Blog » Twitter: 10 top tricks to increase followers for free
We hear two stories from our clients about Twitter:
1. We get loads of business from Twitter
2. We don't understand Twitter
If you're in group number 1, congratulations. If you're in group number 2, read on and we'll tell you how to get more organic followers on Twitter- for free!
Or more specifically, don't use twitter.com as your main posting tool. Although Twitter have made great advances on their website recently, there are still plenty of better solutions out there. Common features include the ability to show threaded conversations, group followers together, manage lists and so on. Many of these apps are free, so download and try them out (and feel free to post your suggestions in the Comments section below).
This is social media- the important word here is social. People want to interact with people, so chat with them. If someone asks a question that you can help with, then answer it- even if it's nothing to do with your business. If you help somebody, hopefully they'll remember you when they do need your product of service.
You're on Twitter to market your business, but be gentle with the sales pitch. By all means, post links and information about your business, but not all of the time. Nobody wants to read a continual stream of adverts, and you don't want to be labelled as a spammer.
When you get a new follower, say "hello" and thank them for following you, but bear in mind point #2: Be human.Take a quick look at their profile, previous Tweets and maybe even their website, then pick something to include in your message. For example:
"@PragmaticDesign Thanks for following. Just read your blog, when's your next post?"
Hopefully, they'll answer (and follow back) and you've struck up a conversation. Remember, first impressions last.
Many marketing people advise the use of DMing (Direct Messaging) new followers. This means that whenever somebody new follows you, you automatically send them a DM. In our experience, people who often advocate this are those who sell auto-DM software- most people we speak to are hugely annoyed by this practice, and many will block you or report you for spam. Again, bare in mind point #2.
Create separate accounts for your business and personal lives. Even if you're very restrained about what you post about your personal life, your friends might not be so considerate. A prospective client may not want to read about you and your mates' exploits in the pub, or what you think about the "**** **** **** referee!" You can be chatty and professional, so keep it that way.
Actually, being controversial can get you a huge number of followers. It can also lose you a huge amount too. If you really must be controversial, save the comments for your own personal Twitter account. Also remember that you can be sued for libel if you post anything defamatory or untrue. The golden rule here is "if you wouldn't say it in public, don't post it on the Internet".
If somebody posts an interesting, useful or humorous Tweet, hit the RT button. It increases the number of Tweets you make, and associates you with the original Tweet, and let's face it, who doesn't want to be seen with someone interesting or funny.
If somebody Retweets one of your posts, be sure to thank them for it. Good karma is always, erm, good :)
A hashtag is a popular word or phrase with the # symbol preceding it (ie #webdesign), and is used to categorise your Tweet by subject. Somebody looking for a particular subject can also search or filter Tweets using this method, and many Twitter clients will show you what's popular (trending) at a given time.
You can also use it to find Tweets on the same subject as yours, allowing you to find new people to follow.
If someone follows you, it's considered good etiquette to follow them back. We always advise taking a quick look at their previous posts first- you've nothing to gain by following a spammer.
If you run a 9 - 5 business, there's no point in posting your Tweets in the middle of the night, so think about when your target audience will be online and likely to be using Twitter. You could look at when they Tweet to gauge the best time.
Space your Tweets out throughout this period- don't unleash a torrent of Tweets in one go, they'll be ignored (and you may find yourself earning the unwanted title of "spammer").
If you can master these tips, your increase can become self-perpetuating- followers recommend you to others, who recommend you to others…..
There are plenty more ways to increase your followers, but we'd have to say that #2 is the most important. We'd love to hear your views too. Post your comments below.
Wolverhampton-based Pragmatic Design provide graphic design, website design and print solutions for businesses of all sizes and not-for-profit organisations. Find out how we can increase your sales, call us on Wolverhampton (01902) 58 10 12 or use our contact form.
"I hosted one site with Pragmatic Design and will be moving my others when they expire. Best thing is being able to talk to a real person if there are problems and they're really helpful." Janice Walker, Salsa Peru