A lot of people don’t seem to understand Twitter or how to build a Twitter following.
I get it. Twitter isn’t as user-friendly as Facebook. It’s hard to really know what it’s for or how to use it.
I didn’t understand it at first either. I was tweeting about stupid things like what I was doing. No one cared that I was doing laundry.
For years, my Twitter account was just there. I had no idea how to use it or build a Twitter following effectively. I used it sporadically, but it wasn’t a very engaging place for my followers.
As time went on, I stayed because I’d been there so long. The first time you follow a fun hashtag like #1stRunMovieLines or #FacebookDown, you’ll understand how Twitter is unique from any other social network.
After becoming a Social Media Manager for an SEO company in 2014, I figured out how to dominate Twitter. That’s what I’m going to show you in this blog post.
Twitter is a Must for Authors
There are some aspects about Twitter that make it the perfect social network for writers and authors:
- The 280 character limit – Twitter originally had a 140-character limit. That’s 20 less than a text message. It got interesting sometimes trying to limit meaningful messages to that number. As writers, we tend to be wordy. Twitter is an exercise in brevity and being concise.
- It’s a “micro-blogging” platform – It just screams “summarize”. It’s like a blog, only much, much smaller.
- The community – Twitter was built for community and it’s actually pretty easy to gain followers. It just takes time. Twitter is one of the easiest places to find your tribe online. All you need is a couple of keywords and you can view tweets and users using that keyword. This is a great way to find a huge list of people in your niche to follow.
Two Things That Directly Build a Twitter Following
Twitter is a very reciprocal platform. It’s not that hard to get followers right out of the gate. There are two things that you can do to actively build a Twitter following:
- Tweet. The more you tweet, the more people see your Tweets and are invited to follow you based on what you’re putting out. Using hashtags can widen the audience that sees your Tweets.
- Follow people. Go in and manually follow people in your niche. Most people will follow you back.
Twitter is like sending a text message to the world about what’s important to you. What would you say if you could text the world about your business, books, or whatever?
*Engage 80/20 rule*
Don’t Tweet 24/7 about your business and books because it won’t take long to turn people off. Use the 80/20 rule. Tweet 80% of the time about information your audience would find interesting or useful. Tweet 20% of the time about your business and books.
How Often Should You Tweet?
There is a lot of information out there about how often you should or should not Tweet. I say Tweet as much as you want. The lifespan of a Tweet is between 15 and 20 minutes. The more you Tweet, the shorter that lifespan becomes. At ABK, we Tweet 4 to 6 times per day. Our Tweets have seen 8.1K impressions in the last 28 days as of this writing.
Your Tweets should meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Entertain your followers
- Answer a niche-related question
- Solve a niche-related problem
- Share information relevant to your niche
Each Tweet you send should include these 3 elements:
- A written statement
- An image
- A call-to-action
Each time you Tweet is another chance for someone to follow you, visit your website, and/or become a loyal customer.
How To Get 100 Twitter Followers Per Day
I want to start off with a couple of warnings here.
First, don’t ever buy followers. All you’ll get is junk followers and bots. This isn’t a sustainable way to build a Twitter following. What I’m about to share will get you real, targeted, active, organic Twitter followers that will stick around for the long haul.
Second, be cautious about DMs (Direct Messages). You’ll see a lot of Twitter users with messages about DMs in their bio. I don’t recommend using them at random. Only DM a user if invited to do so or if you can’t get in touch any other way.
Now, about these 100 followers per day…you can achieve this if you only spend around 10 minutes per day doing a few of the things I am about to outline for you. 100 followers per day = 3,000 followers per month. It’s a nice steady climb.
1. Optimize your bio.
You are limited by 160 characters. Use hashtags relevant to your niche. If you’re not sure what those are, type your keyword into https://hashtagify.me/ and see what comes up. It will display the 10 most popular hashtags related to your keyword. Download our big list of writing and self-publishing-related hashtags here.
2. Upload a profile picture and header.
One of the keys to having a great social media presence is using everything they give you. You can create a Twitter header free using Canva. You might even consider putting your latest book release on your header.
