Having organically grown many Twitter accounts to 50,000+ followers, we thought we 'd reflect on some lessons learnt about growing an engaged and relevant twitter following (and indeed social media following as a whole). So here are six things to concentrate on to build your own engaged and relevant twitter following, brought to you by the team at www.Social-Hire.com.
1. Plan time to engage on Twitter.
Twitter is all about the moment. It's not like email where a reply weeks after initial contact can further a relationship. Opportunities to engage present themselves for a few fleeting moments and then often they are gone. So you must be disciplined in setting yourself some time windows each day when you will be active on Twitter and keeping an eye out for opportunities to engage (and then stick to that commitment!).
2. Develop a strategy for your Twitter presence.
Social networks can pull you in all sorts of directions if you allow them to. Twitter is certainly no different. If you don't have a strategy to adhere to, you'll end up spending a lot of time on Twitter– without any concrete outcome you can necessarily show for this at the end of each quarter.
Take into consideration: i) who is the audience I would like to reach and engage with on twitter? ii) what do I want them to have done X weeks from now so that followers and reach on twitter translate into actual business results and iii) what content and updates will attract that target audience … and what process do I have to follow to encourage people to take the desired next step?
3. Continually test and refine your strategy.
As you use Twitter in your daily routine, you'll find some things work really well and others flop. You'll also find that what works evolves as the size and credibility of your account grows; and also the ways people interact and follow an individual's twitter account differ significantly from how they engage with a branded corporate account.
Twitter– and the tools available to users– are also constantly evolving, so what works today will not necessarily work well a year from now. So continually test and refine your strategy– and don't be fearful of changing your approach in the light of the results you're seeing.
4. Find ways to segment your twitter streams to ensure that you can focus your engagement efforts.
For some readers this'll mean creating lists on your twitter account so that you can turn your attention to different portions of your twitter following according to your current priorities. For others this'll mean creating twitter streams monitoring specific search strings relevant to you. The key is to determine how you're planning to laser-focus your attention on that tiny part of the total twitter stream that is really most valuable to you and your end goal.
5. Keep your twitter stream populated with relevant content.
If you're not active on Twitter for any given period, people aren't going to come across you in their twitter streams and aren't going to be presented with opportunities to engage with you. So it's critical that you develop a plan to ensure your twitter stream is consistently populated with relevant and engaging content. Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite make it easy to schedule content sending in a way that can still be personable; whilst maintaining a balance of the latest information and some evergreen content ensures you always have something valuable you could be sharing with your twitter following.
6. Use Twitter tools and processes to increase your productivity and clean up your twitter following.
There are loads of tools available to help identify which of your twitter interactions are most worthwhile pursuing. Twitter tools can also be used to check who you are following and to propose accounts that are of little value (ie. never engage, tweet out only new content in a 100% automated manner, are no longer active users, etc). A little time every week devoted to using these tools will allow you to focus your attentions on the most valuable twitter relationships; and to cleaning out the dead wood from your twitter following making way for other more valuable contacts.
Turning what you do into processes or schedules that you follow regularly can have a dramatic impact in terms of allowing you to get more done in less time.