I don’t hide the fact that I’m a massive fan of Twitter, whenever I am advising businesses on marketing I always ask, do you have a Twitter account? If they don’t I always suggest that they get one, and fast. Twitter is the number one social media source for driving traffic to your website. Let me expand on that so that there are no doubts, Twitter drives more people to my website than any of the other social media platforms combined. At the time of writing I am generating approximately six thousand website visitors per month, and this figure is growing as my followers grow, this figure represents more than most businesses attract in a year.

When you get started with Twitter, one of the first things you want to do is build a following. However we’re talking about Twitter marketing so you don’t just want any audience, you want your own followers to be drawn from your target audience. Let’s look at ways of doing this.

Perfect Your Twitter Profile

This holds true for all social media platforms, your profile is your main shopfront and as such it’s an essential element in ensuring the right people follow you. Click here to view my profile, I’m not saying mine is the best but it does work for me, once you have viewed mine, view industry influencers in your niche and simply take the best bits from each and incorporate them in your own profile, with your own twist of course. Use a good headshot, and use your main keyword phrase within your bio and don’t pretend to be anything that you aren’t, just be yourself.

Tweet Regularly

The average life of a tweet is roughly about eight minutes which means that you need to tweet regularly. Tweets are not like emails, they don’t sit there until someone reads them, think of Twitter as a stream and your tweet as a boat floating down it, and if you turn away the tweet (boat) will float right past you without you ever knowing. This is how tweets work with your audience, they work only when your audience is tuned in and using twitter.

This means that you need to work out a solid tweeting schedule that works for you and that you can stick to, if you don’t stick to it and tweet regularly people will soon forget about you. Use technology if you need to, to send out automated tweets for you and all you have to do is schedule them.

Grow your Account

There is an unwritten rule that if you follow someone that will follow you back, even today this still holds true for approximately 40 percent of the people you follow. This means that you need to follow as many people within your target audience each day, Twitter allows you to follow a maximum of 1000 people each day.

Simple maths means that if you follow a thousand people per day and forty percent follow you back, when you have two thousand followers you will have around eight hundred of your own followers. This two thousand figure is a massive roadblock imposed by Twitter with the intention of stopping people spamming lots of people, however once you hit two thousand followers you are not allowed to follow any more people. That is until you have what twitter considers the appropriate amount of followers of your own, which happens to be 1819 followers. Twitter works by allowing you to follow the number of followers you have plus 10% which means that once you hit 1819 followers you can follow that many people plus 182 others (10%) which means you break the limit of being able to follow 2000 people, with 2001 being your new limit.

Sound easy… well it is, all you have to do is unfollow the people that aren’t following you, this allows you to grow your followers and break the Twitter barrier and then continue to grow while remaining within your ten percent limit. Does that sound like hard work, well there is technology available to make it easier, allowing you to see you isn’t following you at a glance and then allowing you to click on each person to unfollow. Twitter terms forbid a fully automated system and although these exist if you get caught using one, you risk losing your Twitter account.

All you have to do now is rinse and repeat these follow, unfollow procedures until you have as many followers as you want, the secret however isn’t to get as many as you can. But to focus on getting as many of your target audience to follow you as you can. This is the main reason that buying followers is a complete waste of time, the people that will follow you are not your target audience and you will never get any interaction from then, and as such they are pointless.

Engage with Your Followers

Now that you have as many followers as you want, you need to engage your audience. Even if your tweets are scheduled using something like HootSuite.com to help you manage your Twitter account (it helps manage more social media platforms), you still need to engage with your followers. This means that you have to look in your stream locate tweets from others that will be of interest to your audience and then simply retweet them. It’s also worthwhile looking at your notifications tab and also mentions to see if people have sent you tweets, asked questions or left comments and if they have respond to them. This can take as little as 10 minutes each day but if you don’t do it, you’ll never engage your audience and they won’t bother to engage with you. This action also helps you attract more followers because it makes you real and relevant.

Become a Resource to Others

The best part of engaging with your followers is to also become a resource center, this applies to all social media platforms. It works as simple as this, if you see something that you thing a particular user would like, or your while audience send them the link on Twitter. Your followers will appreciate it, and will love that you care enough to help them with no real benefit to yourself. By being active in discussions, sharing and linking to relevant content you will attract followers, it just seems to happen of its own this also happens offline if you regularly go networking.

Learn the Lingo

If you don’t understand the lingo, the short cuts or the use of #hashtags then don’t use them until you have learned how. #hashtags are one of the most useful things but they are also one of the most abused. To use them appropriately use hashtags that are relevant to the content you are sharing at that time and only use one or two anything else is just overkill. By properly using hashtags you allow others to find your content, you build trust and of course all those people that find your content will want to follow you.

Developing a large meaningful following on Twitter takes a bit of time, and especially if it’s a large following but it is always worth it if you go about it the right way… see you all on Twitter.

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