Before diving into tips for building a following, lets take a deeper look at Twitter, the communication tool.
Twitter can be a social communication system OR a marketing tool; knowing which you want will dictate how you build your following. You can read more information about using Twitter as communication tool on the right side.
To build a following, first you need to develop a target customer profile. Who do you want to do business with. While the normal tendency is to answer EVERYONE, when finding followers, using the concept of “success by association” can produce more efficient result. Meaning you spend less time per lead qualifying business prospects.
Using the Twitter Yellow Pages (www.Twellow.com) you can find Twitter users in specific categories to follow. The idea behind building a following is first you need to follow other people.
Possibly the MOST influential way to build a good Twitter following is to publish valuable, keyword centered, information. That means, when publishing your twitter posts, make sure to provide “value” to your reads AND a link to information that “rewards” your read for their time.
The idea behind using Twitter as a marketing tool centered on the valued of the publication. If you are publishing “billboard” type messages that don’t help the reader, then people are less likely to reward you with a follow.
Following Followers of those I Follow
Another approach to building a large Twitter following to to follow to followers of people you look to for information or entertainment.
For example, if you love reading Stephen King novels, then finding a fan club or the author’s twitter account can lead you to a source of “other” like-minded people. Associating with other people with whom you have a common association or affinity is a quick way to build a strong following. Visit the target association followers and follow a hundred or so.
Limits and SPAM
One quick way to blow all your Twitter effort is to follow too many people at once. Tens of millions of people are flocking to Twitter, many are doing so in nefarious ways. They follow thousands of people with the only goal of building a big following so they can land blast them with a sales pitch. Our recommendation is don’t!
Twitter is fight SPAM with silver bullets that instant kill the wolf like accounts permanently. So long as you keep your following number with in a hundred so so people as are following you back, then you’ll fine.
Unfollow those who don’t Follow You Back
Twitter has limits on the number of people you can follow over the number that follow you in return. Because of this limit, you will need to clean out your Twitter account on a regular basis. Visit you Following screen and unfollow those you can not “Direct Message”. If you can not DM then, then they are NOT following you.
Return the Follow
Just as you need to clean out your following list, you need to follow those who are following you with whom you have not returned the follow. Visit your followers list and follow those you are not following.
Moral of the Story
Twitter will give you back the effort you put in. If you manage your lists, send valuable information that link people to your blog or website, then you will build a large following.
Twitter allows you to see micro-blog messages from all those your follow, and, thus, all your followers to see your micro-blogs. In addition to your followers, the public timeline also receives your posts, which is crawled by the major search engines (save this tid bit in the memory banks for a moment.)
As a community tool, Twitter allows you to send responses (@messages) directly to any Twitter user. @messages are also posted in the public timeline, but because they go to the recipients @reply box, these messages can be considered SPAM. You should only use @messages when replying to a question, adding to a public discussion, recognizing the individual for an idea, or engaging the individual in conversation. Avoid sales pitches via @messages–doing so can get your Twitter account flagged as a SPAMMER, resulting in permanent termination.
DM’s (Direct Messages) are private messages that only your recipient sees. Sending sales presentations via DM’s is also considered SPAM. We strongly suggest you avoid sending sales messages via DM to any user.
If you are asking yourself how Twitter can be a good communication tool, then you have caught my subtle hint–don’t! Twitter is a HORRIBLE communication tool. Tryign to hold a conversation via Twitter is about as effective as using tin cans and string to pass messages around in your office.
With thousands of messages flying by your screen in real time, it is impossible to hold a meaning full conversation. You are better off give the recipient your phone number or eMail address. Thus, the best social communication system use for Twitter is asking someone online in real time to contact you off line. This leads us to what I believe is the preferred use for Twitter–as a marketing tool.
Building a follow via eMail and other website publications is a viable way to build a good size following. Be sure to add a Follow Me On twitter link.
A business blog allows you to create search engine rich content you can share on social media sites and bring new traffic to your company website.
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