We have written some articles about how to grow your Twitter account to achieve Twitter success. Our assumption for these articles was that you are already present on Twitter and “just” want to know how to grow a targeted following and with it gain more traffic to your content.
Talking to some newbies on Twitter, I realized that there are some questions we need to answer before the actual growth process. Some steps you need for Twitter success before you think of actively growing your account.
Twitter newbies: This is for you!
1. Choose a Twitter handle
I actually recommend using your real name – or your business’s name. Even though my own Twitter handle (@dreckbaerfrau) seems to contradict this, from today’s point of view, I would probably not choose this one again, but go for my name for the simple reason that branding me as a person is harder with a Twitter handle that at first glance has no connection to me.
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You need to check, whether your chosen handle is already taken, if so (or if your name is too long for a handle) play around with the name a bit: Instead of SusannaGebauer, I could go for sugebauer or susannage.
2. Fill out your profile
Although your followers will not visit your Twitter profile every day, many people will take a look at your profile before they decide to follow you – or not to follow you. Thus the profile is important.
The first thing people see about you is your avatar. Do not keep the egg Twitter provides as a placeholder. People distrust eggs and are not as likely to follow them. Choose a nice and recognizable picture.
In addition, your profile should provide some information on what your followers can expect from you: the General area of interest, what you are going to tweet about, a link to your website.
For your own personal profile, you are allowed to give a glimpse of your personality. People love to connect to a person. Feel free to share some of your personality – this will also make you more real.
3. Follow some people
You are on Twitter for a purpose – even if that purpose is having fun or simple conversations. To connect and communicate with people on Twitter, you want to follow the people you want to connect to so that their updates show up in your stream. I am not talking about hundreds of people here, but a chosen handful to start with.
People to follow can be friends, colleagues, experts in your field, magazines, and many more. At this stage, it is not about following masses of people but rather about choosing some very interesting tweeps to fill up your Twitter feed.
4. Get some Followers
This is not about big numbers. It is about the first handful of followers. People will rather follow an account with a handful of followers than an account without any followers. The most common reason is that an account without any followers might easily be a spam account or an account that does not provide anything that makes this account desirable to follow.
Here are some ideas to gather the first few followers:
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- Ask your friends on Twitter to follow you
- If you have an email-list – mention your new Twitter account in your next newsletter
- Include your Twitter account on your blog and in your email signature
5. Tweet interesting stuff
Before people follow you, most of them will take a closer look at what you are tweeting. Why should anyone follow you, if your account does not provide anything of value? That can be the sharing of interesting articles, statements, pictures.
Twitter is a perfect network for sharing links. If you yourself have not enough information on your site (blog), you are welcome to share links to other people’s articles, graphics, podcasts, etc. In truth, especially in the beginning you should not just share your own content, spice it up with some articles from other authors you yourself enjoyed to read.
Make yourself interesting for others to follow by sharing valuable information.
I strongly recommend concentrating on a handful of topics. If you tweet a broad mix of different topics, the chances are high that people will not follow you because you tweet too much information which is not of interest to them. Use the topics you tweet to determine who follows you: Choose your tweets so that people who are interested in your information are likely from your target group.
6. Start conversations and participate in conversations
Twitter is not about meaningless chitchat all the time. And it is not a one-way link-sharing network. The best results you will get if people get more from you than just shared links: Your own personal views on discussed topics, a question or an answer: Join the conversation. Like most social networks Twitter is about building relationships and especially when you are starting, joining the discussion is a nice and friendly way of getting on people’s radar.
How to pursue your road to Twitter success?
To get these first steps right, you will need at least a few days – more likely a few weeks. If you master these you are ready to go for growth – we tell you how most influencers on Twitter grow their accounts in this article: Still Missing Out?! The Simple Twitter Growth Approach All Influencers Use
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