Gaining a Following
The Village Square
Twitter is the modern version of the village square, populated by a similar array of citizens, strangers, sellers and swindlers. Newcomers to the global village's cyber-square, who are looking to sell their wares, can be overwhelmed by the strangeness, the variety and the sprawl of humanity on the site. Most are excited, however, with the fabulous reach that Twitter provides. One can advertise for free around the world if you know what you are doing, but what if you don't? Here are some commonsense tips to get your message out for those new to Twitter.
It's good to be picky who you hang out with
Since the entire point of your presence on Twitter is to have the maximum number of people aware of your product, service or message; gaining as many followers as possible is one of the keys to being successful. You don't want just any followers, however. People who aren't active on the site are not of much use to you. Neither are those "tweeters" that are focussed solely on their own thing. The power of the medium isn't so much in your original tweet to your followers, but how often your message is sent along to your followers' followers. Called the "Retweet" (or simply "RT" in Tweet parlance), it is the goal for the majority of social media marketers.
Follow me; follow you
One vital fact about tweeters is that, often, though certainly not always, they will follow you back if you follow them. Practically everyone who brings their business to Twitter needs followers, so they know they need a follow-back policy in place to maximize their own numbers. If you don't follow back, the other guys have no motivation to follow you.
Indeed, Twitter even forces you, once you have achieved 2000 fellow tweeters following you, to make sure you have followed back 90%, or at least 1800 other tweeters. If you hit 2000 following and have fewer followers than you should, Twitter will limit your ability to follow anyone else.
Follow the stars and the stars' followers
Therefore, if you want to increase your follower base quickly, think of the people in your target demographic and who those people would already be interested in following. Got a hit rap song to promote, for example? Display the followers for a fellow rap star and follow them all. This will virtually guarantee an instant following of your own. Managing the new followers properly however, is critical. To maximize the impact of your future tweets, it will be necessary to examine each new follower individually.
To do this effectively, wait a week or so to allow those you've followed to follow you back. Not everyone tweets daily and that's okay. If they only tweet monthly, though, they are, generally speaking, of lesser value for spreading your message and won't likely be missed. You can find out their tweeting habits by displaying the account of each new follower and looking and what and when they tweet. This will inform you as to whether they refuse to RT any of their followers' posts, if they only tweet their own stuff, or if they hardly tweet at all, Feel free to unfollow these tweeters as the chance of them reading or retweeting your posts are poor. As much as this would be a surprise to many tweeters, the reality is, for marketing purposes, it is about the quality of your followers, not the quantity.
Two of the most important Twitter words: 'Thank you'
By diligently following these steps, you can create an instant target market suited to your tweet recipients. For those that do follow back, be gracious and send them a tweet thanking them for the follow as this is how tweeters form relationships that are beneficial to your business interests. People you have made an effort with in this way are far more likely to retweet your messages than those with which you have not personalized the relationship.