On Monday, Twitter celebrated its 10th Birthday. In that time Twitter has gone from a micro blogging platform based around SMS messages, to one of the largest social networks in the world.
In the 10 years it’s been around, Twitter has amassed a user base of over 320 million people sending in excess of 500 million tweets per day! The most followed people are celebrities on Twitter, the top of which being Katy Perry, with a mind-boggling 85 million followers!
Although celebrities dominate in terms of following, there is space for brands to create a rich engaging experience for users. Companies such as Starbucks have a following of over 10 million, and tweet some incredibly engaging content, adding value and entertainment as well as product and company news to their followers.
Six drinks. Two simple ingredients. pic.twitter.com/1znvn2MyZF— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) March 21, 2016
So the big question is, how does your brand gain traction, engagement and following among all that noise? Our handy guide is here to help you through some best practise steps and strategy so that you can not only find your ideal customers and engage with them, but monitor competitors and online brand sentiment.
Discovery and Follow Strategy
It should be pretty obvious, but following people that are talking about your brand and engaging with them should be step one on any Twitter growth strategy. The question is, how and what do you do? Follow the below steps and you won’t go far wrong.
Search and ye shall find.
Twitter offers a really great search tool that allows you to search for things that people are talking about. The standard search functionality of Twitter is ok, but if you go to twitter.com/search-advanced you’ll find a whole host of other options that will allows you to get much more detailed in your searching efforts.
This search tool is invaluable for finding out what people are saying about you on Twitter without necessarily @mentioning your account.
Going one step further than this, you can use the same search features to find out what the Twitterverse thinks about your competition, that’ll help identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.
Third party applications such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or Sproutsocial all have a similar search functionality and will allow you to save search streams so you can react as they appear.
Follow and Be Followed
You should follow as many people as you can.
Once you have discovered people that are talking about you, your industry or you competitors you should vet them, by doing a little profile and past tweet research and then follow them.
Look at the leaders of your industry, check if they have created Twitter lists, follow everyone on their lists. Then check if the people you have just followed have lists relevant to your industry, follow all of them.
Once you have amassed a decent following and have gained some followers, it’s time to sort the wheat from the chaff. Tools such as https://manageflitter.com allow you to see who is not following you back, who has not used Twitter in a while, and who the top influencers are.
Content: The richer the better
As we all have heard, content is king. But it’s the ingredients that go into making and optimising the content that will let you stand out from the noise and get genuine engagement from your followers.
A Picture’s worth 140 characters (almost)
Rich content refers to anything the enriches the standardised tweet text format. As a rule of thumb, the richer the content, the better it performs, and that is more apparent on Twitter than most other social networks. For instance, tweets with pictures gain, on average 150% more engagement and a 35% increase in retweets alone.
Video further increases the stats, with 51% of marketers stating that video has the best ROI. Since 2012 mobile video consumptions have risen an astonishing 844%. Shoppers who view videos are 1.81 times more likely to buy your product.
Include Call to Actions
If you’re goal is to push people to your content elsewhere, such as the latest blog post on your website, you should always try to include a call to action. Telling your audience what you’d like them to do is the simplest and easiest way to get them to do it, with an average 13% increase in link clicks.
The Walgreens Mobile App allows you to print photos directly from your phone to any Walgreens. Click here to download! http://t.co/7F1swTmw— Walgreens (@Walgreens) August 29, 2012
Take Advantage of trends
Taking advantage of real time events that are being covered on Twitter is one of the easiest ways to garner engagement and exposing your brands to new audiences. Remember the Drummond Puddle Watch?
There is a warning to heed with agile content. You HAVE to pick your battles, anything that could potentially be construed as bad taste or feels forced will enrage people.
Create, Curate & Schedule
Twitter is a constant stream of information, to make the most impact you shouldn’t go around shouting about yourself all the time. Although created or owned content is absolutely vital to any social strategy, showing that your finger is on the pulse by curating and retweeting or republishing industry specific content from other sources will demonstrate your professionalism and strengthen bonds with other people within your sector.
To make sure that you have daily content being produced you should create a schedule of content. Third party tools such as buffer will let you schedule content easily to go out over the next few days.
Those are the basics of how to grow your twitter following quickly, efficiently and most importantly relevantly. Empty followers mean little to anyone, following the above steps should get quality engaged followers for your brand.