One of the questions we get most is how to grow an audience on Twitter. If you’ve tried it unsuccessfully, you know that Twitter is a whole different animal than other social media sites.
Twitter makes it easy to connect and converse with people, even those you aren’t already connected to.
It’s going to take some elbow grease though. Here’s a quick guide on how to grow your audience on the platform.
First Things First
Before people follow you on Twitter, they’ll generally want to know who you are. Take the time to fill out your profile and add a picture. You don’t have to write a biography and take headshots but give people a general idea of what kind of person they're tweeting with.
This is your chance to make a good first impression on potential followers.
What Do I Tweet?
So... what should you start tweeting about? The answer is different for everybody. You can start by thinking of your Twitter account as a medium for your personal brand. What do you want that brand to be? If you already are producing content on other platforms, this is a great place to share it.
Just remember that your tweets have a short half-life, so you’ll want to tweet often.
Hashtags are a great way to make your content more discoverable. Just don’t overdo it. Twitter isn’t Instagram and using 11 or more hashtags on a tweet is a bad thing. Stick to one or two.
Another great source is other people’s content. If you find a webpage or article that you like, post the link in a tweet. It’s a good idea to add a few of your own thoughts when doing so.
For bonus points, find the author on Twitter and tag them in the post. This may create a chance to engage with the author and potentially get a RT of your tweet and the commentary you wrote about their post.
Engagement: The #1 Priority
Engagement is the key to growing your audience. This doesn’t mean writing good tweets and waiting for engagements to roll in though.
If you want more followers, you need to start conversations with people.
Feel free to jump into conversations that other people are having about subjects you’re interested in.
Tweetdeck: Your Twitter Dashboard
This is the one of the most important tools for Twitter. Essentially it breaks your Twitter experience into multiple columns. Each one provides a specialized feed and the ability to view them all on the same screen at once.
You can have columns setup to follow search terms, hashtags, geographical areas, scheduled tweets, individual users, and much more. Once you setup your columns to fit your preference, you can follow multiple topics at once and reply to any tweet in any of the feeds.
Tweetdeck is the most powerful way to experience Twitter if you set it up in a meaningful way. After using it for a while, you’ll probably wonder how you ever used Twitter without it.
Find The Tweets
This is the most overlooked feature of Twitter. There’s an extremely powerful source of data at your fingertips should you choose to harness it. But, most don’t know it’s there because Twitter has made it a bit difficult to find.
When you use the regular search bar and it takes you to results, click the “Show” button next to “Search Filters” on the top left of the results. When that menu expands, you’ll see a link to “Advanced Search” at the bottom.
On the Advanced Search page, you get many options to play with. You’ve got different Boolean options as well as time period, language, and geographical location. Once you get it setup the way you want, hit the search button at the bottom.
Now that you’ve got the results, you can see the exact search string it used in the upper right corner of the results page. If you highlight and copy this, you can drop it into a search column in Tweetdeck and get continual updates in real time.
Make The List
Lists are another often underused feature of Twitter. Using lists you can create custom feeds of specific users that you choose. These lists can be publicly visible, or you can keep them private.
The best part is, you don’t even have to follow a user to put them on a list. Keep in mind that if the list is public, it will notify them they’ve been added to a list.
You can set up private lists of competitor accounts to keep tabs on what they’re posting without letting them know that you’re paying attention. You can create lists of accounts that post content on specific industries. The options here are limitless.
Once you’ve got lists setup, you can also create columns in Tweetdeck for each individual list and follow them all at the same time. This makes it easy to quickly check on specific lists one at a time.
This is one of the best ways to network professionally on Twitter. Twitter chats are basically conversations that occur around questions asked by a moderator.
Everyone in the chat uses the chat’s unique hashtag so they can follow along with the questions and other people’s responses. Some of the most impactful connections made on Twitter stem from meeting in chats.
There’s a chat for nearly every industry or topic you can think of. If you jump in, participate and have genuine conversations with people you will surely gain followers and find new people that you want to follow.
Tweetdeck makes chatting simple. Create a search column to follow the hashtag and all of the responses in the chat will appear in line.
You can reply without having to leave the screen and missing new tweets as they come in. It’s a good idea to put this column next to your notifications column in Tweetdeck so you don’t miss any responses that mention you.
Now Get To Work
The important thing to remember is that it’s going to take a lot of time and effort to gain a following on Twitter. There’s no light switch to make yourself popular.
That being said, using these tools and strategies will help you tremendously in growing your audience on Twitter.