ton to do it. You want to avoid buying bots to artificially inflate your count – you know the problems with that, after all – so you want to do it the organic way. Well, you can, you just need to go about it the right way.
These are the tweaks you can make to your profile in order to make yourself more attractive. Do all of these.
Ditch the egg. People prefer it if you have a real profile picture, typically a headshot. For big brands, a logo can work, but even then, people like to see the human side of the brands they follow online. It pays to have a human representative.
Fill out your profile. A lot can go into a little space on Twitter. Treat it like a landing page for your brand, and you’re on the right idea. Keywords and links are important, phrasing is crucial, and don’t forget SEO.
Make use of your pinned tweet slot. A pinned tweet sits at the top of your feed at all times, so anyone who checks out your profile gets a glimpse at what you’re about. Make sure one of your best tweets is pinned at all times. I recommend rotating your pinned tweet every couple of weeks with a new greatest hit.
Consider a CEO profile instead of a brand profile. A lot of big brands have branded profiles, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Sometimes, a CEO’s page or a page of an official representative are perfectly acceptable. This ties into how a human face is better for growth than a logo, too.
These are the techniques you can use to promote your Twitter account around the web. Make sure you’re doing as many of them as possible, depending on the resources you have available.
Get friends to follow you. Your first hundred followers should probably be friends, family, acquaintances, and business partners. This gives you a solid base from which you can grow. Just don’t try to force employees to use Twitter to follow you; just ask them to do it naturally if they use the platform.
Add your Twitter handle to your Facebook and other social profiles. Any other social profile you use can have a Twitter link added. Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube; everything has a space for it. You can even cross-link multiple Twitter accounts, if you have them.
Add your Twitter handle to your website. This comes standard in most social sharing button suites, but if you don’t use one of those, you should still have your Twitter handle listed. You can add it to your contact page, in your site footer, in your navigation, or in a sidebar as a Twitter embedded feed.
Add your Twitter handle to print media. Twitter handles are designed to be short and easy to remember. Add them to your print media, everything from brochures and billboards to business cards.
Add your Twitter handle to your newsletter. If you have a mailing list, you’re probably sending out a newsletter. When you first make your Twitter profile, or first start attempting to grow it, send out a dedicated Twitter issue. Later, append your Twitter profile to your footer or header in your emails.
Use a Tweet This plugin on your blog. These plugins either allow you to set up specific pre-constructed tweets users can post with a single click, or allow users to highlight any passage and tweet that segment. Either way, there are many options you can use.
These are the tricks and techniques you can use when tweeting, or when planning what and when to tweet. Do as many of these as possible, so you’re using the site in an optimal way.
Avoid long walls of text. Spread your tweets out over time when you’re posting them, don’t spam your users with long multi-segment messages. If you have something longer to say, write a blog post about it. That’s what blogs are for. You don’t have to try to twist Twitter into a long-form message system.
Post multimedia content more often. Twitter users engage more with links, images, and videos than they do with plain text tweets. Even simple links can be highly beneficial. Just make sure they aren’t solely to your own content.
Use 1-3 relevant hashtags in your posts. Some people go overboard with the hashtags, but this isn’t Instagram. Remember to leave some space for manual RTs, and be critical of your hashtags. At most, use one branded, one unbranded but specific, and one generic hashtag.
Schedule your tweets for critical times. Study your audience to figure out when they’re most active, using the common timing as a baseline. Then start to schedule your tweets for those times, to reach the most people possible, even if you’re not personally around to hit the send button.
Minimize the number of promotional messages you post. At most, 10% or so of your messages should be promotional. Most people prefer your generic messages or the messages sharing content you didn’t create; they’re more skeptical about the content you do create.
Tweet the same content – not message – several times. If what you have to share or have to say is important, you should share it several times. Just make sure to change up the phrasing each time. Use different variations on a question or headline to share the same link, for example.
Post exclusive content on your Twitter feed. When you post unique value of some kind, people want to follow you so they don’t miss that value. It might be personal insights, it might be statistics, or it might be unique contests or content that other users can’t normally see. It’s up to you; just make it Twitter exclusive.
Make use of timed Twitter giveaways. When you have something to give away that’s only active or available for a short time, Twitter is a great place to give it away. Any other network will risk having people see the post for the first time only once the giveaway has ended, which is a feel bad moment for everyone.
