You want to grow your brand on Twitter. For a long time, Twitter was an enigma to me. I was pouring a lot of time into it and seeing no results. In my experience of managing other brands, I’ve helped to grow them at a steady pace with very minimal time. That’s the point of this post. It won’t help you blow up on Twitter overnight, but it will help you grow steadily without investing a ton time. Because you have a million more important things to do.
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First, let’s get this clear – the purpose of Twitter, or any other social media network, is to get people to visit your website. Followers, favorites, and retweets don’t equal dollars. But if those people visit your site and take action, then it’s worth it. So keep your end goal in focus: website visits.
With that in mind, you don’t just shout out links to your website every chance you get. You’ve got to build an audience and entertain them. But you don’t have all day to come up with witty tweets. My goal is to help you stop wasting time doing random stuff on Twitter, and actually use minimal time doing what works. Here’s how to get results efficiently and effective.
1. Grow Your Audience with the Right Followers
One mistake is to follow big brands and big celebrities. Unless you’re really interested in what they have to say or you want to retweet their stuff for content, it’s not worth your time. They’ll never follow you back, and if they do, you’re one among the millions of others they follow, so they’re not going to interact with you.
The other mistake is to follow anyone and everyone, that’s also a waste of time. If people aren’t active, have very few followers, or follow very few people, they’re not worth your time because they don’t have the influence or interest to be valuable to you. So who should you follow?
- Look for people within industry, as they’ll more likely retweet your content if it’s relevant to their audience.
- Look for people with fairly even follower to following ratios, as they’re more likely to follow you back.
- Look for people who tweet a lot because it’s a sign that they’re on Twitter often.
- Look for people retweet often, as they’ll more likely share your content
- Look for people who’s follower and following count is in the hundreds to lower thousands, because they’re most active with those they’re connected with.
To grow an audience on Twitter, start with the few influencers rather than the masses. Follow those who will actually interact with you, share your content, and have an audience to share it with.
2. Tweet and Retweet Engaging Messages
I know you hear the word “engaging” a lot and it’s super vague. I’ll tell you flat out – what works on Twitter are quotes, tips, and links to articles.
Generally inspirational quotes that can apply to anyone and everyone are gold. Keep it generic and keep it positive. Tips that are specific to your industry follow the same suite. Don’t get overly specific, but share something that your ideal customer or even competitor would find useful, and they’ll retweet that.
Finally, share links to relevant articles, especially from your blog. And it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or who you are – you need a blog. Don’t just share the title of the article, especially if it’s a boring title. In your tweet, give the gist of the article, an interesting and provocative quote from the article, or a question that is answered in the article.
Sure, share your personal updates, jump in on relevant hashtags, and tweet about current events and trends. But don’t spend the majority of your time doing it. Those kinds of tweets will get you momentary broad exposure, but won’t really build you a solid, influential follower base.
3. Batch Schedule and Spare Time
I’ll be honest, it’s really hard to be effective on Twitter without tweeting every hour or two. That’s because tweets disappear from a person’s feed within an hour. So when you tweet, you’re reaching a small fraction of your audience. If you can afford it, use a content recycler like Edgar, an app that auto-tweets and repurposes your content on a continual basis.
Finally, integrate tweeting and following into your spare time and make it a habit daily. Think of all the times you have a couple minutes of free time – waiting in line for coffee, riding public transportation, walking from the parking lot to your office, going up the elevator, microwaving your lunch, etc… The amount of spare time we have where we just wait is unbelievable. Twitter is the perfect way to make use of that spare time.
I’ve developed a habit that I like to call the rule of 3’s. Find 3 times in your day where you have at least 3 minutes. You’re not setting aside 3 minutes, these are times where you literally have nothing to do but wait and can’t do anything about it. Plan into those times on a daily basis to hop onto Twitter on your phone. Here’s what you do.
Go to your home feed and favorite + retweet 3 posts. Then go to the search tab and see people that Twitter suggests to follow. Go to their profile and make sure they match the criteria mentioned above. Follow them, then favorite + retweet 3 of their posts. Do this to 3 people.
Follow this routine, and you’ll be gradually growing your followers – all in your spare time!
Got other Twitter tricks and tips? Share in the comments.