It’s been discussed on BizAmmo in the past just how beneficial utilising Twitter can be for your small business and how you should go about using it. Giving you an instant method of communication between you as a company and your past, present and prospective consumers, take a look at any business around the world today with some form of online presence and it’s highly likely that you’ll be able to interact with them via Twitter.
As any small business owner who uses Twitter will be aware, your success is largely down to your followers.
What’s more, whilst quality should play a large part in respect of your followers (I.e., if you’re a business that sells guitars, you don’t really want 5,000 brides-to-be following you), the actual number of followers you have is important to your success.
The reason behind this is that if you only have 50 people following you who are extremely interested in your company, chances are they’ve either made a purchase from your business or they soon will.
Compare this to having 500 followers who have some type interest in your industry or a connection in some way, shape or form to your business and you’ve got yourself 500 potential customers.
Now, saying that you need more followers on Twitter is easy – getting them is another and it can often leave a lot of small businesses feeling bemused and frustrated.
No matter whether you’ve got 5 followers or 5,000, though, these points will all help you increase your number of followers on Twitter.
1. Provide useful tweets
There is a common saying online that states ‘content is king’, which simply means the content that you provide to your customers should always be of the highest quality.
The same statement applies to Twitter and you need to be giving people a reason to follow you.
Punctuation and grammar might be more relaxed on Twitter, as people would prefer to get a full message in one tweet than a broken message over several tweets, but that doesn’t mean they have to lack substance or quality.
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2. Find the middle ground between business and pleasure
What’s important to remember about Twitter is that it was – and still is for many – a personal social networking website first and foremost, with business playing somewhat of a secondary role.
Although most users have come to accept that businesses use Twitter, it’s important that you don’t simply tweet about aspects to do with your business, such as a constant stream of news or adverts for your products.
However, you also have to keep in mind that the people who are following you are doing so because you’re a business and therefore don’t want to know the ins and outs of your personal life.
Find the middle ground between business and personal and stick to it.
3. Follow others in your industry
One way to increase your follower count quickly on Twitter is to follow others, as more often than not, they’ll follow you in return.
Rather than just follow anyone who you can find, however, it’s imperative that you only follow people who have some connection to your industry – anyone who’s completely unrelated will have little effect on your business and will in fact waste your time, as you could spend hours following people for no beneficial reason.
4. Retweet useful posts
Just because you’re on Twitter doesn’t mean that you have to be constantly tweeting new content.
If you see a tweet from someone else that you feel could be useful, retweet it.
Aside from the fact that you’ll be providing useful information to your followers, you’re also likely to have the person who you retweeted follow you.
5. Get involved with your industry on Twitter
Due to the popularity of Twitter, many industries have their own tags that you can use to link tweets together.
For example, the freelance writing industry has the #WriterWednesday tag, which is used mid-week to recommend other writers to your followers.
Look out for tags in your industry and use them – when your posts are linked to these tags, you’ve got a greater chance of people following you – not just anyone, however, but people who are involved in or interested in your business or industry.
Twitter is a fantastic tool to use for various small business purposes. From connecting with your customers to acting as a method of advertising, if you’re not using Twitter – or are but with only a handful of followers – it’s strongly advised that you start utilizing it to its full extent today.
This post was originally published on November 9, 2010.