Twitter Marketing — How to Get Followers and Interact with Them

TwitterIs Twitter the real deal or just a fad? I heard this question repeatedly in public forums. People want to know if twitter marketing is potentially effective or just another hype.

It just makes sense. With the growing number of Twitterers, and people twittering about every topic you can possibly imagine, there are rooms for marketers to get their messages out there if they do it the right way.

Here’s a shocking truth. It’s shocking mostly because it comes from a social media evangelist.

Like with any new marketing technology, it is not a surprise that Twitter marketing is more of a hype-up phenomenon than reality. I’ve seen a few of them and I bet there will be more to come in near future. Very aggressive marketers will sell products that claim to teach how to make an insane amount of money with Twitter easily.

Twitter will be seen as a way to “chat” while make money.

A lot of new Twitterers will jump on the bandwagon and find the fact out the hard way. Some of them will eventually believe that if they could not do it, then it is a fad.

The truth is somewhere in the middle.

Again, we’ve seen it with blogs. We’ve seen it with podcasts. Now is the turn for Twitter wave.

Getting Unfair Advantages as an Early Adopter of Twitter

Discovery Mission

Experience has told us that early adopters to a marketing technology that works is going to give an unfair advantage over others who come in much later.

Bloggers who got started a few years back can easily create a blog, posted short updates a few times a day and grew their traffic to a few hundreds or even thousands in a few short months.

Try that approach today. I’ll save you time to do that. It doesn’t work.

As competitions get stiffer, quality of content is compulsory if you want to stand out in the crowd.

Problem is, early adopters always have to figure things out by themselves. Often through trial and error.

You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. There is a way to get such advantage and at the same time enjoy the advantage not available to your competitors (yet).

If you monitor the twittosphere and blogosphere closely, right now you’ll be able to see early results using specific strategies by social media marketers. Study how that works and adopt it to your business.

It requires work, but if you do it right, you will still be able to penetrate your market quite easily in this relatively new medium.

The Best Advice I Could Give…

This is the best advice I could give about integrating Twitter into your marketing mix at this moment.

Just do it.

No, not that kind of slogan but more about taking action and move toward your goal with the right plan and expectation.

For an example of setting the right expectation is that you may find people are talking about everything in Twitter but that doesn’t mean you will be able to grow massive amount of followers and buyers with Twitter alone but at least you can start building relationship and interacting with your audience.

So, the first thing to start with is a plan. Understand your (future) followers and plan on what you are going to do with Twitter. Here are some ideas:

  • Broadcast news.
  • Ask questions and get feedback / advice.
  • Run a poll.
  • Point to useful resources.
  • Promote your content.
  • Tell others about a new job or event.

Of course, the plan means nothing without followers, but in order to attract the right followers you must know what you are trying to aim with it. Here is a more complete guide on how to create a plan for using Twitter.

How to Increase Your Twitter Followers (and Following)

I Want It

In Twitter, there are people who you follow and those who follow you. Obviously if you want to build an audience, you need to have more followers.

However, you also need to be following influencers and experts in your niche. If nothing else, you need to know what they tweet and how they do it. Establishing relationships with key people in the industry can only bring good things to your business.

You may start by following bloggers who showcase their Twitter profiles on their sites or blogs or use Twitter Search. In my Twitter tutorial, I listed five ways to find the right people to follow.

“But now, how could I get followers?” I hear you ask.

Instead of focusing on getting followers, you should put your effort on building value. Even as the result the number of followers grow slowly, if you do it the right way, most likely they will be much more responsive than if you mass follow everyone hoping that some of them will follow you back.

Think about building a small community instead of large followers who don’t even know you.

Twitter is about karma. The more you help others — or make your Twitter as a useful resource — the more you receive. It takes time to build followers and establish relationships with followers and influencers.

If you are interested in getting more followers for Twitter account, here are a few ideas you could use:

  • Promote, promote, promote. Put your Twitter ID in the signature of every email. Mention it in your blog. Whenever you have a chance to drop a hint about your Twitter, do it. Of course, that presumes you are communicating with the right audience.
  • Organize a contest through your Twitter profile. This is effective only if you are able to get participants who will in turn talk about the contest. Assuming they also have followers, soon you will be able to grow your followers.
  • Guest blogging. Writing for other blogs is very close to stealing other people’s traffic. You provide content while they drive you some traffic in return. If you target the right blogs, you are going to build your Twitter folowers in no time.
  • Cross promotion. Explicitly ask a Twitterer to mention about you or your content and in return you do the same for them. This may happen automatically if you promote other people’s content but a little self promotion doesn’t hurt either.
  • Create linkbait. Superb quality content gets its share of publicity through social media, links from blogs and web sites and people tend to pass it via email or Twitter. Certainly many people are wiling to follow you if you are able to create such an interesting and useful piece of content.

General Tips for Interacting with Twitter Followers / Following

Getting followers to your Twitter account is just half of the battle for twitter marketing. You need to interact and cultivate relationships with your followers. Each tweet is an opportunity to reach out and get in touch with them. Make them know you better. It is a process, but definitely something worth doing.

Here are a few suggestions when it comes to interacting with Twitter followers / following:

  • Use your personal brand as Twitter ID. If you are known as the traffic expert, you can use that, but generally a name is good enough for personal brand. Just remember that Twitter ID should not be too long. It saves some characters when people reply or refer to you in their tweets.
  • Join the conversations. Follow the right people and join in the conversations to start expanding your network. Twitter is not a one way broadcast medium so you should not use it as such. If someone @reply to you, make sure you answer if answer is necessary.
  • Share valuable information. Don’t be hesitant to promote your findings, even if it is your competitor’s content. Twitter is about giving away valuable stuff and make following your account enjoyable, so people pay more attention to your tweets. They will appreciate the fact that you are follower-centric.
  • Find out who follows you. At the very least, read his/her bio. If you are involved in other marketing activities like blogging, knowing who is doing what will open up new opportunities. Guest blogging in other people’s blogs, for instance, not only drive you traffic, but also increase your Twitter followers. But first of all, it is a conversation starter.
  • Know who reply to you. If you are not using an advanced Twitter client, consider grabbing RSS feed to your personal brand search onto your favorite news reader.

Twittosphere is an entirely different social media world that you should be listening to besides the blogosphere. If you omit either one of then, you are only getting a part of the equation.

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