Run contests that involve Twitter follows as entry methods. My favorite for this is Gleam, a social contest app that allows you to choose from several dozen different entry methods, even allowing you to set more than one with different numbers of entries for each. Twitter follows only scratch the surface of what they can get you.
Pay for promoted tweets. Okay, yeah, I said you don’t want to spend a ton of money, but you really don’t have to. It doesn’t cost all that much to promote a few tweets to keep your advertising going.
Livetweet exclusive events your followers can’t attend. This is especially useful if you’re attending an industry conference where public-relevant information comes out. A big example is CES or any of the big electronics or gaming shows each year; only press and special folks are invited, so you can be a tipster for the general public.
Track traffic on the links you share. Make sure you know how well your links are doing, so you can figure out what tweets work the best and what ones need a little work. Track results and improve your strategy.
These are the sneaky techniques you can use to reach out and contact people who might be interested in following you before they discover you through more passive methods. Do them all, but do them in moderation; don’t be tempted by automation.
Monitor social mentions to step in when you’re mentioned. For all of these social mentions tips, you should be using a combination of Twitter’s native search and something like the appropriately named Social Mention. For this one, look for brand names and see what people are talking about.
Monitor social mentions to step in when a problem you can solve is mentioned. For this one, look for common problems your product solves. Say you make accounting software and someone talks about needing a budget; step in and offer your services.
Monitor social mentions to step in when your product has issues. Searching for mentions of your product allows you to be proactive with the customer service, even when they don’t mention you. Step in, apologize, and offer help in any way you can.
Monitor trending hashtags and comment on them when you can. This one mostly involves industry and global trending tags. Figure out which ones may be relevant to you and leave some commentary. Just don’t try to newsjack in a terrible, terrible way.
Check back frequently so you’re always be available. You don’t need to always be online, but you should be checking Twitter – or your social media command center – every few hours. Set up alerts for particularly important events. You’ll never miss a message that way.
These are the tricks you can use to take advantage of associations with people who already have significant followings. Use them as stepping stones to your own success, while treating them with respect.
Don’t just mention people, @mention them. That way they’ll see your messages even if they aren’t searching for their names in Twitter search like vain narcissists or marketers. Sorry for the redundancy. Mentioning people gives them notifications, so they can see what you’re saying and can respond more easily.
Follow influential people. I’m talking about the most influential people in your niche and industry. If you’re in the manufacturing business you probably won’t get much out of Kanye West, but you’ll get plenty out of some big-wigs in the niche. Ideally, you’ll find people who are active and engaged with their audiences, so that you have a chance to be the target of their engagement.
Tweet at influencers when you link to them in blog posts. If you link to an influencer, tweet about it and mention them in the tweet. This way they’ll be more likely to check out the post you wrote and, if they like it, might leave a common, follow you, or tweet the link to their own large audiences.
Participate in industry-wide Twitter chats. Twitter chats are long-form moderated discussions about specific topics, regulated by hashtags and controlled by industry veterans. Participate to be seen as a member of the community and earn follows from those who like what you have to say.
Retweet content from influencers. When someone influential posts a message you like, feel free to retweet it. Don’t just retweet everything they say, of course; that looks automatic and sycophantic. Instead, be selective, and only retweet their best content.
Reply to influencer tweets to start discussions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, offer your own perspective, offer an opinion, or even disagree with an influencer. Say something that can start a discussion. If the influencer is able to reply “thanks” and have it make sense, you’re not being engaging enough.
Like interesting posts you find through social mentions and hashtag searches. Don’t forget that you’re not limited to Twitter search and Social Mention; you can browse hashtags the same way anyone else can. Find new people in those tags and engage with their content.
Make responses public when they’re relevant to more than just the messenger. If someone asks a question and it turns out to be relevant to your audience as a whole, add a . before the @username to make the tweet public, or append a word to the front. Make sure everyone can see it.
If you put as many of these tips as possible into action, you should have a pretty easy time of growing your profile. It’s a lot to keep in mind at first, so feel free to build up gradually. Pick a couple, build the habit of implementing them, then pick up a couple more. Soon, you’ll be a Twitter powerhouse.