Followers, on Twitter, or Twitter followers, are people who follow you (your account). Each person on Twitter has those following them, and those they are following. Those that are following you can be considered your audience. This article will explain how to follow people, how to follow the people you want in your network/audience, and how to keep your followers.
How do I follow on Twitter?
The “Follow” button is Twitter’s primary tool for connecting people. If you follow someone, you see all of their updates on your Home stream. If someone follows you, all of your tweets will appear on their Home stream.
Once you’ve found someone you want to follow, click on the “Follow” button of their profile. That’s it. They will get a notification that you have followed them.
In real life networking you often have to make the first move and be the one to extend the handshake. The same applies to Twitter. The follow is your introduction to the other person; an invitation for them to connect.
Follows are not obligatory. Just because you follow someone does not mean they have to follow you back. On the flip side, you can follow anyone you like without needing their approval. Typically, we’ve found that about 15-45% of the people we follow, will follow us back.
Are my Twitter followers the right people?
Twitter limits you to 2,000 follows (at least at first). So you’ll want to carefully manage your follow list. We’d suggest you follow the people who could be your ideal client, your ideal referrals, industry luminaries, colleagues, and people you know you can learn from. Use this as a start.
Do know that in our experience, we’ve found Twitter to be a little more casual than some of the other social networks. For example, on LinkedIn, it is typically to see business people with a very professional profile including job title and responsibilities.
On Twitter, we’ve found that those very same people may describe themselves in a more casual way. Just do be aware not to judge too harshly.
Start off by searching for the Twitter accounts of your customers.
Next, search for and follow prominent influencers in your field. They might be CEO’s, subject matter experts, company twitter accounts, or perhaps colleagues with much more experience than you. As you follow them, some may take the time to follow you back. They’ll be able to see your tweets, and will be able to retweet and share your tweets with their own audience. This expands your reach. If they don’t, follow you back, you’ll still be able to learn from whatever resources they share. Either way you win.
Even if you only service clients in a certain geographical area, do not limit yourself on Twitter. It is a global network and you never know if that person who lives 3,000 miles away has followed you because they are moving to your city in the near future and want to be in contact with you for exactly the service you provide.
Keep your Twitter followers by providing value
There is no guarantee that someone will return the favor when you follow them. The best way to ensure follows is by giving value first.
Value on Twitter means information, insights and interaction.
Share valuable insights about your industry on your Twitter feed. If you’re a realtor, for example, you could share tips on finding a good house, or sharing photos of great renovation projects. If you’re an accountant, share news about changes to tax laws or give tips on filing returns. Do this consistently and you’ll be providing value. Sharing industry information you may think everyone already knows is helpful – they didn’t have to go looking for it – you saved them time.
Another way to keep your followers is by interacting with them. This could be in the form of answering questions. Asking how they are doing and what they are working on. You can get a fair bit of information from their Twitter profile – enough to start a first conversation.
Monitor hashtags and keyword search to watch for people asking questions you can answer. We don’t see a huge amount of people doing this (answering questions) so you’ll definitely get noticed. Your help will be appreciated.
The key concept to effective Twitter follows is “value.” Follow people who can provide you or your business with value, whether it’s someone you can learn from, someone who you can work with, or someone who can connect you with other people. On the flipside, the best way to gain followers of your own is to become a contact that others will value. Teach important lessons, share relevant insights and news, and be a person people like interacting with online. Do that consistently enough, and you’ll be surprised at how fast your followers grow.
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