3. Pin a Tweet!
Twitter allows you to pin 1 Tweet to the top of your feed. You should reserve this for promoting your latest news. To pin a Tweet, click the ellipsis menu (three dots) in the top right of the Tweet you want to pin and select Pin to your profile from the drop-down menu.
That’s what we’re here for, right? Ultimately, Tweeting will help you build a Twitter following. Make sure you have 10 to 15 Tweets on your profile almost immediately. This fleshes out your profile and will show other users what you’re about and what kind of content you’ll be sharing, so don’t rush it. Put some time into crafting your messages and ensure they have a statement, image, and call-to-action.
5. Follow some people!
To build a Twitter following, you have to follow others. You can follow up to 400 users per day. Find out who to follow on Twitter directly by using the Who to follow feature. You’ll notice a Who to follow box in the sidebar on most tabs, particularly Home and Explore. Click the Show More link to be served with limitless options.
You can also use Twitter search to look up keywords and follow people in the results. Just make sure you’re on the People tab at the top.
6. Cull the herd.
Naturally, not everyone will follow you back. You may want to consider unfollowing people who don’t respond to you. I usually give people a week or so because not everyone is active on Twitter all of the time. After that, I will remove them to keep my follower/following ratio tight. Users who are following you back will be indicated by a Follows you tag in your follower list which you can find on your Profile tab.
I also have a free account at unfollowerstats.com that shows me people who have unfollowed me so I can remove them from my Following list. Just sign in with Twitter and allow it to sync. Click the Unfollowers tab and unfollow anyone who has recently unfollowed you.
7. Find great content to share.
This can seem insurmountable at times, but it’s possible to find content on pretty much every topic you can imagine. When I worked as the Social Media Manager for that SEO company, we had clients who installed garage doors. Try finding some content for that! 😝 The content you share is essential in helping you to build a Twitter following.
- Your first stop should be Feedly and I’ve written at length about this amazing resource already.
- Google is a given. Use the tools available to you as well. Try the News tab. Consider a specific time frame by clicking the Tools button and selecting a time from the drop-down. If you find yourself repeating a search over and over, you may want to set up Google Alerts.
- Brainstorm. Write out all of the relevant aspects of your niche that someone might search for. If we use the “garage doors” example, I would write down the following: garage door brands, garage door styles, garage door security, etc. You get the idea. If your niche is “chocolate bars” then your list might be something like: chocolate bar recipes, recipes using chocolate, health benefits of chocolate, etc. Write down everything you can think of. You will thank yourself later when you feel like you’re running out of relevant content.
- Check the competition. When I get really desperate for content, I check the competition on Facebook and see what they were sharing with their followers. This is a great way to find new ideas when you’re stuck.
- Reddit. Reddit can be a bit confusing, but there is a community on Reddit for almost any niche or topic you can think of, and people on Reddit share TONS of content. This is a good place to find news and a variety of interesting things to share related to your niche.
- You! I’m talking about the content you consume on a daily basis from around the web: your Facebook news feed, blogs you read, your Twitter stream, websites you use and visit regularly, etc. People want to know that stuff. Sharing the articles and content you find interesting with your followers is a great way to keep them engaged. Not to mention, this puts a personal spin on what you are sharing. As an industry leader, people want to know what you find interesting and helpful.
- Similar site search. So you’ve found a great site that churns out a ton of great content for you to share, and you want to find more like it? There’s a website for that. SimilarSiteSearch.com will get it done. Type the URL into the search box and you’ll get a list of sites you can check to find more content.
As I said before, Twitter is a reciprocal platform.
Someone retweeted you! Thank them and retweet something of theirs.
Thank people when they follow you.
Pretty much anything like this you do on Twitter will be reciprocated in some manner and that’s a new opportunity for you and your brand to get noticed.
9. Measure the results.
Twitter has a free analytics platform where you can see what kind of results your efforts are netting you. Just visit https://analytics.twitter.com and opt into analytics. Then visit that same URL any time to see how you’re doing.
If you follow the information in this post…
You will see results on Twitter.
How do I know? I’ve done it over and over for clients, myself, and now for ABK.
If you were able to build a Twitter following using this information, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Let other authors know this isn’t a waste of time!
You may even find new information to share!