So today I am writing about Growing your Twitter account! This post was inspired by the topic I was a guest on for #TwitterSmarter with the awesome Madalyn Sklar. Most people who know me know Twitter is one of my favorite platforms. The way you can build an audience of targeted people is really unmatched in my opinion. Twitter is my engine which I use to drive growth and authority on other accounts. With that being said, many people either just don’t get Twitter, or they have grown their account a little then it just stays about the same around a few thousand people. I’m going to walk you through my strategy surrounding Twitter. If you follow these steps you will see consistent growth.
First off, I grew my Twitter account from nothing to over 100,000 targeted followers in about 2 years. Yes 2 years…. it means it takes time and commitment. People always say followers are vanity metrics, well that totally depends on how targeted they are, but often the people saying that don’t have a large audience. Audience size isn’t everything, but it counts! and in every business, scaling is a road to results and profits so don’t get caught up in the groupthink that followers are vanity metrics.
OK we got that out of the way. Now the first thing I am going to say is that most accounts are one dimensional. Trust me there is more to building a social media account than copying and pasting some articles. Being able to post a tweet does not make someone a social media manager. We have to start thinking and being smart. I start with a holistic multi-layered approach that builds quality and authority.
Purpose – Before doing anything stop… collaborate and listen… wait that is vanilla Ice. Stop… and ask yourself why am I doing this. What do I want my Twitter account to do for my business. If you don’t know this you are literally wasting your time. Maybe you want sales, traffic to your website, social proof, networking opportunities, brand awareness. Whatever you want you need to know that because it will affect everything. So many people are “building” their Twitter for nothing. Know your key purpose or purposes first!
Step 1 – Your Bio :] Once you know what the purpose is, you have to think of two things. Who are you? and who do your best targets/clients want. Your bio should fit somewhere in between. It seems silly but many people can’t describe their own brand or self in a compelling manner. Once you have that, make sure that it lines up with your goal and targets expectation. If they are looking for a marketing expert, does your bio pack a lot of value in that little space. What is the net mental picture of you from those sentences. Work on that until it is right.
Step 2 – Content – Quality matters! Targeting matters! yes I am yelling. These two things alone can make or break your account. Figure out what your targets are looking for/consuming and then research the best sources for that information. Become a superuser of your own topic. Where do people go to get the best information, who is dominating the space and why? Research goes a long way and lazy people make it easy to succeed. Immerse yourself in the space and find the best people, content, and platforms.
Formulate your curation. Variety is the spice of life so mix up your content, text posts, link posts, image posts, video, case studies, interviews, quotes, and research. Being an authority takes work. You are working for your current and future followers so they don’t have to. The workman is worthy of their hire. If you want to be an expert, then be an expert! You have the entire freaking internet at your fingertips, there is no reason you can’t make the greatest feed eva!
Step 3 – Schedule. Yep, gotta be consistent here or your research and content won’t matter as much. Squeeze the max value by realizing that it isn’t just about the content. Even if someone doesn’t rad your post, they saw your face and name and that builds your brand. Consistency matters. IF you think you can do this live well forget about it. Shout out to my Italian friends :] Do your research. There are two times that matter, the proven top times, and the times your followers are more active. You can research to find out top times. Tools like Buffer will analyze your account to tell you the premium times for top engagement even if you don’t use the tool, you can login to run the analysis. <–growthhack
Step 4 – Follower Growth. OK once you are crystal clear on who you want to be in your audience based on those goals we set in the beginning, then you can find out who has what you want right now. I call this a look-alike profile. Who is like you and selling their services like you. Whose branding is closest to yours? Whose personality or style is like yours who already has success in this space. They have already spent a huge amount of time filtering and growing an audience. Why start from scratch? You can target their audience. Look at their followers, and if you want to earn bonus points look at who engages most and shares their content the most. BTW what content are they sharing, what sources? The work has been done for you already, pay attention.
Start to follow and engage the most engaging consumers of what you will be sharing. See most people just look for the influencers, but guess what, they aren’t buying from you. There is a point to engaging with influencers, but that is not the key here. set a number of people you are going to reach out to and follow every day, 1, 5, 10, 50 doesn’t matter as long as you stick to it. You are looking for the best followers. Build your foundation on that then offer more value, better content, and better engagement…. mic drop.
I miss blogging.
Step 5 – Engagement. Don’t connect for nothing. Engagement is gold and not many people do it so be what others aren’t. Love the hell out of people more than others and those relationships will grow your brand and business. Don’t be fake. If you are selfish and don’t give a damn, then just grow the audience then market to them. If you like people then that will be a huge factor in your authority and future success.
Step 6 – Tools. Yes the most ridiculous question everyone asks is what tools I use. It isn’t ridiculous, but the fact is tools don’t build your authority, they help you execute your plan if you have one. You will need a tool to schedule your posts. The classics are Hootsuite and Buffer. I like things about each but have things I don’t like about each. You have to learn how to use the tool you pick. Hootsuite interface is great for a bird’s eye view. Buffer is easier to use and lets you schedule without thinking once you set it up. Hootsuite offers an auto scheduler but I am not sure how I like it because it hits times your audience has engaged, but you may be missing some key times then. PostPlanner and the girls of awesomeness over there Rebekah Radice and Diana Adams totally earn my nod as the tool not only helps you schedule but it shows content that has already got traction. I also like Buzzsumo for seeing what content is getting shared on what platform. Research wins!
You will also need a way to clean up the people not following back and targeting potential look-alike audiences. Tweepi and Manageflitter are a few of the survivors left as many have come and gone. Tweepi filters are powerful and Manageflitter is one of the few that let you clean up easily with sorting. Bottom line, if people aren’t following you back, they aren’t seeing your content and your not having a conversation. No matter how great they are, if they aren’t engaging with you give the seat to someone who is. Harsh reality…. falcon punch.
Lastly analytics. Native Twitter analytics are pretty good. Go to analytics.twitter.com when logged into your account and you can see the numbers. There are other tools like Twitonomy and Commun.it that give you some free analytics that others don’t.
OK dammit, I spilled some serious beans here and I’m not even getting paid to share this with everyone. If you need help growing your social media or don’t want to do this all, then feel free to hire me, I can take care of it for you. Don’t think if you are in marketing you can’t hire me to grow your social :] Love to hear your feedback and comments and smart practices you have come up with. Hope this helps you wrap your head around this and for those pros hope it give some new thinking and tips…. boom! Share that shhhh…
PS Here is a link where I drop some deeper knowledge on this topic on a Facebook live video