Unless you are a celebrity like Kim Kardashian or Katy Perry or a public figure such as President Barack Obama, you’re almost certainly never going to have millions of followers on Twitter. But you probably would like a following beyond your colleagues, family, and friends.
Twitter can be great for your professional career and personal pursuits, but with about 500 million tweets sent every day, you’ll have to work hard to be “found” on Twitter. Great tweets are simply not enough. You must consistently look for ways to get followers.
Here are five simple tips to help you grow your own fan base:
Enhance your profile
The first matter of business is to make sure your profile is ready to roll. That starts with your profile picture, or avatar. Your image should show what you look like, not what you care about. It should be a headshot, so avoid pictures of your favorite foods or bands. The one exception is when you are tweeting for a company and have a brand. In those cases, use the brand as your avatar.
The profile continues with your bio. Because all aspects of Twitter are searchable, the bio can make or break whether people are interested in following you. This isn’t a networking group where people are semi-forced to listen to your spiel about what you do and how you can add value. This is the world of social networking, where people scroll through what they want at alarmingly fast rates. That means your bio must stick out and catch their attention.
Link, link, link
One of the simplest and most effective ways to direct people to your Twitter account is by putting the link on your blog, email, and other social media. Your blogs and emails are typically seen by people who already care about you and value your work and time. As a result, providing that connection in those communications will give you increased traffic on Twitter. When linking to your Twitter account, use a Twitter graphic to catch people’s attention.
Content is king
With Twitter, you can get very creative with your content. Many go with the route of trying to be witty to stand out. That is a fine approach, but for business purposes, the content should be somewhat reflective of how you define yourself in your bio. Also, because Twitter is entirely searchable, you can include keywords that match up to your goals. For example, if you work in business valuation, use those words in your tweets.
Tweets can range from links to important developments in your industry and buzzworthy stories, pictures, and videos to more intimate news in your life. Your tweets should be original, thought-provoking, and insightful enough to make people come back.
What’s up with #hashtags?
If you’re at all familiar with Twitter, you know that hashtags are getting more and more common. The noticeable ones are the funny hashtags that add quality to your tweet. It’s like the special sauce that wraps up your post.
Another way to attract attention is to hashtag one of the most popular, or trending, topics, which can be found in the left-hand side of your Twitter home page. It is always a good idea to engage in trending topics because that’s what people are talking about.
One of the best ways to get noticed is to use a hashtag with the name of your service, product, or niche industry. This is a great filter that can open your eyes to other people’s tweets and bring in followers who care about your business and what you have to say.
Follow people who follow you
As you begin to scratch the surface and pick up followers, make sure you begin following others, too. Reciprocity is key in the Twitterverse. This will also open you up to third-party connections you never knew existed. The followers of the people you follow are now on your radar. Eventually, you might be unable to track down all those who follow you, but at that point, you will have reeled in a long string of followers and know what you’re doing.
Your Twitter is an extension of you, your work, and your personality. The Twittersphere can serve as a source of inspiration and recognition, a hotbed of amusement and anecdotes, a way to get to know somebody, and much more. Make sure you follow these tips so that people can get to know you by following you. It is a gradual process that is meant to be a learning experience and fun. Stay the course, be consistent, and let your voice be heard!
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