Editor’s Note: This post was written by guest blogger, Nicky Kriel.
There are so many people claiming they can get you followers: Just use their piece of software and you will get 10,000 followers easily. You can even buy followers. My question is: WHY?
If you think you are successful in Social Media by the number of followers you have, you really don’t understand Social Media. Yes, you do need follower and yes, the numbers can make a difference, but broadcasting your tweets to 10,000 followers who have been collected by an automated process is unlikely to have any impact on your business. You would be deluding yourself about having a social media strategy. In fact, how many of those followers are real people anyway?
It is not difficult to build followers organically. This is what I did.
- Find interesting people to follow – When I started out I looked for local people because it would be easier to meet them, coaches to make connections and see how other coaches were using Twitter, NLPers for the same reasons, Toastmasters because I am enthusiastic about speaking and Social Media people because I wanted to learn about how to use the medium. I used directories such as Twellow, search tools like Search.Twitter and looked at people’s lists to see who they were following. I also found and followed as many of the people I knew through networking and social activities.
- Be yourself – One thing that I noticed quite quickly is how many people just stream other people’s quote, but they don’t say anything about the person generating them. You can tell so much about a person by how they tweet and it gives the reader a taste of what that person is like. You are not going to appeal to everyone and that’s okay. You will attract like-minded people to you. People do business with people they know, like and trust. Help people find you by having an easily recognisable photograph and your bio filled in properly. It is amazing how many people still don’t.
- Have interesting tweets – If your tweets are sales pitches you are unlikely to encourage followers. I have written about How to write a Tweet in another article and I would encourage you to read not only the article, but also the comments below. If people are using the Twitter website they will probably only see your last three tweets. So think about it, you are only as interesting as your last three tweets.
- Engage with your followers – Social media is social and Twitter is especially good for making connections. How many friends do you think you would have if all you spoke about was yourself and you didn’t talk to any of them? How do you get to know people better if you don’t listen to their conversations and join in? Normal rules of engagement apply in Social Media. I have built up some very strong relationships with people on Twitter.
- Follow back – If someone follows you, why not follow them back? To me, it is basic politeness unless you suspect them of being a bot (not real), involved in real estate in California, porn or gambling. These are my criteria; they don’t have to be yours. I used to automatically follow people who followed me, but I don’t any more. There are people who will follow you and then unfollow you a few days later so that they build up their numbers. If I get people following me because I used a keyword, I don’t follow them back either. For example, a couple of weeks ago, I retweeted a friend who is starting up knitting and croqueting group locally, you would be amazed at how many knitting and croqueting businesses started following me. I also prefer to follow people who are engaging with other people, so I will look for people who are conversationalists. If someone is just broadcasting with a link to each tweet, I can’t be bothered to follow them. If you are following me and I am not following you back, please let me know, I make mistakes and I will be happy to follow you back.
Getting followers is only one part of using Twitter. Remember; it is better to build up a quality network than worry about numbers.