7 Ways to Build a Twitter Following

If you are a starting a small business and you’re not using Twitter, what are you waiting for?

As more and more small business owners have discovered in recent years, the world’s second largest social network (Facebook leads in registered users) is a potential publicity gold mine for companies. Not only is there no cost to use the site, but the return on investment (ROI) can be infinite.

Why Are You Not Tweeting?

So, why do a number of businesses still hesitate to tweet?

Could it be that they do not understand how to use this form of social media?
Is it that some CEOs can’t see a true ROI with the service, therefore they shy away from it?
Or is it just that businesses are too lazy to spend the resources needed for Twitter and other similar sites?
Quite frankly, it is more than likely a little bit of all three factors.

When a small business owner is missing out on the benefits Twitter offers, it can be more of a problem then they realize. Not only are they losing potential revenue, but their brand is taking a backseat to the competitor who is successfully using Twitter.

If you find yourself in this quandary, there are steps you can take to fix the problem, meaning you will learn to use “tweet” as part of your everyday vocabulary—and to gain followers while you’re at it.

Start by:

  1. Use your account – Assuming you at least have a Twitter account (your customers may consider you living in the dark ages if you do not), by all means use it.

    Your brand is crying out for you to promote it, and Twitter is a great way to do just that. The key here is to tweet on a regular basis so that potential customers remember your name.

    Unfortunately, too many small business owners do the occasional tweet, meaning they are likely to be forgotten about by the bulk of consumers. That being said, do not tweet too often to the point where you become a nuisance in the eyes of other Twitter users.

  2. Key in on keywords – Whether you are promoting your company blog, press releases, guest posts you did on other sites, or links to relative information that will benefit potential customers, use keywords in your tweets.

    Keep in mind that your Twitter profile should be optimized with your company’s top keywords. That being said, do not go overboard and stuff your tweets with keywords. When you do that, the search engines, notably Google, will not respond too kindly.

  3. Be regular and relevant – If you want to refer to it as the two R’s, by all means do.

    Tweeting regularly is good for several reasons. First, it makes you appear regularly in front of countless individuals, some of whom could be your next customer. Secondly, regular tweeting will bring you more followers who see that you stay up to speed on Twitter.

    As for relevancy, if your small business sells auto insurance, tweet as much as possible about topics of interest tied to this industry. While that does not mean you have to shy away from the occasional personal or humorous office tweet, you should zero in on items like auto insurance costs, trends in the industry, the necessity for auto insurance, how to best shop for the product, and so on. Make it so that other Twitter users come to your page for information. When all is said and done, engage others on Twitter and reap the rewards.

  4. Understand your numbers – One of the great debates of the Twitter universe is how many and what kind of people to follow.

    Do you want to gather just an incredible amount of Twitter followers, or do you want the right quality of followers?

    While you could have thousands and thousands of people following your business on Twitter, what if 75% or more of them have absolutely no interest in buying from you? Yes, the number of followers may look impressive, but three-fourths or more of these people will never spend a single dime with your company.

    Wouldn’t it be better to have 75% of those followers be potential or current customers? You should review and understand who is following your business and why you decide to follow someone in the first place. Aimlessly going about this does no one any good, especially your business.

  5. Timing is everything – Knowing when to tweet is of great importance, especially if you are a newer user to Twitter.

    You want to get maximum exposure for your tweets, not send them out when the percentage of valuable people to your business on Twitter is at its lowest.

    While there may be no one perfect answer to when to tweet, a number of studies have indicated that for many Twitter users, Tuesday proves to be the most active Twitter day. Wednesdays and Fridays have the second greatest amount of Twitter activity. Mondays and Saturdays are the slowest days.

    There are also general trends that indicate Twitter users will log onto their accounts when they first arrive at work, at lunchtime, and/or close to the end of their work day.

  6. Tie in your Twitter background and business – Consistency is something that many small business owners look and strive for on a daily basis.

    When it comes to your Twitter profile, you stand a better chance of increasing followers if your Twitter design is similar to your company’s website. In order to best enhance your branding purposes, strive to make your Twitter page feel and look like your company site, blog, etc.

    As more followers come on board, they will likely notice the connection and think of your business in a manner that makes it easy for them to come back to your pages.

    Remember, keeping your Twitter page as professional as possible will bring more authority and hopefully more followers to your business.

  7. Give consumers an incentive – Everyone likes something for free, so give other Twitter users an incentive to visit your page. You can offer promotions, specials, discounts on products and services, etc., giving people more reason to spend time on your Twitter page and/or company website.
    The bottom line is this all revolves around promoting your brand, and Twitter is a great vehicle to do just that.

If you have not taken advantage of all Twitter can do for your business, there is still time to join the site. Given the fact that Twitter user numbers appear to be remaining steady or even growing depending what surveys you read, you and Twitter need to cozy on up to one another.

With 23 years of experience as a writer, Dave Thomas covers a wide array of topics from maintaining home gutters to growing an online business.

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