Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Tips to Grow a Meaningful Twitter Following as a Real Person

Grow a twitter following
Recently I've been trying to build an author platform and one of the things I have been doing is to try to increase my twitter following. I am by no means an expert at this considering my following is still very small.  However, I started with 10 followers and in about a week got over 300. And I haven't really been doing all these things consistently everyday.

I think it might be worth giving a shot if you're serious about growing a meaningful following.

Besides, isn't there some saying about how the best time to teach is right after you learn?
Or something...

Here's a few things I've found:

Fill Out Your Profile

Make sure your bio is filled out. Be as specific as possible and make sure you add all the important details that you think people should know about you. If you don't know exactly what that is yet, start with generalities and you can change it later after you read other profile and see the things you like which you will be doing a lot of.  If you are a writer, make sure to indicate which genre you write in.

Pictures help also. Having a profile picture and a meaningful header photo lets other people know a little bit about you, just like filling out your bio. It doesn't have to be a picture of you, just something to get rid of that egg.

Follow Others Within Your Target Audience.

  1. Search for hashtags that relate to the type of people you want to interact with. #amwriting #amreading are good places to start with for writers.
  2. Follow others that do lots of re-tweeting. You'll find that there are people that basically only re-tweet certain hashtags. I found that by following some people that re-tweet #amreading it gave me a great start for a variety of people who like to read. @AdamSanto was who I started with.
  3. Follower lists. Find someone within your target market who has a lot of followers and start following the people on that list. There's lots of those for writers, look at publishers, indie author promoters or just other authors with lots of followers.

How to Pick Which People to Follow

A few things to look at:
  1. Their profile. Is it full of hashtags or does it actually say something about the person? Based on that description, does that fit your target audience? Here's when you can go back and edit your own description based on what you've found you like from other peoples descriptions that make you want to follow them.
  2. Their feed. Is it full of plugs for their own product or does it look like they are really using the account? If they're doing nothing but trying to advertise their own book then they are just going to fill your feed with their ads.
  3. Number of followers. If you are just starting out and have very few followers yourself, start by following others that also have a low number of followers. Sure it won't get your reach out as much as if they had a million followers, but I've found that they are much more likely to follow you back if they have fewer followers themselves. You can move on to those with more followers later.
  4. Followers to following ratio. This one I feel is really important. Does a person have 100K followers and is following 1K themselves? And even if they don't have a huge following, if it's only 2000 and they are only following 100 then they aren't likely to follow you back unless you've got something really big going for you. Maybe someday down the road, but for now, I would move on to someone else unless you really like the things they have to say. I especially like to find people who are following more people than they have followers.
  5. Time. When was there last post? I like to try to follow users who have recently posted. It just means that they are likely to follow you back quicker because they are currently online.
  6. How much and how often do they post.  If they post several times every hour, then they likely have some software creating those posts. It can also get rather annoying having that one person always filling your page every time you log on.

Most important: like or re tweet something they have posted when you follow them.

And when someone follows you, follow them back.

Remember that these are not just numbers on your account, but these are people and your ultimate goal is that you want to build a relationship with them.

Some Don'ts

A few things that I've noticed that really bugged me:
  1. Automated messages thanking me for following. Sometimes it's a plug for their product, sometimes it's just a link to check out their blog, but when they end with a "via @crowdfire" or something similar it has just taken what could have been a personal message and made it impersonal. I get that not everyone will have time to personally thank all the people who follow them, but in my opinion, if you can't make it look like a personalized message then just don't.
  2. Thank you for following tweet containing multiple @'s. Ex. Some one tweets "Thank you for the follow @--- @--- @--- @kt_gustafson @---- @----" Not only does my name get lost in there, but it is so impersonal.  Even tweeting to an individual and then looking back on their timeline and seeing that their last 10 tweets were the same thing just to a different person is still impersonal.
  3. Message plug for products. After following someone I got a lot of private messages saying "Go check out my blog!" and "Go buy my book!" and a link. You should have the link that you want people to check out listed on your profile. If I want to visit your site, I will click on that. There is no need to send it to me personally, and it is likely an automated message anyway.  I have already followed you, which means I am already interested in you or your product, so I don't need to be bashed over the head with it.

 Some Things That Were Really Awesome

  1. This guy is awesome. Go follow him, send him some #rtok because he does for everybody else and I'm sure he could use some: @TRUE_BOHEMIA  Sending perpetual Random Tweets of Kindness = #rtok
  2. Here is something that I thought did really well at addressing the issues I listed above. It's personal and it really gets to the whole point of why I'm trying to do this in the first place which is to try to build relationships with other writers and people that would be interested in reading my work.

This is just my "getting started" point. Once you get a base group of followers, you should be able to keep getting followers without doing so much work. Having quality content, not just promoting yourself, and interacting with other people should keep it rolling.

Anyone else have any tips? I'd love to hear what worked for you.

Other Related Links:
4 Ways to Grow a Twitter Following That Matters
How I Went From Zero to 380,000 Twitter Followers Without Spending a Dime
9 Ways to Streamline Your Social Media Profile
5 Things For Authors To Tweet About (That Aren’t “Buy My Book!”)
The Days of the Week According to Twitter

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