May 8, 2012
When I opened my Twitter account a few years ago, I didn’t pay too much attention to it for the first year and a half or so. Sure, I’d update it, but it’s not a marketing outlet I took very seriously. Nowadays though, it’s become an integral part of how I do business online.
Twitter marketing helps me to sell more ebooks, get more newsletter subscribers and stay in front of possible clients. Of course, I see this in my bottom line month in and month out (I still can’t say I’ve “directly” landed one client from Twitter; but I do know it definitely helps in the referral department).
With that being said, following is some concrete insight into how I grew my Twitter account to more than 11,000 followers.
1. What Your Retweet Percentage Should Be: I retweet stuff a lot. About 75-80% of my tweets are retweets. I read somewhere once that this is about the range you should keep your RT percentage in, so I’ve just kind of consciously stuck to it.
This makes sense because when you do this, you keep the “social” in “social media.” One blogger underscored this in a post entitled, Don’t forget the ‘social’ in social media,’ writing:
I’m maintaining a reply / retweet percentage of over 70%. Seven out of every 10 tweets I make are either engaging in a conversation with someone or sharing content that I think is cool. My community is slowly growing at a manageable pace, equal to the amount of time I spend engaging.
FYI, you can measure the success of your account with these Twitter tools.
2. What to Tweet: Presently, my Twitter profile reads as follows:
Founder of an SEO Writing Company – I Help People with Freelance Writing, EBook Development & Self Publishing – I’m a Marathon Running Junkie – I Like to Travel
So I don’t go off the rails. I pretty much stick to retweeting stuff that covers what’s listed in my profile, eg: links to freelance writing jobs; about SEO and SEO writing; how to write, self-publish and sell ebooks online; content marketing; etc.
Every once in a while I’ll tweet and answer the original Twitter question, “What are you doing?”, but not that often.
One of the reasons it took me so long to hop on the Twitter bandwagon is because I just didn’t see the point of hearing that someone was eating tuna for lunch or just got up from an afternoon nap. But as we know, Twitter is no longer about that (perhaps it never really was; I was just late to the party). It’s a major marketing outlet. But, what you tweet goes a long way towards building your Twitter following. So tweet stuff that’s relevant to your core audience.
In the post, Twitter 101: What Should I Tweet About? Understanding Why Personal Branding on Twitter Matters, writer Neal Schaffer gives an excellent list of things to tweet about, writing in part:
I recommend you start tweeting a combination of the following to help strengthen your personal brand:
**Share links with what you read concerning your industry or profession
**Comment on the current affairs or hot topics of your industry or profession
**Ask questions related to your industry and see what your peers following you think
I read somewhere once that Deepak Chopra sends out as many as 100 tweets per day.
I think you have to find your own “tweeting groove” though. About half a dozen times per day works with my schedule. Part of the reason I don’t tweet a lot is I like to tweet in real time, so don’t use automated tools like HootSuite (although I really, really should make use of this). I like to do enough to stay top of mind, but not so much so that I become a pain, ya know.
4. When to Respond to Your Followers: I do my best to acknowledge those who interact with me, eg I:
Thank all those who RT my links;
Respond to those who ask me questions; and
Follow those who follow me (for the most part).
This keeps the social in “social media,” as mentioned above. I’m southern, so manners are a big part of how I was raised. Keeping the social in social media like this is akin to saying “please” and “thank you.”
5. When to Go “Off the Rails”: Who doesn’t love a good laugh?! So every once in a while, I’ll tweet “a funny.” Two of my favorite go-to Twitter accounts for jokes/humor is Joan Rivers and @shitmydadsays (warning – this account contains some racy humor).
Popular Stuff to Tweet
Other “non-relevant” stuff to tweet include:
World news (eg, death of a political figure or celebrity);
Disaster (eg, major earthquake);
Babies and puppies (never underestimate the “cute” factor); and
Amazing photography (especially nature).
All of these types of things tend to get retweeted a lot.
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6. Figure Out “Your Thing”: One thing I do is tweet a “Success Quote of the Day.” This is kinda my thing; my signature. Usually I do so right before I log off for the end of the day. It’s like a reminder to end the day on a positive note.
I do this on purpose because I usually don’t log onto Twitter until late morning or early afternoon. Hence, that’s a lot of hours that this quote is at the top of my Twitter stream. So, it’s one of the first things people read when they come to my account. What better impression to make than a positive one, no?
7. Put Yourself First: Usually, I tweet one of my own links at the end of the day. Again, this is done on purpose. I want it to be one of the first things followers see when they check out my Twitter account.
After all, Twitter is a form of marketing and while most of my tweets are RTs (links to the content of others), I make sure that I get in “face time” with my followers.
8. Actively Seek Followers: Sometimes, I’ll spend 10 or 15 minutes and actively seek those in my niches to follow. For example, I’ll do a search for “freelance writers”; or “self publishers”; or “SEO companies”; etc. and follow them.
I’ve found that 30-50% of those I follow will follow me back. Imagine if you followed just 20 new people a day and 10 of them followed you back. That’s 300 new followers per month (which is nothing in terms of number of followers per day).
Interesting Twitter “Follower” Tip: FYI, one thing I noticed is that once I got around 2,500 or so followers, I had to follow fewer people. It’s like people automatically started following me. My theory is, people want to follow those who have “a lot of followers.”
And, “a lot” is very subjective when you consider that the vast majority of Twitter accounts have very few followers. Proof? Check out these Twitter statistics, ie:
**22% of accounts have no updates or blank profile information;
**Twitter profiles with less than 75 follows are at 92.6% of all users; and
**6% of accounts have created 75% of all Twitter tweets.
So having even a couple of thousand Twitter followers makes you a “Twitter big shot!”
9. Get Professional Help: One of the best things I did to get more Twitter followers was look to an expert. In my case, the Twitter expert was John Paul Aguiar. In the linked-to post I wrote:
Want more Twitter followers? All you have to do is follow the advice of John Paul Aguiar. I told you about him a couple of weeks ago, because I did a guest post for his site.
Well, I’ve been trying some of the tips he dispensed and when I looked at my stats and saw how little time had passed (just two weeks), I was amazed to find that I’d gotten close to 700 new Twitter followers!
If you implement just a few of these Twitter marketing tips – on a consistent basis – you should easily be able to get more Twitter followers; and more freelance work.
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