Twitter is one of the best platforms for driving traffic to your site. Along with Facebook, Twitter stands for the majority of traffic online publishers get to their most viral content. If you are new to Twitter it might be hard to get started and secure a piece of that traffic to your own content. To help you get off on the right foot, these are my simple tips on how to get your first 500 followers which is a nice follower base that will help get your content spread.
Getting your first Twitter followers
- Personalize your profile
Personalize your Twitter profile with your profile picture, cover picture, background image, URL and description. Most people will check your profile to decide to follow you or not, or to learn more about you when they read some of your interesting tweets. Having a personalized profiles helps you build connection and trust with your audience. You stand a better chance of a follow if you Twitter profile looks good.
- Send shareable tweets
Before tweeting something, do consider if what you’re tweeting is shareable. Ask yourself would you share your own tweet? People like to share content, especially if it’s valuable, entertaining or smart. Make sure to make each tweet interesting and worth reading. Try to grab the attention by thinking of your tweets as your article headlines. Make them irresistible.
- Be conversational, engage and interact
Show interest in others. Start @replying people with relevant conversations. Be helpful, useful and friendly. Be genuine and write in a relatable way. Avoid selling and formal language. Look at this as networking. Say hello, join the conversation, show your expertise, answer questions, help people, and build connections. People you tweet with will become familiar with you, will check out your profile, your site and will follow you.
- Be a curator
Add value to your followers by tweeting about what’s going on in your field – link to articles about news and new findings within your field. By linking to different quality resources, people will look at you as an expert who knows where to find the best information and who shares knowledge with their followers. These are great reasons for someone to follow you.
- Be smart and funny or quote smart and funny people
People like to be entertained and if you can awaken their attention by being witty, they’ll listen to you and engage. A quote, an interesting fact or a little joke go a long way. These are often some of the most retweeted tweets. Make up your own, or browse through Kindle’s most highlighted passages or quotes from GoodReads for ideas.
- Add images to your tweets
Twitter timeline is very visual. It previews pictures from tweets. Tweets with images are more prominent and have a better chance of getting more retweets, favorites and clicks than tweets without images. Use images in your tweets to grab the attention of your followers and tell better stories. Use infographics, charts, and quotes on images. Image size is 438x220px and landscape mode works best.
- Follow people first
Conversations and followers will not come to you automatically unless you are a big name and have an established audience that you can attract. Instead you must proactively seek the engagement from users. One of the easiest way to get followers is to follow people you want to follow you first. Many people check who follows them and in case you have an interesting and relevant profile a good percentage will follow you back.
How do you find people to follow? Take a look at some of the biggest names in your field. Look at who they follow, look at who is following them. You can also use Twitter search to see who is talking about keywords and keyword phrases relevant to your skills and your content.
- “Search” to get in touch
Use Twitter search to look up people tweeting about topics relevant to you. Search for relevant keywords and keyword phrases to your topic and then engage and interact with people that are talking about the topic. This is a great way of introducing yourself and creating value for someone in your audience. See a quick video on how I do this:
- Piggyback on hashtags and trending topics
Tweet about relevant and popular trending topics and tap into their popularity. By using relevant keywords and hashtags your tweet could be amplified and could reach a large number of new users.
- Connect with influencers
You will never go wrong by talking to other bloggers, influencers and other power users on Twitter. By building relationships with the influencers, you stand a better chance of getting your messages spread to more people.
- Ask for a retweet
Don’t be passive, ask people for a retweet. Include a “please RT” call to action in your tweet. Tweets with a call to action like this have more retweets than tweets without a call to action. You can also direct message people you have a good relationship with and that might be interested in the topic of your post and ask them to tweet it out for you.
- Add Twitter cards
Twitter cards make your links more prominent and give your Twitter profile more exposure as they add thumbnail, headline, description and author information to all your links and display them within Twitter timeline. Use a plugin like WordPress SEO to help you add the meta tags to your site and then use Card Validator to verify your site. Alternatively use JM Twitter Cards to simplify this process.
- Tweet your articles
Announce your latest post in a tweet. You can set this up as an automated service through a tool like Hootsuite if you prefer. Do not only tweet your latest post – tweet also some of your older posts and introduce your audience to some of your older but still relevant and useful material.
- Push your profile to your existing audience
Make sure to inform your existing audience about your Twitter profile. Put your link on your site, send it out to your mailing list, include the link in your other social media profiles. Simple Social Icons plugin is a nice way of putting your social links in your sidebar.
- Include share buttons
Allow your readers to spread the word about your articles by including tweet button on your post. Make sure to attach your Twitter username to the automated tweet so every time someone retweets one of your articles they mention you as well. This is just one of the many plugins that can help you do this.
- Tweet often
The tweet shelf life is extremely short due to the real-time aspect of the platform, so be sure to tweet often, but don’t over do it. A few tweets every now and then during the day is a fair amount. Don’t let your profile stay untouched for days or weeks. Some will unfollow you – others will forget you.
- Repeat tweets
Experiment with repeating the same tweet several times a day with some 4-5 hours in between and analyze your results. From my experience people do not notice that you repeat tweets and your repeat tweet will attract attention and clicks as many new people have logged on since your original tweet earlier in the day.
- Use data
Twitter Analytics helps you track how many clicks your tweets get. You can analyze which tweet structures attract your followers the most, what headlines work best, and at what time of the day your tweets get most clicks. Use this data to schedule your tweets to be posted at the best possible times to optimize the exposure and number of clicks.
For a more extensive list of tools that can help you optimize your Twitter use, take a look at these Twitter apps.
Reaching 500 Twitter followers is not easy. It takes time and effort. Spend time on Twitter, work proactively and consistently on getting new followers and you will slowly get there. Make sure to follow me for more tips.
Embed this Twitter infographic on your own website
Copy and paste this code into your site to get your readers on their way to 500 Twitter followers:
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