I often stumble across blogs advising companies how to get more followers on Twitter and almost every time I cringe at the so-called ‘knowledge’ they impart:
- Follow everyone you possibly can and hopefully they will follow back
- Re-tweet like mad
- If you don’t know what to tweet about, just tweet constantly about what you’re doing, what you’re eating, where you’re going…
- Buy followers
- Sign-up to ‘guaranteed to follow back’ lists
People who follow this advice will never yield a decent ROI from Twitter. Yes they will get more followers but they will be the wrong type of followers.
What is a follower?
In my opinion, a follower is someone who is genuinely interested in what you have to say. They deem your tweets valuable and are empowered by the bite size nuggets of wisdom that you provide. They trust what you say and rely on your tweets for their daily dose of information. If they do not value what you say then they are a pointless follower, you may as well not have them.
Consider for a moment the amount of time you spend thinking about what to say on Twitter. What is the point if, when you publish it, it is read by all the wrong people? It’s like investing time and resources into creating a mailshot, then sending it to a data list of completely irrelevant recipients all of whom you know will instantly delete it when it appears in their inbox. No marketer in their right mind would do so and you should think about your Twitter followers in the same way.
Let’s look at some typical tweets that you no doubt see day after day in your twitter feed.
“Inbox is full today, we are busy, busy, busy!”
“Get in touch for our latest special offers…”
“Just had a great client meeting – good times ahead”
Honestly speaking, do you really care when you see tweets like these? What value do they actually add? They just clog up your twitter feed making it harder to sieve out the important ones. But hey let’s give them a few weeks, you never know, they might start to broadcast something of interest…. nope still nothing….OK, I’m just going to un-follow them now as they are boring me!
Step into your customers’ shoes
The only way to build an audience of followers on Twitter is to provide them with information that they will find useful. Think….what will help them do their jobs better? What will help them make their decisions? Only when you step into your customers’ shoes will you be able to determine if the information you are broadcasting is adding any value to them. When you consider that the average consumer is supposedly exposed to circa 3000 marketing messages every day, taking time to do this will ensure that your tweets don’t get banished from your prospects’ Twitter feeds.
Give them news!
However, providing an on-going supply of interesting content which addresses the needs of your customers is easier said than done which is why more and more companies are starting to broadcast their own industry-related news. We’re not talking here about linking to news on other websites, we’re talking writing your very own, commercially neutral articles, housing them on your website and linking to them from your tweets. So each time you post a news headline on Twitter, you will:
- Reinforce your credibility in your customers’ news feeds (so they won’t delete you!)
- Give your customers something to re-tweet across their own networks
- Drive traffic to your website
Oh and the added bonus is that news will never run out! It is the perfect way to keep your readers engaged and get new ones on board.
Hmmm, maybe I should have called this article ‘how to get more quality followers on Twitter?’ but the truth is the majority of people aren’t searching for that term yet.