When it comes to Twitter, attracting “followers” are key to building your online brand.
Here’s key information to attract followers:
1) Use usernames which match your name or business service or other social networking sites. When you sign up for your Twitter account, use your real name or the name you use on other social network sites. If this name isn’t available, try to use something that describes what you do. Thus my name is @smallbizlady to my surprise Melinda Emerson was taken. Using the same picture on all social media sites is helpful as well.
2) Make sure your bio gives a good reason for people to follow you. Do not be cute or sarcastic. Bios on Twitter are short and to the point. Focus on how people can hire you. Consider this: do people hire “divas or gurus” or “coaches and experts?” People will make a decision about following you in an instant. It is not like the About Me page found on your website or blog.
3) Be part of the conversation. Answering questions and joining conversations is a great way to build relationships on Twitter. Asking questions when you need a resource is also a great way to attract people. This may result in you learning about a great tool or website you were unaware of and you could find out you have more in common with the person who answered your question. Participating in conversations also shows you are approachable.
4) Always look to add value. Twitter is a give to get medium. Always look to share when you communicate on Twitter. Personal comments are fine to help people get to know you, but if you constantly make irrelevant comments, people will unfollow you or consider you a spammer. Make sure you are adding something of value when you post. Be careful about selling on Twitter prior to building a relationship. Just like people do not like sales calls on their cell phone, they don’t like it in social media either. Try to sell in the form of a question.
5) Follow people from within your industry niche and geographic area. One of the best things about Twitter is how easy it is to search for information. You can search for other Twitter users by city and state. You can go to search and hit “smallbiz marketing” and anyone who has tweeted those exact words recently will come up. If that’s your industry, I would follow every one of those people. By following industry folks, not only will you be able to understand what they are talking about, but you may be able to partner with them on projects or create a weekly chat about your industry. Once you start to interact with your peers, they are more likely to follow back.
6) The best way to get referrals is to give them. Word of mouth referrals goes a long way on Twitter. You can ask others to recommend your profile, but the best way to get referrals is to give them. Recommend people you interact with each week on #FollowFriday, and be sure to explain why they are a great people to follow. Use a call to action at the end of your blog posts to ask readers could recommend your blog or social networking profile. Recommend people to follow @mrtweet. If you work to give support to others on Twitter, you will get support back in the form of followers and friends.
7) Connect your blog and social networks to your Twitter profile. Add a Twitter link to each of your social media profiles (Linkedin, FaceBook, YouTube, etc.) this will make sure everyone you know is able to connect with you across your entire social media footprint. You can also have your twitter stream or blog fed into you facebook and linkedin profiles.
8) Purchase banner ads. You can use the website Banner Ads on popular sites in your industry to drive traffic directly to your Twitter profile. When your banner ads are clicked on, the link is automatically connected to your Twitter page. This is a very aggressive thing to do, but if you have a specific product or service such as a book to sell on a specific timeline, it could be beneficial.
It takes time to build relationships online. Be consistent. Be helpful, and you will build a quality following. It does not make sense to use one of those programs that allow you to attract 10,000 followers in 60 days. None of those people will know you and they will be far less likely to be influenced by you. Quality followers trust you, and value you as a resource. Take the time to let people get to know you. You will be amazed how quickly you get to 2001 followers and beyond.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE, E-NEWSLETTER OR WEB SITE? You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
Melinda Emerson is a Veteran Entrepreneur, Small Business Expert and Social Media Coach who hosts #smallbizchat on Twitter. #Smallbizchat is the trusted Twitter resource to discuss everything entrepreneurs need to know about launching and running a profitable small business. Melinda’s first book, Be Your Own Boss! How to Quit Your Job and Start Your Own Business 12 Months or Less! is scheduled to be released by Adams Media in early 2010.
For tips to start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com