This is guest post by Heather Townsend of Joined Up Business Networking For Busy Professionals whose excellent blog can be found here: http://joinedupnetworking.com
To get more followers on twitter (I have 4800 now), there are three main ways of gaining followers:
1) Proactive means
2) Passive ways
3) automated following
All of these methods rely on you putting up interesting content to your target market. Plus following the rule of thirds for your tweets – 1 third about you and what you are doing with your business (not selling, just talking about what you are getting up to in your business), 1/3 replies to people – after all you are looking to engage with your followers, and 1/3 about your business, e.g. blog posts. Until you are established on twitter (think 500+ followers), don’t be tempted to advertise on twitter. Out of about 10-15 tweets I post up a day, I only allow myself 1 tweet which is an advertisement for one of my products.
Plan to tweet daily and tweet 5+ times a day. Use a free service like hootsuite, future tweets to pre-schedule your tweets. Or a paid for solution like Socialoomph or Tweetspinner if you want to be able to bulk upload your tweets.
Lets start with passive ways:
These include advertising you are on twitter on your business card, website pages, e-mail signature, forum profiles, forum signatures (which are appended to the end of your posts).There are some great free social media icons and widgets you can use. I got mine from this webpage:
These ways all rely on the fact that someone sees that you are on twitter and also have a twitter account. I probably get a small percentage of my new followers this way.
I get a significant portion of my new followers by posting up regular interesting content which is normally retweeted by my engaged followers. This becomes a virtuous circle as I attract even more followers who are interested in my tweets.
This involves finding people you want to follow you back – i.e. people well connected to your target market. Don’t leave it to chance & hope that they will follow you back, drop them an @replies along the lines of ‘hi, new follower here, I’m following you because…..’ At least 80% of people will follow you back. When I started I would target a maximum of 30 people at a time using this route.
Use these method selectively, as you are aiming to always have a larger proportion of followers than friends. But certain pieces of software like tweet adder, tweetspinner (my favourite & what I use, oh and it is an affliate link), socialoomph, pluggio (I think) will help find you followers. These tools can be used to get a bigger following quickly – but will not help you engage with your followers.
If you would like more of this kind of advice and get the inside story of how I’ve used Twitter to quickly generate and build a highly successful professional practice then book onto our ‘Client generating tips and tactics for Twitter’
[tweetmeme source=”mike_ames_flair” only_single=false]