Social media years are like dog years. Things change so quickly. It seems that if you’ve been blogging for 5 years (that’s 35 years in social media years), you’re a veteran. September 1st will be my 5 year blogiversary. Looking back over those 5 years, Twitter has been a social media platform I’ve loved continuously. Even though other platforms came and went (like StumbleUpon and FriendFeed) and I have a love/hate relationship with others (*coughFACEBOOKcough*), my love for Twitter has never waned.
It’s fun. It’s interactive. It’s simple. It’s instant, yet still relevant even if you don’t check in 6 times a day. And while I’m not a Twitter guru, I understand how to get Twitter followers. In addition to sharing your Twitter account on other platforms, there are a few easy, tried and true, tips to follow on Twitter itself.
Have a Good Photo
We want to see your face. Having an actual, current photo of yourself goes a long way in establishing trust. If your twitter account represents a community site or business, feel free to use your logo. But whatever you do, get rid of the egg, quickly. And no profile pictures of your pets in people clothes. It’s creepy.
Fill Out Your Bio
If you have a photo, but no bio, I probably won’t follow you. Your bio is a great place to share your personality – but be as succinct as possible. Don’t get so “creative” that I have no idea what you mean. I’d much rather read “happily married” than “married 15 years to my reason for getting up in the morning”. (eyeroll)
Use Keywords in Your Bio
What do you blog about? What are your interests? Use those keywords in your bio. Twitter users search keywords looking for like-minded people to follow. My Twitter bio includes the words Christian, Homeschool, Dairy Free and Getting Fit. Be sure to alternate your keywords every few months. In my next bio, I might change ‘diary free’ to ‘non dairy’ and ‘homeschool’ to ‘home educate’. This will help find additional users with similar interests.
Join a Chat or Party
Find twitter parties related to your keywords and join in! Birds of a feather flock together. If you write about organization, participate in Twitter events that have to do with organizing, housekeeping and space saving. Tweet, converse, interact! Follow users you’d like to know better, they’ll probably follow you back.
Use Hashtags – Politely
Using relevant hashtags is a great way attract attention from a more focused set of Twitter users. For instance, if you share a homeschool curriculum review, tag it with #homeschool, #hsbloggers, or #hsmommas. Use hashtags sparingly! More than one – three hashtags per tweet puts you in the “hashtag bomber” category. If your tweets look like this: “Check out my flashcard review!! #homeschool #hsbloggers #hsmommas #2to1Conf #homeeducate #math #moms #school #flashcards” Stop it! Just stop.
No Auto DMs Either
I don’t like them. If you spam me within seconds of following you, I will likely unfollow you on principle. Building any relationship – whether in life or online – needs to be done in an organic way. Don’t be pushy.
Tweet During Live Events
This goes back to the same reasoning as joining relevant chats and parties. Where like-minded people congregate, you’re likely to get more followers. Tweet with relevant hashtags during your favorite team’s ball game, or during a new episode of your favorite show. Though this hasn’t worked well for me with my favorite TV show. I suspect there are only a handful of 30 something, Christian, homeschool, fans of #TheWalkingDead.
Share the Love
Last but not least, don’t just broadcast. If you want to grow you followers you need to interact. You don’t have to live on Twitter, but at least check in once a day or a few times a week. Retweet your friends, respond to @s and direct messages. Foster those relationships!