Who wants to spend their whole day trolling Twitter? No one. I’m over it, you’re over it; let’s just get on with our lives. So, you want to build relevant followers, have meaningful conversations, and not spend your entire day doing so? THIS IS HOW WE DO IT:
Listen to Your Target Audience’s Posts
It’s all part of the deal. Once you get into it, I think you’ll find that you enjoy it. I spend about 15 minutes per day scrolling through my top 5 relevant hashtags and posting brief, but personalized comments on the first 20-30 posts that come up. One great thing about Twitter is that users almost always respond. It’s a conversational platform, and a quick one at that. You’ll see a return in engagement very quickly. And, if you don’t, you’re at least getting brand exposure by having your comment on a relevant topic. (Side note: favorites are not nearly as powerful as comments, sorry.)
Follow To Be Followed Back
You definitely want to have a decent amount of followers on your account to fit in with the cool kids, but keep your eye on the prize and follow only those accounts that are most likely to follow you back. The key: relevance + low competition. For example: I’m in digital marketing, but I don’t expect Seth Godin to follow me back, so he wouldn’t be a part of my follower building. (Yes, Seth, if by some miracle of fate you end up reading this; I do follow you and I love you. Please follow me.) Follow accounts that have 300-2,000 followers and you’re fair game for a follow back. That being said, mass follow. Use a service such as JustUnfollow or TweetingMachine to find and follow users in your target demographic, and then unfollow those that don’t follow you back. Also be sure to use the “inactive accounts” tool in either of those platforms to make sure you’re not following dead accounts. Going through this process once or twice per week will help you build relevant followers while keeping your account clean and tidy. Ideally, you want a follower ratio of 2:1; 2 followers for every account you follow.
Pay Attention To The Content That Works, And Don’t Get Distracted
I see this all the time with brand accounts; once they see a bunch of new followers come in they get overly excited. “You know what would be cool? If we did something DRAMATICALLY different!” No. You have followers because they liked the content that you were posting, not because they want to ride on a strategically-unbalanced content roller coaster. Pay close attention to the posts that are being favorited, commented on, and retweeted, and produce similar content. If you start losing followers and engagement, then re-think your strategy, but don’t try to fix something that isn’t broken. Successful content is your bread and butter.
Take Time To Appreciate Those Who Engage With You
No one forced your followers to retweet, favorite, or comment on your behalf; they did it on their own accord, out of the kindness of their hearts, pure compassion. For God’s sake, thank them. If someone wrote an article in the newspaper about how great you were without an incentive you’d probably shower them with gifts. For some reason, chivalry is dead on social. Be a brand that appreciates and stays humble by thanking your contributors. Your efforts in doing so will return in loyal followers.