You’ve heard of Twitter. The micro-blogging social media platform where you can accrue followers with a few taps or mouse clicks per day. It’s an incredible way to get your 140-character message out to hundreds of people at any given time — if only it weren’t so overwhelming! It doesn’t have to be.
In this blog post, I wish to tell you how I managed to grow my Twitter followers from a measly 430 followers, to 1,000-plus in less than 90 days, and spending less than 30 minutes per day in the application.
But, first, a little back story! 🙂
Just as I completed the first draft of my novel in October, I started designing my marketing strategy. After a quick assessment of my contacts, I realized I had no author platform — no audience, beyond my friends and family — to whom I could market my work!
Having developed a rough outline of my marketing strategy (stay tuned and sign up for emails from me, because I am working on creating a free ebook on my design process to share with you!), one thing became really clear to me: I needed a system whereby I can grow my Twitter followers, quickly, using little effort and even less time! (I’m busy; what can I say?)
So, somewhere around the beginning of October, when I had about 430 Twitter followers, I set the conservative goal of hitting 1,000 Twitter followers by December 31, 2015. On December 13, 2015, I hit that goal with 18 days to spare! (Thank you, Twitter Followers!)
Here are the 3 Things I did to grow my Twitter followers numbers.
1. Set a goal
Make sure your goal is SMART, too. In case you don’t know what SMART stands for: it’s Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound. As far as specific, attainable and realistic were concerned, I just took the number of followers I had on that day, 436; doubled it, rounded it off to a nice clean number (1,000), and set a time-limit (end of this year) on the goal. Voilà, goal set!
I also want to take this opportunity to share with you that you can easily measure a bunch of Twitter activities through Twitter Analytics — this is a free service (for now, anyway) offered by Twitter, so you can see how you’re engaging socially online. You can access Twitter analytics, by selecting the drop-down menu in the top-right corner of your desktop Twitter screen–or you can tap the URL in your smartphone.
2. Commit to two or three times in the day during which to visit your Twitter account.
Now that you’ve set a goal, you need to attain it, right? When I set this goal for myself, I thought it would be impossible to reach by the end of the year, but I also reasoned, I wouldn’t know unless I tried. The first couple days I visited my Twitter account, I read through tweet after tweet, and was overwhelmed with the sheer load of information. Much of it was pretty repetitive, dull or downright self-promotional. I decided to keep my visits short and frequent — two or three each day… and timed!
Here’s what I did daily, 5 – 6 days per week:
- Visit 1: Conduct a few searches, based on hashtags: #amwriting, #amediting and #amreading (find the hashtags that work for you) to find Twitter accounts whose bios align with my interests. Read their top couple tweets, and if I enjoyed them, I would retweet them with a quote, a mention, a positive comment. Once 10 or 15 minutes were done, I’d sign out.
- Visit 2: During the day, a tweet might come to mind. I would pop into my Twitter — not check any of the tweets there — make a comment and pop out.
- Visit 3: At the end of the day, I would engage once again for a maximum of 10 to 15 minutes. This visit tends to be more engaging, but I also will repeat a hashtag search to find others to follow.
I strongly believe the staggered approach to engaging in Twitter is the difference between efficient growth (doubling your followers) and slow growth. I also think it’s a great way to find new/interesting people during their time zones. Maybe you have a different theory on this… feel free to comment!
3. Reply, Retweet, and Follow (#FollowFriday or #FF)!
On some level, I mentioned following other Twitter accounts above, but the acts of engagement in Twitter are critical!
Yes, it’s one thing to post, post, post on Twitter, but Replying, Retweeting and Following (generally acknowledging other Twitter accounts) shows that you are on Twitter to engage in two-way conversation. You’re giving props, encouragement, and sharing the wisdom that someone else took the time to compose and share.
Because I don’t spend my daily Twitter time acknowledging every follow I do get, I make sure to issue a range of #FF or #FollowFriday tweets weekly on Fridays. I go back one week and make sure to give mention to everyone who followed me.
What tricks have you employed that changed your Twitter experience?
Thanks to these few tweaks, I now look forward to engaging with my Twitter followers, because the folks I follow are interesting to me. They offer comments that share value, and are valuable for sharing. I can also fit engaging on Twitter it into my busy schedule! My next Twitter goal was to hit 2,000 Twitter followers by the end of December 2016. (Maybe this was a bit too conservative…)
Follow me @cynthiatluna. Or if you get jiggy on any other social media app, go ahead and share this blog post there.