Don't have a lot of time for social media? Make the most of it with these tips.
If you are running a small business Twitter account, you want more Twitter followers. Period. Why else use Twitter if you don’t want to build an audience?
However, getting those first few followers is a major stumbling block for many people. Luckily there are some quick, easy and FREE ways to get that follower count climbing.
Follow people in your industry, and interact with them
Search for people you know, competitors, and industry experts, and follow them. Then interact with them - especially those who are very active on Twitter. Like their tweets, comment, and retweet. Most of them will follow you back.
Even better, once they’re following you, these are the people most likely to retweet you, and retweets are one of the quickest ways to new followers.
Learn relevant hashtags, and use them
On Twitter (and some other social media sites) hashtags are used to keep topics of conversation organized. If you include a hashtag in your tweet, people can click on that and see tweets from all the other people who are using that hashtag.
Nearly every industry has at least one or two hashtags associated with it (although some industries are much more active on social media than others). Learn what those are by observing what hashtags other people in your industry use, read their feeds, and then start using them yourself. This is a great way to connect with other people who are interested in what you have to say – and once you find them you can follow them and many of them will follow back.
Share other people’s content
One of the best ways to gain followers is to be a reliable source of useful information. One great way to do this is to share content you’ve made that has helpful tips for your audience. However, even if you’re a full time blogger, you probably won’t write enough blog posts to keep a Twitter audience interested.
The simple solution to this is to find other great content elsewhere on the web, and share links to those articles on Twitter. If you know who the author is and you can find their Twitter profile, mention them in the tweet where you share their article so they know you did it. You are sharing great content that will make people want to follow you, and the person who created the content may also follow you out of gratitude for sharing their work.
Schedule your tweets
The experts all agree that it’s best to space out your tweeting over the course of the day so that a wider variety of people have the opportunity to see what you share. However, you don’t have the time to sit there on Twitter all day, so what should you do?
You schedule your posts. Lots of Twitter tools (Tweetdeck, Buffer, Hootsuite, etc) give you the option to write a tweet and then schedule it to be posted later instead of sharing it immediately. If you use scheduling, you can do all of your social media work in one sitting but still have tweets being shared throughout the day.
Participate in Twitter chats
Twitter chats are when a group of people in an industry all start using a particular hashtag at a scheduled time and answer a set of questions posed by a host. Most industries/interests have at least one and they’re free to join and participate in. For example, Buffer hosts #bufferchat at noon EST every Wednesday, and people gather to talk about how to use social media.
Twitter chats are an excellent way to network with other professionals and amateur enthusiasts. You get to demonstrate your knowledge, learn other people’s solutions to common problems, and meet people who will be interested in what you have to say.
Don’t give up
It might seem like you’re not getting anywhere using Twitter, but all it takes is a little time and knowing where to put in the effort. If you spend an hour or two per week following these tips, you will steadily gain followers. And not just any followers – followers who are actually interested in you, your company, and what you have to say!
If you’re just getting started on Twitter, have you been struggling to get followers and get your message out? If you’re an old pro, what was your biggest obstacle when you started out? Let us know in the comments, or join the conversation with us on Twitter.